Indoor Mushroom Cultivation Directions
Hobby scale indoor oyster mushroom
cultivation is a great way to begin growing mushrooms and be able see
quicker results. Unlike log culture, oyster mushrooms grown on straw
and spent brewery grain in a climate controlled environment can produce
a crop in one month.
Supplies required to begin at a small scale are:
A propane burner
A 55 gallon metal drum (stainless steel will last longer but plain steel drums also work and are much more affordable)
A metal basket slightly smaller than the inside of the 55 gallon drum with mesh that won't let excess straw fall out of the basket
A hunting broadhead or ideally a row of hunting broadheads screwed into a 2x4
Healthy mushroom spawn
Alcohol or bleach to sterilize surfaces that contact mushroom substrate or spawn
A stainless steel table to lay out the pasteurized straw
Spent brewery grain or other nitrogen supplement (optional)
After gathering all the required materials, begin by heating the 55 gallon drum 3/4 full of water to 160 degrees F.
Step 2 (recommended, but not essential)
Shred the straw (possible by hand, but best with the help of a bale chopper or wood chipper) to make the straw an optimal 4-6 inches in length.
Pack the metal basket with as much straw as it will fit, with spent grain or other nitrogen supplement in alternating layers with the straw. (note: the straw will be heavy when full of water so the first time you try this it is a good idea to not pack it as tight)
Once the water in the drum has reached 160 degrees F, place the basket full of straw in the drum and use cinder blocks or other weights to keep all the straw submerged in the hot water. Keep the straw in this water, maintained at 160 degrees F, for between 45 minutes and 1 hour.
Remove the basket of straw, laying the straw on a stainless steel table to cool. Once the straw is cool to the touch, add gypsum and mushroom spawn, mixing thoroughly and fill plastic bags with the substrate.
Puncture the bags with arrow heads, with holes about every 4 inches from each other, and place the bags in a clean area at room temperature (75 deg F).
Once the bags are fully colonized, it is important that they are placed in a high humidity environment, or a microhabit that is high in humidity can be created around them.
Enjoy your oyster mushrooms when they are finished growing out from your bags, as a general rule of thumb you should get 1 lb of fresh oyster mushrooms per 10-12 lb bag of straw/spent brewery grain substrate but a number of variables will affect your results.