Oyster mushrooms and coffee

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Oyster mushrooms and coffee

Postby GrahamB » Sat Mar 24, 2012 5:11 pm

As promised, I have got a few pictures together to show how I'm trying to grow mushrooms in coffee grounds. This is the first time I have tried this and I can't promise how it will turn out. But I think that's what these forums are for. Hopefully someone can learn by my mistakes and go one better.
I'd read somewhere about using coffee grounds to grow these Oyster mushrooms and I'd wanted to grow mushrooms for a while. The reason was simple... I love eating mushrooms.

The first step was to find a source of coffee grounds on a larger scale than I could supply with my one pot of coffee a day. No problem, both my wife and I work at a school and the custodian makes a giant pot of coffee for the teachers each morning. I just asked her to save the grounds for me.

Then I looked at suppliers of the spawn, and after a little more reading I chose Field and Forest over the others. They supply it in all the different forms, plugs, spores, and spawn on rye seeds. I chose 2lb of the rye seed, because I knew I wasn't going to use it all at once and you can keep it for three months in the fridge.

Okay I have the grounds and the spawn, the next thing is to start it all off.

Here is the gallon ziplock bag of coffee grounds.
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The next thing I did was to zap it for three minutes in the microwave. This is to try and kill any bacteria that may kill the mycelleum.
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Here is the bag of rye seed inoculated with the spawn. I just use a handful and then mix it well into the bag of coffee grounds. Then seal the bag up.
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Here are the bags I have done so far. They have about a week between each one, starting from the left. That one is really going strong. The one in the center may be a dud. I think there was too much moisture in the bag as I noticed last week that all the water had drained out of the grounds and was sitting in the bottom of the bag. I drained it out but we will have to see what it does.
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This is a view into the top of the first bag. I try and open each one for a minute or two each day to dispel any carbon dioxide that has settled in the bag. These are being kept in the garage at the moment as it's nice and dark in there and a fairly constant temperature. Once the mycelium has colonized all the grounds, the pinheads should start to appear.I will then transfer them to the barn where there is dappled light. This should produce the mushrooms.
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The next batch I am planning to do in the rubbermaid box I have the bags in now. I'm collecting the bags of grounds and will dump them into the box and add the spawn. I'll post more pictures as things develop.
Last edited by GrahamB on Sun Mar 25, 2012 4:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Oyster mushrooms and coffee

Postby matt walker » Sun Mar 25, 2012 2:10 am

Whoah, Graham, awesome! So, when you set them in the barn to fruit, do they go into something else, or just stay in the bags? This is so cool, thank you for the thread.
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Re: Oyster mushrooms and coffee

Postby GrahamB » Sun Mar 25, 2012 4:22 am

Matt, these will stay in the bag. I'll just open the ziplock and wedge it open. The next batch I'm going to do in the rubbermaid box and it will have the lid on in the garage, and then when it gets taken to the barn, the lid will come off. It's all experimental at the moment so there is a possibility of it all failing, but all the stuff I have read about them says that Oyster mushrooms are very forgiving and easy to grow. One guy I read, grew them in straw and when they were finished, he threw it all in the compost heap. A month later he had mushrooms in the compost heap. So it seems they just like to grow. Some people are actually experimenting with them to decompose plastic.
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Re: Oyster mushrooms and coffee

Postby lonv166 » Sat Mar 31, 2012 2:09 pm

This really interests me. Where I live is more like the temperatures and weather in south Florida. The problem I may have is finding a supplier. I can order seeds from the states, but living bulbs, roots, etc, are not allowed.
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Re: Oyster mushrooms and coffee

Postby GrahamB » Mon Apr 02, 2012 5:54 am

Apparently you can start the mycelium off by getting the stalk butts (the woody base) and placing them in damp cardboard, phone books or TP rolls. So if you can buy a bunch of them at your local grocery store, there is a chance of starting off for free.
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Re: Oyster mushrooms and coffee

Postby matt walker » Tue Apr 03, 2012 7:49 pm

I hadn't heard about using the butts as starts, but I have seen the phonebook thing and was thinking maybe I'd try that. How are yours coming? Did they go to the barn yet?
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Re: Oyster mushrooms and coffee

Postby GrahamB » Thu Apr 05, 2012 12:32 am

I have just moved the first bag to the barn. The others looked like they were failing on me last week but have now taken off again. I'm not sure what slowed them down but I'm going to leave them alone until I see definite pinheads on them. I'm saving all the new coffee grounds and am going to fill that rubbermaid box with them and do a big batch. This is all a huge experiment so I'm prepared for failure. That being said, I can't wait to taste my first oyster mushrooms.
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Re: Oyster mushrooms and coffee

Postby dave brenneman » Fri Apr 13, 2012 11:36 am

fascinating. I drink a fair amount of coffee - switched to tea for a year or so, just started up again - and I'd love to find some uses for those grounds.
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Re: Oyster mushrooms and coffee

Postby GrahamB » Sat Apr 14, 2012 7:43 pm

Latest update: The bags are still in the garage. I've realized that there is still a lot of untouched grounds at the bottom of the bag. I think this was due to all the moisture settling in the bottom. As the grounds dry out, the mycelium moves down the bag. So where I was worried about the bags drying out, I should have thought about the grounds being too damp. I think it will still work, but it's going to take a bit longer than I had imagined. The mycelium has to consume all the grounds before it starts fruiting. The bag that I took to the barn didn't do anything so I brought it back into the garage to see if it starts again. My next batch that I am doing as one big batch, will get some time in the oven rather than the microwave. This will hopefully get the moisture level down a bit.
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Re: Oyster mushrooms and coffee

Postby GrahamB » Fri May 25, 2012 9:50 pm

Finally, success! :D
I happened to be in the barn yesterday, and noticed some small pinheads growing in one of the bags. Today I checked on them and this is what I found.
Image

I am about to use the remainder of the spawn, but this time I'm doing away with the bags, mixing the coffee grounds with shredded paper and putting it directly into the tote.

It's got so hot here lately that I had given up on ever getting any mushrooms, but I now think the heat helped to burn off some of the coffee residue enough to get things moving again.
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