Mushrooms are a pretty fascinating tiny organism. You can find them in the most random places, considering that they can grow in any environment. But, of course, they do need to have certain environmental conditions for them to grow. But, other than that, they are easy to grow.
Magic mushrooms are no exception to this. These shrooms, like their not-so-psychedelic relatives, can do so. It can grow in about any place. You already know that some shrooms grow out of cow dung. Or, there are also those shrooms that grow out of dead logs and garden mulch.
Psychedelic mushrooms can also be grown at home. This is aside from growing it in several outdoor environments. This is possible because there are many growing kits available. These kits will help you grow your psychedelic mushrooms at home. What’s more, there are several techniques (or teks) that you can use to grow your magic mushrooms.
Among the different growing teks out there, did you know that there’s one that makes use of popcorn? That’s right. You can use popcorn to grow your magic mushrooms! Curious? Then, continue reading to find out how this is possible.
Using Popcorn Tek to Grow Shrooms
The “popcorn tek” is a technique that makes use of popcorn kernels to grow magic mushrooms. Given that there are already ready-made kits, you might wonder why this is needed. While it is true that this takes a little more preparation, it’s still another fun way to grow your shrooms. In a way, the extra effort makes it all the more rewarding.
This is a perfect tek to try out! Of course, if you have the time and are interested in learning about different ways to grow shrooms. Of course, before you start, you’ll need to prepare everything you need. Afterward, you’ll need to know what to do. For you, this is a guide with step-by-step instructions that even beginners can follow! Ready?
Popcorn Tek Supplies and Equipment
As with a lot of things, preparation is vital. The same goes with this mushroom-growing tek. So, to be successful with this technique, it’ll be good to have everything you need.
With that in mind, you’ll need the following items:
- Unpopped popcorn kernels (2 bags or 4lbs)
- Pressure cooker
- Wide-mouth mason jars (1 quart)
- Adhesive tape
- Pillow stuffing (a.k.a. Polyfill)
- Aluminum foil
- Latex gloves
- Rubbing alcohol
- Hand sanitizer
- Disinfectant spray
- Spore syringes with shroom spores of your choosing
- Alcohol lamp or Bunsen burner
- Large plastic tub/container
The popcorn tek method may be a little tedious to carry out, but it’s straightforward. One thing you’ll need to know about it is it’s divided into phases. The first phase would involve making grain spawn out of your kernels. The second phase consists of inoculating your spores. The third and final phase is when you go add your substrate.
Without further ado, here’s how to grow mushrooms from popcorn!
You first need to soak your popcorn kernels to get the ball rolling. Soak your two bags (or 4 pounds) of kernels in a large bowl of water, leaving about 2 inches of water above it. You’ll have to soak this for 24 hours. This makes six jars’ worth of spawn.
Next, you can start preparing the jars you’ll be using. First, make two holes in each of the lids of your jars, one large one in the middle and one smaller one in the edge. You can do this by hammering the holes with a nail or using a drill. With the big hole, you’ll need to cover it with pillow stuffing. This allows for carbon dioxide to escape while protecting it from contaminants. The small hole but, you’ll need to cover it with tape for later.
Once the 24-hour soak is done, strain your kernels and rinse them. Then, you’ll have to pour the kernels into a pot filled with fresh water. Again, you’ll need to have two inches of water above the popcorn. Then, put the pot on a stove and boil it uncovered. You only need a low boil for this, stirring it to prevent your kernels from burning. Do this for 40 minutes.
After 40 minutes, check on your kernels. If you can squish them with your fingers, then these are good to go. If not, boil it for a little longer and check again.
Strain your kernels, shake them, then mix them until they’re dry. This might take between 15 to 20 minutes. It’s essential to ensure they’re dry. This is to prevent any unnecessary water from getting into your setup.
Once your kernels are dry, it’s time to fill your jars. First, fill them to the brim and then close the lids. Then, you’ll need some foil to cover the lids.
Finally, bust out that pressure cooker. Put your jars in, set the pressure at 15psi, and then cook them for 50 minutes. After this, turn your stove off, get your jars out of the cooker, and let them cool for the night.
Preparation for Inoculation
Before inoculating the spores into your kernels, sanitize the space you’ll be using. This is to help ensure that no contamination will occur.
Disinfect the area with your disinfectant spray. It’s also essential to make sure you wipe down the surfaces you’ll be using and that you wash your hands as well. Once you’ve cleaned everything and your jars have cooled down, you are now ready! It is time to put your latex gloves on and get ready for inoculation.
First, thoroughly shake your syringe full of spores for about a minute. This ensures that the spores have spread throughout the syringe. Make sure also that any clumps have been separated. Then, light your burner or alcohol lamp. You’ll be heating the needle on the syringe until red hot. Allow the needle to cool down until it’s back to its regular color. Then, poke the needle through the small taped hole in the lid. Then, inject about 2ml of the spores. Try to aim the needle towards the jar’s inner side.
After injecting, remove your syringe and then cover the hole with some tape. Then, you can repeat these steps until you either run out of spores or have inoculated all your jars.
Once you’ve finished inoculating, put the jars in a cool and dark place like a closet. Make sure they’re kept away from sunlight and that the temperature stays at the 22 to 23°C range.
Within 5 to 14 days, mycelium should start growing. Keep a close eye on their growth. Once you see that the jars are 70% covered with the mycelium, gently shake the jar from side to side. This helps them spread out better. You will then notice that slowly, the entire jar will be colonized. Once this happens, leave it for about five more days. This is to ensure complete colonization.
Inoculate Your Substrate
Now, for the final phase of your shroom growing: the substrate inoculation!
First, get the substrate of your choice. Some ideal substrates include sawdust and wood chips. Find a large tub, like a large plastic container, and fill it with the substrate. Then, empty your jars of popcorn and mycelium into those tubs. Gently shake the tube to mix the substrate with your popcorn and mycelium mixture. Store in a cool, dry place again.
In about ten days, you can find mycelium all over your tub. Be sure to give your mycelium some fresh air by placing them in a naturally lit room thrice a day for a half-hour each. This is to help remove any carbon dioxide while your mycelium continues to grow.
These are what you’re looking for! Pinhead growth is a sign of a successful magic mushroom inoculation. If you find these growing, congratulations! You’ve successfully grown magic mushrooms popcorn! Give it a few more weeks, and you’ll finally see some pinheads growing in your tub!
Popcorn Tek Pros and Cons
When it comes to mushroom growing teks, each method has its pros and cons. After all, no technique is perfect. With the popcorn tek, it’s good to note the pros and cons of mushroom growth. Doing so can help you know what to expect and see if this is the tek for you.
- You can find popcorn kernels in any grocery store, making them easy to get. They’re inexpensive too!
- There’s no need to clean the kernels as they’re ready to consume from the bag.
- The kernels don’t clump, even after you soak them. This makes it easier to shake and mix later.
- The chances of contamination are pretty low.
- Getting the technique right may take a little time.
- It takes a little longer for the shroom spores to colonize on the kernels than other spawn grains.
Growing your psychedelic mushrooms can be a pretty fun activity to engage in. In a way, it’s a learning experience. You get to understand better how shrooms can grow and the conditions needed to help this happen. Of course, there are several techniques to grow shrooms, with some being easier to do than others.
When it comes to the popcorn tek, it takes a little more time and effort to get things growing. Although the process is straightforward, it’s still a little tedious to carry out. Despite this, it’s still a technique worth looking into. This is if you’re looking to experiment with growing methods. So, if you’re considering a different and inexpensive way, consider the popcorn tek!
The process may take a little longer than others. But you will reap the benefits of your efforts! In the end, it was worth it!