Different Types Of Grain Spawn
Rye grain has been the standard for making grain spawn lately because it absorbs water well. And it works well for almost all mushroom species. You shouldn't feel bad if you did not get rye grain, you could use other alternative grains like brown rice, rye berries, wheat berries, and so on. These other grains will also produce a favorable and give an effective result.
WHAT IS GRAIN SPAWN?
In the mushroom cultivation world, grain spawn is a little-known secret weapon. It is known as the seed of mushroom cultivation.
It comprises sterile grains inoculated with a live mycelium culture. The growing mass of mycelium consumes these inoculated grains.
The fully colonized grain spawn helps start a mushroom culture—the spawn known as mushroom seeds due to their appearance and application.
However, mycelium penetrates the grain, consuming the starchy content. The fungi will colonize the grains altogether, covering them in the white mycelium. Mycelium will continue to grow from there, eventually producing mushrooms.
WHY DOES IT HAVE TO BE STERILIZED?
It is essential to sterilize grain spawn because of its nutritional content, high in sugar and starch. After hydrating, these grains become hosts for not only fungi (mycelium) but are also open to bacteria and molds, which grow faster than mushroom mycelium. So to kick unwanted colonies, sterilization is required.
Set your pressure cooker to a 15PSI flow of about 2 hours to achieve a sterile grain spawn. Proliferation and growth happen faster because pure mushroom mycelium is added to the sterilized grain.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF GRAIN SPAWN
This section of the article will reveal the various types of grain spawn. People also want to know the best type of grain spawn for mushroom cultivation.
The simple answer is that there is no best choice for grain spawn selection. The best type of grain spawn for mushroom cultivation is the available once; any available spawn will produce optimally.
Below are the different types of grain spawns.
Rye grain is one of the most used grains because it can hold more water than other grains. Hence, rye grain keeps its integrity during processing. It does not easily break or be mushy when undergoing steaming.
It is also one of the most used grains because of its nutritional content and the ability to grow almost all mushrooms.
However, rye is rare because you can't always get it around. It is more accessible to people living close to farming communities. Although it's a great grain that will produce a perfect spawn, its rare availability will make planters choose another grain for cultivation.
Based on availability, this is one of the most commonly used grains. They can be prepared in the same way that rye grain is. On the other hand, Wheat cannot hold as much water and is more likely to break when processed.
Wheat berries are available in large quantities in large grocery stores worldwide.
Barely is one of the few grains with which grain spawn can go wrong. It has low water retention power; its grains break quickly during steaming after hydration. This makes grain spawn mushy, which won't give the desired result.
This grain is used for spawn by commercial mushroom growers. As sorghum also serves as animal feed, it is expensive and readily available compared to other grains.
However, there is the non-human grade of this grain that can be cheaply purchased. This non-human grade is what commercial growers use in making grain spawn. Sorghums also have a high water retention capacity (highly turgid). It is the most used and effective grain in the mushroom industry.
Millet has been the smallest of all grains and is mainly mixed with other grains to carry out the grain spawn process. It is mixed with grains with low water retention capacity to make it more effective.
Millet is a beautiful grain with high inoculation points that allow easy liquid culture penetration into the spawn.
Brown rice is one of the many grains used for grain spawn, but it can't be used for large-scale spawn production. This is because it has a low water retention capacity, making it more sticky and mushy when prepared. It also breaks while steaming.
However, small-scale growers can use brown rice because it is readily available in the grocery stores around.
Guess one of the questions you are contemplating is "Can I Use White Rice?"
Yes, there is no crime in trying, but white rice won't be a good idea because it breaks and becomes mushy faster than brown rice. It also forms lumps after processing.
OTHER TYPES OF SPAWN
Above are the conventional types of grain used for making the first-generation spawn. But there are other types of grains used for second-generation grain spawn cultivation. Below are some adopted materials that help the effective propagation of mushrooms.
Sawdusts are for particles gotten from sawing woods. The sawdust used to make outdoor spawn beds and fruiting slabs are gotten from hardwood logs like the oak tree.
Sawdust spawn is adopted as a second-generation material used in making spawn because of its zero nutrition value. This lack of nutrition devoid this material of contaminants and pests.
The implication of using this material is still the lack of nutrition because it reduces the yield of mushroom growth and takes time for complete colonization.
Synthetic spawn is an artificial spawn produced by a few spawn companies. It is mainly used by the brand that grows Agaricus mushrooms.
This spawn is designed to allow faster mycelium mushroom colonization anis d highly resistant to contaminants than other conventional grain spawns.
Various types of grain spawn are used in mushroom cultivation, but there are a few key factors to consider. These factors include the grain's retention capacity, the grain's ability to resist contaminants, the grain's ability to allow mycelium penetration, and so on.
The nutritional values are also taken into account because they influence the growth of the mushrooms and the invasion of other microorganisms like bacteria and molds.
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