To get better at the growing mushroom, creating your laboratory at home could be the best thing you'd ever do.
Some essential tools and a sterile environment are all you need to harness primary mushroom farming skills like isolating strains, making your grain spawn, colonizing fruits, to list a few.
You want to set up your mushroom laboratory at home, and you are wondering what you need?
Let's walk you through; it might be as easy as you think
A Sacred and Tidy Space
The most important thing a mushroom lab needs is a tidy place free of contamination. It doesn't matter how you set it up; it should be clean and contamination-free.
You might want a bright air-tight room with a well-controlled temperature on a bigger scale. It must have white walls, counters with a steel top, a complete lab suit, positive pressure HEPA filtration, which may be a little too much for the home cultivation of mushrooms.
You could just get a SAB (still air box) on the flip side. The SAB is a big plastic tote with big holes where both hands can fit in well. It intends to help the farmer do all the needed laboratory work inside the box, easily keeping clean. You can successfully carry out your lab work with the SAB though it's a little more prone to contamination. Using them for cultivation on a larger scale can be very burdensome.
Growers often settle for a home lab at a middle ground between the two options. You just need to figure out what works better for you, depending on the volume you want to grow, how much space you have, and how much time and resources you must sacrifice for the lab.
Laminar Flow Hood
A laminar flow hood is a total game-changer; you can say it's the foundation of a working home lab. It allows the farmer to create a semi-permanent working lab at home.
Many prefer to convert a particular room or space in their house as the lab, but you can set up your lab on a table and position them somewhere close to you with wood. Anywhere that soothes you is fin, bedroom, closet or even your office.
Most, if not all, mycological works can be carried out with high efficiency without fear of contamination. You can proceed once the hood has access to interact with clean, fresh air.
Works become a lot easier once you have the suitable space to do them. You should have a table that is big enough to support the weight of your flow hood and all other tools you'd need.
Once you have everything in proximity, you curb the chances of contaminating your space a great deal. Preferably your table surface should be smooth and washable so that it doesn't harbor any contaminants. Before lab work begins, you should be able to clean your table surface with alcohol.
The table doesn't have to be fancy, washable poly-sheets can be used to wrap plywood and place it on a body that can support it, and you are good.
IMPORTANT LAB EQUIPMENT AND ACCESSORIES
You have your space, table, and flow hood; what is the critical equipment you need to become a superstar mycologist?
To have a functional mushroom lab at home, here are some lab gears you must have:
Using pre-sterilized and disposable Petri dishes is an excellent culture to develop for starting, growing, and storing your mushroom. There are many dish sizes, but we recommend 100mm x 15mm. As long as the sleeves are not open, the dish remains sterile.
The plastic a durable, but don't reuse them as they make your lab prone to contamination. A glass dish you can sterilize with a pressure cooker seems better, but it can be a little stressful.
You can get all your lab supplies at the biological department of any university close to you, or you could just get them online.
If you don't have nutrient-rich media for the mushroom culture to grow, a petri dish would be of no help.
Agar powder, nutritional yeast, and barley malt extract are excellent recipes. You can use any nutrient of your choice, but agar is vital.
This item is vital as it is used to seal dishes while also breathing. Parafilm is cut into strips and cut placed over the edges of the plates. When stretched, it adheres to the plate.
When making culture slants, they can also seal test tube tops.
Having a pressure cooker rated to 15 psi, which can also hold several things, is essential for a working lab. It can be used to sterilize fruiting blocks, syringes, agar, grains, and anything that needs to be kept completely clean.
It's left to you; it's a matter of choice. You can go fancy or straightforward either way; it works well as long as it does the work of sterilizing your things.
The most culpable way contamination can access your lab is through skin contact. Germs under your fingernails and on the surface of your hand will not vanish even if you wash your hands a thousand times. A box of nitrile gloves will do the trick. You can also wash your hands without drying them using alcohol when removing the gloves from your hand.
Scalpel and Blades
Cutting agar wedges for transfer or inoculations needs to be done neatly, so a scalpel is needed. The blade must be sterilized between every transfer by flaming it until red hot.
A blade is an alternative, but surgical scalpels are not expensive; they are the best option.
We suggest you use 90% though many people prefer to use 70%. One thing is sure though Isopropyl alcohol is irreplaceable in the lab. Everything you do needs the touch of alcohol, washing hands, cleaning surfaces, wiping jars, and bags, to mention a few.
Get a little squeeze bottle; it helps you work more accessible and innovatively while also navigating the wastage of alcohol. You also get to avoid fumbling with a lid.
It provides constant flame when you sterilize your blades and scalpel needles. You won't need a lighter every time you need heat.
SOME OPTIONAL EQUIPMENT
- Surgical mask
- Mini fridge
- Impulse sealer
Build a Lab That Suits Your Needs
It can be a little overwhelming to get all the necessary equipment and accessories at once, but you don't have to be overwhelmed. You don't have to get them all at once; you can get your flow hood and start. You can get other equipment as you go on.
The statements from this article are significant and valuable, but they have not been evaluated by the FDA. Don't see this information as an avenue to self-medicate and ignore proper consultation with your physician. Our products are not meant to be used for preventing, treating, or diagnosing any kind of ill-health.
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