All-in-one Myco Bags
Here’s an elegant tek I learned from the Radical Mycology book (credit goes to Peter McCoy). When prepping bags for wood lovers (Hericium erinaceus in this case), embed a disk of cooked wheat grain into the bulk substrate (could be sawdust / hemp hurds / coir etc.) and then sterilize. Once cooled, inject liquid culture (mycelium) through the bag and onto the grain disk. Incubate the bags and let the mycelium grow through the grain. Once fully myceliated, break up the grain disk and mix the contents of the bag. Each myceliated kernel then serves as a leap-off point for the mycelium to rip through the bulk substrate. Genius.
So simple, so beautiful! No need to run grain in separate jars and then transfer the contents to the bag. No need for a flowhood or difficult grain-to-bulk transfers in a still-air box. Less waste, fewer contamination vectors, less washing up.
Photos to Illustrate
A top-view of the grain disk / puck. In this case, the bulk substrate is hemp hurds and coco coir supplemented with gypsum and wheat bran.
The mycelium has now completely engulfed the grain and begun venturing out into the bulk substrate. The added benefit of this is that the mycelium is now aware of the constituents of the bulk substrate and has activated appropriate enzyme-production pathways. This means there is barely any lag-time when the grain disk is broken up and the individuals kernels are separated.
Notice that the bag has not been filled to capacity. Achieving even distribution of the grain kernels is very difficult when the bag is too full. Don’t be greedy when filling the bags; you will be thankful for the extra space and will achieve quicker and more-complete myceliation if the grain is evenly distributed.