Join Shroomok on Shroomok Buy me a coffee or Shroomok Discord or Shroomok Reddit
Category: Mushroom Growing Guide

I grew my first Shiitake mushrooms at home

written by @MrZimm

Shiitake mushroom cultivation guide
Shiitake mushroom growing guide

Shiitake mushroom growing guide for beginners

Hey Shroomok Community, @mrzimm here!

I'd like to share my first experience with shiitake cultivation. Just repeat my way, improve some steps and grow magnificent mushrooms at home

Shroomok' note: @mrzimm is a Tech Guru, moderator of shroomok growers community and extremely humble mushroom growing veteran. You can find a a few tech guides by @mrzimm in the section: DIY equipment & Teks

Why I decided to grow shiitake mushrooms

I'm into mushroom growing both: actives and gourmet. My cultivation journey started 4 years ago with Psilocybe Cubensis Golden Teacher.

Then I played with different strains and different techniques. For example, here you can find my magic truffles Psilocybe Tampanensis grow report

At some point, I wanted to go further and try something new:

How about growing edible mushrooms?

I chose between 2 species, oysters (Pleurotus ostreatus) and shiitake (Lentinula edodes) - the easiest mushrooms to cultivate (according to majority of growers). So I started with both. How I was surprised when first oysters attempt failed (I'll share this story somehow)

Fortunately, Shiitakes were kind enough :-)

I'm going to share my very first experience of Shiitake cultivation from scratch

Shiitake fruiting period
First experience with shiitake mushroom cultivation

Also I'll show you my latest shiitake mushrooms that were grown in the basement

Shiitake mushrooms harvest
Shiitake mushrooms harvest from the basement

Let's get started

Facts about shiitake mushrooms useful to know

🔸 The shiitake or shitake, scientific name is Lentinula edodes is one of the most popular gourmet mushroom native to East Asia (Japan, Korea, China). It is considered a medicinal mushroom in some forms of traditional medicine.

Shiitake mushrooms fruiting
Shiitake mushroom block fruiting

🔸 It is woodland mushroom that decompose hardwood in nature. That's why commonly called 'sawtooth oak mushroom', 'black forest mushroom', 'black mushroom', 'golden oak mushroom', or 'oakwood mushroom'.

🔸 Scientific classification

  • Kingdom: Fungi
  • Division: Basidiomycota
  • Class: Agaricomycetes
  • Order: Agaricales
  • Family: Omphalotaceae
  • Genus: Lentinula
  • Species: L. edodes (in latin 'edodes' means 'edible')

🔸 The first written record of shiitake cultivation can be traced to Wu Sang Kwuang who was born in China (A.D. 960–1127).

🔸 Many cultivation techniques and experiments were made with shiitake mushrooms. Some of them were brought to magic mushrooms cultivation, e.g. stress factors for mushroom fruiting like cold shocking for fruiting stimulation. Details: All you need to know about cold shock

🔸 Growing shiitake on logs was developed in Japan and China over a thousand years ago. However growing indoor (sawdust mushroom blocks tek is commonly used today) developed in the past century.

🔸 Rich aroma makes this mushroom unforgettable. When Shiitake are stir-fried, the rich aroma causes the olfactory senses to dance. You'll definitely remember this smell and taste! That's why one more name for shiitake in China Shiang Ku or 'Fragrant Mushroom.

🔸 Grain spawn (mycelium) has a smell similar to crushed fresh shiitake mushrooms.

🔸 For the first time shiitake mycelium is totally white. In age, or as a response to damage, turns totally dark brown. This is a distinctive feature of shiitake cultivation that easy to confuse with contamination

🔸 Overall shiitake growing cycle lasts about 8-12 weeks:

  • grain colonization - 3-4 weeks
  • bulk colonization - 3-4 weeks
  • pinning - 1-2 weeks
  • first flush of fruiting - 1 week
  • 2nd and 3rd flushes after rehydration - 2-3 weeks

Step by step shiitake cultivation guide

Step 1. How to prepare grain substrate for shiitake spawn

I use whole oats (unhulled grain!) as a grain substrate for shiitake spawn

Whole oats for grain substrate
Whole oats for grain substrate

Rinse it well few times. Soak for 24 hours. Simmer for 10-15 mins. Drain and let it dry for 20-30 mins in a strainer. Ready!

I don't dry grain on the towel!

You can also use rye, barley, wheat berries, millet, sorghum etc for shiitake and for a wide variety of other mushroom species.

🟠 Check out full guide: How to prepare grain substrate

Grain options on Amazon for DIY substrate:

Whole Oat Grain Seeds (With Husk Intact), 2/5/10 Lb $12.99

Whole Grain Sorghum, 24 Ounce $10.89

Hard Red Winter Wheat Berries, 3 lbs - $13.95

Organic Rye Berries, 5 lbs $21.95

Unhulled Barley (Hull Intact), 12 Lbs $31.99

If you want to skip first 3 preparation steps use sterile grain substrate. This way helps to save your time and money for purchasing all components and pressure cooker. It's really good approach for the first attempts in mushroom cultivation:

Sterilized Rye Berry Grain Substrate in Bag, 1/6/12 bags $16.50

Sterilized Rye Berry Grain Substrate in Jar $17.99

Sterilized Millet Grain Substrate in Bag, 3 lb $24.99

Step 2. Jars and lids for grain substrate

Fill your jars (glass jars or 5PP jars) with ready grain substrate, no more than 2/3 or 3/4 of the volume.

Fill the jars with substrate, 2/3 or 3/4 of the volume
Fill the jars with substrate, 2/3 or 3/4 of the volume

Close the jars with modified lids. Modified lids have inoculation port and air filter for gar exchange.

Jar with lid for mushroom substrate
One of the examples of modified lid with injection port and air filters

Autoclavable polypropylene (5PP) grow bags with air filter and inoculation port for grain substrate great to use as well!

Spawn bag for grain substrate, with injection port and air filter
Spawn bag for grain substrate, with injection port and air filter

🟠 Different options in full guide: DIY Jars and Bags for mushroom spawn

Stuff to buy on Amazon:

Wide Mouth Mason Jars With Lids, 16 oz, 12 Jars $24.98

Ball Mason Wide Mouth Jars with Lids and Bands, 32 oz, 12 Jars $28.00

2-in-1: Synthetic Air Filters 64 pcs + Injection Ports 100 pcs $13.99

High Temperature RTV Silicone $6.88 - to seal/make injection port

Mushroom Grow Bags with Injection Port and Air Filter for Grain substrate, 10 pcs. $28.74

💡 All these components are reusable!

Step 3. Grain substrate sterilization for shiitake growing

Cover the lid with foil before sterilization in pressure cooker or autoclave. Fill the PC with water (1/2 of jars level). Sterilize jars in pressure cooker/ autoclave/ instant pot for 90-120 mins at 15 psi (120°C or 250°F)

Grain substrate in jars ready for sterilization in pressure cooker
Jars with grain substrate are ready for sterilization in pressure cooker

💡Usually I make sterilization twice with 24-48 hours break. It's not a rule, just my recommendation, especially if you are not sure about exact pressure in your PC or if you use instant pot

🟠 Full guide, sterilization time & temperature, how to sterilize w/o PC: Substrate sterilization

Stuff to buy on Amazon:

T-fal Pressure Cooker, 3 PSI Settings, 22 Qt $93.95

Presto Pressure Cooker, 23 Qt $124.99

Instant Pot 9-in-1 with Pressure Cooker mode, 8 Qt 149.99

All-American Pressure Cooker 21/25/30/40 Qt $449.95

Step 4. Inoculation

Usually I inoculate grain substrate with LC (liquid culture) in syringe through inoculation port in jar (1-2 ml per jar).

Grain substrate inoculation with Liquid Culture
Grain substrate inoculation with Liquid Culture

This time I used Grain to Grain transfer as an inoculation method, because I bought a small sample of ready grain spawn. I could skip all previous steps, however I needed to multiply my mycelium at least in 3-5 times for making good blocks and to save shiitake mycelium for my long term hobby.

🟠 Recommended guide: Grain to Grain transfer

I just break and shake ready spawn and share it among my new jars with sterile oats substrate. To do this I have to open each jar. That's why sterility is highly recommended here! Use gloves, wipe all tools, jars, table with iso alcohol. SAB (still air box) or Laminar Flow Hood for inoculation is optional, but would be great to use

🟠 Recommended guide: How I built my first Laminar Flow Hood for home mycology for $99.86

🟠 Recommended guide: DIY Still Air Box

Shake each jar to spread spawn in the grain substrate.

Here you can see mycelium in jars right after G2G transfer and shaking jars

Jars after Grain to Grain transfer
Jars after Grain to Grain transfer

As a result small sample of grain spawn was shared among 4 jars with sterile oats.

💡 You can also put some samples of spawn on agar, so that multiply mycelium on agar. Play with different options!

Stuff to buy on Amazon:

Isopropyl Alcohol 70% Wipes $9.69

Isopropyl Alcohol 70% in spray bottle $22.99

Step 5. Grain colonization period

After inoculation (Grain to Grain transfer in my case) I placed jars in incubation chamber.

Dry dark place with constant temperature 78-82°F or +26..28°C

🟠 Check out my setup: Automated incubation chamber for mushrooms with temperature control

Wait at least 3-4 weeks for full colonization, usually up to 30 days.

Here is a spawn jar after 26-28 days after inoculation

Shiitake grain colonization
Shiitake mycelium run in grain substrate, 26-28 days after inoculation

❗️ Beige, yellowish or brown mycelium is totally normal for shiitake. Don't get it confused with contamination!

Such jar is fully colonized and ready for the next step

Shiitake grain colonization
Shiitake grain substrate colonization, 26-28 days after Grain to Grain transfer
Step 6. Sawdust substrate recipe for shiitake fruiting

Now we need to prepare fruiting (aka bulk) substrate and then mix it with grain spawn (aka spawn to bulk process)

How to make shiitake mushroom cake for fruiting
Shake grow bag after spawn to bulk

As you know, shiitake mushroom is a wood lover species, that's why the base for fruiting substrate is harwood sawdust.

Hardwood sawdust, especially oak, alder, cottonwood, poplar, ash, elm, sweetgum, beech, birch, and similar woods are the best. Fresh sawdust is obviously better than aged. Sawdust with dark zones (often a sign of mold contamination) should be avoided. Don't use furniture sawdust, pine trees, eucalyptus and similar sawdust!

My recipe for shiitake bulk substrate is following. Mix all dry ingredients together:

🔸 Hardwood Sawdust - 4 parts (20 cups)

🔸 Hardwood chips or shavings - 2 parts (10 cups) or just use sawdust instead

🔸 Sawdust pellets - 2 parts (10 cups) or just use sawdust instead

Optional ingredients:

🔸 Sunflower hulls or cottonseed hulls - 1 part (5 cups). I also added buckwheat husks and sunflower hulls 50/50.

🔸 Bran (rye, wheat, corn, oat, and soybean) is commonly used as a nitrogen-rich supplement - 20% of the total dry mass = about 1 part (4-5 cups).

🔸 Gypsum (calcium sulfate) is beneficial for any bulk substrate - 1/8-1/4 cup

Water balance or field capacity:

Water is added to dry mix until 65–75% moisture is achieved, a few percentage points below saturation. Here we use the popular moisture test.

Grab a handful of the substrate mixture and squeeze it in your hand.

⛔️ If you are unable to squeeze out any water, it is too dry (add more water).

⛔️ If a light squeeze causes a stream of water to come out, it’s too wet (add more sawdust).

✅ You want to be able to squeeze the mixture as hard as you can, and only have a few steady drops come out to have a field capacity moisture level. This is perfect!

Fill grow bags with ready substrate from 3 to 6 lbs or 1,5-2,5 kg.

Use autoclavable polypropylene grow bags (medium or large size). You don't need injection port here right now.

Seal your bags and they are ready for sterilization in pressure cooker, instant pot or autoclave for 2 hours at 15 psi (120°C or 250°F)

Sterilization in pressure cooker
Sterilization in pressure cooker

Pasteurization at 190–194°F (88–90°C) for at least 14-16 hours at atmospheric pressure (1 psi) also reduce mold contaminations in the substrate. I prefer sterilization

Sterile grow bags are ready for the next step!

Bulk substrate in grow bags for shiitake
Fruiting substrate in grow bags for shiitake

Ingredients for DIY sawdust substrate on Amazon:

Premium Mixed Hardwood SAWDUST, 1 lb $14.79

Mixed Hardwood SAWDUST, 6 lb $34.89

Hardwood oak chips, Sawdust Shavings $28.88

Hardwood Pellets, 20 lb $8.99

Hardwood Blend Pellets, 20 lb $12.99

Oak Blend Hardwood Pellets, 40 lb $29.99

Gypsum Calcium Sulfate, 2 lb $15.99

Gypsum Calcium Sulfate, 5 lb $21.38

Oat Bran, 2 lb $12.90

Wheat Bran, 2 lb $12.99

Mushroom Growing Bags, 10 Pack $9.99

Mushroom Growing Bags, 10/25/100 Pack $12.99

Automatic Electric Sealing Machine for Mushroom Bags, 12 Inch $26.81

Sterilized Hardwood Sawdust (Oak) Substrate with Bran in Grow Bag $25.95 - if you want to skip this step use ready-made sterile substrate

Step 7. Make shiitake mushroom block

Now you have grain spawn in jar and sterile sawdust substrate in grow bag.

Spawn to fruiting substrate for shiitake cultivation
Spawn to bulk substrate for shiitake growing

❗️Be sure your grow bags cool down to 86F or 30C before spawn to bulk. 100F or 38C can destroy mycelium

Wear gloves, wipe all tools, table, jars, bags, hands with iso alcohol.

Open the bag. Open the spawn jar. Add spawn to sawdust substrate in bag. My ration of spawn to bulk was 1:10.

Seal the bag!

Here is a bag with sawdust substrate and oats spawn on top. The bag was sealed right after the transfer. I used sealer machine for this purpose (find it in the list to buy below)

Shiitake spawn to fruiting substrate
Add shiitake spawn from the jar to fruiting substrate in the bag

Shake the bag to spread mycelium throughout the substrate to have even mycelium colonization

How to make shiitake mushroom cake for fruiting
Shake grow bag after spawn to bulk

Ready! Wait for full colonization!

Useful stuff to this section on Amazon:

Mushroom Grow Bag, Large Size, 10/20/50 Pack $9.99

Mushroom Growing Bags, 10/25/100 Pack $12.99

Automatic Electric Sealing Machine for Mushroom Bags, 12 Inch $26.81 - exactly what I use

Automatic Food Sealer with Multi-function $32.19 - Moist Mode here great for sealing wet bags

Impulse Aluminum Heat Sealing Machine, 12 inch $78.04 - good quality for long-term hobby

Digital Laser Thermometer, Adjustable Emissivity, Temp Alarm $19.58 - to check the temp of the bag

Infrared Digital Laser Temperature Gun $25.99 - to check the temp of the bag

Step 8. Shiitake block colonization period

For bulk colonization I moved mushroom blocks in incubation chamber again.

Dry dark place with constant temperature 77°F or +25°C. Room temperature 68-75°F or 20-24°С is also good for colonization period.

It takes about 3-4 weeks for full colonization

Shiitake mycelium run, 3 weeks after spawn to bulk
Shiitake bulk substrate colonisation
Shiitake fruiting substrate colonisation, 3 weeks after spawn to bulk

While mycelium run older mycelium turn dark brown color. Don't worry, this is normal for shiitake

Shiitake mushroom block
Shiitake mycelium run, 4 weeks after spawn to bulk

Mushroom block fully colonized!

Shiitake mycelium run
Shiitake mycelium bulk colonization in grow bag, 4 weeks after spawn to bulk
Fruiting substrate colonization
Fruiting substrate colonization, 4 weeks after spawn to bulk

Remove block from the bag. Just cut the bag around the block with scissors. Leave the piece of bag at the bottom

When shiitake mushroom block ready for fruiting
Shiitake mushroom block ready for fruiting conditions, 4 weeks after spawn to bulk

Mushroom block ready for fruiting conditions in fruiting chamber (GrowBox or Growing Tent)

Shiitake mushroom block ready for fruiting conditions
Shiitake block ready for fruiting conditions, 4 weeks after spawn to bulk

❗️If you notice pins or small shrooms that were formed in bag during colonization period, they usually stop further development. If so it's mushroom aborts

Step 9. Shiitake fruiting conditions and fruiting period

Move mushroom block in fruiting chamber. I used the same GrowBox as for my magic mushrooms growing.

🟠 Check out full guide: DIY Grow Box for mushroom growing

If you have MonoTub, also works!

🟠 Check out full guide: DIY MonoTub for mushroom growing

It takes about 2 weeks for pinning after providing fruiting conditions + 1 week for mushrooms growth (first flush of fruiting).

At this point your mushroom blocks stop mycelium development and seems like no changes at all for the next 7-14 days. Be patient, just wait!

Fruiting conditions for shiitake mushroom growing
Shiitake mushroom block in fruiting chamber (growbox), first day of fruiting period

My fruiting conditions are following:

🌡 temperature - 68-72°F or +20..22°C (lower temperature is also good, but not higher!)

💧 relative humidity - 90-99%. Use fogger or spray bottle for manual misting

💨 fresh air exchange (FAE) - CO2 should be <1000 ppm. I have air vents in growbox and from time to time use simple air pump for additional FAE

💡 light - 12 hours on/off cycle. I use the same lamps as for other mushrooms Mushroom block turns from white to dark brown with time (one week after):

Shiitake block in fruiting chamber
Shiitake block transformations in fruiting chamber, 1 week of fruiting period

Let it become totally dark brown. It takes up to 2 weeks. After that pinning started. You can see small white pins on this block:

Shiitake block right before start of pinning and fruiting
Shiitake block, start of pinning, 2 weeks of fruting period

Brown shiitake block (another one) and snow-white cubensis block in one GrowBox. Here you can see the jar with water in the corner, the hose of air pump placed in this jar, so that fresh air filtered through the water. Humidity/temperature sensor (on the wall of the tub). Air vents at the bottom covered with synthetic filters outside.

Shiitake mushroom block in fruiting chamber
Shiitake mushroom block in growbox

Let's check shiitake fruiting in dynamic day by day. Start of primordia development, 42 days after providing fruiting conditions:

Start of pinning and fruiting shiitake
Start of pinning and fruiting shiitake, 15 days of FC

Mushroom fruit bodies development

Shiitake active phase of fruiting period
Shiitake active phase of fruiting period, 16 days of FC

Active mushroom growth

Shiitake fruiting
Shiitake fruiting, 17 days of FC

Hooray! My first shiitake mushrooms

Shiitake fruiting period
Shiitake fruiting period, 18 days of FC

Time for harvesting this beauty

Shiitake first flush of fruiting and harvesting
Shiitake first flush of fruiting ready for harvesting, 19 days of FC

Stuff to buy on Amazon:

HOMZ Heavy Duty Containers, 66 Qt, 2 Pack $64.99 - 2 plastic boxes for fruiting chamber

Large Storage Bin, 132 Qt, 1 Pack $69.99 - 1 large box for fruiting chamber (growbox, monotub)

Adjustable Quiet Oxygen Air Pump $14.99 - for additional FAE in GrowBox or MonoTub

Govee Digital Hygrometer and Thermometer, Remote App $11.04 - to track temp and humidity in fruiting chamber

Cold White LED light bar, Under Cabinet with Memory Function $16.99 - light option for any fruiting chamber

LED White Light Strip, 6500K, 16.4ft $15.99 - light option for growbox, monotub, small growtent

LED Rope Lights Waterproof, 6500K, 150ft $83.99 - enough for few boxes or GrowTent

Mist spray bottle, 10 oz., White/Black/Clear $8.99 - for manual misting

Humidifier Fog Machine Mister - 3L $49.77 - to maintain high relative humidity

Fogger with Humidity Controller 4L $57.99 - humidifier with humidity controller

Humidity Sensor with LCD Display for Greenhouse Mushroom Grow $25.99 - humidity sensor if you use humidifier for automated misting

Inkbird Humidity Controller IHC200 Humidistat Mushroom Greenhouse $42.99 - humidity sensor if you use humidifier for growbox or growtent

Step 10. Shiitake fruiting and harvesting

I had 2 mushroom blocks.

Each block was about 5 lbs (~2 kg) and produce 3 handsome flushes.

Shiitake final yield
Shiitake final harvest, first flush of fruiting

Second flush after rehydration was the most productive.

Overall yield from each block (3 flushes) was about 300-400g of fresh shiitake mushrooms.

Stuff to buy on Amazon:

Amazon Stainless Steel Digital Kitchen Scale with LCD Display and Batteries $11.35

Digital Kitchen Scale Multifunction with Large Panel, 22 lb 10 kg $16.99

Step 11. Rehydration for shiitake mushroom block

To initiate new flush of fruiting (cycling mushroom block) you need to make rehydration (soaking mushroom block in water).

Rehydration also helps to initiate the very first flush. If you don't have pins in 2 weeks from starting fruiting conditions, then rehydration highly recommended to shock mycelium and promote pinhead initiation.

Rehydration — aka Flushing or cycling of the mushroom cake/block that includes submersion the entire block substrate in cold water and allowing waste products to flush out and the bulk substrate to rehydrate with water in preparation of the next cycle. This creates a shock to the block that stimulates new mycelial growth to flush again. Often aborts and secondary metabolites will appear after a block cycle rehydration.

I rehydrate mushroom block after each flush of fruiting and harvesting.Just soak mushroom cake in cold clean drinking water for 8-12 hours and bring back to growbox again.

❗️ Be sure mushroom block completely submerged in water

Wait for the new flush in 1-2 weeks.

Usually first and second flushes are the most powerful.

Here is my 3 flush after rehydration, just one mushroom on the block

Shiitake harvesting after soaking mushroom block in water
Shiitake fruiting after rehydration, third flush, block 1
Shiitake fruiting, cake 2
Shiitake fruiting, 3 flush, block 1

Another block after rehydration is more productive on the 3rd flush

Shiitake mushroom block fruiting
Shiitake mushroom cake, 3 flush of fruiting, block 2
Start growing right away with ready grow kit

If you want to skip all steps are listed above just use shiitake grow kit. Mist ready-made block from time to time, maintain fruiting conditions, enjoy mushroom fruiting and harvesting!

Shiitake grow kit on Amazon:

Small Shiitake Indoor Growing Kit $19.99

Shiitake Mushroom Grow Kit $34.99

Ready Shiitake Mushroom Grow Kit $39.41

Shroomok' comment: I prefer and suggest to make everything by your own! It's cost effective for long-term mushroom growing hobby!

Flush of fruiting from wasted blocks

Usually after 3 flushes mushroom block don't have enough nutrients and won't fruit any more.

I thought so, till I saw this

Wasted shiitake mushroom block still fruiting
Wasted shiitake mushroom block still fruiting

New mushrooms appeared and blocks fruited again

Shiitake flush of fruiting from wasted block
Shiitake flush of fruiting from wasted block

My additional unexpected harvest

Shiitake additional harvest
Shiitake harvest from 'wasted' blocks

Shiitake fruiting in the basement

For my next shiitake cultivation I repeat all steps are listed above: spawn preparation, sawdust substrate preparation, bulk colonization period.

The only thing was different. I used the basement as fruiting chamber, actually it was fruiting ROOM for my shiitake. I didn't do anything extra. Just put mushroom block in the basement.

There were 59-61F or +15..16C, sometimes maybe lower temperature.

It was cold and extremely humid. There were water drops on the walls and ceiling.

And you know what?! My shiitake loved it!

Start of shiitake fruiting in the basement
Start of shiitake fruiting in the basement

First flush of fruiting is coming...

Shiitake active fruiting in the basement
Shiitake active fruiting in the basement
Shiitake mushrooms
Cute shiitake mushrooms, first flush
Shiitake mushrooms harvest
Shiitake mushrooms harvest from the basement
Shiitake couple
Shiitake couple
Shiitake mushrooms harvest
Shiitake shrooms

To initiate new flush I rehydrated mushroom block in cold water for 8-12 hours. Placed it in the basement conditions again. Voila, in 1-2 weeks I had second flush of fruiting

Growing shiitake mushroom at home
Shiitake growing in the basement, second flush
Shiitake mushroom cake fruiting
Shiitake mushroom block fruiting, second flush
Shiitake mushroom block fruiting
Fruiting period, shiitake mushroom cake, 2nd flush
Shiitake fruiting
Shiitake mushroom cultivation, second flush

Final third flush of fruiting (after rehydration)

Shiitake mushrooms fruiting
Shiitake mushrooms fruiting
Shiitake mushrooms flush
Shiitake mushrooms flush
shiitake harvest from 1 small block
Shiitake harvest

I had mushroom block about 4-5 lbs (~2 kg) and 3 productive flushes of fruiting.

Total yield from this block for 3 flushes - 400g of fresh shiitake 😋

How to store shiitake mushrooms

Fresh shiitake mushrooms can be stored in refrigerator in paper bag or plastic bag up to 1 week.

For long term storage dry them right after harvesting to save their aroma and nutrients.

The best way to dry shiitake mushrooms is in food dehydrator. If you don't have dehydrator you can use fan, heat fan or just put mushrooms on the flat surface in ventilated room for a few days.

Dehydrators for any mushrooms on Amazon:

Food Dehydrator, Temp Control, 5 Trays, Gray/Black $39.99

Presto Standard Food Dehydrator, White $54.00

Food Dryer Machine, 5 BPA-Free Trays, Dishwasher Safe $59.99

Dehydrator Machine, Digital Timer, LED Temperature Control, Silver/Red $69.98

Elite Gourmet Food Dehydrator, 4/5 Stainless Steel Trays $69.99

Professional Dehydrator Machine, 6 Stainless Steel Trays, Silver/Black $159.99

My notes, tips and tricks for shiitake growing

🔸 Brown mycelium is totally normal for shiitake!

🔸 I had experience of reusing grow bag with sawdust substrate that was contaminated with green monster Trichoderma (after spawn to bulk).

I re-sterilized my grow bag and wait for 1-2 days. When the growth of Trich mold started again (it looks pretty distinctive), then sterilized one more time. At this point the substrate is ready for reusing.

To be sure make sterilization 2 times after Trichoderma contamination

I assume that the final yield from such block may be a little less, because trich had time to absorb some nutrients from the substrate. But I think it won't noticeable if you sterilize your block right after the start of green mold spreading. There is much more benefits to reuse the substrate than just throw it away with the high risk of spreading spores in the air!

🔸 Rehydrate mushroom block BEFORE first flush if you are waiting for pins/primordia more than 2 weeks after providing fruiting conditions. Rehydration is a great way to initiate pinning and further mushroom fruiting.

Write it up!

Hope my experience with shiitake mushrooms inspire you to add them to your cultivation portfolio.

I love shiitake cultivation! Love their beautiful look, amazing taste and awesome mushroom aroma. They taste 1000 times better than oysters for sure! They have special mushroom behavior while growing. It's so interesting to explore them on each step of cultivation process.

I have some ideas for improvements that can increase my yield. I'll keep you posted! Stay tuned!

Feel free to ask any questions regarding my shiitake guide on 🤌gourmet-medicinal channel on Shroomok Discord or in comments to this post below ⬇️

Have a happy growing!

Made with love by @mrzimm

Promoted by ©Shroomok

Support our work with donation on buymeacoffee


Looks good! Couple things, once the block has had time to darken, that primordia will often be referred to as "popcorning". Just slang nomenclature you might encounter in various lit.

Also, you may want to consider leaving the block out during that period before popcorning and before introducing into the FC. Myc is often strong enough in most strains to fight off contam and time to popcorning can be reduced substantially. Ive also put it in a fridge to emulate winter and slapped the brick to emulate a tree falling before introducing into FC. The latter almost certainly adds nothing to the process.

Nice shiitake. They look tasty!

Shroomok avatar Shroomok

@Serp, thanks for useful notes 👍
Temperature shock works really great for shiitake!

A detailed study of stress factors can be found in "Effect of Stress on Fruit Body Initiation of Shiitake Mushroom Lentinula edodes" by professor Tjia Wai Mui (The Chinese University of Hong Kong, 2002).

Professor Tjia Wai Mui used different strains of shiitake in his researches (warm-weather, cold-weather and wide-range strains).

He found the stress gene, which was a trigger for fruiting. Thus, for shiitake, heat shock (at +37°C or 99°F for 3 hours) increased the speed of pinning, while cold shock (at +4°C or 39°F for about 12 hours) increased the number of pinheads and overall yield.

He also found that the effectiveness of temperature shock depends on the genetics. The results vary from strain to strain. Temperature shock, whether it is a heat shock or a cold shock, affects the productivity of warm-weather strains and cold-weather strains differently


@Serp, I did have to get a chuckle out of the freezer and slapping the brick with your admission that “the latter almost certainly adds nothing to the process”. I hope you were being funny. 😅😂


Partially, @PajammaCreature. lol Like Shroomok said, a cold shock on a shiitake block is useful. Tells the mycelium it's time to fruit, essentially. The slap, while ridiculous, was something I found in the literature and it worked once, so I've never deviated slightly lol


@Serp May I respectfully say…. Still kinda funny to me. Haha. 😅😂

You might be interested

Flush #1. When and how to pick mushrooms

STEP 12. What is the best time for mushroom harvesting: before torn veil or after torn veil? Twist and pull or cut? Why...

Read more

May 2021

Read more
Flush #1. When and how to pick mushrooms

How to make spore syringe

STEP 1. Let’s make liquid spore syringe from a spore print. Lifehack for noobs: sterile spore syringe in zipbag without...

Read more

Feb 2021

Read more
How to make spore syringe

Substrate sterilisation

STEP 5. Sterilization in Pressure Cooker or Autoclave to eliminate all forms of microorganisms in substrate (molds, fung...

Read more

Mar 2021

Read more
Substrate sterilisation

Inoculation without glove box

STEP 6. How to introduce spores or Liquid Culture in sterile substrate. Sterility requirements. Inoculation process with...

Read more

Mar 2021

Read more
Inoculation without glove box

Stuff to buy for growing

Check the list of required stuff for your first mushroom grow! Shopping list and necessary equipment for mushroom cultiv...

Read more

Feb 2021

Read more
Stuff to buy for growing

Recent publications

Load more publications