STEP 1. Let’s make liquid spore syringe from a spore print. Life hack for noobs: spore syringe in zip bag without glovebox, SAB or laminar flow hood
How to make a magic mushroom spore syringe from spore print
STEP 1. Day 1.
For now you've already prepared everything you need according to the lists of stuff for growing process.
The first step in cultivation process is mushroom spore syringe preparation for further grain substrate inoculation.
*Skip this step if you already have ready to use spore syringe or liquid culture syringe and move on STEP 2. Day 1. Types of substrates for magic mushrooms
What is liquid spore syringe?
Liquid spore syringe or spore solution — consists of a syringe filled with mushroom spores in sterile water for spores hydration (rehydration). It is one of the method for transporting spores to a sterile substrate (inoculation). Spore syringe is the fastest and easiest way for inoculation.
Spore syringe VS Liquid culture
Spore syringe is often mistaken with liquid culture syringe. Liquid culture (or liquid mycelium) is the result of mycelium development in liquid nutrient broth based on honey, corn syrup, light malt extract etc.
Liquid culture (LC) is preferred over a spore syringe to inoculate grain spawn, because mycelium spread faster. Anyway you need to make spore syringe first, because it is a part of LC preparation.
LC is additional step, more complicated process in comparison with spore syringe and requires more time.
Check out: Liquid Culture Guide
Why we need a spore syringe
Let's turn to nature for the answer, because the whole process of mushrooms cultivation is a simulation of natural conditions.
When mushroom cap are opened, the mushroom begins to spread spores. Such fresh spores are ready to germinate, they contain enough moisture. But after a short time they become dehydrated and the cell walls of the spores curl toward the center. So that, they go into a dormant state for a period of drought and wait for the rainy season.
In order to reproduce the rainy season, thereby awakening and preparing spores for vegetation, we place them in sterile water in a syringe.
In addition, spore syringe is the easiest and most accessible method of substrate inoculation for newbie growers.
List of required stuff for spore syringe preparation
To prepare a liquid spore syringe on your own, you need:
1️⃣ Spore print in a zip bag
2️⃣ Sterile disposable syringe. One syringe for one spore print.
The syringe volume is at least 5 ml. Better to use syringe of medium and large volume 10-20-50 ml, so that you can dilute the spore suspension and get more genetic material for inoculation, because each spore print has billions of active spores!
Shroomok's Choice on Amazon:
10 ml/cc Sterile Syringe - 18Ga Needle - 10 Pack - $10.90
20ml/cc Laboratory Syringe - 20ml with 21Ga Needle - 10 Pack - $9.99
3️⃣ Sterile injection water in vial (minimum 5 ml).
If you use big syringe or gonna dilute the spore solution you need additional injection water. Another 5-15-45 ml for 10-20-50 ml syringes, respectively.
4️⃣ Ampoule cutter or kitchen knife.
5️⃣ Ethyl or isopropyl alcohol 70% in a bottle or spray bottle
It is better to use a 70% alcohol, but 96% is also okay. Actually 70% is more effective, because it stay longer on the surfaces and penetrates better through the membranes of the bacteria/mold spores.
Shroomok's Choice on Amazon:
Isopropyl Alcohol 70% USP Grade - One Quart Spray - $21.99
Isopropyl Alcohol 70% USP Grade - 4 X 1 Quart Spray Bottle - $45.00
6️⃣ Cotton pads — 2-3 pcs.
7️⃣ Grower's outfit: gloves, face mask, cap, medical gown (or PE raincoat).
Shroomok's Choice on Amazon: 10 Gloves and 1 Mask Bundle - $6.99
Preparation routine before making liquid spore syringe
1️⃣ Put on the necessary grower outfit: face mask, medical cap, gloves, medical gown (or PE raincoat).
2️⃣ Wipe the table with alcohol (by using alcohol in bottle or spray bottle and cotton pads).
3️⃣ Spray alcohol on your gloves. Wipe your hands well over the entire surface of the gloves.
4️⃣ Spray alcohol on the sleeves of the medical gown (or raincoat) up to the elbow.
5️⃣ Use alcohol to wipe down all stuff on the table: the ampoule with water for injections, zip bag with the spore print, the ampoule cutter (or kitchen knife), the syringe package and even the bottle with alcohol.
6️⃣ Don't spare the alcohol!
Method 1. Making spore syringe in zip bag for noobs
The following method of preparing the liquid spore syringe is the easiest and very simple. Moreover, there is no need to use a glove box, still air box or laminar flow hood. However, it is rather wasteful, because you need to sacrifice the whole print at once. At the same time it doesn't require perfect sterile conditions.
In this section we'll discuss how to make a larger volume of liquid spore syringe by diluting it. And how to store ready to use spore syringe for a long time.
In general, the process of preparing the liquid spore syringe is demonstrated in the video below:
Don't skip detailed guide below, because video shows only the main principles!
1️⃣ Open the ampoule with sterile water for injections.
2️⃣ Open the syringe pack. Put the needle on. Fill the syringe with sterile water from the ampoule.
Don't hang over the table with the whole your body. Try to have only your palms and hands above the table
3️⃣ Don't open zip bag with spore print! Wipe zip bag with alcohol again.
4️⃣ Pierce zip bag closer to the valve. Put the needle inside. Squeeze all water from the syringe into the zip bag.
5️⃣ Don't pull the needle out of the zip bag. Just clamp the puncture point with one hand and rub the spore print through the zip bag with the other hand. So that, spores separate and mix with water.
6️⃣ Draw water with spores from zip bag back into the syringe.
7️⃣ Remove the needle from the zip bag. Wipe the syringe needle with alcohol (wipe by cotton pad soaked with alcohol or just spray it with alcohol). Put the protective cap over the syringe needle. Make sure opened syringe needle doesn't touch anything. Do not put the syringe on the table without the protective cap on the needle!
8️⃣ Shake the syringe to mix spores in water water. Put the syringe in dark place or wrap the syringe in foil to ensure dark conditions.
9️⃣ Sign the strain on syringe or zip bag.
🔟 Leave prepared liquid spore solution to rehydrate for 1-2 days at room temperature (+20+25°С or 68-77°F)
How to get a larger volume of liquid spore? How to dilute it?
You can dilute the prepared liquid spore, thus increasing the volume of material for inoculation by several times. This way, you can inoculate more jars of substrate.
Each spore print contains billions of spores (about 3-5% are capable of continuing life)
To make the dilution as sterile as possible and to avoid contact of the spore solution with contaminants take a medium or large syringe to prepare more spore solution from the very beginning. For example, 20-50 ml.
Make all manipulations for liquid spore syringe preparation in zip bag. Then just add another 15-40 ml of water to fill in the whole volume of the syringe. So that you have 20-50ml spore syringe for inoculation.
Of course you can dilute it in sterile disposable lab test tubes/containers in still air box (or with using Fan Filter Unit or Laminar Flow Hood).
You can dilute the spore solution till it slightly colored with spores or almost transparent.
Method 2. Making spore syringe in still air box
In this way you can use half or 1/4 of spore print and save genetic material for the next attempts. The rest of spore print you can use any time you need. However this method requires SAB (still air box) or Fan Filter Unit or Laminar flow hood.
Prepare spore prints in zip bag and SAB (still air box)
Put spore prints, syringes with needles, sterile water, iso alcohol, scissors, scalpel and sterile plastic container for lab tests. Wipe all instruments with iso alcohol. Open zip bag with spore print. Scrap some spores from spore print with scalpel to sterile plastic container for lab tests or sterile shot glass.
Add sterile injection water to spores in the container (you can use chilled boiled water, boil for 20 minutes and let it cool down before using). Fill the syringe (or few syringes) with spore solution.
Ready! You can add more sterile water in syringe to have full syringe.
How long liquid spore syringe can be stored
Longer storage is not a problem. You can leave spore solution for a week or month at room temperature in a dark place and use it when you are ready to inoculate.
Ready-made liquid spore syringe can be stored up to 1 year and spores stay viable. For long term storage (over 1 month) put it in the refrigerator at 35-46°F or +2°..+8°C.
Shake the syringe thoroughly before inoculation, because spores may stick together over time.
Now move on — STEP 2. Day 1. Choose and prepare substrate for magic mushrooms ▶️