Mycology.  the Scientific Study of Fungi

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A fungus (plural: fungi) is a kind of living organism that exists as a single filamentous (mycelium) or multicellular (mushroom) body.

 

Fungi are some of the oldest living organisms on planet earth, with the earliest fossil records showing that fungi were present in their current form as long as 2.4 Billion years ago! They have a worldwide distribution, and grow in a wide range of habitats including extreme environments like deserts, areas with high salt concentrations, deep sea sediments, and even the heatless, UV and cosmic radiation intense vacuum of outer space.

Fungi differ significantly from both the Plantae and Animalia kingdoms of life, although current science suggests they are closer related to the Animalia kingdom, as they breathe oxygen, exhale carbon dioxide, and contain no chlorophyl (which is a prerequisite for admittance into the Plantae kingdom). 

Mycology is a relatively new science that became systematic after the development of the microscope in the 17th century, and the kingdom of Fungi itself was only classified in 1969! Since then biologists have discovered an estimated 5 million species of Fungi, the vast majority of which act symbiotically with both plants and animals in several ways. There are also many species of psychoactive fungi, with most of them taxonomically classified in the Psilocybe genus. The species in this genus, cubensis in particular have shown notable safety and efficacy in the treatment of several psychological conditions. 

Psilocybe Cubensis the most popular Magic mushroom species, and also the most well-studied because it is by far the easiest species of magic mushroom to grow. P. Cubensis mushrooms can be grown relatively easily using widely accessible materials, and since the late 1960's (with the publication of the LIFE Magazine article "seeking the magic mushroom") these mushrooms have risen drastically in popularity among dedicated researchers and recreational users alike.

 

Mushroom Growing Tutorials.

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*Click on each image to be taken to the respective tutorials*

Starting from Agar

Learning the Basics

Starting from Spore

 

Getting Started

Growing any species of mushroom will require some auxiliary materials & supplies in addition to the mushroom spore syringe/liquid culture syringe/agar/spawn​, however these most of these supplies are readily accessible through our shop, & the remainder (ex. larger items like mushroom fruiting containers) can be purchased through a local supplier for maximum cost-effectiveness.

 

  Psilocybin Mushrooms are what's called "saphotrophic" organisms, which means that during both spawning and fruiting they obtain nutrients from nonliving organic matter present in their environment. Therefore you must supply your mushroom culture with suitable and nutrient dense mediums, along with the correct environmental conditions to promote either spawning (mycelium) or fruiting body (mushroom) growth.

 

Spawning is the first part of the mushroom growing process. Once the spawn medium is fully colonized it is mixed with a fruiting medium, which provides additional water retention, nutrients, and increases the surface area available for mushrooms to form. The mix of spawn and fruiting medium then colonizes for an additional 7-10 days, before the container can be introduced to fruiting conditions. (see our "Learning the Basics" tutorial for more information on the ideal environmental conditions for both spawn and fruiting).

 

Due to the inherent need for sterility (as when you grow mushrooms you are creating the perfect environment for many species of bacteria, fungi, and mold to grow) you must fully hydrate both the spawn and fruiting mediums prior to inoculating them with mushroom genetics. This moisture then needs to last for the entire growing cycle, so it is important to choose mediums that are nutrient dense, can be sterilized/pasteurized, and have high water-retention capacity.

For a Spawn medium we recommend our MYCO-PRO™ Spawn Medium, which contains rye grain berries (the best type of grain to spawn with for maximum yield) and other nutritional additives. We also recommend beginners use a Mason Jar or Polypropylene Plastic Jar (instead of a grow bag) for spawning rye grain.

For a Fruiting Medium we recommend using our MYCO-PRO™ Fruiting Medium, which we have developed, tested and refined over years of cultivation. Another option is simply following the same recipe if you would like to buy the inputs yourself (the recipe can be found in our "Learning the Basics" tutorial).

Additionally you will need to be cognizant of the ratio that your spawn and fruiting mediums are mixed at (when these mediums are mixed the resulting blend is called "Fruiting Substrate"). We recommend a 25% spawn and 75% fruiting medium mix, which will result in an approximately 7-10 day fruiting substrate colonization time.

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Mixing Grain Spawn and Fruiting Medium

Fully Colonized Fruiting Substrate

Finally, in addition to genetics & mushroom growing mediums, several tools & other items like contractor garbage bags, Hi-loft Polyfilmister spray bottledisinfectant, & Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) are necessary to ensure/increase sterility.

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Growing Media Recipes

Because a variety of mediums are used at different stages of the mushroom life cycle, we have developed several formulas to provide the optimal nutrient profile, pH balance, and microbial content for each respective stage of growth. Note: The Liquid Culture and Agar recipes should be used by experienced growers who have had success growing & who possess specialty equipment like a Laminar Flow Hood. Preparing Spawn medium and Fruiting medium on the other hand requires no specialty equipment (beyond a pressure cooker), and can be done using readily available inputs. 

Three common growing mediums used at different stages of the mushroom life cycle are;

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Liquid Culture Recipe

Using a Liquid Culture as an inoculant can drastically accelerate colonization

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Agar Petri Dish Recipe

Agar is an excellent medium for propagating and refining cultures

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Fruiting Medium Recipe

Fruiting substrate provides water-retention, & significantly increases yields 

*Click on each image to be taken to the respective recipe*

Mushroom Growing "Teks"

Because Psilocybe cubensis mushrooms grow in a variety of mediums, cultivators around the world have developed several different “techniques” (nicknamed “Teks”) to grow magic mushrooms. Each Tek has strengths and drawbacks, and which one you choose to follow will depend on the scale of your operation, your level of mycology experience, and how much you are willing to invest in growing equipment/supplies. 

Three of the most common mushroom growing teks are;

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PF Tek -

The most simple method of cultivation, great for beginners, exceptionally cost effective, however low-yielding

Spawn + Bulk Substrate Tek - Excellent for growing at any scale when maximum yield is desired, however costs more and takes longer than PF Tek (our tutorials are a spawn + bulk substrate tek with a few modifications)

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Uncle Bens Tek -

Can be used in conjunction with the spawn + bulk substrate tek (mycelium is spawned in an uncle bens rice container, then the spawn + bulk substrate tek is followed)

*Click on each image to learn more about the respective tek*

 

Growing mushrooms will require many of the same supplies and materials regardless of the scale of the project, However at larger scale certain pieces of equipment like a Flow Hood, Electric Sterilizer, and several pieces of laboratory equipment (like Erlenmeyer flasks, Magnetic Spinners, & Petri Dishes) are necessary for maximum cost-effectiveness and yield.

Below we have laid out a complete supply list for both the home/hobby grower, and the commercial grower. We have also designed mushroom growing kit products with everything needed to grow on a small scale.

Home/Hobby Growing

Large Scale Growing

mushroom grow equipment

Colonization Supplies

  • High-Absorbancy Paper Towels

Fruiting Supplies

  • 3mm Contractor Garbage Bags

  • High-Absorbancy Paper Towels

  • Drill & 2.5" Hole-saw Bit

  • Scissors

Equipment

  • Racking (to hold colonization and fruiting containers)

  • Industrial Fans (for drying grain, circulating air, etc)

Colonization Supplies

  • High-Absorbancy Paper Towels

Fruiting Supplies

  • 3mm Contractor Garbage Bags

  • High-Absorbancy Paper Towels

  • Drill & 2.5" Hole-saw Bit

  • Scissors

Equipment

  • Racking (to hold colonization and fruiting containers)

  • Industrial Fans (for drying grain, circulating air, etc)

  • Stainless Steel Tables (for Lab Clean-bench)

Contact Us if you would like a personalized supply list for your operation!

 

Common Mushroom Species

The three most common Psilocybe Mushroom Species.

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Small-scale mushroom growing is neither time consuming, prohibitively expensive, or out of reach for the average individual, however when growing Psilocybe species special care and attention must be paid to the sterility of the growing environment, the preparation of the spawn medium/fruiting substrate, & the containers which are used.

 

When you grow mushrooms, you create an ideal environment for Fungi to thrive in, however unfortunately this environment is also ideal for bacterial spread, or the proliferation of other undesirable Fungi which can quickly overtake your Psilocybin mushroom culture if not prevented or immediately addressed.  

 

To ensure your success in this endeavour (regardless of scale) we recommend doing some cursory research, having a solid knowledge of the mushroom life cycle, constructing some simple mycology equipment (like a Still Air Box)(see this page), and always keeping STERILITY at the forefront of your mind. 

 

If you take care to ensure the mediums you are working with are sterile, ensure the environment you are working in is reasonable sterile, and use the superior genetics that Spores Lab offers, you can safely, consistently, and cost-effectively grow exceptionally high-quality Psilocybin mushrooms

Magic Mushroom Anatomy

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Pileus (Cap) - Thought to contain 10-15% higher concentration of active compounds

Velum (veil) - A thin gelatinous membrane separating cap from stem. Breaks when mushrooms reach maturity.

Stipe (stem/stalk) - Makes up the majority of the mushroom fruiting body by weight.

Bluish Bruising - An indicator of high Psilocin content (Psilocin is dephosphorylated Psilocybin)

 
 
Common Mushroom Strains

There are over 200 species of mushroom in the Psilocybe genus, with each possessing significant differences in potency, visual appearance, & growing requirements. By far the most well-researched, commonly-found, and easy-to-cultivate species is Psilocybe Cubensis, and this has led to the identification of several hundred “subspecies” within the ‘Cubensis’ species. These subspecies are commonly referred to as “strains” by those in the mushroom world, however from a microbiology and taxonomy perspective this terminology is not entirely accurate.

 Although these strains are all members of the Psilocybe Cubensis species, they can also (just like species) differ significantly in both physical characteristics and in the concentration of psychotropic compounds that are present in fruiting bodies OR mycelium (some strains contain much higher amounts of active compounds in the mycelial stage). Cubensis strains (despite all being the same species) can also differ quite drastically in growing characteristics, for example; how resistant they are to contamination, colonization speed, and overall yield - although these factors are also influenced significantly by how much an individual culture has been isolated and thus how strong the genetics of that individual culture are (more on that in a bit).

Several popular "strains" of Psilocybe Cubensis magic mushroom spores include -  

common magic mushroom strain

We offer a wide variety of mushroom strains, in several different formats. We have spent years curating one of the largest & most refined banks of mushroom cultures in Canada. Due to the genetic isolation we have performed, we can confidently state that our mushroom cultures are fast-colonizing, contamination-resistant, and heavy-yielding.

We are always striving to expand our product offering, and plan to offer rare species such as Psilocybe Tampanensis, Psilocybe Azurescens, Psilocybe Semilanceata, and Panaeolus Cyanescens/Copelandia Cyancesens in the near future!