Growing Mushrooms with Hydrogen Peroxide -- Try It!

Pouring Agar Plates

Try it yourself. Add 6 to 8 mls 3% hydrogen peroxide to one liter of your favorite agar medium. (To make sure your peroxide solution still has some punch, pour a little into a small glass and add a bit of banana. The solution should fizz vigorously). First pressure cook the medium for the standard length of time, then let the hot agar cool down, until you can handle the container comfortably. Sterilize a measuring pipette or steep it in boiling hot water for a minute, then cool, before using it to transfer peroxide. After adding peroxide to the agar, mix it in thoroughly with a swirling motion. Then pour your plates. (Petri dishes should be sterile).

When your plates have solidified, take the tops off a couple of them and let them sit in the open air for a while, perhaps an hour. Then close them up and incubate for a week or two. See any colonies? Meanwhile, inoculate some of the other plates with your favorite mushroom mycelium. You can work in the open air, but you'll still need to flame your scalpel as you ordinarily would. Wrap the inoculated plates in a plastic "food storage" bag and incubate. Check back in a week or so. How are they doing?

For best results with regular use, you'll need to measure the actual concentration of peroxide in your solution, to make sure that you have enough, and that you're not overdosing your cultures (I use different concentrations for spawn and bulk substrate). You'll also need to "clean" the mycelium of occult contaminants that build up after a few transfers, or else you'll eventually be transferring bacteria instead of mycelium. I describe the proper procedures in detail in the peroxide manual.

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    This document is Copyright: ©1999 by Randall R. Wayne, Ph.D. All commercial rights are reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or used for sale in any form or by any means without permission of the author.