Cooking mycelium of mushrooms at home: photo, video, how to properly grow mycelium at home with your own hands

There are many ways to get mushroom mycelium, and many of them have been verified to the smallest detail over the years of painstaking experiments. But there are also methods for preparing mycelium, which are still imperfect and require additional research. This is what mycologists-practitioners do in laboratory conditions and amateur mushroom growers who grow mycelium with their own hands at home.

In nature, mushrooms mainly reproduce by spores, but this process can also be carried out with the help of pieces of mushroom tissue, which mushroom growers have long established, using wild-growing mycelium as planting material.

How to make mycelium at home is detailed on this page.

How people used to grow mycelium themselves

Previously, in order to grow some types of mushrooms, for example, champignons, people looked for dung heaps and took mycelium from there. If the weather was unfavorable, and there was no mycelium in the landfills, then it was propagated in special exploration greenhouses. For this, manure soils (substrate) were prepared and mycelium was planted there, without covering it with earth, so that fruiting did not occur. After waiting for almost complete germination of the mycelium in the substrate, the mushroom growers took out the mycelium and used it as planting material. Such a slightly dried nutrient medium could persist for a long time.

In Russia, mushroom planting material was obtained in a similar way back in the 30s. XIX century. However, when growing mycelium by this method, the yields were poor, the mycelium quickly degenerated, and during planting, alien microorganisms were often introduced, which interfered with the normal development of the fungus and reduced fruiting, and therefore scientists continued to look for new cultivation methods.

At the end of the XIX century. in France, they achieved a sterile mushroom culture of champignon grown in a special nutrient medium from spores. When the mycelium was prepared under clean conditions, the potential of the mycelium increased significantly, it quickly took root, grew intensively in a nutrient medium and bore fruit much earlier than when using "wild" hyphae.

Since the mid-20s. XX century. laboratories functioned in many countries-producers of the mushroom, they not only knew how to prepare mycelium, but also how to achieve excellent fruiting. In the 30s. in the USSR, in addition to obtaining mycelium on sterilized compost, other nutrient media were also actively sought. In 1932, a method of cultivating mycelium on wheat grain was patented. At the moment, most mushroom growers all over the world are engaged in the cultivation of grain mycelium.

Cons of growing grain mycelium

As practice shows, in order to obtain mycelium, grain of millet, barley, oats, wheat, corn, rye and other cereals is most often used. When breeding oyster mushrooms and other crops that develop in nature on wood, the sowing mycelium is prepared on grain, sunflower husk, grape pomace, sawdust, etc.

Depending on the type of nutrient medium on which the mycelium grows, there are grain, substrate, liquid mycelium, etc.

All these types of mycelium are shown in the photo:

Liquid mycelium is practically not widespread, substrate is used a little more often, but grain mycelium is mainly used. Due to the fact that the grain mycelium, due to the nutrients of the grain, ensures the accelerated growth of mycelium, it is used in industrial mushroom growing.

However, the preparation of such mycelium in an industrial or home environment has its drawbacks. First of all, these are increased requirements for the quality of grain sterilization.If this procedure is unsuccessful, then mold will appear, which interferes with the normal development of the mycelium, which will certainly affect the volume of the crop.

The short shelf life of grain mycelium (2-3 months) is also a significant disadvantage. In addition, it must be stored in the refrigerator at a temperature of + 2-5 ° C, as this will slow down the development of the mycelium. If the temperature is higher, this will lead to the growth of mycelium continues, as a result of which it will quickly consume food and die.

By the appearance of the mycelium, it is impossible to establish the time of its manufacture. The only thing that can be recommended in this case is to be vigilant when purchasing it on the side, because the storage conditions may not have been met. The novice mushroom grower learns that the mycelium is of poor quality many months later, when he will wait in vain for the harvest.

The disadvantage can be attributed to the fact that the mycelium accustomed to grain will not "want" to move to wood.

With the substrate mycelium, the situation is different, and its only disadvantage is a slightly slower growth, but there are more advantages: sterility, the ability to store at room temperature for a year.

Amateur mushroom growers, as a rule, prefer substrate mycelium when cultivating mushrooms on wooden pieces, since germination rate is not important here. This process continues for several months due to the high density of the tree.

It is important to know that any kind of mycelium dies if it is heated above 30 ° C.

Whole organizations are engaged in the production of mycelium, where optimal conditions for its cultivation have been created. Some people get mycelium at home in the hope of making a little money. Its quality does not always meet the necessary requirements, but, in fairness, it should be noted that sometimes very good specialists are encountered.

Of course, mushrooms can be propagated by spores, but propagation with the help of mycelium is much preferable for a novice mushroom grower, since it gives a better chance of success.

Further, the process of obtaining mycelium is considered in detail, since it is sometimes simply necessary to grow it on your own, for example, if for some reason mycelium obtained in natural conditions (for example, pieces of wood or soil permeated with mycelium) is not enough.

The key points of cooking mushroom mycelium with your own hands are as follows. First, a sterile piece of fungal tissue is removed and transferred to a nutrient medium (this happens in several stages, which will be discussed below). Then, several samples are formed from the main culture, and you should be especially careful about measures to prevent contamination of the culture. Further, an environment and conditions are created that are most conducive to the fruiting of the fungus.

In the process, the culture undergoes the following changes: sterile culture on agar medium, sterile culture on grain (grain mycelium) and, finally, fruiting in pasteurized nutrient medium.

The word "sterility" can be a little scary for beginners, but it is imperative to protect the mushroom culture from the many sources of contamination that are present in the environment everywhere, no matter how clean the room may be. It is very important to prevent them from entering the cultivated culture, because otherwise there will be a "struggle" for the nutrient medium, and it should be used exclusively by the mushroom culture.

With a certain accuracy and practice in the implementation of fairly simple techniques, the sterilization process can be carried out by any person.

The following describes how to prepare mushroom mycelium agar.

How to get mycelium agar at home

Before preparing mycelium at home, you should prepare an agar culture medium.Agar made from seaweed, together with additional components, is often used for primary cultivation and subsequent isolation of mushroom culture.

Experts add a variety of nutrients to agar, for example, minerals, antibiotics, etc. early stages of cultivation.

As practice shows, you can make mycelium yourself in different types of agar media. Potato and maltodextrin agar are most commonly used. You can make them yourself or buy ready-made mixtures of industrial production in the store.

Buying agar in a store, you will have to spend a little more money, but the additional expenses are compensated by the ease of use, and in the presence of finances and lack of free time, ready-made mixtures will be the best choice.

If you are used to doing everything with your own hands, then, according to experts, potato agar for mushroom mycelium at home can be prepared in two ways. Both methods differ little from each other. In addition, having familiarized yourself with them, each mushroom grower may well come up with his own way.

In any case, to make mushroom mycelium the way the right technology suggests, you need to prepare: measuring cups, cotton bandage, aluminum foil, a pressure cooker, autoclavable screw cap vials (found in medical supply stores), a small funnel for filling vials , 2 bottles with a volume of 1 l, flasks with a narrow neck.

Next, you will learn how to make potato mycelium agar using the first method.

The first method for preparing potato agar

The estimated yield of the substance is 1 liter.

Ingredients: 300 g potatoes, 20 g agar (can be found in appropriate organizations providing medical laboratory supplies, health food stores or Asian food markets), 10 g dextrose or some other sugar, 2 g brewer's yeast (you can do without them) ).

Work process.

Step 1. Before making the agar for the rough mycelium, you need to boil the potatoes with 1 liter of water for 1 hour. Then remove the potatoes, leaving only the broth.

Step 2. Mix the broth, agar, sugar and yeast (if you use them) thoroughly, for example, using a whisk for whisking, you cannot whip this mixture.

Step 3. Pour the resulting mixture into bottles or flasks to half or three quarters of their volume.

Close the necks with cotton swabs and wrap with aluminum foil. Pour water into the pressure cooker so that its layer from the bottom of the dishes is 150 mm, and install a grid on which to place bottles or flasks. Cover the dishes with a lid and snap in the latches.

Step 4. Put the steamer on the fire and wait until steam comes out. After ventilation, close the valve for a few minutes (depending on the specific model and in accordance with the instructions). Bottles are boiled at 121 ° C (1 atm.) For 15 minutes. In this case, you need to ensure that the temperature does not exceed this level, because in this case, caramelization of the medium will occur, which will finally spoil it.

Step 5. After 15 minutes, turn off the stove and leave the dishes to cool (about 45 minutes). Then, without wasting time, take free test tubes, remove the caps and place the containers on a tripod or in clean cans, and then place them on a surface previously cleaned of dust and dirt.

Step 6. After the culture medium bottles have cooled, remove them from the pressure cooker with a towel or kitchen mittens. While stirring slightly, remove the foil and swabs, use a funnel to pour the contents into the test tubes by about one third.

Step 7. Cap the tubes, but less tightly than before, place them in the pressure cooker, pouring out excess water if necessary. After reaching a temperature of 121 ° C, leave the dishes on the fire for 30 minutes, then leave them to cool slowly again until the pressure reaches the normal level.

Step 8. Remove the tubes and screw the caps on tightly. Fix the tubes in an inclined position. As a result, the surface of the agar medium should be at an angle with respect to the flask, thus creating as large an area as possible for the subsequent development of the mycelium (such tubes are sometimes called "slant agar").

As the medium cools, its consistency becomes more and more jelly-like and, eventually, hardens so much that the tubes can be placed vertically, and the agar medium remains in the same position.

This video details the preparation of mycelium agar:

The tubes can be used immediately or after weeks or even months. In the latter case, they must be placed in the refrigerator, and before use, make sure that there are no traces of mold or bacteria contamination on the medium.

The next section of the article is devoted to how to get potato mycelium agar at home in a different way.

How to make mycelium agar at home in a different way

The estimated yield of the substance is 1 liter.


  • 284 g potatoes
  • 21.3 g (3/4 oz) agar
  • 8 g dextrose (table sugar can be used instead).

Work process.

Step 1. To make agar for mycelium with your own hands, you need to wash the potatoes and cut them into small pieces, leaving the skins, and then boil in 0.5 liters of water until fully cooked. Remove potatoes and their scraps. Pour 1 liter of water into an iron or glass dish and add dextrose (sugar), broth and agar to it.

Step 2. Dissolve agar. To do this, put the resulting agar mixture in a container covered with aluminum foil in a pressure cooker. Heat the pressure cooker to 121 ° C (1 atm.) And leave. After 20 minutes, the agar is completely dissolved. Then turn off the stove and let the pressure cooker cool slowly.

Step 3. Using kitchen mittens or a towel, pour the diluted agar mixture into test tubes (or small bottles) to a third of its volume. Place the tubes on a tripod or in cans. Pour the rest of the agar into a bottle, close it with a cotton or padding swab and sterilize later, along with the rest of the tubes.

Caps of tubes or caps are not tightly closed. In this case, the pressure will equalize during sterilization. If you use cotton or synthetic winterizer swabs for closing, you do not need to worry about equalizing the pressure, but in addition, the tubes should be covered with aluminum foil, otherwise the condensation of the cooling pressure cooker will fall on the corks.

Step 4. Sterilize agar, for which test tubes (bottles) with it are placed in a pressure cooker and incubated at a temperature of 121 ° C (1 atm.) For 25 minutes, not including the time spent on reaching the required pressure. Then turn off the stove and leave the dishes to cool slowly. Do not let the pressure drop quickly, as this can cause agar in the tubes to boil, splash out through the swabs and stopper caps, which is likely to lead to contamination.

Step 5. At the final stage, the mixture in the test tubes takes on an inclined position. To do this, wipe the surface on which the test tubes will be located with a 10% solution of bleach containing chlorine. There should be no drafts in the room.

Using kitchen mittens or a towel from the pressure cooker, remove the hot test tubes and place them on the table in a tilted position, with one end leaning the container against an object. Before that, it is advisable to choose the correct angle of inclination, using any foreign objects (bars, a stack of magazines, etc.)

When the agar begins to solidify, turning into jelly, close the caps (corks) in the test tubes more tightly.

Store potato agar in test tubes in a cool, dust-free place.

Watch the video how you can make agar for mycelium with your own hands:

The final section of the article is devoted to how to properly grow mushroom mycelium.

How you can cook mushroom mycelium at home

Before growing mycelium at home, prepare: a scalpel (a sharp knife with a thin blade), an alcohol lamp (a propane torch with a spray can, a lighter, or matches), iron cans or racks for slant agar and ready-made test tubes, a scalpel holder or knife, a microporous bandage (you can use a standard bandage), a spray bottle with a mixture of 1 part bleach with chlorine and 9 parts water (optional), a fresh, clean fruiting body of the mushroom (if you are a beginner, it is best to take oyster mushroom).

Work process.

Step 1. Before growing mycelium, you need to prepare a stable surface (table, counter) by washing it with warm soapy water and wiping it dry. To provide additional disinfection, spray the surface with a 10% bleach solution, wipe thoroughly with a clean cloth or paper towel. Lock the windows, trying to exclude air circulation as much as possible. It is better to carry out work in the morning, when there is little dust in the air.

Step 2. To grow mycelium at home, you need to organize your workspace: arrange tools and materials within reach and in a convenient order, ready to go.

Take agar tubes and place them in iron cans or on racks. Turn on the light and carefully sterilize the knife (scalpel) blade in the fire, put it on a stand, for example, made of wire. A stand is needed so that the knife blade can always be near the fire while the tool is not in use.

Step 3. Take a fresh, clean mushroom. Although there may well be many pathogens and molds on its outer surface, there are usually no organisms in the inner tissue that can cause infection, of course, unless there is too much water in the fungus.

Break off a part of the mushroom, you cannot cut it off, since the blade infects the insides of the mushroom with bacteria from the outer surface. Put the mushroom on the table with a dirty surface (the clean one should not come into contact with the table).

The bottom line is that you need to form a clean open surface, and then take a small piece of mushroom tissue from it, which is placed in a test tube.

Step 4. To grow the mycelium on its own, arrange the tools and materials in such a way that the tube is opened as little as possible before filling with the mushroom tissue. To reduce the likelihood of infection, the test tube (or cork, lid) should not be placed on the work surface, which is quite difficult, so it makes sense to practice with an empty test tube in advance.

Step 5. The further sequence is largely determined by whether the right-hander or the left-hander performs the given work; the actions of the right-hander are described below.

The thumb of the left hand is down, while the others are horizontal. Place the test tube between the middle and ring fingers. In this case, the ring finger is on top, the middle one is on the bottom of the flask, and the stopper (lid) is directed away from the hand. There is no need to tilt the tube, only a horizontal position is required here, otherwise the particles flying in the air will have a better chance of penetrating the neck of the container. The orientation of the tube is such that the beveled surface of the agar is directed upward. It is on it that the mushroom tissue will be planted.

Step 6. Carefully remove the stopper (lid) from the test tube and take the latter in the indicated manner.

Using the free index and thumb of your left hand, take a piece of mushroom with a clean surface. With your right hand, swiftly take the scalpel in such a way as if it were a pencil or pen.From the clean mushroom tissue with the tip of the blade, carefully detach a small piece of triangular mushroom and, immediately for a second, place it in the flask on the edge of the neck, shaking it off the tip of the scalpel with tapping movements if necessary. Set the scalpel back and quickly close the tube with a stopper.

Step 7. Tap your hand a little with a test tube so that the piece of mushroom moves to the agar surface. Place the tube in another can for storing the inoculated tubes.

With the exact implementation of the recommendations, there is a good chance that the transplanted mushroom culture was pure.

A similar sequence of actions is performed with other flasks and mushroom material. It is important to prepare several tubes from one mushroom, because no matter how carefully and cleanly the work is carried out, infections occur frequently.

After the mushroom material has been injected into the tube (a process called inoculation), the scalpel must be sterilized again over the fire.

Having finished with the test tubes, you need to close the stopper as tightly as possible and wrap the place with a microporous tape, which will not prevent the mushroom from "breathing" and at the same time will not allow bacteria to enter the test tube through the neck.

It is advisable to place stickers on each flask or make inscriptions with a marker indicating the date and information about the contents.

The finished test tubes are stored in a dark and cool place at an optimum temperature of 13-21 ° C. After a certain time (several days or a week), the mushroom tissue will become overgrown with fluff, which indicates the beginning of the development of the mycelium. In a few more weeks, the mycelium will fill the entire surface of the agar.

In the presence of mold, which is easy to recognize by spores of green or black colors, or bacterial contamination (as a rule, it looks like a colored glossy substance), the contents of the test tube should be discarded immediately and washed with a stopper in hot soapy water. If possible, the contaminated tubes are uncorked in another room where there are no healthy cultures.

Details on how to grow mycelium are described in this video:

$config[zx-auto] not found$config[zx-overlay] not found