Grow mushrooms the EZ way.

BRF Agar Recipe Guide.

Introduction

Mastering Agar is one of the greatest challenges to overcome when growing mushrooms at home. However, once you can create your own Agar plates it opens up a world of opportunity for your grows. Cloning, transferring, sectoring, testing spore prints all become possible. Working with Agar alone could become a hobby in its own right, many growers enjoy watching different microorganisms battle it out on a tiny battlefield and some of the patterns created by mycelium can leave you in awe.

In this post, I am going to discuss how to make the recipe and different techniques for use. Brown Rice Flour (BRF) Agar is probably the easiest and most accessible Agar recipe available. Both beginners and advanced growers will most likely have BRF lying around somewhere in the house.

The BRF Agar Recipe

Allow me to outline the BRF Agar recipe here:

To create BRF Agar you will need to mix 6g BRF, 9g Agar, and 400ml in a saucepan. Next heat the mixture until the agar has dissolved and the solution thickens whilst stirring.

Guide 1. Non-Pour BRF Agar Recipe (Beginner) 

This guide is the easier guide of the two due to the fact that no pouring is required. As a result, the nutritious medium is less exposed to airborne contaminants. 

We recommend the use of a “still air box” for the non pour BRF recipe however there are methods that can be applied to get around the need for one.

For example, it is possible to put a small hole in the lid of each container then cover it with micropore tape, when it comes to inoculation you can inject through this hole, then cover it back up. If your sterile technique is good you will likely avoid contamination, this is how I first started using agar.

Materials Required

  • Pressure Cooker.
  • Brown Rice Flour (6 gram ).
  • Agar Powder ( 9 gram).
  • Water (400ml).
  • Containers (usable in a pressure cooker).
  • Tin Foil.
  • Saucepan.
  • Hob.

Step 1. Create the mixture

  • Weigh out 6g BRF, 9g Agar into any bowl of your choosing and pour the mixture into a saucepan.
  • Measure out 400ml of water (preferably distilled OR grain water) and pour this over the mixture then stir.
  • Heat the mixture until it begins to boil, continue stirring until the mixture begins to froth and rise.
  • Turn off the heat.
  • Transfer the mixture into containers that can be used inside a pressure cooker at 15psi (Petri dish, ketchup holders, etc). 
  • Leave the mixture to cool until the liquid sets into a solid jelly-like substance.
  • Wipe away any excess condensation around the outside of your containers.

Step 2. Sterilize

  • Place the lids on each container.
  • Place foil on the lid of each container OR stack the containers and wrap them in foil.
  • Place the containers into your pressure cooker and fill the pressure cooker with two cups of water.
  • Sterilize the contents on 15psi for a minimum of 30minutes.
  • Allow the pressure cooker to cool overnight.

Step 3. Inoculate Containers

Option 1 – Place all your containers inside a still airbox and then inoculate them with spores/spawn/culture one by one whilst following the sterile technique.

Option 2 – Inoculate through the hole in the top of the container using a syringe (created before sterilization) then cover with micro-pore tape.

Guide 2. Pour BRF Agar Recipe (Advanced)

For poured Agar tek, a “still air box or laminar flow hood” is definitely required. This is due to the high likelihood of airborne contaminants getting onto your plates if you pour the mixture in the open air. 

The reason people usually use this technique instead of the previous is due to speed and efficiency. It is a lot easier to sterilize one bottle of the mixture then pour it out and inoculate in one sitting. Alongside this, there is reduced condensation inside the finished product.

Materials Required

  • Pressure Cooker.
  • Brown Rice Flour (6 Gram).
  • Agar Powder (9 Gram).
  • Water (400ml).
  • Bottle (Pressure cooker safe).
  • Tin Foil.
  • Food Funnel

Step 1. Create the mixture

  • Weigh out 6g BRF, 9g Agar into any bowl of your choosing and pour the mixture into your bottle using a food funnel
  • Measure out 400ml of water (preferably distilled OR grain water) and pour this through the funnel also.
  • Shake the bottle vigorously. Put the lid on and place tin foil over the top.

Step 2. Sterilize

  • Put tin foil around the cap and neck of the bottle.
  • Place the bottle containing the mixture into a pressure cooker or autoclave.
  • Place your plates or containers inside the pressure cooker.
  • Sterilize at 15psi a minimum of 15 minutes.

Step 3. Inoculate

  • Place your containers/plates inside the “still air-box” and after wiping each outside down with alcohol.
  • Allow the agar to cool for 10 minutes before pouring.
  • Pour the Agar into each plate using a steady hand, allow each plate to cool fully before moving on to the next step.
  • Inoculate the cooled Agar plates with desired spawn/spores/stems.

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