Grow mushrooms the EZ way.

Does Growing Mushrooms Indoor Smell?

So, you want to try your hand growing mushrooms at home but you aren’t sure if growing mushrooms indoor will make your home smell like a mushroom farm. I know the feeling, I had hesitation on whether growing mushrooms would smell so bad that my girlfriend would complain and I would have to pack all up all my gear and move in with the smurfs. Luckily enough, that wasn’t the case.

Mushrooms will not create a strong smell when grown indoors unless grown to commercial quantities. The only time mushrooms will produce a strong smell is if a large quantity are drying inside a dehydrator at once before making a tincture or powders. Even in this situation the smell will only be as strong as when your cooking mushrooms and the smell will quickly disappear once opening a window. 

What does Healthy Mycelium/Mushrooms smell?

The growing mycelium should give off a clean mushroomy smell (similar to the end fruiting product), it should be mild and not overwhelming. Any foul or strong smells should be observed in an attempt to discover whether your substrate is contaminated.

Note: Oyster mushroom mycelium will smell like aniseed or liquorish.

Common Issues Which May Be Causing My Mycelium To Smell Bad?

Bacterial Infections

If your substrates or jars smell like vinegar, smelly feet, alcohol, a garbage truck or some other nastiness then chuck it. These smells are usually produced when bacteria have managed to multiply inside the jars or bags.

Sour Rot, for example, will generate a strong foul sour smell like garbage and the substrate will become very wet (it’s also known as wet rot). It is unlikely to make a full grow room smell. It can usually be found containing jars with little gas exchange. 

Trichoderma

Trichoderma has a distinctive dirt-like smell but unless the contamination is very large it is unlikely you will be able to smell it unless you are really close to the substrate.

Which Gourmet Species can be grown indoors?

Oyster Mushrooms

Difficulty – Very Easy

Temperatures – 55 to 65f 

Humidity – 55-70%

Growing Vessels

Grow Bags

Buckets

Reusable containers

Monotub (King Oyster only)

Substrate

Oysters will grow on just about anything organic but the most common substrates used are Cardboard, Wood, Straw, Grains

Comments

Most species of Oyster mushroom can be cultivated indoors and there is tons of information only about different techniques and substrates which can be used Personally I think growing Oysters with straw inside buckets is the easiest and most accessible method for growing this strain indoors.

Shiitake Mushroom

Difficulty – Medium

Temperatures – 45-70f

Humidity – 75-85%

Growing Vessels

Grow Bags

Cylindrical Reusable Containers (remove block when 100% colonised)

Substrate

The following grains are acceptable for shiitake, rye, sorghum, millet and popcorn.

Shiitake grows on Oak in the wild so it’s probably best to stick with Hardwood Pellets/Sawdust/Logs when for your bulk substrate.

Comments 

Shiitake is the second most popular cultivated mushroom, however, it is a little more difficult to grow than the other strains listed here. I recommend growing inside a reusable container and removing the substrate block once fully colonized, it can then fruit in the open air and looks pretty cool.

Lion’s Mane Mushroom

Difficulty – Easy 

Temperatures 65-75f

Humidity – 95-100%

Growing Vessels

Grow Bags

Reusable Containers

Jars

Substrate

The following grains are acceptable for Lion’s mane, rye, sorghum, millet and popcorn.

Lion’s Mane Mushroom grows on decaying Hardwood species in the wild, it is commonly grown on hardwood pellets/sawdust in a commercial environment.

Comments 

Lion’s Mane is quite aggressive and hardy. This means it can survive and fruit without ideal conditions. I have even grown Lion’s Mane inside jars without even opening the lids!

Reishi Mushroom

Difficulty – Easy 

Temperatures 75f-85f

Humidity – 75-85%

Growing Vessels

Grow Bags

Reusable Containers

Jars

Monotubs

Substrate

Reishi grows on Rye and other grains and should be grown on bulk hardwood substrate.

Comments 

Reishi is another aggressive grower which makes it a good strain for beginners, and alongside this can be grown inside Monotubs which means a cheap and easy setup! Reishi is not edible but does make for a relaxing tea.

Turkey Tail Mushroom

Difficulty – Easy

Temperature 60-70f

Humidity – 85 – 95 %

Growing Vessels

Grow Bags

Monotubs

Substrate

Turkey Tail can be started on grains and then moved over to hardwood substrate, however, I have also seen it thrive on cardboard in a similar fashion to Oysters.

Comments

Turkey Tail is another fast colonizer, I placed a sample I found in the park on a piece of agar and it had covered the full plate in a matter of days (a lot faster than the oyster). It is one of the most common mushrooms worldwide so be on the lookout for good samples to clone.

Enoki

Difficulty – Medium

Temperatures 40–50 °F

Humidity – 90%

Growing Vessels

Grow Bags

Jars

Reusable cylindrical containers 

Substrate

Hardwood substrates such as sawdust and pellets which are sterilised in jars then inoculated. Normally 2 flushes can be taken from one substrate sawdust block.

Comments

Enoki thrives in winter temperatures so it may be difficult to replicate this inside your home without some sort of AC. Enoki, when cultivated in farms, looks significantly different from wild enoki; wild enoki is dark brown while commercial enoki is white. 

Is Darkness A Requirement To Grow These Strains?

No, I have grown many of these strains without ever placing the jars into darkness during incubation. There is a common misconception online that a dark room or cupboard is required during the incubation stage of growing.

Darkness may delay pinning but realistically there is very little to gain from growing your jars in complete darkness.

I have had mushrooms pin and fruit in total darkness and I have had jars grow perfectly fine in normal daytime light.

My recommendation for beginners

Grow Oysters or Lion’s Mane first, they are really aggressive, very hardy and can be grown in a variety of different fruiting chambers.

Oysters can come in a variety of different shapes, sizes and tastes; alongside this, they are quite resistant to contamination and can grow on most substrates.

Lion’s Mane is a mushroom with great health benefits which taste like crab when cooked in butter. It needs high humidity levels to prosper; I have created a tutorial on growing Lion’s Mane in a jar to provide the correct humidity here.

I have also posted a quick outline of the growing process here, the same techniques can be applied across all strains with environmental changes.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.