A Sous Vide Device can be used for multiple tasks by a home mushroom cultivator.
The device is able to create an electric powered water bath which doesn't require constant monitoring while it works (unlike a stove top).
This is because a sous vide can be programmed to keep a precise temperature for a specific length of time or beyond.
Furthermore, by using a sous vide device for mushroom cultivation, growers can create a highly repeatable process that produces consistent results over time.
As a hobby mycologist, I use a sous vide device for two purposes: pasteurizing mushroom substrate and maintaining agar temperatures.
In this post, we'll dive into the details of these techniques and explain why a Sous Vide is an affordable and effective tool that every home mushroom grower should consider adding to their arsenal.
Trust me, it will make your mushroom growing journey so much easier!
I use a Ink Bird Sous Vide Device because it has a wireless WIFI function which can communicate with an app and alert me when my pasteurization times are finished.
Plus, if I'm not available to complete the process or I miss the alert, the sous vide will maintain the temperatures until I'm ready.
Compared to stove pasteurization methods, this tool is a game-changer, especially for beginners who can sometimes overheat there substrate.
What is a Sous Vide?
For those unfamiliar with sous vide, it is a cooking technique that involves sealing food in a bag and cooking it in a precisely controlled water bath. But sous vide isn't just for cooking – it can also be a useful tool for a home mycologist.
It typically consists of a water bath or container, a heating element to heat the water, and a temperature control system to maintain a precise and consistent water temperature.
The substrate is heated at a consistent and precise temperature, which allows for less monitoring during the process.
How Can A Sous Vide Be Used By Home Mycologists?
As a hobby mycologist, I use a sous vide device for two things:
Sous Vide to Pasteurize Mushroom Substrate.
A sous vide device can be used to pasteurize mushroom substrate by heating it to a specific temperature for a specific amount of time.
This helps to kill any contaminants or pathogens that may be present in the substrate, which can improve the success rate of mushroom cultivation. Because the sous vide device can maintain precise temperatures of a water path for extended periods of time I use it for a lot of my pasteurization work.
This device allows me to pasteurize substrates when it would otherwise not be convenient.
For example, While using a stove to pasteurize mushroom substrate, I should constantly monitor the pan to make sure that the temperature does not exceed the pasteurization temperature, the pan does not dry out, and a fire does not break out.
When using my Ink Bird Sous Vide Device I can pretty much set my pasteurization water bath and forget it until I get an alert on my phone that the pasteruization time has completed.
What is even better about this is the Ink Bird Sous Vide Device is, it doesn't just miraculously turn off (unless i tell it too on the app), it will keep the substrate at the correct temperature until I have given it instructions.
Breakdown of technique.
- Fill a pot or bucket with water. To speed up the process, I usually boil kettles of water to fill the bucket/pot.
- Turn on the sous vide device and set the temperature to 143°F (62°C). Place the sous vide machine on the side of the pot inside the water. Ensure the water level reaches the minimum line on the sous vide.
- Place the substrate in a pillowcase or brewing net bag.
- Peg the substrate bag to the side of the pot. Ensure that the substrate is secured inside the bag or it will float out.
- Set the sous vide temperature to 180°F (62°C).
- Let the substrate soak in the heated water for 2 hours.
- Remove the substrate from the water bath and pour out the water. Allow the substrate to drain and cool in the pan.
Sous vide For Agar Work.
A sous vide device can be used to keep agar at 50°C (122°F) in preparation for pouring; this is a requirement often needed to avoid getting condensation on your agar plates.
Maintaining the agar at 50°C is important because it is the temperature at which the agar becomes a liquid, making it easier to pour and work with.
If the agar is too hot, it may become too thin and runny, making it difficult to handle. If it is too cold, it may be too thick and difficult to pour.
Maintaining the agar at 50°C allows it to be in a consistent, easy-to-work-with state.
Often lab mycologists will use a heat plate like this for reaching these temperatures.
However I believe the sous vide is a better option for home mycologists as it has dual functions when coupled with pasteurization tek.
Using a sous vide device to keep the agar at a consistent temperature is convenient.
This allows the mycologist to set the desired temperature and let the device maintain it, rather than having to constantly monitor and adjust the temperature manually.
This can save time and effort, and help ensure that the agar is at the optimal temperature for pouring.
Breakdown of technique.
- Fill a pot or bucket with water and turn on the sous vide machine to the desired temperature of 55C (131F).
- Wait until the sous vide machine indicates that the desired temperature has been reached.
- Remove your agar bottle from the pressure cooker (while still hot).
- Place the agar bottle in the sous vide water bath for 15 minutes.
- Remove the agar bottle from the water and carefully wipe off any excess water from the outside of the bottle.
- Pour the agar into the prepared plates.
In conclusion, a sous vide is a reliable and effective tool to have for growing mushrooms at home.
It allows for precise temperature control and pasteurization of substrate, which is essential for successful mushroom cultivation.
Additionally, using a sous vide can save time and effort compared to traditional methods of pasteurization, as it requires minimal supervision and can be left to run unattended.
Overall, incorporating a sous vide into your mushroom growing setup can greatly improve the efficiency and success of your cultivation efforts.