To get mushrooms to fruit, the mycelium need to propagate throughout a sizable amount of substrate. This substrate must have the nutrients the mycelium require to grow and multiply. The exact formula for this substrate is unknown, and is different between mushroom types. The maitake mushrooms tend to grow near oak trees, so it's assumed oak wood have the required nutrients. My first attempt at colonizing the maitake in a substrate involved some hardwood chips, wheat bran, and wheat berries. The procedure was to sterilize a few mason jars, then add the substrate, then sterilize the combination, add the mycelium started in agar, and wait.
Here are some pics of that process:
Sterilizing jars using a pressure cooker.
Sterilizing wood chip and bran in the oven
Jars filled and sterilized.
These samples contained too much water, and were not totally sterilized, so some blue mold started growing in them, and I had to discard them and start over.
For the next batch, I used wood chips along with wood pellets and bran, and after sterilization, put the contents in plastic zip-lock bags.
Hardwood chips (sold as animal bedding - no additives)
Hardwood BBQ pellets
Sterilizing the new substrate mush
Bagging the substrate while still hot on August 10th.
Here is the progress captured on August 23rd: You can see the mycelium starting to migrate around the top of the substrate.
The center section is where I "planted" the mycelium from the agar dish.
Here are the cultures on September 1st, no visible mold so far, and the mycelium are starting to take over the substrate.
To be continued...….