The Mushroom Growers Quick Reference Guide

There are certain things that I found myself looking up all the time when I first started growing mushrooms.

How much bran should I add again? How much agar mix do I add to make malt yeast extract agar?

The Mushroom Growers Quick reference guide is a first attempt at making it easier to grow mushrooms on the fly.

Here it is:


Sterilization Times

With sterilization times, your miles may vary, but the above times are a good place to start. You could probably get away with shorter times, but it is good to start by overdoing it, and backing it off a little until you find out a good time that works for you.

Make sure that your sterilizer is able to obtain 15 PSI. If you can only pressure up to 12 PSI, you may be able to get away with it, but your times might have to be increased.

To learn more about sterilizing blocks and more at home, check out our article on how to use a pressure cooker for growing mushrooms.


Pasteurization of straw and casing layer should be done between 65-82 deg C. Any hotter than that may actually be detrimental to your grow. Make sure you start the time once it reaches 65 deg C, and monitor the temperature throughout the process.

To learn more about growing mushrooms on straw, check out this article.

Biological Efficiency

Dry weight BE helps you determine the effectiveness of a particular culture. It is commonly used by culture and spawn suppliers as a way to compare strains.

For home and small scale growers, it may also be useful to use wet weight biological efficiency, which is the same calculation, except we use the wet weight of the substrate instead of the dry weight. This is usually easier to measure than the traditional BE, and some growers prefer to use it as a benchmark for their grows.

To learn more about BE, check out this article.

Malt Yeast Extract Agar

MEYA is one of the most effective and easiest to make agar recipe for propagating mycelium on agar.

You can definitely use other types of nutrient for the media other than malt extract. Some examples are dog food, potato starch and many more.

I prefer to use malt extract as I have found that it works really well for pretty much any strain.

To learn more about making agar dishes, check out this article.

Fruiting Block Recipe

Almost any type of gourmet or medicinal mushroom will grow well on this recipe. There are ways that you an alter the recipe, such as adding more supplementation, or removing supplementation all together, but for the most part, this recipe doesn’t need to change to get awesome results.

Check out our article on growing mushrooms on supplemented sawdust fruiting blocks.

Mushroom Substrates

Oysters will grow on pretty much anything, while other gourmet and medicinal mushrooms prefer specially supplemented hardwood sawdust.

Learn more about mushrooms substrates.

What’s Missing?

Let me know if there is anything else that you would like to see on this quick reference guide!

Also, if you would like to get a PDF copy of the quick reference guide, just enter you email below and I will send it to you!

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-spread the spores-

Comments 8

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  1. First, thanks for making this, it is handy having it all condensed into a page.

    When you upgrade it would it be possible to get all measurements in both imperial and metric, some of them like the fruiting block recipe seem to be mixing them both (cups and liters).

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      Hey Terry thanks for reaching out! I typically like to add about 8 oz of spawn to each block (1/2 lb). You can always add a little more or a little less, it will just change the speed of colonization. Hope that helps!

  2. Hi tony keep up the great work my wife and i have just started growing oyster mushrooms hoping to start a small business its so true when people say there easy to grow and there hard to grow its so true constantly tweaking our grow rooms our first mushrooms are just appearing had to up the air flow not sure about my lighting only have led stripe lighting no misters but have a good humidifier love to send some pics for your opinion cheers shane

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