Lions Mane mushrooms are super delicious and great for you! Growing Lions Mane properly can be a bit more of a challenge compared to oyster mushrooms. The mushroom will begin to fruit fairly easily, however, getting it to produce spines (the long hair looking things) is more of a challenge. This requires a constant humidity of about 80-85% with a consistent amount of fresh humid air throughout the day. Keep in mind that this fresh air should be humidified before it reaches your Lions Mane mushrooms. Otherwise, it could dry out the mushroom causing it to turn brown and stop growing.
Liquid cultures are living fungi mycelium that float freely in a mixture of sterile water and glucose. This mixture provides the perfect amount of nutrition that's suspended in water. Before the culture is introduced, water and glucose are mixed together and then sterilized in an autoclave or pressure cooker. After the mixture is cooled, a small bit of mycelium is introduced. Over time the mycelium begins to grow out in the mixture in all directions. This mixture is occasionally mixed to ensure rapid growth. This mixture now contains tiny microscopic pieces (along with visible chunks) or mycelium that are ready to consume grain or substrate.
Why use Liquid Culture?
Liquid Culture offers the ability to inoculate your grain bag without the use of a still air box (SAB) or Flow Hood. This is perfect for beginners who want to make their own grain spawn without needing to buy any equipment.
Others like to use Liquid Culture simply due to it's speed of colonization. Liquid Culture offers many more inoculation points (versus agar) because there are countless hyphae threads floating around in the mixture. It's been found that having more inoculation points speeds up the colonization process of grain spawn.
Is Liquid Culture easier than Agar?
Yes and no. Liquid Culture is simply another tool available to those wanting to grow mushrooms. Agar Plates offer the ability to actually see contaminants as they grow. With Liquid Culture you typically cannot see contaminants. That's why it highly encouraged to test your liquid cultures on agar plates to ensure they're not contaminated.
Using Liquid Culture can be considered easier since you can inject a grain bag without ever needing to open it. This means you don't expose your grain spawn to potential contaminants in the air. You simply inject the LC into the bag and go.