Italian Oyster (Pleurotus pulmonarius) mushrooms are one of the easiest to grow. That's why we highly recommend them when your just getting started in growing your own mushrooms. Their taste is quite different than other oyster mushrooms. They tend to be very tender and also have a somewhat sweet flavor. They offer a super quick colonization speed of agar, grain and substrate. This is beneficial to new growers because having your mycelium take over before other microorganisms gives you a head start.
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.