What Is Mushroom Liquid Culture? - Advanced Mycology (2024)

What Is Mushroom Liquid Culture? - Advanced Mycology (1)

Mushroom liquid culture is a method of propagating mycelium, the vegetative part of a fungus, in a liquid nutrient medium. The liquid culture is then used to inoculate a substrate, such as a mixture of grain or sawdust, which serves as a food source for the mushrooms to grow.

What is Liquid Culture?

Mushroom liquid culture is a mixture of mycelium, the vegetative part of the fungus, suspended in a liquid growth medium. The mycelium is the source of all the genetic information needed to grow mushrooms, and the liquid culture provides a convenient way to transfer this information to the growth medium. The culture is usually made by transferring mycelium from a mature mushroom to a sterile growth medium that is then incubated until it forms a healthy, vigorous culture.

There are different types of liquid culture, including pure culture and mixed culture. A pure culture is made from a single strain of mycelium, while mixed culture is a combination of several strains of mycelium. Both pure culture and mixed culture have their advantages and disadvantages, and the choice between the two will depend on the type of mushrooms you want to grow.

What Is Mushroom Liquid Culture? - Advanced Mycology (2)

How to Use Liquid Culture to Grow Mushrooms At Home

Using liquid mushroom culture is a simple process that requires only a few basic steps. Here’s how to do it:

Sterilize the Equipment

All equipment and surfaces used for growing mushrooms should be thoroughly cleaned and sterilized to prevent contamination. This includes the liquid culture bottle, syringe, and growing substrate.

Prepare the Liquid Culture

The liquid culture is made by mixing the mycelium with a nutrient medium, such as malt extract, and sterilizing the mixture. This can be done in a sterilization chamber or by using a pressure cooker.

Inoculate the Substrate

Once the liquid culture has been prepared, it can be used to inoculate the substrate. This is typically done by injecting the liquid culture into the substrate using a sterilized syringe.

Grow the Mushrooms

After the substrate has been inoculated, it is placed in a warm and humid environment to promote the growth of the mushrooms. This may involve using a grow tent, a grow box, or a similar setup.

Harvest the Mushrooms

Once the mushrooms have grown and matured, they can be harvested for use or for sale. It is important to note that growing magic mushrooms can be illegal in some jurisdictions, and it is the responsibility of the grower to ensure that they are operating within the laws of their area.

Additionally, growing magic mushrooms requires a high level of cleanliness and care to prevent contamination, so it is important to follow proper protocols and guidelines when using the liquid culture method.

What Is Mushroom Liquid Culture? - Advanced Mycology (3)

Spores vs. Liquid Culture: Pros & Cons

When it comes to growing mushrooms, there are two main options: mushroom spores and liquid mushroom culture. Both have pros and cons, and the choice between them will depend on the type of mushrooms you want to grow and your growing experience.

Pros of Spores

  1. Easy to obtain: Mushroom spores are readily available and can be easily obtained from many online sources.
  2. Cost-effective: Spores are generally cheaper than Liquid Mushroom Culture, making them a cost-effective option for those on a budget.
  3. Versatility: Spores can be used to grow a variety of mushroom species, making them a versatile option for cultivators.

Cons of Spores

  1. Longer incubation period: Spores require more time to germinate and form mycelium than Liquid Mushroom Culture.
  2. Increased risk of contamination: Spores are more susceptible to contamination from bacteria or mold, making them a riskier option for novice cultivators.
  3. Inconsistent results: The results of growing mushrooms from spores of mycelium or fragments of mushrooms can be inconsistent, with some batches failing completely.

Pros of Liquid Culture

  1. Faster growth: Liquid Mushroom Culture allows for faster growth of mushrooms compared to spores of mycelium or fragments of mushrooms.
  2. Reduced risk of contamination: Liquid Mushroom Culture is made under sterile conditions, reducing the risk of contamination.
  3. Consistent results: The mycelium in Liquid Mushroom Culture is more vigorous and healthy, resulting in a more consistent crop of mushrooms.

Cons of Liquid Culture

  1. More expensive: Liquid Mushroom Culture is generally more expensive than spores of mycelium or fragments of mushrooms, making it a more costly option.
  2. Limited availability: Liquid Mushroom Culture may be more difficult to obtain than spores of mycelium or fragments of mushrooms, and may only be available from select suppliers.

Regardless of the method used, growing magic mushrooms at home offer several benefits over buying them from a dealer. These benefits include cost savings, control over the growing conditions, and a sense of connection with nature.

Grow Your Own With the Shüm Grow Kit

The choice between spores of mycelium or fragments of mushrooms and liquid mushroom culture will depend on the type of mushrooms you want to grow and your growing experience. Consider the pros and cons of each option and choose the one that best fits your needs.

Whether you choose fragments of mycelium or fragments of mushrooms or liquid mushroom culture, remember that the most important factor for success is proper care and attention to detail throughout the growing process.

We recommend liquid culture and a Shrüm All-In-One Grow Bag for first-time growers. Simply inoculate the bag with your liquid culture and wait for the magic to happen. Learn more about how to use the kit here.

What Is Mushroom Liquid Culture? - Advanced Mycology (2024)


What is a mushroom liquid culture? ›

Mushroom liquid culture is a method of propagating mycelium, the vegetative part of a fungus, in a liquid nutrient medium. The liquid culture is then used to inoculate a substrate, such as a mixture of grain or sawdust, which serves as a food source for the mushrooms to grow.

What is the difference between mushroom spores and liquid culture? ›

Liquid Culture vs.

spores revolves around speed and diversity. Liquid culture accelerates mycelium growth, boasts higher success rates, and lowers contamination risks—ideal for beginners and seasoned growers. Spores, however, embrace genetic diversity, paving the way for a more organic cultivation process.

What is the difference between agar plate and liquid culture? ›

LB agar plates are frequently used to isolate individual (clonal) colonies of bacteria carrying a specific plasmid. However, a liquid culture is capable of supporting a higher density of bacteria and is used to grow up sufficient numbers of bacteria necessary to isolate enough plasmid DNA for experimental use.

How long do mushroom liquid cultures last? ›

While liquid cultures can be stored for many months, we recommend using them within six months for the best results. In our experience, liquid cultures of nearly any variety can grow even after a year of storage in the refrigerator.

How do you use liquid mushroom culture? ›

We recommend that you use the liquid culture to inoculate grains and use the grain spawn to inoculate your growth substrate. Whether it is sawdust, hay or cardboard. Just break up the grain spawn once the mycelium have taken over it. Then inoculate the growth substrate you want to use.

What is the purpose of liquid culture? ›

Liquid culture media such as thioglycollate broth is commonly used in addition to solid media as a primary isolation media to allow for recovery of anaerobes and organisms that may be present in low numbers in a specimen.

Can you put mycelium in liquid culture? ›

Liquid culture is a nutrient-rich solution used to grow mushroom mycelium. It's a mix of mushroom mycelium and a sterilized liquid, often used to inoculate grain to create grain spawn, which is essential for mushroom growing.

How fast does mycelium grow in liquid culture? ›

Initial mycelium growth is visible within 1-3 weeks of inoculating your pod with spores or liquid culture. Full colonization usually occurs within 4-5 weeks, though it can sometimes take longer.

Does mycelium grow in liquid culture? ›

Mycelium transferred from agar plates into liquid culture will grow until the container is fully colonised and ready to incoulate your spawn. You can also inoculate freshly made jars of liquid culture with a sample of your now colonised culture to generate even more…

How do you make liquid culture? ›

Light malt extract (LME) recipe: Add 20g of Light Malt Extract (LME) and 2g of yeast extract to 500ml of water and stir until dissolved. This is one of the most commonly used recipes. Karo liquid culture recipe: Add 16g of Karo light corn syrup to 400ml of water and stir until completely dissolved.

How do you transfer liquid culture to agar? ›

To transfer liquid culture to agar, you'll be using a syringe. You'll liquid culture will either already be in a syringe, or it will be in a jar that you'll first need to pull into a syringe. Either way, you'll need to agitate your liquid culture to break it up, so that each drop of liquid contains a little mycelium.

What is a liquid culture medium called? ›

Culture media can be classified into liquid and solid media. Liquid media often use broths (nutrient broths), and solid media are nutrient media solidified using, for example, agar (agar plates).

Should mushroom liquid culture be refrigerated? ›

Store in a cool, dark place: The liquid culture should be stored in a cool, dark place such as a refrigerator or a cool basem*nt. This will help to slow down the growth of the mycelium and extend the shelf life of the culture. Preventing UV light will also keep the mycelium viable for longer.

Can you inoculate substrate with liquid culture? ›

Liquid inoculation is one of the easiest because you just need to spray a substrate with a liquid culture. In addition, the risk of contamination is less than with other methods. Upon receipt of the syringe containing the mycelium, place it immediately in the refrigerator, it must be used within two weeks!

What is the liquid culture method? ›

Liquid cultures

One method of microbiological culture is liquid culture, in which the desired organisms are suspended in a liquid nutrient medium, such as Luria broth, in an upright flask. This allows a scientist to grow up large amounts of bacteria or other microorganisms for a variety of downstream applications.

How does mushroom culture work? ›

Mycelium, or actively growing mushroom culture, is placed on a substrate—usually sterilized grains such as rye or millet—and induced to grow into those grains. This is called inoculation. Inoculated grains (or plugs) are referred to as spawn.

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