Birthing Your Cakes
Contaminants are less of a threat now that your cakes are fully colonized, because mycelium develops it's own immune system. Now it can fight off pretty much anything, at least until after your third flush, if you take care of your cakes, and don't handle them too much. Use your hand sanitizer every time you are going to touch your cakes for any reason. Ok, now that you have a fully functional growing chamber, you are ready to birth your cakes. Wear the mask and hand sanitizer for this part (both included). 1. Lysol the table that you are going to work at, or you can also use the lid of a plastic container (also lysoled). PICTURE:
2.Take your first colonized jar out of the container that they've been colonizing in. 3.Unscrew the band from around your first jar all the way and put it upside down (from the way it was on the jar) on the table. You will notice that the lid on your jar has 2 parts. When you unscrew the band, there should be a lid still in place. Pry this off the top and place it inside the band on top of the table, so that you form some kind of 'bowl'. PICTURE:
4.Now, exposed is the dry vermiculite top layer, which has acted as a filter for colonization. Shake this loose vermiculite into the 'bowl' we made with the lid. Next, on top of the table or lid you are working on, hit the side of your jar against the palm of your hand several times at an angle while you rotate, to help get all the dry vermiculite off, even if there is mycelium growing on it. You don't want the cake to fall out yet out of the jar, so watch out. Put all loose vermiculite in your bowl. PICTURES:
5.Spray this vermiculite now with peroxide, or just use the bottle and pour a little bit on the vermiculite. Soak it well, but so that it will not drip, or make puddles in the 'bowl'. PICTURES:
6.Bang your jar again, against the palm of your hand or on your work surface, so that your cake will begin to slide out of the jar. Once you slide your cake out of the jar completely, then place it in the middle of the 'bowl' we made, on top of the wet vermiculite. Snuggle it carefully into the vermiculite, without touching or squeezing your cake too much. The vermiculite on the 'bowl' has now become a reservoir of moisture that the cake can feed off of. Eventually, mycelium might start taking over this vermiculite, and this is ok. Sometime mushrooms will sprout from that vermiculite as well as on your cake. PICTURES:
7.Now you will use some extra vermiculite and surround the bottom of your cake, padding it into the space between the bowl and the cake. Spray this too, but don't wet your cake. Or better: prepare a little on the side with some hydrogen peroxide. Make it nice and moist, but not dripping soaked. You can rehydrate this surrounding layer with some water later. PICTURES:
8.Now place the whole thing into your growing chamber. 9.Do the same thing with the rest of you jars and place them all in your growing chamber. Make sure that each cake has enough space to fruit with minor or no obstacles. Also, make sure to spray all of you cakes with your spray bottle from as far up as possible for about 7-8 seconds, only creating as fine mist as possible visible as small water particles on the sides of your growing chamber, on your cakes, and also the inside of the lid that is going to cover them. 10.A little TLC and you're on your way.
SKIP TO THE REHYDRATING PROCESS BEFORE CONTINUING.