Think Your Cakes are Dead?
After a few flushes, your cakes might begin to look dull or not as white. They might begin to produce fewer mushrooms than before. Don't worry, you can revive them easily. Take your cake and with a sharp sterilized knife (flame sterilized & 91% alcohol) peel a very thin outside layer of mycelium off of the sides and top of your cakes. Discard this. Underneath you will notice that whiter mycelium lives. Your cakes will look bright again. You must allow the cakes to recover from the peeling for a few days before they begin to pin again. To extend the cake's lives even further, you can dunk them in a container filled with a mixture of purified water and 6% H202 (hydrogen peroxide) overnight. This will allow them to re-hydrate and rejuvenate the mycelium. Use something light yet heavy enough to hold the cakes underwater without hurting them. A tall narrow dunking container works best. You should get a nice flush within some days. You can cold shock to induce pinning or just wait. This method can also be used for great results right after birthing cakes...With a few exceptions. After birthing, use a tall narrow container filled with distilled water. Soak the cakes under water for 1-2 hours. Do not use peroxide at this moment. Then, go about the regular birthing procedures. This tecnique allows for bigger first flushes and a longer cake life. Often, this procedure followed by a slight drying works very well. Example: Dunk cakes underwater for 2 hours, then allow to sit in room temp uncovered for about 5 hours. This helps prevent mycelium overgrowth in the future, or "overlay". This also helps the pinning procedure greatly, sometimes even better than cold shocking. Both work great though.