What is Lion’s Mane Mushroom- benefits

Lions Mane mushroom are relatively easy to grow, however slightly more challenging than traditional beginner varieties such as oyster mushrooms.

Step One – Obtain Spawn

Spawn for lion’s mane mushrooms is readily available online for purchase, along with ready to grow ‘Lion’s Mane’ Grow Kits. From an economical perspective, purchasing grain spawn bags from online retailers such as this which can then be divided into several more separate grow bags will often provide a much higher yield for a similar price when compared to ‘ready to grow grow kits’, however require slightly more work.

Most spawn bags for Lion’s mane will contain a large quantity of grain ( usually rye berries) which have been sterilised, and then inoculated directly with a sample from agar, or a liquid culture. When they are shipped to you they are ready to be directly added to your prepared substrate.

To skip purchasing a spawn bag you could grow your Lion’s Mane mushrooms using a liquid or agar culture. This could then be used to make your own spawn bag that could be used to inoculate your fruiting bags. However this would required purchasing a culture, which are less available than spawn bags for Lion’s Mane.

After you have successfully grown Lion’s Mane mushrooms, you can harvest the spore print (read here for more information on harvesting spore prints). This can then be used to make your own cultures!

Step Two – Prepare Substrate

In the wild, Lion’s mane mushroom is observed growing on dead hardwood logs, therefore this is what is replicated when growing lion’s mane. While various hard wood substrates exist, the ‘Master’s Mix’ has been tried and tested by growers around the world with success when growing lion’s mane, therefore it is recommended for any beginner.

Read here for a details explanation of the Master’s Mix substrate:

In summary: the Masters mix is a 1:1 mix of soy hulls ( pellets ) and hard wood pellets, hydrated to approximately 60%

For quantity, keep in mind that:

  • 2.5 cup of Soy Pellets + 2.5 Cups of Hardwood pellets + 1.4L of water is sufficient to fill one Large sized grow bag ( 50 cm x 20 x 12 ) 
  • You need to add 5-15% of spawn a prepared grow bag ( therefore a 1kg grow bag will required 50-150g of spawn)

The grow bags then need to be sterilised (90- 150mins @ 15psi) and allowed to cool.

Step Three – Inoculate Grain Bags

To minimise risk of contamination, a flow hood or still air box should be utilised when inoculating your grain bags.

  • Prepare your work surface with alcohol
  • open your spawn bag in your SAB or infront of flow hood
  • using a sterilised spoon ( can be sterilised when preparing your grow bags by wrapping in foil and placing in pressure cooked with grow bags) scoop spawn into your grow bags,
  • Seal each grow bag immediately after adding spawn.

After removing from the SAB or flow hood, shake each bag to disperse spawn

Step Four- Colonisation

Place bags in a room out of direct sunlight between 65-75 F for 14 days. They are able to tolerate temperature outside of this range, however cooler temperature may slow growth, which can increase risk of contamination, and warm temperature may increase risk of contamination by any competing organisms in the grow bag.

During the 14 days period, shake the grow bags twice to ensure even colonisation of the mycelium, Lions Mane can begin fruiting prior to full colonisation which will reduced yeild and increase chance of contamination.

Similar to varieties such as Enokki mushrooms, Lion’s mane appears to fruit well in a slightly lower carbon dioxide environment, therefore regular fanning is not required during fruiting.

Step five – Fruiting

After full colonisation ( the substrate should appear lighter in colour, and completely covered by the mycellium, This should be achieved by 14 days, you can now induce fruiting conditions.

  • using a sterile scalpel blade, cut a 5cm cross or slit in the front of the grow bag
  • Place in a fruiting chamber at approx 90% humidity
  • check this guide here for how to make fruiting chambers

Step Six – Harvesting.

Approximately 7-14 days after placing in fruiting conditions, your Lions’ mane should be ready for its first flush harvest. You can expect a close to 40% yield based on the weight of your fruiting block after several flushed ( approx. 900g per 1kg fruiting bag)

By admin

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