What is PF Tek
Pf tek (Psylocybe Fanaticus technique) is an easy and accessible way to grow Psilocybe Cubensis, or “magic mushrooms”. Unfortunately, Psilocybe Cubensis mushrooms are currently illegal in most US states so for now, this is purely for informational and educational use. Cubensis have been decriminalized in a few places, allowing for more research into the medicinal properties of Psilocybe Cubensis. If this research proves fruitful and magic mushrooms become more widely accepted Pf Tek will be a great place to start growing your own. Pf Tek utilizes materials available almost anywhere on a very small budget, using very little space to grow Psilocybin Cubensis on BRF (brown rice flour) cakes. This tek can also be used to grow other edible/medicinal mushrooms, including Lions Mane and Shaggy Mane. This growing technique is perfect for learning about the mushroom life cycle.
What You Will Learn
This Pf Tek guide will teach you everything you need to know about using the pf tek to go from spore syringe to fruiting magic mushrooms. We are going to keep things simple here and go from spore syringe to BRF jar, skipping agar, and LC. BRF jars can be sterilized without a pressure cooker, keeping costs low for Pf tek. Hopefully, a successful Pf Tek grow will inspire you to learn about agar and grain spawn but that’s another discussion for another post. Pf Tek was developed by Robert McPherson of Psylocybe Fanaticus. If you follow this guide you will be able to harvest mushrooms in 4-6 weeks. Keep in mind this method will not work on wood lover mushrooms like Reishi, which require a different substrate.
A Word On Cleanliness
Growing mushrooms in a controlled environment requires absolute control. This means keeping all of the yeasts, molds, bacteria, and other organisms that float around out of our growing environment. I recommend making and using a SAB (still air box), although a SAB is not required for the Pf tek. You will want to have clean clothes on, free from crumbs, pet hair, or whatever else you may have clinging to you. Wash your hands, sterilize with a torch if you can, and just generally keep yourself and your workspace clean.
Steps Of The Pf Tek
- Gather raw materials
- Prepare jar lids
- Mix the substrate
- Fill the jars with the substrate
- Prepare jars for sterilization
- Sterilize BRF jars
- Inoculate jars with spores
- Incubate jars
- Prepare your fruiting chamber
- Birth fully colonized cakes
- Watch fruits grow
- Harvest fruits
- Wide mouth 1/2 pint canning jars
- Water-bath canning pot or large pressure cooker
- Organic brown rice flour
- Spore Syringe
- Hammer and nail
- Measuring cup
- Torch or alcohol lamp
- SAB (still air box) (not necessary, but useful)
- 70qt plastic tub
- Drill and 14″ bit (hot skewer works too)
Gather all of your supplies to your work area, clean the area and your tools. Make sure you have everything you need before you begin, you don’t want to be scrambling because you forgot something.
Prep Jar Lids
The jars will need airflow and a hole for the spore syringe to pass through. Using your hammer and nail, poke four holes in the mason jar lids. You want to put the nail in through the bottom side of the lid to prevent a sharp edge ripping the foil.
Mix Your Substrate
The substrate will be your mushroom’s main source of energy and nutrients. It is made up of 3 cups vermiculite, 1 part brown rice flour, and 1 part water. These measurements will make enough substrate for 4 half-pint BRF jars. Begin by mixing the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl, once the dry ingredients are well mixed add the water and mix well. The mixture should be moist but not dripping wet, if you squeeze it in your hand only a few drops will come out. This moisture level is called “field capacity”.
Fill Jars With Substrate
Fill your jars with substrate mixture up to the beginning of the threads. You will then want to top the jars off with dry vermiculite. This layer of dry vermiculite keeps any contaminants in the air out of the substrate, and also helps with moisture control.
Prepare Your Jars For Sterilization
Take your now full jars and screw the lids on with the rubber side facing up. Now take squares of foil and cover the tops of the jars, this will prevent moisture getting in during processing and limit contaminants during incubation.
Sterilize Your BRF Jars
Grab your pressure cooker or water-bath pot and insert the jar rack. If using a water-bath add about two inches of water to the pot, if using a pressure cooker put in the recommended amount from the manufacturer. Place all of your jars in the pot, stacking them if necessary, and seal the lid on the pot. For those of you with a pressure cooker, 60 minutes at 15psi will do the trick. Those of you using water-baths should cook the jars for 90 minutes with the lid on. Regardless of which method you use you will need to let the jars cool for 5-6 hours at room temperature.
Inoculate Jars With Spores
This is where a SAB comes in handy but is not necessary. If you do have a SAB follow these same directions, just do it inside the SAB. You will need your spore syringe, your torch/lamp, and your sterile BRF jars. Loosen the foil on the top of all the jars so it will be easier to get the needle to the holes. Give your spore syringe a good shake and heat the needle with the torch until it is just turning red. With the needle still hot inject 1 cc into each jar, splitting it between two of the holes. Repeat this for each jar, heating the needle between every jar.
After you’ve inoculated your jars you will need to incubate them at 75°-81° F for 2-3 weeks. The spores will take 5 to 7 days to germinate and at 10 days you should see minor growth. Healthy mycelium will be bright white and any other colors should be taken as a sign of contamination. The jars should be fully colonized in about 3 weeks.
Prepare Your Fruiting Chamber (SGFC)
For this tek, we will be using a Shotgun Fruiting Chamber or SGFCto control our cakes fruiting environment. To make an SGFCyou will need a 70qt plastic tub, or something similar, size will decide how many cakes you can fruit at once. Mark a 2″ spaced grid all the way around your tub and drill (or melt) 1/4″ holes every 2 inches. Do not put holes in the bottom of the tub. After you’ve got your holes drilled add about an inch of perlite to the bottom. Soak the perlite and BOOM shotgun fruiting chamber ready to go.
Birth Fully Colonized BRF Cakes
Fully colonized BRF cakes will be solid white all over and start to show pins where mushrooms will grow. Birthing your cakes is an easy process, simply remove the lids and gently tap the cakes loose. Once you have the cakes out of their jars soak them in cold water for 12-24 hours. This is known as cold shocking, allowing the mycelium to replenish its water supply and the temperature change helps send the mycelium into the fruiting cycle. After the soak place the cakes vermiculite side down on squares of foil in the SGFC. You don’t want the cakes touching the perlite directly.
Watch Fruits Grow
Fruits should begin to form within ten days of birthing and once fruits form they grow in a matter of days. Some pins will form tiny mushrooms and then fail to grow. These failed growths are called aborts, aborts contain quite a bit of psilocybin and should not be overlooked when harvesting.
Harvest Magic Fruits
Fruits are ready to harvest as soon as their veil begins to break. You don’t want fruits to go much past this phase in the SGFC because they will dump spores and turn everything black. If you decide you want to make a spore print simply place an open cap on a square of foil, gills down, and cover it with a cup overnight. BRF cakes can fruit up to 4 times. This is known as “flushes”, simply cold shock your cake after harvesting and return to fruiting conditions. Rinse and repeat folks.
Spent BRF Cakes
BRF cakes will yield 3-4 flushes, y’all will know when the cakes are done by their color. Trichoderma is the most common contamination in my experience. Trichoderma is a green/blue mold that spreads rapidly, you need to remove an infected cake from your grow area and house/building ASAP. I like to bury infected cakes near each other in my yard or garden. Sometimes I harvest mushrooms in the yard!!! Nature has its special ways that allow magic mushrooms and Trichoderma to grow side by side. Nature truly is the best environment if you’ve got the patience.
- If glass mason jars are too expensive you can use PP5 plastic containers like these from Ziploc.
- If you want to try out bulk spawning you can break up a fully colonized cake into some coir/verm and fruit in a monotub.
- A good butane torch is a good investment, not only is it great for sterilizing needles, it can be used to heat metal for poking holes in the plastic.
- Misting inside the SGFC is not necessary but the added moisture can be beneficial, you do not want to spray the cakes directly.