Making mycelium flexible - part 1

Here you can find my research and what I experimented with for making mycelium more flexible.

Starting from liquid bases to solid bases. I followed the recipe of @Elise for making mycelium leather but changed some ingredients to test things out.

Now I figured how to make a solid base more flexible. Which ingrediënts can provide this.

Knipsel (click picture to see full document)
Following is talking about PH levels that might have effect on flexibility. Therefore I wanted to try it on my own if it’s true that a certain amount of PH leveling will make a difference.

Following batches were made:

Liquid batches
A specific mixture was made to serve as the nutrients for the mycelium:

Batch 1:

  • Mixture
  • Add some pieces of mycelium.

Batch 2:

  • Mixture + juice of 1 whole lemon (cook it together with the mixture)
  • Add some pieces of mycelium.

Result when cooled off.

Solid batches
Batch 1:

Batch 2:

Batch 3:

  • hemp (sterilised before using)
  • 50 ml of concentrated lemon juice (cooked before using)
  • Add some pieces of mycelium.

Batch 4:

  • hemp (sterilised before using)
  • 75 ml of concentrated lemon juice (cooked before using)
  • Add some pieces of mycelium.

Update from one week later:

End results
Because fresh products were inserted like the lemon juice, some parts started rotting and the batches went bad. Only two batches still were growing in a good way. These are batch 1 of the liquid base and batch 3 of the solid base:

liquid base batch 1
solid base batch 3

Bad results:

I’m gonna let liquid batch 1 and solid base batch 3 grow further for now.

Cool experiments @Daria ! The protein powder and yeast extract are very nutritious, so you’d need to work very sterile in order not to get contaminations. I see you’re using plastic bins as a container and I guess you’re cleaning those with alcohol? This is not enough for the kind of liquid culture you’re trying to make. You’d need pre-sterilized containers (eg. petri dishes by UV) or glass ones (by autoclaving). Also you’d need to work with a bunsen burner flame or laminar flow in order to keep the air clean (you may have done this.) Otherwise I’m afraid your experiments are “dead in the water” and will always contaminate.

The solid cultures should be okay with a lower level of sterility. Working cleaner can’t hurt, of course.

Keep trying, those contaminations are just a sign of small mistakes in working clean and not that your recipes or approach are wrong :slight_smile:

Hey @winnieponcelet thanks for all the tips!

I indeed have worked really sterile on this. The batches you see that are contaminated, are the ones I put the lemon in. At the same time I made these batches, I also made some normal batches and these still aren’t contaminated untill the day of today (still growing really good). So I thought this had to do with the lemon. Don’t you think?

Did you sterilize the lemon before putting it in? Or sterilize the whole mixture after? If not, the non-sterile lemon juice would be a source of contamination.

The lemon also adds a bit more nutrients to your mixture, which in turn increases the chance of contaminations getting a foothold in your substrate. Though making a mistake in working clean is a way bigger influencer than this effect, I think. Because the contamination has to come from somewhere: the extra nutrients only matter if you didn’t work sterile enough to begin with.