Lion's Mane can be a difficult to master as it is a slower grower and requires a lot of fresh air and moisture to form perfectly. If you dont follow these instructions diligently, your Lion's Mane might end up looking funky.
Your Grow Kit comes with a Recommended Bag Cut Date.
You can find it on the top flap of your box.
Before this date, all you have to do is sit the bag upright inside of the box with the white filter patch up so that it can breathe and watch the mycelium colonizes the bag. You will find that Lion’s Mane mycelium is less dense and more wispy than other mushroom mycelium. Also watch for signs of contamination like green / black mold.
During this time it will be normal to observe some yellow / orange liquids (aka metabolites). They are just the byproducts of digestion. However, excessive amounts could mean a different type of contamination. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us.
If your substrate bag is contaminated at this point we will be happy to replace it for you,
Occasionally your grow kit will not be ready by the recommended bag cut date. You will be able to tell if this is the case because a significant portion of the substrate is not yet colonized. If this is the case then just wait a few more days.
Occasionally your grow kit will be ready before your recommended bag cut day. You will be able to tell if this is the case because your bag will start forming a white mat of Lion’s Mane “fur” on the top of the bag. If this so, just skip ahead.
Its your recommended bag cut day (or close to it) and its time to trigger the growth of baby mushrooms! (pins)
First lets put the grow kit somewhere between 65 – 75 deg F avoiding direct sunlight and away from direct air flow. A kitchen counter is usually suitable.
Lay the grow bag back in the box as you found it and with a clean knife cut a 5″ slit on the marked line. Its ok to cut a little into the actual substrate.
Fill up the spray bottle with clean water and spray the area where you cut as well as the entire inside of the box. Its important to maintain near 100% relative humidity during this time to encourage the formation of baby mushrooms.
If you have a home humidifier, place it near by.
If you are in a dry climate, use the provided biodegradable bag to create a humidity tent,
You can flip the box flaps up and place the bag over it to increase humidity. HOWEVER, be sure to poke ALOT of holes in it for proper ventilation.
Keep misting 5+ times a day for 5-7 days until you see baby mushroom blobs begin to form.
Once the baby mushrooms are about 1/2 inch tall, do not spray them directly anymore. Instead, spray around them. But still 5+ times a day.
The goal is to maintain 75 -95 % relative humidity until it is time to harvest.
Once the mushrooms are 1 inch tall, you can remove the humidity tent and lower the box flaps a little to promote more fresh air exchange.
If you notice that your Lion’s Mane looks bubbly like cauliflower to increase fresh air while still maintaining high humidity.
You’ll find that sometimes this balance is too difficult to maintain and your Lion’s Mane will fail to produce its characteristic hairs.
But dont worry, its still just as delicious!
Watch your mushroom grow! They may double in size every day!
Finally its time to harvest!
It is best to harvest your Lion’s Mane a little bit young to avoid the bitterness that comes with old age.
A good time for this is when the hairs reach about 1/4″ or when you notice a stalling of growth, any yellowing or a significant spongyness or softening of the fruit.
You can expect to harvest 14-18 days after slicing the bag open.
If you let your Lion’s Mane grow for too long it will start releasing its white powdery spores.
Spores can also be a mild to severe respiratory irritant so, please be mindful and try to harvest on time.
You can harvest your Lion’s Mane by grabbing the mushroom cluster close to its base and peeling it off while lifting!
A typical yield for your first harvest will be 1 – 2 lbs.
You might find a bit of substrate attached to the base of your mushrooms, you can just chop that off.
DO NOT EAT THEM RAW! They do not taste as good, are not as nutritious and can make you sick! So be sure to cook them thoroughly!
We like to simply sauté them on high heat with a bit of oil until browned on both sides. Add salt at the end.
If you find them bitter, try cooking them a bit more thoroughly!
The are wonderful breaded and fried and many people shred them and enjoy them as Vegan Crab Cakes!
Lion’s Mane are best stored in a paper bag in the refrigerator where they will remain fresh for 7-12 days.
If you did a good job at keeping clean and your grow kit is not entirely covered by mold you can likely get more than one harvest from your block!
However, each subsequent harvest will yield less mushrooms and is more likely to become contaminated.
To do this, start by plucking off all remaining pieces of old mushroom and simply restart spraying your block with water from Step 2.
It might take a few days longer than previously so be patient! Typical yields for 2nd harvests are 1/2 lb – 1 lb and 3rd harvests are even smaller.
You can keep doing this until the substrate bag contaminates with mold or bacteria or produces no more mushrooms.
Lion’s Mane is well known to produce many separate harvests.
Even still, the usefulness of your mushroom substrate block isnt over yet!
Remove the bag, break up the block and add it to your garden.
“Spent Mushroom Substrate” is known as an EXCELLENT compost and soil amendment. It can really help your garden grow!
You can also bury the block whole and your garden might even sprout some extra mushrooms!