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Types of Mushroom Grow Bags

TYPES OF MUSHROOM GROW BAGS

Mushroom Grow Bags come in all different shapes and sizes….well, sizes at least, the shapes never really change, they’re always going to be bags after all! The differences in bags can be slight yet significant. Typically mushroom grow bags only differ in size of the bag, size and efficiency of the filter, and the inclusion of an injection port. Beyond this, mushroom bags all have the same function so do not tend to stray far from the original design. Here we’ll discuss some of the differences in these production options, and highlight their individual uses. Types Of Mushroom Grow Bags

For filters, you’ll find on average 3 types of filters to choose from, .2 micron filters, .5 micron filters, and 2-5 micron filters. The difference on these filter efficiencies can be tremendous, .2 micron filters are the tightest filters and only allow the smallest of molecules through them. Bacteria and spores can not escape or penetrate these filters without damaging the filter (which is not going to happen if used as intended) however air is able to travel through the filter, slowly. This means that if a .2 micron filter is used you’ll be able to get air in and out of your mushroom grow bag by manually manipulating the bag, or allowing air to slowly enter or exit the bag naturally over time through differences in temperature inside and outside the bag. When using a small .2 micron filter bag, you can grow any step of mushrooms, however when fruiting in these bags it’s sometimes advised to manually add or deplete air from them since the process of air entering or leaving these bags is very slow. With that in mind, .2 micron filters can be used for every phase of mushroom growing, from grain colonization to substrate colonization, all the way to fruiting! The tiny filters are 10-20x or greater in efficiency when compared to the larger filters that are full microns in size. Large filters that allow full microns of material through are best for fruiting, these bags allow air, bacteria, and mold spores into the bag, filtering out a large number of these components but still allowing some in. The main use of these larger filters is to facilitate air exchange in an easier manner, these filters won’t allow pressure to build inside of them, meaning any air building up inside the bag will be able to easily exit, and any air trying to enter the bag through differences in temperature will be able to enter the bag. This style of filter cannot be used for grain colonization because it allows contaminants in, however for substrate colonization and fruiting this bag filter type is preferred by some growers. Lastly, the .5 micron filter is going to provide the uses of both of the previously mentioned filters. Filtering out some microorganisms from the air while still facilitating some air movement. These filters can be utilized on bags for grain colonization all the way through fruiting, as long as the bag is kept in a relatively clean environment, with low mold spore count in the air. Here at Booming Acres we utilize .2 micron filters for all of our bags, ensuring that the products that we ship do not have any chance of contamination getting into our bags during the transportation or growing process. 

FILTER LOCATION

Continuing with filters, bags can have different filter positions and shapes when applied to mushroom grow bags. The average mushroom grow bag will have the filter patch placed towards the top 20% of the bag, and be roughly 2 inches by 3-4 inches. This has been found to be optimal for most phases of the mushroom grow process, keeps the filter away from the material inside of the bag, and allows enough air in and out of the bag without detrimental effects. Another option for filters that is catching on in popularity is horizontal filters that are roughly 3 inches tall, but spanning 4-6 inches of the bag, allowing much more air into the mushroom grow bag, facilitating better fruiting conditions inside the bag. Lastly the least common filter shape is going to be a filter which runs most of the length of the bag from top to bottom, still remaining only 2 inches wide. These filters are for bags that are meant to be laid flat by the grower, the air filter allows air inside the mushroom grow bag during substrate colonization, then can be torn open to allow fruiting from the bag. This type of bag is usually found in commercial growing operations, where the growers lay the substrate bags flat on a shelf, allow colonization to occur, then rip or cut the top part of the bag open to allow the flat top of the bag to fruit in the open. For us we’ve found that the typical filter mentioned first is the best option for both our grain and our substrate grow bags.

Mushroom grow bags come in a variety of sizes which allow for different phases of mushroom growing. The reason for these sizing differences is typically to account for more, or less material being prepared inside the bags. The smaller the bag, the less material is prepared. Some growers find that preparing smaller amounts in each bag can be advantageous because it saves material if working with cultures that might be prone to contamination. Other growers who know their genetic material is clean prefer to utilize large bags because they know they can simply add more genetic material to these bags, therefore using fewer bags in their growing practices. The same thought applies for substrate in bags, if a grower is using smaller bags they may be searching for specific phenotypes of a variety to attempt to isolate, so they don’t want to grow on a large scale, or the grower may already have the mushrooms they know they wish to grow, so they utilize as much material as possible in the smallest footprint in their operation. Each size of bag has its pros and cons and in the end it is up to the grower to decide what size they want to use. Booming Acres offers our All-In-One options in both 3lb and 5lb sizes to offer our growers the best of both worlds, smaller grows for finding phenos, experimenting with genetics, or just growing a smaller amount, or the larger option for when a grower knows what they want to grow, wants to grow a larger amount, or wants to go with something tried and true that has been in the industry for a long time now. 

SELF-HEALING INJECTION PORT 

The last difference in mushroom grow bags is going to be the addition of self healing injection ports. These injection ports allow for the use of injectable mushroom genetic material for components that allow it, and people who intend to use injectable material. This means that the only time you would need an injection port on a bag is if you’re using the bag for an all-in-one style bag or a grain bag. Injection ports are not necessary for substrate bags, since you would never inject substrate with genetic material directly. Self healing injection ports remove the need to have tape on your bags, they are made with a temperature resistant rubber which seals shut on the hole created by the needle tip when injecting into the bag. This function is two fold: the hole sealing shut prevents contamination, while also giving the user a ‘target’ for where to inject and they can also see later where their injection took place from. Injection ports are usually in the lower 20% of the mushroom grow bag, allowing the mushroom mycelium to grow in a radial pattern from the injection point and penetrate into all areas of the bag. 

CONCLUSION 

This has been an informational blog regarding the various differences on mushroom grow bags, with the goal of increasing the information available to the general public for the different types and specifications of mushroom grow bags as more and more vendors and options become available. If we achieved our goal of informing you on these aspects of mushroom grow bags, please feel free to join our newsletter to be informed of future educational blog posts, site deals and savings, and general mushroom news! At Booming Acres we aim to provide the best mushroom growing products to our customers, while also educating everyone as best we can in all aspects of mushroom growing! Good luck with all your future mushroom growing projects, mush love!!

 

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