Here are some pointers to get folks started cultivating Cordyceps militaris at home. I am selling nutrients and cultures so get your cordy on!
Containers– a great first container are quart mason jars with a modified lid to allow for gas exchange. Any PP5 container is also usable as long as there is 3-6 inches of head space above substrate and there is a gas exchage port in the lid. The cordyceps cultivation kit allows users to make 10-15 quart jars worth of substrate.
Substrate– Rice. Brown or white, grain length doesn’t matter too much. Nutrient broth- contains amino acids, minerals, and nutrients that promote cordyceps growth and fruit body formation
Nutrient notes: The nutrients are sent as a 1 L bag which is premixed. The nutrient mix is NOT blended, thus you must use the entire bag when making the notated volume. You must add the entire 1 L bag to 1 L of water, and let powders fully dissolve. I like to rinse the bag to get all nutrients out.
After you have made a broth and the nutrients are fully mixed, it can be aliquoted and frozen for future use, or used within 12 hours.
I also sell the cordyceps specific nutrient premix alone, and I can do discounts on bulk orders of 5L or more of premix.
Procedure after purchasing the Cordyceps Kit:
If you have experience with agar then I recommend putting the wedge to a new agar plate to grow out and expand.
Follow steps 1-3 if you do not have a Liquid Culture (LC) recipe to use. If you have your own go to step 4 as you can save the second mix from the kit to make additional jars of the substrate with.
You can also purchase my cordyceps LC separately and skip steps 1-3.
1) Use 1L bag of premix to make 1L of LC. Add entire bag of contents to hot water, tap or distilled, and let all dissolve- a hot water bath and mixing can help this.
2) Pressure cook nutrient broth at 15 psi for 30-45 minutes. Follow instructions for your sterilizer. Consider purchasing some of my Modified Mycology Lids for your LC prep. You can split the mixed LC between 2 containers to grow the 2 strains from your kit at the same time for comparison.
3) Once cool to room temperature, inoculate with one of the provided agar wedges. Let grow 3-21 days with agitation until fully colonized with lots of mycelium within the mixture. Keeping the jar away from light during this step helps.
4) Prepare substrate- Use premix bag to make 1 L of nutrient broth (~5 cups rice, ~10 quart jar containers worth, scalable). Add hot water, tap or distilled, and let all dissolve- a hot water bath can help this.
5) Add ~1/2 cup dried rice to the bottom of each quart jar (X10). Add 100 mL of broth to rice. Swirl gently to mix.
6) Pressure cook the rice/liquid mixture for 60 minutes at 15 psi. I recommend adding foil to the top of the jars and only cooking as many as can sit upright in your PC.
7) Once cool, use ~1-10 mL of LC to inoculate each jar.
8) Let sit in complete darkness for ~1-3 weeks.
9) After full colonization, Move to well light room (6500k) at 60-65°F. You will see growth over the next 4-8 weeks of the fruitbodies. You may want to rotate jars depending on the location of your light source as they will lean towards it.
10) Show off your jars/fruits to me/others!
11) Once the fruit bodies are beginning to sporulate, they are ready to harvest (around 60 days). They can then be dried or used fresh. Consult your healthcare provider after educating yourself with the uses and doses. I cannot recommend daily doses at this time but you should start low and infrequently at first to ensure you have no negative allergic reactions.