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 either a 1 L or 0.5 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 fully dissolve. I like to rinse the bag to get all nutrients.
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.
Procedure after purchasing the Kit:
If you have experience with agar than 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 0.5 L mix from the kit to make additional jars of the substrate with.
1) Use 0.5L bag of premix to make 0.5 L 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.
3) Once cool to room temperature, inoculate with the provided agar wedge. Let grow 3-21 days with agitation until fully colonized with lots of mycelium within the mixture.
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 ~1-5 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). You will see growth over the next 2-4 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. 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.