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Shitake Mushroom Log


Poots
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On the Wine Enthusiast web site, they have for sale a Shitake Mushroom log. Just add water and you have your own shitake mushrooms. Check it here:

http://wineenthusiast.com/shopping/prod_de...80-F98FF71C7C9A

Anyone every heard of this or bought it?

They also have a working mini distillery that's pretty cool. The funny thing about it is that it says it can make wine into brandy, but then has a disclaimer that it's only legal in the US if it's Never actually Used... :raz:

http://wineenthusiast.com/shopping/prod_de...80-F98FF71C7C9A

Yield to Temptation, It may never come your way again.

 --Lazarus Long

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Why do you find that terrifying, badthings? That is what mushrooms grow on, plant fiber. Some kinds grow on rotting wood, some have a relationship with living underground root systems. All they did was "package" the thing. I saw a show some time ago where they visited a commercial mushroom production facility. The shitake growing didn't look much different, just larger scale.

I bought one of these for my sister last year but I don't think she has tried it yet.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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On the Wine Enthusiast web site, they have for sale a Shitake Mushroom log. Just add water and you have your own shitake mushrooms. Check it here:

http://wineenthusiast.com/shopping/prod_de...80-F98FF71C7C9A

I've never done it with Shiitake but I was given an Oyster Log several years ago. They are very, very cool but incredibly high maintenance.

It was when I lived in Southern California and had a spare guest bathroom with an enclosed shower that was never used. The log had to be spray-misted two or three times a week to keep it moist. Once going, it was fabulous to step into my guest bathroom for fresh Oyster mushrooms.

I highly recommend them, if you are up to the challenge!

They also have a working mini distillery that's pretty cool. The funny thing about it is that it says it can make wine into brandy, but then has a disclaimer that it's only legal in the US if it's Never actually Used... 

http://wineenthusiast.com/shopping/prod_de...80-F98FF71C7C9A

Funny you mention this in the same thread as I bought one of these for Shawn for Christmas a few years ago (when they were offered through the Signals catalogue). We went through quite a headache as it arrived with several broken parts. It tooks months to finally get a complete unit and it looked so alchemical, sitting on a bookshelf. He never got around to trying it out, though! He wanted to wait until he could buy a miniature oak barrel to make lots eau de vie that would become brandy... :biggrin:

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The shiitake logs are for real, but I notice the company doesn't tell you what kind of output you can expect. It certainly isn't limitless production, like having a sourdough yeast starter. I think they produce about 2 pounds of mushrooms (at least, the ones I've seen elsewhere do so). I get my shiitakes at Nob Hill in Capitola for about $8/pound, which is a fantastic price.

By the way, as much as I love them, shiitakes have about ten times the calories of regular mushrooms.

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:laugh:

Andrew, You are reading my mind.

I was just sitting here wondering... What if I could get the spores and knew how to mix it with the sawdust, wood shavings or whatever it is? Then I could make my own mushroom topiaries, you know... animals and such.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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You can buy these in the supermarkets in Japan (as well as from catalogs) for a variety of mushrooms not just shiitake. I too thought the yield would probably not be worth the amount I was paying considering the fact they are selling it next to a good sized bag of shiitake that only costs about $1....

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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It tooks months to finally get a complete unit and it looked so alchemical, sitting on a bookshelf.

They do seem to end up sitting on bookshelves a lot - a friend of ours has one, but has actually used it to produce a blueberry brandy he calls "Curious Blue Fluid." Potent stuff, but very good - I macerated some blueberries in it for a blueberry cheesecake ice cream, but it's apparently drinkable (in VERY small sips) straight as well.

The only complaint was, because the distilling apparatus itself is so small, it takes literally hours to produce any quantity of distillate. That's probably just as well, though.

I thought the shiitake log was kind of cool, but I wouldn't want one - I grew up within smelling distance of a mushroom production facility, and I've had fungus issues ever since. :hmmm:

"Tea and cake or death! Tea and cake or death! Little Red Cookbook! Little Red Cookbook!" --Eddie Izzard
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The shiitake logs are for real, but I notice the company doesn't tell you what kind of output you can expect. It certainly isn't limitless production, like having a sourdough yeast starter.

This is true. The log kits claim that they'll produce for 2-3 years if you "force" the mushrooms every couple of months. Eventually, though, the log runs out of fuel for the mushrooms. Also, if you don't get a successful crop at first, you might not get any subsequent crops. The shiitake kits may be worth the $40+, or they may not. Mileage may vary.

Another way to go is growing shrooms on hanging burlap bags filled with some kind of organic material. (Buckwheat hulls are common.) A lot of commercial growers do this now, and it's a process that's easy enough to scale down to one corner of your garage, or maybe even an extra closet. A guy at my local farmer's market grows oyster mushrooms, shiitake (two i's, by the way), hedgehogs, and lots of other interesting stuff. A big plus is that when they're grown like this, they're entirely clean when harvested.

Anyone who really wants to grow mushrooms at home should skip the kits and gow to the real source -- mycology supply catalogs. Google "mycology supplies" and you're in business.

amanda

Googlista

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Mudpuppie, you realize that you are leading me to perdition with that google tip. My god... The books and the toys that I could acquire! :biggrin:

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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Mudpuppie, you realize that you are leading me to perdition with that google tip. My god... The books and the toys that I could acquire! :biggrin:

Yessss! Another sucker suckered into doing my experiments....

Forgot to mention you can grow enokis too.

amanda

Googlista

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Fungi Perfecti sell more than just shitake logs. I have been interested in their "Espresso Oyster" for several months because I drink so much coffee that I should be able to support it for quite a while (and I have an old aquarium in dry dock that would make a great terrarium to grow them in).

They have many types of indoor kits and outdoor kits. I've been curious to try their wares for nearly a year, but haven't had the cash flow. Alas and alack.

Edited by jsolomon (log)

I always attempt to have the ratio of my intelligence to weight ratio be greater than one. But, I am from the midwest. I am sure you can now understand my life's conundrum.

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Poots,

It's common for those who enjoy the process to grow mushrooms at home. I grew Oyster mushrooms a couple of months ago. Pretty easy, just try to keep up with them once they start, you can just about "see" them grow because they grow so fast. It's completely fascinating.

There are plenty of sites which sell mushroom kits.

:smile:

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  • 2 years later...

I have a friend who has grown shitake commercially for about 10 years. At the holiday farmers market (generally early to mid-December) he often sells innoculated logs ~2 feet in length. I've had pretty good luck with them. The yield is not infinite; they do go dormant. And, if you can't be bothered with houseplants, this is probably not for you. You initially soak it for about 24 hours, then put it in a cool, dark place; they need to be misted or somehow have moisture added periodically for maximum growth.

In short, one log probably isn't going to seem worth it, apart from the satisfaction of growing your own. Or if you have trouble getting quality shitake where you are. But, if you have space for, say, a half-dozen (and the time to check on them periodically) you could actually keep yourself supplied, depending on your consumption, of course.

Oaken logs are what my friend uses; you drill holes in them and innoculate them with spore, which can be purchased in syringes from a variety of sources (just google).

Judy Jones aka "moosnsqrl"

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.

M.F.K. Fisher

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Some time ago, either on the Food Network or the History Channel, a commercial mushroom farm was shown. It was located underground in a former mine of some kind. The mushrooms were grown in long rectangular wood-framed planter beds. The main organic component of the growth medium was 'well-rotted horse manure'. They quoted the workers that 'after the first few days on the job, you don't even notice the smell'.

Regards,

Michael Lloyd

Mill Creek, Washington USA

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A number of small scale commercial producers use modified 40' shipping containers to grow mushrooms. Some mushroom growing methods smell worse than others - sawdust and used coffee grinds work well for shitake, maitake, and oyster mushrooms. I've grown mushrooms at home off and on but I can never get motivated to put much effort into it since the forests around here are full of mushrooms for half the year.

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Those look great.  I wonder if you could give us an idea of the cost/effort versus store-bought.  Also, how different is the flavor?

Cost:

When you consider the cost, you just don't want to start mushroom cultivation. Store-bought mushrooms are much cheaper.

First, very roughtly, 100 yen = 1 dollar.

The three maitake logs and three oyster logs cost me 4,725 yen in total.

The three shiitake logs cost me 1,000 yen. I bought them at a local industrial fair. They usually cost more (about twice as much).

The shading sheet needed to protect these logs from direct sunlight cost me about 2,300 yen.

You have to make sure that the logs are moist, which means you have to water them occassionally.

These logs are usually good for two or three years.

Flavor:

The maitake mushrooms were denser and more aromatic than store-bought. I liked them! Store-bought ones are usually more spongy.

I was disappointed by the oyster mushrooms. They were quite like store-bought ones. :sad:

The jumbo shiitake mushroom. It was great. The tastiest shiitake I've ever had! :biggrin:

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since the forests around here are full of mushrooms for half the year.

I envy you. Here in Japan, the mushroom gathering season is usually from September through November. My son and I weren't very lucky with mushroom gathering this fall.

One of the greatest advantages of cultivated mushrooms is that they are almost pest-free. When you find wild mushrooms, they usually have little worms in them. I put those mushrooms in very dense salt water to get rid of the worms. In that process, much of the flavor and texture is gone. With cultivated mushrooms, this problem rarely happens.

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