What's the difference between the half-pint jars and grain jars that we offer?
Let's be real- we have quite a few different substrate jars that we offer. But what is the main difference between them?
Half-Pint Jars (BRF jars)
The main components of our half-pint jars are brown rice flour and vermiculite. The top 1/2 inch or so of the jar is just vermiculite; this acts as a protective layer, preventing any contaminants from getting inside. We recommend these for beginners-they are the easiest to inoculate successfully. We sell them in 6 and 12-packs, so you have some room for error, too! Although they are less susceptible contamination, brown rice flour is not as nutritious as whole grains, making the anticipated yield smaller than it would be if you were using a whole grain spawn. The most popular way to fruit half-pint jars is in a humidified chamber; our Mega, Ultimate, and Simple Kit are all examples, as well as a couple of our Ecosphere models! Although they can be fruited using other methods, they perform best fruiting individually in a sealed, humid chamber with consistent fresh air exchange.
Grain jars are exactly what they sound like- sterilized whole grains, with just a little bit of pH stabilizers to increase colonization times. Whole grains are the ideal food source for mycelium, making yields much larger than you'd expect with the half-pint jars. Although it sounds perfect, the lack of protective materials/additives makes the grains much more susceptible to contamination after inoculation. For best results, cultivators use liquid culture solution or colonized agar; this skips the germination process, lowering the colonization times and chances of contamination drastically. Grain jars are most often used in a bulk or 'monotub' grow; once fully colonized, you break up the grains and combine them with a non-nutritious substrate to increase the surface area. The mushrooms will then fruit from a bed, similar to how they grow in nature! Our Deluxe, Monsoon/Essential Substrate Ecosphere, and All-in-One Monobag Kits use this model! Although it should be pretty smooth sailing once you get the spawn and substrate combined, it's possible that contamination could creep into your chamber, potentially costing you the entire grow. We recommend giving grains a try once you feel you have mastered cultivation with the half-pint jars and have a good understanding of the components necessary for a successful grow.
- Not too difficult to get inoculated
- Room for error
- Affordable ingredients
- Lower yield
- Can require more materials/accessories
- High yield- lots of mushrooms!
- Easy to find pre-sterilized spawn and substrate
- More difficult to inoculate successfully
- Little room for error
- May require more room in your growing area