- Grain Spawn FAQ
Grain Spawn FAQ
Is grain spawn the same as a mushroom grow kit?
No, grain spawn is not an all-in-one kit and cannot be used to fruit mushrooms out of the bag. Grain spawn must be mixed with bulk substrate before you can fruit it.
If you would like to purchase a ready-to-grow kit, try starting with a Spray & Grow Kit or Fruiting Block Kit.
How do I use grain spawn?
Grain spawn can be used in a wide variety of ways including indoor growing, outdoor growing, or to make more grain spawn. (Grain spawn can be used to make plug or sawdust spawn, not just other grain spawn.)
- Indoors, you can mix grain spawn with bulk substrate to grow in bags, in containers, or to create fruiting cakes.
- Outdoors, you can mix grain spawn with straw or wood chips to make beds and containers. (Note: Grain spawn can not be used for logs.)
- A grain-to-grain transfer allows you to extend the life of your grain and create more grain spawn.
Can I fruit my mushrooms off of grain spawn?
Unfortunately, mushrooms don’t fruit well off of just grain. Though some mushrooms may eventually grow off grain spawn, the yields will be miniscule. It's much better to use it to inoculate other substrates.
Most mushrooms prefer to fruit off of grain mixed with substrates like manure, hardwood, sawdust, compost, or straw. (Fun fact, oyster mushrooms will grow on all of these! )
If you are looking for an easy way to grow mushrooms indoors, try starting with a Spray & Grow Kit or Fruiting Block Kit. They are fully colonized on amended sawdust blocks and ready to grow.
What substrate should I use with my grain spawn?
Can I use North Spore sterile substrates with North Spore grain spawn?
Yes, you can! Our sterilized substrates are recommended for all indoor grows and many outdoor grows (that call for manure or hardwood.)
How much substrate can one 6lb bag of grain spawn inoculate?
One 6 lb. bag of grain will inoculate between 120-165 lb. sterilized sawdust, and 100-130 lb. pasteurized straw.
How do I store my grain spawn and for how long?
Our grain spawn can be stored for up to 3 months in the refrigerator.
Note: Our pink oyster spawn is not cold-tolerant and cannot be refrigerated. Store at room temperature for up to 1 month.
Can I use some spawn and save some for later?
Best practice is to plan on using all of your grain spawn bag once the bag is opened. Attempting to store it for prolonged use after it has been opened will most likely result in contamination.
My grain spawn looks uncolonized, is it ok to use?
All of our grain is fully colonized upon shipment. Some species we offer including Lion’s Mane, Pink Oyster, Hen and Chicken of the Woods typically have a faint mycelium and look uncolonized. Rest assured, they are! Your spawn may also look uncolonized if it gets a bit broken up in shipment. (This is similar to how it looks when you break up your spawn to use it!)
Your spawn is likely still 100% viable but if you still have concerns, please send us some photos at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be happy to take a look!
When do you use grain spawn vs. sawdust spawn?
You can use either type of spawn interchangeably outdoors. (Note: Grain spawn cannot be used for log inoculation.)
Some people prefer sawdust spawn for outdoor beds and containers as it contains less grain which can be appealing to the critters in your yard.
Is your grain spawn organic?
Yes, our grain spawn is USDA Certified Organic.
What type of bags does your grain spawn come in?
How is your grain sterilized before inoculation?
All of our grain spawn is sterilized in a commercial-grade autoclave. We also verify sterility using biological indicators and temperature sensors.
What is your grain spawn made from?
Our grain spawn is a proprietary blend that features nutrient-rich organic millet and wheat berries.
Should I purchase insulated shippers for my grain spawn?
We recommend using insulated shippers as long as daytime temperatures in your area are above 80 degrees. We guarantee that spawn shipped using our insulated shippers will arrive healthy and viable.
Our insulated shippers fit up to 4 bags of spawn each, and we charge a flat rate of $30 for the first shipper and $15 for each additional shipper, plus normal shipping costs. This covers the insulated shipper itself, the ice packs we use to keep the spawn cool, and extra shipping costs that result from the added weight of the ice packs.
What kind of yield can I expect from your grain spawn?
Unfortunately, it is difficult to estimate the overall yield of any project. This is because there are many ways to use grain spawn, many types of substrates, and every growing environment is unique.
Is my mushroom spawn moldy? What is the white or yellow substance?
Mushroom spawn will naturally develop a white (or yellow for Chicken of the Woods) mold-like layer called mycelium. This branching network of threads is the primary body of fungi, or vegetative structure. (A good analogy is to imagine mycelium like an apple tree, and a mushroom like an apple growing from it.)
Seeing mycelium growing throughout your bag is normal and indicates healthy mushroom spawn. However, if your spawn looks green or black, the culture may be contaminated and should be discarded. You can reach out to us for confirmation.
Healthy spawn bags with have different amounts of mushroom culture visible depending on the species. (For example, lion’s mane has a wispy and faint mycelium and looks uncolonized.) Often, mycelium is broken up in shipping, so it can appear less myceliated. Let it sit for a few days and it should bounce back.