Are you curious about how to grow psychedelic mushrooms at home but are unsure where to start? Then you’ve come to the right place. In this beginner’s guide, we’ll walk you through setting up your at-home shroomery. According to Urban Dictionary, a shroomery is basically an at-home shroom farm. You can start a shroomery today if you have a dedicated area for growing your own shrooms.
Why Start Your Own Shroom Farm
There are many reasons why someone would want to learn how to grow psychedelic mushrooms at home, from self-discovery to saving money to microdosing. Microdosing refers to ingesting a small, sub-hallucinogenic amount of a psychedelic substance. An at-home shroomery may be most beneficial for people interested in microdosing.
According to recent studies, microdosing magic mushrooms may provide symptom relief from the following health issues:
- ADHD/ ADD
- Mood instability
This is not an exhaustive list of the potential health benefits of microdosing. Some users report that microdosing helps improve their communication by helping slow down their thoughts so they can speak more efficiently. While this isn’t a health issue per se, not being able to communicate effectively can lead to stress, anxiety, or other mental health problems.
Whether you want to microdose as a means of self-exploration or you’re interested in microdosing for its health benefits – growing your own shrooms is an excellent way to control what goes into your body. It also ensures you always have the medicine you need.
How Long Does It Take to Grow Shrooms?
A complete growth cycle can take between one and three months, from preparation and inoculation through fruiting. The exact time it takes for your shroomery to produce harvestable fruits depends on several factors.
We’ll get into the step-by-step process for growing psychedelic mushrooms a little later so you can see how long each phase of the growing cycle takes.
Getting Started Growing Psychedelic Mushrooms
Before we begin discussing the growing process, we must define key terms, understand how to choose a species to grow, and review what supplies you’ll need to get started.
We’ll use the following terms as we talk about how to grow psychedelic mushrooms:
- Shroomery: A dedicated area or room where mushrooms are grown.
- Spores: Mushrooms and other fungi are grown from spores rather than seeds.
- Mycelium: The white, root-like substance that grows when spores are mixed with soil or another growing medium.
- Substrate (Shroom Substrate): The substance that mycelium can grow on, either brown rice flour or vermiculite.
- Spawn: A mushroom spawn refers to a substrate that already has mycelium growing on it.
Now that we’ve defined these terms let’s move on to how to pick which shrooms you want to grow.
How to Choose Which Shrooms to Grow
There are more than 180 mushroom species in nature, but only some are available to purchase as spores. Psilocybe cubensis mushrooms are the most common species chosen by amateur and experienced shroom cultivators. They are widely available, relatively easy to cultivate, and have potent psychoactive properties.
Subspecies of Psilocybe cubensis make up most of the commercial psychedelic market and include Golden Teacher, Psilocybe cubensis B+, Yeti, and Penis Envy. Golden Teacher and Psilocybe cubensis B+ are most popular among beginners. This species can get nutrition from manure, decomposing organic waste, or whole foods, unlike other species with more particular preferences.
What Supplies Do You Need to Start a Shroomery?
To get started with your shroomery, you’ll need a few things. You may already have some of the required supplies in your house; the rest you’ll need to purchase. Fortunately, most of these are one-time purchases and will be reusable for subsequent growing cycles.
Shroomery Ingredients Needed
- Shroom spores (syringe)
- Brown rice flour
- Vermiculite (medium/fine)
- Drinking water
Shroomery Equipment Needed
- Measuring cup
- Mixing bowl
- Heavy-duty aluminum foil
- Large cooking pot with a tight lid
- Sterilized half-pint canning jars with lids
- Small towel
- Micropore tape
- Clear plastic storage box (50-115L)
- Hammer and small nail
- Drill with a 1/4-inch drill bit
- Mist spray bottle
- Perlite (amorphous volcanic glass)
Shroomery Hygiene Supplies Needed
- Surface disinfectant
- Air sanitizer
- Rubbing alcohol
- Butane or propane torch lighter
You can choose to use sterilized latex gloves and a surgical mask to protect yourself and your shroomery even more. Cleanliness and hygiene are crucial for growing shrooms.
How to Grow Psychedelic Mushrooms At Home
Growing psychedelic mushrooms requires distinct phases. Each phase is vital and requires care and attention to ensure the success of your shroomery. There are various schools of thought about each phase of cultivation. Here we’ll provide a brief overview of the six most common phases but encourage you to explore what works for you.
Throughout each phase, you’ll want to ensure your environment is as sterile as possible. Take a shower, brush your teeth, and wear clean clothes before interacting with your shroom farm. You’ll also want to disinfect your equipment and surfaces and spray an air sanitizer before tending to your shrooms.
Phase 1: Preparation
First, disinfect all your equipment. Combine ⅔ cup of vermiculite and ¼ cup water in your mixing bowl, draining excess water using the strainer. Add ¼ cup of brown rice flour (per jar you intend to fill) to the vermiculite/water in the mixing bowl. Using your hammer and nail, punch four evenly-spaced holes in the lid of each jar.
Fill the jars with your mix, leaving half an inch below the rim. Sterilize the top of the jars with rubbing alcohol before adding a layer of dry vermiculite and screwing on the lids. Cover the jars with aluminum foil and secure the edges to prevent water and condensation from getting through the holes.
Place the jars on top of the towel in your large cooking pot, ensuring the jars don’t touch the base. Fill the pot with water until the level covers the bottom half of the jars, then bring the water to a slow boil. Put the tight-fitting lid on the pot and let it steam for an hour and a half. Leave the jars to cool for several hours until they are at room temperature.
Phase 2: Inoculation
Sanitize and prepare your spores syringe by using a lighter to heat the length of the needle until it glows red hot. Let it cool before wiping it with alcohol. Remove the foil one at a time from each jar, and inject the syringe as far as it will go into each hole.
Inject an even amount of the spore solution across all holes and jars, sterilizing and cleaning the needle with alcohol between injections. Cover the holes with micropore tape and set the jars back in your shroomery without replacing the foil.
Phase 3: Germination and Colonization
Place your inoculated jars away from direct sunlight and try to keep the temperature in your shroomery between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Look for signs of contamination, such as weird smells or colors, and throw away contaminated jars immediately without removing the lids.
Mycelium should be visible within one or two weeks. Wait another three weeks to give the mycelium time to strengthen its hold on the substrate.
Phase 4: Preparing the Grow Chamber
Take your clear plastic storage box (aka grow chamber) and drill quarter-inch holes evenly-spaced about two inches apart on all sides, including the base and the lid. Set the box in your shroomery so air can flow through the holes on all sides, including underneath. To avoid cracking the container with the drill bit, place a block of wood on the other side of the plastic before drilling.
Soak the perlite with cold tap water in the strainer and let it drain until it stops dripping. Spread the perlite over the base of your grow chamber. Repeat this process until the perlite is between four and five inches deep.
Phase 5: Fruiting
Carefully remove the lids and dry layer of vermiculite from each jar without damaging the substrates (aka cakes). Turn each jar upside-down onto a disinfected surface, so the cakes come out of the jar whole. Rinse each cake under cold tap water to wash away any remaining loose vermiculite.
Submerge the cakes in lukewarm water in your cooking pot for 24 hours at room temperature. Put dry vermiculite in the mixing bowl and roll the cakes one at a time, thoroughly coating each one. Place a small square of aluminum foil under each cake before spacing them evenly in the grow chamber.
Ensure the cakes do not touch the perlite before misting the chamber with your spray bottle. Fan the grow chamber with the lid before closing it. Mist the chamber at least four times daily to maintain the correct humidity. Each time you mist the grow chamber, fan with the lid before replacing it to increase airflow.
Phase 6: Harvest
Your fruits (aka shrooms) will show up first as small, white bumps before sprouting. They will be ready for harvest within 5-12 days. The more they mature, the less potent they become, so it’s best to cut them before they reach the end of their growth.
The best time to harvest is when the caps are light and cone-shaped, just before the veil breaks. Cut your shrooms as close to the cake as you can.
Do’s and Don’ts of Growing Shrooms
Mushrooms require particular conditions for optimal growth. Light, moisture, and temperature are all critical for fostering a healthy growing environment for your shrooms. A dark or shaded location is best for growing shrooms. Keep your shroom farm out of direct sunlight for the best results.
When growing psychedelic mushrooms, it’s vital to use the correct type of water. You’ll want to use water without chlorine; this includes most municipal tap water. If you can’t get another kind of water, let the water sit for at least 24 hours to give the chlorine time to evaporate.
Shrooms thrive in specific temperatures. The ideal temp for growth is between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. If your shroomery temps fall too far outside this range, your mushrooms may grow slowly. In some cases, they may not grow at all. If you’re serious about growing your own shrooms, be prepared to maintain their temperature throughout the growing process.
If you’re growing psychedelic mushrooms for microdosing or future use, how you store them will determine their potency and freshness. Keeping them in a fridge might seem like the best way to keep them fresh, but psilocybin mushrooms will go bad in a few weeks if kept in a refrigerator.
For long-term storage, the most effective method is to dry your shrooms and keep them in a cool, dark, and dry place. This will keep them potent for up to two or three years. If you dry them and keep them in the freezer, they may last much longer.
Some drying methods diminish the potency. Using a dehydrator seems to be the most efficient method with minimal loss of potency, but it can be expensive. Keep this in mind when deciding how much to grow in your shroomery and what drying methods to use.
Is Growing Your Own Shrooms Legal?
The legality of magic mushrooms is more complex than you might realize. Throughout most of the US and the world, growing or possessing psychedelic mushrooms is illegal. Magic mushrooms have been decriminalized in some areas of the world; this includes the cultivation process. If you don’t live in one of these places, there is a legal loophole you may be able to use to your advantage.
Purchasing magic shrooms spores is legal since the laws focus on banning the active ingredients psilocybin and psilocin. You can buy spores from online retailers because magic mushroom spores don’t contain psilocybin or psilocin, the active compounds in psychedelic mushrooms.
Think You’re Ready to Start Your At-Home Shroomery?
As we mentioned earlier, many ways to grow psychedelic mushrooms exist. The method we provided is a great way to start as a beginner. After you’ve grown a couple of batches, you may make adjustments to your shroomery as you continue to learn about other methods for growing your own shrooms.It may feel daunting at the start, but once you’ve done it once or twice, the process will feel less overwhelming. Most importantly, remember to enjoy this process. Having your own shroomery allows you to access the medicine you need when you need it.