How to Grow Mushrooms in a Jar: Compact Fungiculture

Growing mushrooms in a jar is a compact and convenient way to cultivate your own mushrooms. By following a step-by-step process, you can create a DIY mycology lab in your kitchen and enjoy the benefits of fresh, homegrown mushrooms. In this article, we will explore the detailed instructions and techniques for successfully growing mushrooms in a jar.

Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or a curious beginner, growing mushrooms in a jar is an exciting and rewarding project. It allows you to have complete control over the cultivation process and provides a cost-effective method for producing your own edible fungi.

Key Takeaways:

  • Growing mushrooms in a jar is a compact and convenient way to cultivate your own mushrooms.
  • By following a step-by-step process, you can create a DIY mycology lab in your kitchen.
  • Homegrown mushrooms offer freshness and flavor that surpasses store-bought varieties.
  • Growing mushrooms in a jar can be a cost-effective method for producing your own edible fungi.
  • Experimenting with different mushroom species can add variety and excitement to your culinary endeavors.

Preparing the Broth for Liquid Culture

Preparing the nutrient-rich broth is a crucial step in the liquid culture method of mushroom cultivation. This process involves measuring and preparing the broth using light malt extract as the primary nutrient source. Optionally, you can incorporate brewer’s yeast for an extra nutrient boost.

The correct proportions and measurements ensure the ideal nutrient balance for healthy and robust mycelium growth. The malt extract provides carbohydrates and sugars, while brewer’s yeast adds proteins and B vitamins. The combination of these ingredients creates a favorable environment for mycelial expansion and development.

To prepare the broth, start by dissolving the malt extract and brewer’s yeast in boiling water, following the recommended proportions. Stir the mixture until fully dissolved, and then allow it to cool down to room temperature. Once cooled, the nutrient-rich broth is ready to be used for liquid culture inoculation, providing the necessary nourishment for the mycelium to flourish.

Table: Nutrient Composition of Liquid Culture Broth

Ingredient Amount
Light Malt Extract 10 grams
Brewer’s Yeast (optional) 2 grams
Boiling Water 500 milliliters

Note: The amounts mentioned in the table are for illustrative purposes. Please refer to the specific instructions and recommendations provided with your liquid culture recipe or kit for precise measurements.

By preparing a nutrient-rich broth with the right balance of ingredients, you can provide the ideal conditions for successful mushroom cultivation through liquid culture. This method offers a convenient and efficient way to propagate mycelium and initiate the growth of healthy and vigorous mushrooms.

Filling Containers with Liquid Culture

Once you have prepared the nutrient-rich broth for liquid culture, it’s time to fill your containers. Mason jars and media bottles are commonly used for this purpose. Make sure the containers are clean and dry before proceeding.

To aid in the distribution of the mycelium later in the cultivation process, insert a magnetic stir rod or a glass marble into each jar. This helps to break apart the mycelium and promote even growth.

Carefully pour the prepared broth into each container, leaving some space at the top to allow for mycelium expansion. It’s important to use specialized lids that allow for syringe inoculation and gas exchange while preventing contamination.

Now your containers are ready for the next step in the mushroom cultivation process. With the liquid culture securely sealed and the mycelium on its way to thriving, you’re one step closer to a successful harvest.

fill containers

Table: Comparison of Container Types for Liquid Culture

Container Type Advantages Disadvantages
Mason Jars Readily available, easy to handle Limited capacity, may require more frequent transfers
Media Bottles Higher capacity, built-in air filters More expensive, may be harder to find

Sterilizing the Containers

Sterilizing the mason jars or media bottles filled with liquid culture broth is a critical step in mushroom cultivation. To ensure the elimination of potential contaminants and the successful development of mycelium, follow a detailed guide for sterilizing the containers. This involves preparing the pressure cooker, loading the jars, adding water, securing the lid, heating and pressurizing, maintaining sterilization, cooling down, and unloading.

Proper sterilization is vital to create a controlled and clean environment for the growth of mushrooms. Using a pressure cooker is an effective method to achieve the necessary high temperatures required for sterilization. The high pressure inside the cooker allows the temperature to reach levels that effectively kill any unwanted microorganisms.

To sterilize mason jars, start by adding water to the pressure cooker, ensuring it covers at least half the height of the jars. Load the jars with the liquid culture broth and securely close the lids. Place the jars inside the pressure cooker and seal the cooker with its lid. Heat the pressure cooker to the desired temperature and pressure according to the specific mushroom species and type of substrate being used.

Maintain the sterilization temperature and pressure for the recommended duration, typically around 60 to 90 minutes. Afterward, turn off the heat and allow the pressure cooker to cool down naturally. Avoid opening the pressure cooker until the pressure has fully released and the cooker has cooled down. Once cooled, carefully remove the sterilized jars from the pressure cooker, keeping them in a clean and sterile environment until ready for inoculation.

sterilize mason jars

Table: Sterilization Process for Mason Jars

Step Description
1 Add water to the pressure cooker, ensuring it covers at least half the height of the jars.
2 Load the jars with the liquid culture broth and securely close the lids.
3 Place the jars inside the pressure cooker and seal the cooker with its lid.
4 Heat the pressure cooker to the desired temperature and pressure according to the specific mushroom species and substrate.
5 Maintain the sterilization temperature and pressure for the recommended duration (usually 60-90 minutes).
6 Turn off the heat and allow the pressure cooker to cool down naturally.
7 Carefully remove the sterilized jars from the pressure cooker, keeping them in a clean and sterile environment until ready for inoculation.

Inoculation Process

The inoculation process is a key step in mushroom cultivation, where you introduce mushroom spores or mycelium into your sterile liquid cultures. This step allows for the growth and development of mycelial culture, which is essential for cultivating mushrooms. Whether you choose to inoculate with spores or take a tissue culture (clone) from a living mushroom, both methods lead to the expansion and multiplication of mycelium, the network of fungal threads that grow beneath the surface.

Inoculating with spores involves collecting spore prints and dispersing them onto the sterile culture media. This method allows for the exploration of genetic diversity and can result in the growth of unique mushroom strains. On the other hand, taking a tissue culture involves transferring a small piece of living tissue from a mushroom onto the culture media. This method allows for the replication of desired characteristics from a known mushroom species.

Before undergoing the inoculation process, it is crucial to ensure a sterile environment by sterilizing all tools and equipment. This sterility prevents contamination and ensures the successful growth of mycelium. Common sterilization methods include the use of pressure cookers or autoclaves to heat-treat the tools and media, as well as working in a laminar flow hood to maintain a sterile work area.

Benefits of Inoculating with Liquid Culture

Inoculating with liquid culture offers several advantages in mushroom cultivation. Liquid culture contains a higher concentration of mycelium than spore syringes, allowing for faster colonization of the substrate. Additionally, liquid culture provides a more controlled and consistent inoculation process, resulting in more predictable and successful mushroom growth.

Advantages of Liquid Culture Inoculation
Higher mycelium concentration
Faster colonization of substrate
More controlled and consistent process
Predictable and successful mushroom growth

Overall, the inoculation process is a crucial step in mushroom cultivation, allowing for the introduction of spores or mycelium into sterile cultures. Whether using spores or tissue culture, this step sets the stage for the growth and development of mycelial culture, ultimately leading to the cultivation of mushrooms.

Mushroom Cultivation Methods

When it comes to mushroom cultivation, there are various methods that you can choose from based on your preferences and resources. These methods can be broadly categorized into outdoor and indoor techniques, each with its own unique advantages and considerations.

Outdoor methods typically involve using grain spawn to inoculate secondary substrates such as logs, wood chips, or straw. Mason jars filled with spawn serve as the initial incubation vessel. This method allows for larger-scale mushroom cultivation and is well-suited for cultivating species like oyster mushrooms and shiitake mushrooms.

Indoor methods, on the other hand, utilize grain spawn to inoculate composted horse manure in foil food trays. This method is more compact and can be done in a controlled environment such as a greenhouse or a dedicated room in your house. It is ideal for species like button mushrooms and portobello mushrooms.

Growing Mushrooms using Grain Spawn

Grain spawn is a popular choice for mushroom cultivation as it provides a nutrient-rich substrate for mycelium growth. To use grain spawn, you will first need to prepare the grains by sterilizing them and then inoculate them with a mushroom culture. This method allows for faster colonization of the substrate and can be used in both outdoor and indoor settings.


Method Advantages Considerations
  • Allows for larger-scale cultivation
  • Utilizes natural materials like logs and wood chips
  • Favors certain mushroom species
  • Requires outdoor space
  • Longer cultivation process
  • More vulnerable to environmental factors
  • Can be done in a controlled environment
  • Allows for year-round cultivation
  • Provides more control over growing conditions
  • Requires dedicated indoor space
  • Initial setup cost for equipment and supplies
  • Limited to certain mushroom species

With these different mushroom cultivation methods, you can choose the one that best suits your needs and resources. Whether you opt for outdoor or indoor cultivation, the key is to provide the right growing conditions and ensure the proper colonization of the substrate. By following the appropriate techniques and using quality spawn, you can enjoy a successful mushroom cultivation journey.

BRF Tek Method: Fast and Easy DIY Mushroom Growing

The BRF Tek method, also known as the Brown Rice Flour technique, is a popular and efficient way to grow mushrooms indoors. This method offers a fast and straightforward approach to mushroom cultivation, making it ideal for beginners and those looking for quick results. By following a few simple steps, you can create your own mushroom growing setup and enjoy a bountiful harvest in just a couple of months.

To begin the BRF Tek method, you’ll need a few essentials: brown rice flour, vermiculite, water, mason jars, and a spore syringe or liquid culture. The first step is to prepare the substrate by mixing brown rice flour and vermiculite with water. The mixture should have a consistency that is slightly damp but not too wet. Fill each mason jar with the substrate, leaving a small gap at the top. Then, cover the jars with aluminum foil or a breathable lid.

Next, the jars need to be sterilized to eliminate any potential contaminants. This can be done using a pressure cooker or a boiling water bath method. Once the jars have cooled down, they are ready to be inoculated. Injecting the spore syringe or liquid culture into the substrate is the crucial step to introduce the mushroom mycelium. After inoculation, allow the jars to incubate in a dark and warm environment for a few weeks. You’ll start to see the mycelium spread and colonize the substrate.

Once the mycelium has fully colonized the substrate, it’s time to initiate the fruiting process. Transfer the colonized cakes to a terrarium or fruiting chamber, where they will be exposed to light and proper humidity. In the right conditions, mushrooms will begin to form and grow from the cakes. With regular misting and proper airflow, you can ensure optimal conditions for mushroom development and achieve a successful harvest.

Advantages of the BRF Tek Method

  • Fast results: The BRF Tek method offers a relatively short cultivation time, with mushrooms ready for harvest within two to three months.
  • Easy and beginner-friendly: This method requires minimal equipment and is straightforward to follow, making it accessible to beginners in mushroom cultivation.
  • Compact and scalable: The BRF Tek method allows for growing mushrooms in small spaces, making it suitable for urban dwellers or those with limited garden space. Additionally, it can be easily scaled up to accommodate larger production.
  • Versatile: The BRF Tek method can be used to grow a wide range of mushroom species, including popular varieties such as oyster, shiitake, and lion’s mane.

BRF Tek Method

Comparison of BRF Tek Method with Other Techniques

Method Advantages Disadvantages
BRF Tek Fast results
Compact and scalable
Requires regular maintenance
Small individual yields
Grain Spawn High yields
Less maintenance required
Requires more advanced techniques
Longer cultivation time
Straw Substrate Large yields
Requires pasteurization
More space required

“The BRF Tek method is a great choice for beginners or those looking for a fast and easy way to grow mushrooms. With its simplicity and versatility, anyone can enjoy the rewarding experience of cultivating their own fungi at home.” – Mushroom Enthusiast

Environmental Factors for Mushroom Fruiting

Fruiting mushrooms require specific environmental conditions to thrive. By understanding and manipulating these factors, you can create an optimal environment for mushroom formation. Let’s explore the key environmental factors that play a crucial role in the initiation and successful production of mushrooms.


Temperature is a vital factor in mushroom fruiting. Different mushroom species have specific temperature requirements for optimal growth and fruiting. For example, oyster mushrooms (Pleurotus spp.) typically thrive in temperatures between 65-75°F (18-24°C), while shiitake mushrooms (Lentinula edodes) prefer slightly cooler temperatures around 55-65°F (13-18°C). It’s important to maintain a consistent temperature within the desired range throughout the fruiting phase to ensure proper development and yield.


Adequate moisture is essential for mushroom fruiting. Mushrooms require a steady supply of water to support their growth and development. To maintain optimal moisture levels, mist the growing area regularly, ensuring that the substrate remains moist but not waterlogged. You can also place trays of water nearby to increase humidity and provide a humid microclimate for the mushrooms.


Humidity plays a critical role in mushroom fruiting. Most mushrooms thrive in high humidity environments, typically between 80-90%. Maintaining proper humidity levels is crucial for the formation of primordia (small mushroom pins) and subsequent fruiting. To increase humidity, you can use a humidifier or place the fruiting chamber in a room with naturally high humidity, such as a bathroom.

Carbon Dioxide

Carbon dioxide (CO2) levels can influence the fruiting process of mushrooms. While mushrooms require some CO2 for growth, elevated levels can inhibit fruiting and lead to elongated, spindly stems. It’s important to promote proper air circulation and gas exchange within the growing area to prevent CO2 buildup. This can be achieved by providing adequate ventilation or using fans to circulate air, ensuring a fresh supply of oxygen for the mushrooms.


Light is an important determinant of mushroom fruiting. While some mushrooms thrive in low light conditions, others require exposure to light for proper fruiting. For species that require light, it’s crucial to provide a suitable light source, such as natural sunlight or artificial lighting. The duration and intensity of light exposure may vary depending on the mushroom species. It’s recommended to follow specific guidelines for light requirements based on the mushroom species you are cultivating.

fruiting mushrooms

Creating the right environmental conditions for mushroom fruiting is essential for a successful harvest. By carefully managing temperature, water, humidity, carbon dioxide levels, and light, you can optimize the fruiting process and maximize your mushroom yields.

Importance of Sterility in Mushroom Cultivation

When it comes to mushroom cultivation, maintaining sterility is crucial for ensuring successful growth and preventing contamination. The sterility of your laboratory or work environment plays a significant role in minimizing the risk of unwanted contaminants, such as molds and bacteria. By following proper sterilization techniques and utilizing micron filters in laminar flow hoods, you can create a controlled environment that promotes healthy mycelium growth and reduces the chances of failed cultures.

Contamination can have detrimental effects on your mushroom cultivation efforts. It can inhibit mycelium growth, lead to weak or stunted mushrooms, and even cause complete failure of your crop. That’s why it’s essential to prioritize sterility at every stage of the cultivation process, from preparing the nutrient-rich broth to filling containers and inoculating spores or mycelium.

The use of micron filters in laminar flow hoods is an effective way to maintain sterility in your laboratory. These filters act as barriers, allowing only clean air to pass through while blocking out contaminants. They help to create a clean, controlled airflow that reduces the risk of contamination during the inoculation and incubation processes. Incorporating micron filters into your setup can save you time and effort by minimizing the chances of contamination, leading to higher success rates and healthier mushroom growth.

Key Points:
Maintaining sterility is essential in mushroom cultivation to prevent contamination and ensure successful growth.
The sterility of your laboratory or work environment minimizes the risk of unwanted contaminants.
Using micron filters in laminar flow hoods can help prevent contamination and save time by reducing the chances of failed cultures.

By prioritizing sterility in your mushroom cultivation process, you can increase your chances of a thriving and successful crop. Whether you are cultivating mushrooms for personal enjoyment or considering it as a potential business venture, maintaining a sterile culture is essential for achieving optimal results.

Mushroom Cultivation Resources

When embarking on a journey into mushroom cultivation, it’s essential to have access to reliable resources that provide valuable information and guidance. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced cultivator looking to expand your knowledge, there are various resources available to help you along the way. From books and video instructions to specialized mycology supply shops, these resources offer a wealth of information and practical advice to enhance your mushroom cultivation experience.

Books are a great starting point for learning about mushroom cultivation techniques and methods. “Growing Gourmet & Medicinal Mushrooms” by Paul Stamets is a comprehensive guide that covers everything from mushroom biology to advanced cultivation techniques. Another valuable resource is “The Mushroom Cultivator” by Paul Stamets and Jeff Chilton, which provides detailed insights into the cultivation of specific mushroom species.

If you prefer visual learning, video instructions can be a valuable resource to supplement your knowledge. Online platforms like YouTube offer a wide range of videos that demonstrate various cultivation techniques and provide step-by-step instructions. These videos can be particularly helpful in understanding the practical aspects of mushroom cultivation.

In addition to books and videos, mycology supply shops are a valuable resource for acquiring the necessary tools and supplies for mushroom cultivation. These specialized shops offer a wide range of products, including mushroom spores, substrate materials, sterilization equipment, and cultivation kits. By purchasing from reputable mycology supply shops, you can ensure that you have access to high-quality materials and equipment for your cultivation endeavors.

Resource Description
Books Comprehensive guides on mushroom cultivation techniques and methods
Video Instructions Visual demonstrations and step-by-step instructions for mushroom cultivation
Mycology Supply Shops Specialized shops offering tools, supplies, and cultivation kits for mushroom cultivation

“Books and videos are excellent resources to kickstart your mushroom cultivation journey. They provide valuable insights into various techniques and methods, helping you understand the intricacies of the process. Additionally, mycology supply shops offer a convenient way to acquire the necessary tools and materials for successful cultivation. Utilize these resources to enhance your knowledge and embark on a rewarding mushroom cultivation experience.”

– Mushroom Enthusiast

Final Thoughts on Mushroom Cultivation

Growing mushrooms at home can be a rewarding and enriching experience. Not only do you have a fresh and flavorful supply of mushrooms at your fingertips, but you also have the opportunity to cultivate medicinal and highly nutritious varieties. With their unique flavors and textures, mushrooms can add depth and complexity to any dish, while also providing a range of health benefits.

One of the key advantages of growing your own mushrooms is the increased level of food security it offers. By cultivating your own supply, you have greater control over your food sources, reducing reliance on store-bought produce. This self-sufficiency can help ensure a stable and reliable food supply, especially during times of scarcity or disruption.

Furthermore, many medicinal benefits are associated with various mushroom species. From immune-boosting properties to anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, mushrooms have been used in traditional medicine for centuries. With your own mushroom cultivation, you can have easy access to these valuable medicinal mushrooms and incorporate them into your wellness routine.

In addition to their medicinal value, mushrooms are a nutritional powerhouse. They are low in calories, fat-free, and cholesterol-free, making them an excellent choice for those looking to maintain a healthy diet. Mushrooms are also a rich source of essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber. By growing your own nutritious mushrooms, you can enjoy the health benefits they provide while having full confidence in their freshness and quality.


In conclusion, growing mushrooms in a jar is a fascinating and accessible journey that anyone can embark on. With a step-by-step guide, you can create your very own DIY mycology lab right in your kitchen. By following the techniques and instructions outlined in this article, you will be able to experience the joy of harvesting and consuming your homegrown mushrooms.

Whether you choose to grow mushrooms for personal enjoyment, as a way to enhance food security, or even as a potential business venture, the possibilities are endless. The satisfaction of nurturing the mycelium and witnessing the fruiting bodies emerge is truly rewarding. Plus, with the convenience and compactness of jar cultivation, you can easily integrate mushroom cultivation into your daily life.

So, if you’re ready to embark on your own DIY mushroom cultivation journey, gather your materials, set up your mycology lab, and follow the step-by-step guide provided. Soon enough, you’ll be enjoying the taste of fresh, homegrown mushrooms and delighting in the knowledge that you played a part in their growth from spore to harvest. Happy mushroom growing!


What is the liquid culture method of mushroom cultivation?

The liquid culture method is a technique where a nutrient-rich broth is prepared and used to cultivate mycelium, which is essential for growing mushrooms.

How do I prepare the nutrient-rich broth for liquid culture?

The broth can be prepared using light malt extract as the primary nutrient source, with the option to incorporate brewer’s yeast for an extra boost.

What containers should I use for growing mushrooms in a jar?

Mason jars or media bottles are commonly used. Ensure that the containers are clean and dry before filling them with the liquid culture broth.

How do I sterilize the mason jars or media bottles?

To sterilize the containers, you will need to follow a detailed guide that involves using a pressure cooker to eliminate potential contaminants and promote successful mycelium development.

How do I inoculate the liquid cultures with mushroom spores or mycelium?

Inoculation involves introducing mushroom spores or mycelium into the sterile liquid cultures. This step allows for the growth and development of mycelial culture, which is essential for cultivating mushrooms.

What are the different methods of mushroom cultivation?

Mushroom cultivation can be done through outdoor and indoor techniques, each with its own unique requirements and suitability for different mushroom species.

What is the BRF Tek method?

The BRF Tek method is a popular and fast method for growing mushrooms indoors. It involves creating a substrate using brown rice flour and vermiculite, which is loaded into jars and then inoculated with a culture solution.

What environmental factors are important for mushroom fruiting?

Temperature, water, humidity, carbon dioxide levels, and light are key environmental factors that play a crucial role in the successful production of mushrooms.

Why is maintaining sterility important in mushroom cultivation?

Maintaining sterility is crucial to prevent contamination and ensure successful growth. A sterile laboratory or work environment minimizes the risk of unwanted contaminants like molds and bacteria.

Where can I find resources for mushroom cultivation?

There are various resources available online, such as books and instructional videos, as well as mycology supply shops that offer guidance and supplies for mushroom cultivation.

What are the benefits of growing mushrooms at home?

Growing mushrooms at home provides a source of fresh, flavorful mushrooms and allows for the cultivation of medicinal and highly nutritious varieties, offering a rewarding and enriching experience.

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