How To Successfully Dry Your Mushrooms

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How To Successfully Dry Your Mushrooms

Mushrooms have more powerful effects when dried well. Find out how to successfully dry your shrooms for added psychedelic effect and trouble-free storage with MushMagic.

SUCCESSFULLY DRYING MUSHROOMS

Now that you have gone to the trouble of growing a nice batch of magic mushrooms, it is time to dry them. Dried mushrooms are an order of magnitude more powerful than fresh, making them much more desirable.

They are far more versatile when dried as well. They can be ground up and used for any number of purposes—like being put into caps or steeping in alcohol to make liqueurs or crystals. Well-desiccated mushrooms have an indefinite lifespan, especially when frozen, so drying them properly means getting the most out of them.

Drying mushrooms properly preserves more alkaloids, so the more attention paid to the drying stage means more bounce per ounce for you. Air drying is only the first step in getting your shrooms to crispy perfection. Air drying only works to a certain point as the relative humidity dictates how dry the shrooms can get. To get them to crispy dry and hard as rocks, where the stem snaps rather than bends, requires a few extra steps. As a general rule, never resort to drying mushrooms in an oven or using hot hair dryers. Their chemical constituents will break down and they will become less potent.

FIRST—HARVEST AT THE RIGHT TIME

Harvesting at the right time ensures high potency from magic mushrooms. The ideal time is just prior to or just after the veil breaks. The tops will be light in colour and still conical in shape. The gills will still be pale as sporulation has yet to begin.

Refrain from yanking them out by the root ball as the wound left in the substrate is an opening for contamination. When going for multiple flushes, a healthy cake is very important. Use a sharp pair of scissors or knife blade that has been sterilised in a flame and wiped with alcohol. Then, gently cut the stem at the root bulb.

PRE-DRYING

Mushrooms are 95% water and begin to dry quite rapidly. Immediately after harvest, two things can be done. Place them on a clean plate covered in a black cloth, and leave on a windowsill in the sun. Or, place on a clean plate in front of a gently blowing fan. The shrooms will wither and become shrivelled and rubbery in a few hours. Now it is time to thoroughly dry them out.

IF YOU HAVE A SPARE FRIDGE

The ideal method is to dry them in a frost-free (dehumidifying) refrigerator. The humidity is practically zero as the moisture is wicked away and shrooms dry slowly and evenly. This is very time-consuming and not everyone has a frost-free fridge to spare. But the results are perfect, and the fridge can be customised with shroom racks.

desiccant

NO YOU DESI-CAN’T, YES I DESI—CAN!

Another preferred method that’s far more accessible is using desiccants such as silica gel. Desiccants are easily sourced from chemical and science supply stores, or you can make your own. They can be reused time and again, and become very cost-effective over time. Desiccants not only dry mushrooms well, they can be used during storage to make sure no moisture ever provides a foothold for mould. If you are a psilocybin fan and regularly dry mushrooms, desiccants are a good investment.

MAKING YOUR OWN DESICCANT

You will need a few simple things lying around your house:

  • Baking tray
  • Hammer
  • Epsom salts
  • Sealed, moisture-proof container, preferably glass

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Heat oven to 250°C.
  2. Spread Epsom salts evenly over the baking tray.
  3. Place in oven and leave for at least two hours.
  4. Observe safety precautions because all this is now really hot. Remove the tray from the oven. Act quickly while things are hot as the salts will start absorbing moisture from the atmosphere as soon as they cool. You will notice the Epsom salts have solidified into a slab.
  5. Using the hammer, pulverise the slab back into powder.
  6. Quickly put the Epsom salts into the container and seal tightly.

HOW TO USE DESICCANTS TO DRY FUN FUNGUS

This whole process needs to be done as quick as possible to stop the desiccant from absorbing moisture out of the atmosphere. The process remains the same for both Epsom salts and silica gel.

What you will need:

  • Desiccant of choice
  • Paper towel
  • Large plastic container with lid
  • Metal drying mesh (It only needs to be able to hold the mushrooms, let air move around, and be easily bent by hand. Metal flywire or fine mesh cake cooling racks work well).

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. If using a generic mesh, bend the edges to make a stand high enough to keep the mushrooms from touching the desiccant/paper towel layer. Cake racks will have their own little wire legs.
  2. Spread the desiccant evenly over the bottom of the plastic container at least 3cm deep.
  3. Cover the desiccant in a layer of paper towel.
  4. Place the drying rack of choice (with mushrooms) onto the layer of paper towel.
  5. Place the lid on the container, ensuring it is airtight.
  6. Be patient. Have a peak after 3 days.
  7. The drying process is complete when the caps are cracker-dry and the stems snap easily.

Desiccants are infinitely reusable. Simply repeat the oven drying process described above and keep them in an airtight container until you are ready to go again.

STORAGE

Now that your mushrooms are dry, it is time to store them. There is no one true way to store mushrooms. The main idea is to keep them cool and moisture-free. Like with all vegetable matter, moisture causes rot, and rot is bad.

  • Storing your mushrooms as measured doses is a good idea. This way you aren’t opening and closing a bulk bag or jar, which can let in unwanted moisture and contaminants.
  • Put measured doses in small bags, then store the small bags in a jar that contains desiccant. Store the jar in a dark, cool place or in the fridge.
  • Put the small dosed bags in a larger bag and keep it in the freezer.
  • Do a psilocybin extraction with alcohol either to get crystals or make a liqueur. This way, there is no organic matter to worry about. Crystals and liqueurs will literally last forever.

Chocolate Mushroom

CHOCOLATES

As long as you keep them well away from where any kiddies may find them, mushroom-laced chocolates are a good way to hide your shroom stash in plain sight. The process is easy and the results are delicious. The ratio of shroom dust to chocolate is up to you. A standard ice cube tray will hold 15 grams of chocolate per ice cube form. A regular block of chocolate weighs around 200 grams, which will conveniently fill a whole tray nicely. Let’s say two pieces per trip at 5 grams of shrooms. That’s 35 grams of mushroom per block of chocolate.

What you will need:

INGREDIENTS

  • Some pulverised mushroom powder
  • Chocolate

HARDWARE

  • A saucepan
  • A metal or ceramic bowl that is larger than the saucepan (the bowl will sit in the saucepan to make a bain-marie)
  • Oven mitts or tea towel
  • An ice cube tray or silicone chocolate moulds
  • Spatula

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Fill the saucepan with water, but not enough to touch the bottom of the bowl.
  2. Bring to a boil.
  3. Break up the chocolate, place it in the bowl, and leave to melt—there is no need to stir it.
  4. Turn off the heat and remove the bowl. Use oven mitts or a tea towel, the bowl will be quite hot.
  5. Using the spatula, fold in the pulverised mushroom dust.
  6. Fill your chosen mould with the chocolate mix.
  7. Refrigerate until set.
  8. Keep the chocolates in the freezer.

The cacao in chocolate is mildly acidic and will affect the way the trip comes on. It will come on faster, but will have a shorter duration.

For the home myco farmer, drying mushrooms is an art that needs to be perfected. Mastering desiccation and long-term storage will guarantee that the keys to the doors of perception are always ready and waiting to go.