Harvesting, drying and storing magic mushrooms

Magic mushrooms, also known as psilocybin mushrooms, have captured the attention of a wide variety of people, from researchers and therapists to hobbyists and growers. These mushrooms not only offer unique psychedelic experiences but are also being studied for their potential therapeutic benefits. However, to make the most of their properties, it is essential to know how to harvest, dry, and store them correctly.

The harvesting process is a crucial moment in growing magic mushrooms. Harvesting at the right time ensures that the mushrooms have maximum potency and quality. Subsequently, proper drying is vital to avoid the degradation of its active compounds and prevent the appearance of mold. Finally, proper storage ensures that mushrooms maintain their potency for long periods.

This article will guide you through each of these steps in detail, offering practical tips and effective techniques to ensure your mushrooms are kept in the best possible condition. Whether you're a beginner grower or someone with more experience looking to perfect their methods, this guide will provide you with the information you need to do just that. Join us as we explore everything you need to know about harvesting, drying, and storing magic mushrooms.

 Drying and storing mushrooms properly is important so that they do not rot or degrade
Drying and storing mushrooms properly is important so that they do not rot or degrade

How and when to harvest magic mushrooms

At last!! After a few weeks of anxious waiting, the time has come to enjoy your magic mushrooms, but wait...do you know when is the best time to harvest them? And how to do it? Don't worry! Below we explain all the steps you must follow to harvest your mushrooms, dry them, and store them in the best way to preserve their psychoactivity for as long as possible so you can enjoy their virtues for the next few months.

The ideal time to harvest magic mushrooms is crucial to maximize their potency and quality, as well as to ensure that subsequent fruiting or flushes are successful. Generally, mushrooms are ready to be harvested when the partial veil, the membrane that connects the cap to the stem, begins to break down. This is an indicator that the mushroom has reached maturity but has not yet released spores, which can compromise subsequent cleaning and handling, as well as future flushes.

Keep one thing in mind; In some cases, the time between a mushroom having a complete veil and completely breaking it can be a few hours, so when you see that the mushroom has reached its maximum size and is about to break the veil and release the spores, monitor it closely and try to harvest it before sporulation. In a future article, we will tell you how you can collect these spores and make your own spore prints with which to start new crops.

Spore prints and syringes of magic mushrooms

Today we are going to tell you how to prepare a spore syringe from prints or vials, a simple process that requires maximum hygiene to minimize the risk of contamination. In addition, we will present you the different options you have to reproduce the mycelium and get a copious harvest of mushrooms.

Harvesting magic mushrooms step by step

  1. Daily Check: Inspect your mushrooms daily, paying attention to the partial veil. When you notice that it begins to break, you will know that it is the right time to harvest. Again, remember that this process can take a few hours in some cases, and keep in mind that it is always preferable to harvest a well-formed mushroom about to break the veil than to wait until it breaks and the spores are released.
  2. Hygiene: As always, before starting any process related to mushrooms, wash your hands well or use disposable gloves to avoid contaminating the mushrooms. Disinfecting your clean hands or gloves with isopropyl alcohol will be an extra precaution.
  3. Careful Extraction: Carefully hold the base of the stem and gently twist it to detach the mushroom from the substrate. Alternatively, you can use a sterilized knife to cut the stem as close to the substrate as possible, although it is usually recommended to pluck them very carefully, using that twisting motion which will make them come off much easier...you don't want to damage the substrate or the mycelium!
  4. Harvesting: Once you are harvesting your mushrooms, try to leave the base of the stems very clean of any remains of substrate such as grain or vermiculite, even cutting a few millimeters from the base of the stem so that it is clean and ready for the next step, drying.

Additional considerations

  1. Growing conditions: Maintain ideal environmental conditions throughout the growing cycle to ensure your mushrooms reach their full potential before harvest. Only then will you achieve really good results.
  2. Selective harvesting: Not all mushrooms will mature at the same time, so it is important to harvest selectively, picking only those that are ready and letting the others continue to grow. If you notice that most of them are ready but there are still a few that will take days to fully develop, it is better to harvest them all and start the next flush.

You see that harvesting magic mushrooms at the right time and with the correct technique is essential to obtaining a high-quality product and continuing to use your mushroom cakes in subsequent fruiting. The key is to observe the breaking of the partial veil and handle the mushrooms very carefully to maintain their integrity and avoid contamination due to the release of spores. With these steps, you can enjoy fresh, potent mushrooms ready for drying and storage.

 The best time to harvest your magic mushrooms is just when the veil between the head and the foot begins to break
The best time to harvest your magic mushrooms is just when the veil between the cap and the foot begins to break

How to dry magic mushrooms

Yes, you can consume your mushrooms fresh, although for different reasons a good drying is usually recommended; You can store them for months if you dry them, they will take up much less space, and administering them - for example, in the form of microdoses of psilocybin - will be much easier. So, unless you intend to consume them all right after harvest, drying magic mushrooms properly is crucial to preserving their potency and preventing mold growth. Below we tell you the steps to dry them effectively:

Drying magic mushrooms step by step

Air Drying:

  1. Place the mushrooms on a rack or mesh in a single layer, without stacking them, making sure there is enough space between them for air circulation. You can also put them on kitchen paper. If they are very large specimens, the best option is to cut them into sheets and let them dry as if they were classic boletus.
  2. Choose a dry, well-ventilated place, away from direct sunlight; Light can degrade the active compounds in mushrooms, so it is best to dry them in a dark place. A room with good air circulation or a space with a fan is ideal.
  3. Allow the mushrooms to air dry for several days, until they are completely dry and crisp to the touch, like the typical dried mushrooms you may have used in cooking. An environment with low humidity is ideal for drying. If you live in a humid location, consider using a desiccant such as silica gel during air drying, including a food dehydrator, as explained below.

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Use of dehydrator:

For complete drying, if you have a kitchen dehydrator, set it to a low temperature (35-40°C) and place the mushrooms on the dehydrator trays. Leave them for 24-48 hours, until they are completely dry and crispy. If you don't have a dehydrator, you can use an oven at the lowest temperature possible, with the door ajar to allow air circulation. Check the mushrooms periodically to prevent them from overcooking. Since the mushrooms are ready in the air in a few days, we do not recommend using this method unless it is a very special case.

Whichever method you choose, the mushrooms should be completely dry and crisp before storing them. If you can bend a stem without breaking it, it means it needs a little more drying time. Be patient, don't ruin your harvest by not waiting a couple of days! Drying magic mushrooms properly is essential to preserve their potency and avoid mold and problems over the following weeks or months. By following these steps and using tools such as a dehydrator or a low-temperature oven, even just air, you can ensure that your mushrooms are perfectly dry and ready for the next step, storage. Let's see how to do it:

 When collecting mushrooms you must be very careful not to damage the mycelium when pulling them out
When collecting mushrooms you must be very careful not to damage the mycelium when pulling them out

How to store magic mushrooms

Once you have your mushrooms well dried, storing them properly will be very important in order to maintain their potency and prevent the degradation of compounds present in your mushrooms such as psilocybin and psilocin. Here we'll explain to you how to do it:

To preserve the properties of your mushrooms as much as possible, you can use glass jars, airtight containers, or airtight sealable bags. Glass jars with airtight seals are ideal because they do not allow air or moisture to enter, so the degradation of the compounds we were talking about will be much less. Additionally, you can use desiccants such as silica gel, placing a desiccant packet inside each container to absorb any possible residual moisture. You can even vacuum seal the containers or put them inside vacuum bags for even better preservation.

Store containers in a cool, dry, dark place, such as a closet or pantry. Exposure to light and heat can degrade the active compounds in mushrooms. If you stop to think about it, the refrigerator is an ideal place to store your jars, especially if we are talking about long-term storage. You can even freeze them if you want to store them for even longer. Either way, make sure they are completely dry before putting them in the jars.

Finally, periodically check the containers to make sure there are no signs of moisture or mold. If you detect moisture, dry the mushrooms again before storing them following the same steps we have seen in this article.

In short, to keep your magic mushrooms in optimal condition, store them in airtight containers with desiccants, in a cool, dry, dark place. Consider refrigeration for long-term storage and avoid any exposure to moisture. These simple steps will ensure that your mushrooms maintain their potency and quality for as long as possible.

Happy harvest!

The articles published by Alchimiaweb, S.L. are reserved for adult clients only. We would like to remind our customers that cannabis seeds are not listed in the European Community catalogue. They are products intended for genetic conservation and collecting, in no case for cultivation. In some countries it is strictly forbidden to germinate cannabis seeds, other than those authorised by the European Union. We recommend our customers not to infringe the law in any way, we are not responsible for their use.
2024-06-25 Magic mushrooms

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