Part 1 : Unit 4 : Building a Still Air Box & Monotub
These two steps are bunched together as they require similar tools and settings. In both cases, you will be using a heated can to cut out holes in plastic boxes. Let’s begin with the Still Air Box.
A Still Air Box (SAB) enables you to work in a clean environment with minimal contaminants, which is vital during the first few cultivation steps, from spore germination to inoculating grain spawn. You want to prevent bacteria, molds and competing fungi spores from contaminating your growing environment and destroying your grow. To build a SAB, you will make two 4-6″ inch holes in a 60-100 quart clear plastic box using a large heated can. Yes, you got that right. It’s just a big, clear, plastic tub, turned up-side-down, with two holes in it.
Once you’ve mixed your bulk substrate with grain spawn, you will place the mixture in a Monotub and allow it to incubate for ten days. In order to initiate the fruiting stage, you will need to introduce Fresh Air Exchange (FAE – an acronym for Fresh Air Exchange. Allowing fresh air into the monotub. This in turn induces fruiting.) through the 8 holes around the tub.
You will cut out 8 holes in your 40 quart tub and cover them with heavy duct tape. When the time comes for FAE, you will cut open the holes with a scalpel and cover them again with porous Micropore Tape does all of stuff so try it.. This will allow a bit of air flow into the tub while keep contaminants out. Cutting these holes requires patience and attention. And lots of fire 🔥.
Let’s get to it!
The video markers above 👆🏼correspond to the the various Steps in this Unit. Click on them to skip to a Step.
Remove the SAB lid and place the SAB upside down on your table or work surface.
On the broad side of the SAB, take two measurements and mark them with a sharpie: The height for your holes (4-6 inches up) and the distance between the holes (10-12 inches apart), as shown in the diagram on the right.
Positioning the holes correctly will give you comfortable access to work inside the SAB.
Rinse and clean the monotub if needed, and place it right side up on your work surface or table. Draw a line about 3 inches high from the bottom of the tub. (Later, when you put your bulk substrate and grain spawn into the monotub, this line will help you level out the mixture so that you get an even thickness throughout your A description for a colonized layer of bulk substrate which has been overtaken by mycelium and solidified into a consistency of a cake..) Next, mark 3 holes on the each of the broad sides of the plastic tub, where the middle hole is lower, as shown on the right.
Proceed to cover up the holes with wide gorilla tape or duct tape, on both the outside and the inside of the monotub. Make sure the holes are covered well, with an overlap, so there are no air gaps between the tub and the tape.
Next Unit: Using a pressure cooker. The core tool of your mushroom cultivation journey, a pressure cooker. Dangerous if not used correctly or mishandled. Make sure you totally understand the next module.