The aptly named “Enigma” strain of Cubensis has a fascinating story behind it. This strain is a blob mutation that does not sporulate. It’s eternally stuck living across a single generation, through clones. If that has your interest piqued, wait till you see pictures of it.
This potency and psychedelic effects of this strain have been rumored to be stronger, more potent and with a euphoric accent – about 3-5 times more potent than regular Cubensis mushrooms. With this kind of hype around this strain, I decided to look into it – and quite miraculously found some enigma liquid culture online from the very friendly and knowledgable bunch over at Mayhems Labs.
This post will describe our first attempt to grow the Enigma strain of Cubensis and provide our impressions of it.
Growing Enigma is fairly straightforward, though success is far from guaranteed. It follows the same cultivation process as regular cubensis mushrooms, and other than the pinning and fruiting process there are no significant differences in the cultivation steps. In fact, I found colonization by the mycelium to be fast and aggressive, and pinning started soon after FAEFAE – an acronym for Fresh Air Exchange. Allowing fresh air into the monotub. This in turn induces fruiting. was introduced. For the record, I used a pasteurized CVG substrate with 30% composted cow manure (Black Kow), with a mixture of some probiotic nutrients called TrichEvict by Dr. Myc.
Pinning is precisely the point where the similarities in cultivation end, as what starts growing from that point onwards can only be described as part of the set from the original “Aliens” movie. What looks like capless mushroom pins erupt out en masse, with some of them clumping together into larger blobs. From this point on, growth is very slow, and it can take up to six weeks until the fruits are ready to harvest. These six weeks are where most cultivators face their difficulties with this strain.
Other than this, the only other tips we received around the cultivation of Enigma is that humidity needs to stay high throughout the fruiting process, which means more than usual tending of the tub if it starts getting dry. With the enigma tub, we opted not to open as much FAEFAE – an acronym for Fresh Air Exchange. Allowing fresh air into the monotub. This in turn induces fruiting. holes as we might do with regular Cubensis strains. The harvesting should be done once the fruiting bodies soften a bit, although I must admit, I’m hesitant to touch them at this early stage to check their rigidity.
Due to the long fruiting period, the Enigma mycelium cakes tend to contaminate over time. Once contamination sets in, it quickly overruns the cake, leaving many cultivators frustrated. To add to this, second flushes are of Enigma are considered almost impossible for the same reasons. This means that you need to be extra careful during all the phases of cultivation and make sure you do your best to keep everything as clean as possible at all times. Going into a grow with clean grain spawn and well-pasteurized substrate is an absolute must. This also includes avoiding opening the fruiting tub to look at it in awe for hours on end 😋.
As the days pass, the blobs become larger and more brain shaped. They also start to show some blue bruising in certain areas, and loose their rigidity, and become a bit softer. This is the time to harvest.
The fruiting body looks and feels like a fragile cauliflower, and bruises very easily. You need to be extra gentle when harvesting these, and they absolutely deserve every bit of attention 😋. You can gently use a knife to cut the connecting chutes between the fruiting body and mycelium cakeA description for a colonized layer of bulk substrate which has been overtaken by mycelium and solidified into a consistency of a cake. and then pry them off. Keeping substrate of the base of the fruit is not as simple as with regular mushrooms, but with a bit of patience, its possible to scrape almost all of the substrate away.
The enigma fruit dries relatively easily and quickly. Within twelve to twenty four hours at 95°F most of the smaller fruit chunks were bone dry and ready for long term storage. Larger fruit bodies can be broken down into 2-3 inch chunks so they dry faster. Once the chunks are bone dry, they are sealed in vacuum bag with some food grade desiccant gel packs.
The enigma fruiting body is relatively dense and contains slightly less water than regular Cubensis mushrooms. This, and the fact that Enigma also contains high levels of Psilocin (which would degrade when dried), makes this mushroom ideal for preservation in honey – resulting in some truly magical stuff. With a ratio of about 200 grams of wet fruit to 1 liter of thick honey, this is one of my favorite uses for Enigma. Check out the video below, showing how to make Magic Mushroom Honey from Enigma cubensis mushrooms. If you would like more information on this, check our post on making magic mushroom honey.
Enigma liquid culture can be found online in the form of liquid culture syringes (no spores, remember?). I’ve found some enigma liquid culture over at Toadstool heights as well as Sporelabs.io and other online stores. Are you ready for a new growing experience? If you are, it might be the right time for Enigma to start cultivating you. Or was that….wait.