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Published: May 17th, 2019
Categories: Magic Mushrooms
Your sterile procedure and attention to detail from a few weeks back when preparing mycelium cakes and cultures (or using a ready-to-go kit) have resulted in a flush of your favourite fungus. In addition to sampling the spoils of your hard work and patience, you now need to find somewhere to store your shrooms.
Drying and storing finished fruits are important, and require the same amount of attention as the early preparation stages. Most importantly, dried shrooms are an order stronger than fresh shrooms, so a properly desiccated and stored batch can be a bounty for months.
When mushrooms and truffles are treated properly from the moment they are harvested, psilocybin content does not degrade. This means no artificial heating, which can mess with the beneficial compounds, and no excess humidity, which can cause a full meltdown. It also helps to minimise light exposure and pathogens that can turn your mushrooms into just mushies.
You have your harvest at hand. Whether truffles or shrooms, the treatment will be very much the same from harvest to long-term storage.
Fungi give up the bulk of their moisture quite quickly, and will be rubbery and shrivelled shadows of themselves in a few hours. Put them on a plate placed in front of a fan set to low in a dim room. Or, on the same plate under a dark cloth on a sunny windowsill. Each technique does the same thing and lets the body of the shroom drop 95% of its water content. Now it’s time to get rid of that final 5%.
Drying fungus means really drying fungus to desiccation, where the stems can be snapped and the crowns crushed into a powder. This is a slow process, again without artificial heat, where the remaining moisture is drawn out completely.
Desiccants can be simply made at home, like Epsom salts, or store-bought, like silica gel. They both perform equally well, only silica gel means no fussing around at all, while Epsom salts means initially dealing with a hot oven. Desiccants are infinitely reusable; they can be re-dried and reused for a very long time.
If choosing silica gel, buy silica gel—the amount quite depends on how many shrooms you are drying. Keep in mind there will be a 3cm-deep layer of desiccant in the bottom of your drying container.
You will need:
• Epsom salts
• Baking tray
• Rubber mallet or hammer
• Fully sealable storage container made from glass
• Hot oven set to 250°C
1. Evenly spread the Epsom salts over the baking tray, then let bake in the preheated oven for two hours.
2. Making really sure not to burn yourself, remove the baking tray from the oven. You will see the Epsom salts have baked into a solid slab.
3. Using the hammer, pulverise the slab down into a powder again.
4. Put in the sealed container immediately.
You will need:
• Your desiccant of choice
• A sealable container to suit the volume of mushrooms
• Paper towel
• Drying racks. This can be any type of mesh really, like metal insect screen cut to size or a cake cooling rack.
• Spacers. The racks need to be separated. For example, fold the edges of the insect screen to form legs, or use anything waterproof as a spacer for the cake racks.
1. Place a 3cm-thick layer of desiccant in the bottom of the container.
2. Arrange the paper towel over the top.
3. Put the first rack in and evenly spread pre-dried shrooms on the rack. Put the second rack in place and spread with shrooms again.
4. Seal container tightly and move to a cool, dark place.
5. Check after 3 days.
6. They are ready when they snap like a cracker under pressure.
The three main rules for storing mushrooms are: no light, no heat, and no moisture. Except that little light that comes on in the fridge, exposure to too much of any of these factors can degrade psilocybin or turn your stash to smelly goo.
When dried mushrooms are kept in the fridge or freezer, their life is extended considerably, and frozen shrooms can last indefinitely. Simply put your doses in a ziplock bag, express the air and keep in the freezer. It is a double guarantee of extended life if a small bag of desiccant is placed inside the storage bag before freezing in case any atmospheric moisture got in during bagging.
Vacuum-sealed bags and their machines are readily available at a click. The added benefit of being in an air-free environment is starving any potential nasties of the air that they need to grow. Again, store the vac-sealed bags in the freezer.
Chocolate is awesome, and even more awesome when it has magic mushroom powder in it. Psilocybin can last up to three months when suspended in chocolate and kept in a cool place. The added bonus is that chocolate contains compounds that can make trips come on quicker and be more intense. However, these experiences are shorter, so chocolate makes you soar higher, but for not as long. You can make your own quite easily. All you will need is:
• Block of chocolate
• Pulverised mushroom powder
• Ice block moulds or silicone chocolate moulds
• Oven mitts
A quick note on chocolate. Melting chocolate needs a bain-marie; dumping chocolate in a pan on a flame doesn’t work and completely wrecks the flavour and texture of the chocolate. A simple bain-marie is a large bowl in a smaller saucepan filled with boiling water. The boiling water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl, which is heated by steam.
1. Put chocolate in the saucepan bain-marie and just let it melt. It will become a pool in the bottom of the bowl all by itself.
2. Using your oven mitts to retrieve the hot bowl, turn off the heat and set it down on the counter. Fold in the mushroom powder with the spatula.
3. Distribute around the moulds.
4. Let cool and set in the fridge.
5. Bag them up and store them in the freezer.
6. Consume at your hedonistic leisure.
Freon is the stuff in air conditioners that makes them cool the air. It is also used as a dust and moisture-removal spray for electronics equipment. A product like Vari-Air can be used for the long-term preservation of psilocybin.
1. Measure out the shrooms into doses and put them in a ziplock bag.
2. Squeeze as much air as possible from the baggy.
3. Slide in the Freon nozzle as far as possible and inflate the bag to 25% full.
4. Squeeze out the Freon and repeat 5 times.
5. Expel the final spray and put the baggy in the freezer.
6. Theses mushrooms will last indefinitely.
If you prefer the effects of fresh shrooms, they will last in a refrigerator for up to 30 days. It’s as easy as placing them in a paper bag and storing them in the fridge. If you don’t have a paper bag, just wrap them in a pocket folded from unbleached paper towel. Fridges are quite dry environments, so given time, they will drop a fair bit of their moisture either way without losing potency. The idea is to keep airborne spores away that could damage them.
Storing your dried magic mushrooms is the easy bit. Getting the demanding first stages complete without any problems, then making sure they are super dry before storage, are the hardest parts. If you are ready to store well-grown and well-dried shrooms or truffles, well done you—hope this blog helped and hope you have fun!