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Ask Mick: There are blue spots on the substrate of my mushroom grow kit, is it contaminated?

Posted under: Ask Mick

Welcome to the Ask Mick blog post where we answer all your questions about mycology and our various products.  This weeks question is about blue spots on kits: 

"After receiving and opening my grow kit, I see blue spots on the sides of the substrate (mycelium), is the kit contaminated?"

Thanks for submitting this question and the picture!  The short answer to this question is No, this is not a contamination. Satisfying answer?  Not really, let's break it down and get you some more information about what happened to your magic mushroom grow kit. First let have a look at the picture.

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Blue spots in the substrate

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Bruised mycelium in grow kit

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In the picture you can see what is called the substrate in the magic mushroom grow kit. You see below a layer of perlite, than a layer of rye and on top a layer of vermiculite. The layer of rye is colonized by the mycelium, the organism that can grow mushrooms. Were the rye presses the mycelium against the grow box you see some blue spots.

When you start your first mushroom grow kit or never have seen this you might think: Contamination,my grow kit is ruined!  But most times what you see is not a contamination. What you see is bruised mycelium.

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Bruised mycelium: Stained blue

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Your grow kit could have a bumpy ride during transfer this can cause the mycelium to turn blue. The mycelium reacts with the oxygen in the air and starts to change of color. This is called “Bruising”.

You can see the same reaction, but much faster, if you pick mushrooms from your grow kit. When touched the stem will stain blue. In fact it is the substance in the magic mushroom called psilocybe/psilocine that reacts with the air and turns blue. So no contamination, but just a confirmation that there is magic in your grow kit!

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If you really want to know if it a contamination or bruised mycelium  you can do a Q-tip test. " Wipe a Q-tip across the suspected area; if the color comes off onto the swab then its mold; if not then its bruising." According to a colorblind contributor on the Mycotopia forum.

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I hope your question is answered, please add a comment if you have further question on this subject.

Next times post is still open, send your question to me : Mick at AskMick[(at)]magic-mushrooms-shop.com or add Mick Mycelium on Facebook. Have  a good grow!

 

Click on the kit below and take a look at our great magic mushroom grow kit collection!

magic mushroom grow kit