Shotgun fruiting machine: create your mushroom growing box in 5 steps

Fruiting chamber

I love to pick mushrooms. Unfortunately, mushrooms are quite picky. Therefore, getting them to bear good fruit implies subjecting them to ideal growing conditions. So building a shotgun fruit set is a quick and easy way to achieve the perfect balance of fresh air and moisture that mushrooms require. Browse this content

What is a shotgun fruiter?

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A shotgun fruiting chamber is nothing more than a transparent box with holes and filled with a few inches of wet pearlite at the bottom. Holes Holes allow for the exchange of fresh air and gas. Whereas the perlite allows to maintain the humidity. The box should be transparent so that the right amount of natural light passes through it and reaches the mushrooms.

Simple shotgun fruiting machineA simple fruiting shotgun. Its name (“shotgun” in English) refers to the pattern of holes in the box

What is perlite?

Volcanic mineral Perlite is a naturally occurring volcanic mineral that, when expanded, forms a rough, porous granule that has a relatively large surface area. The protrusions and crevices of the pearlite granules are able to store water, which evaporates over time. This evaporation is what allows a high relative humidity to exist within the fruiting chamber.

Granulated pearliteA small pile of granulated pearlite. You should be able to find it in a garden store

Preparation before building the chamber

Build a fruiting shotgun it won’t take long, and you’ll only need a few tools commonly used. Once you have all the materials you need, you should be able to build your fruiting chamber in less than an hour.

Necessary materials

  • A transparent 80 liter plastic box.
  • 12-14 liters of granulated perlite.
  • A spray bottle.
  • A hygrometer (optional).

Tools needed

  • Drill with a 6 millimeter bit.
  • Measuring tape.
  • Marker pen.

Steps to build a shotgun fruiting chamber at home

Go for it.

Step 1: mark the holes

Hole spacing To achieve adequate airflow through the shotgun fructifier, you should drill evenly spaced holes on all six faces of the box, including the top and bottom. The general consensus is that the holes should be about 5 centimeters apart from each other in a grid. To make them, mark them first using a marker pen.

Person using gridMark the holes forming a grid with a separation of 5 centimeters
Plastic cap holesYou will need to drill the holes on all six faces, including the top and bottom

Step 2: drill the holes

Size Drill all the holes you have marked using a 6 millimeter drill bit. Make sure you don’t over-tighten, or else the box will crack when you drill through it. You will also need to sand the holes to make sure there are no chips or plastic debris around the edges. This is a repetitive task, but it shouldn’t take long.
Person wearing harness capUse a 6-millimeter drill bit to drill all the holes. It will take a while!

Step 3: fill the bottom with pearlite

Fill the bottom of the shotgun fructifier with about two inches of pearlite. The exact amount doesn’t matter too much. Covers evenly Just be sure to put enough to evenly cover the bottom out of the box with a few centimeters. Also, you should make sure to use granulated perlite. If it is ground too fine, a lot of it will come out through the holes you have drilled, putting everything lost. What’s more, fine pearlite will not hold as much water as granulated.
Wet pearlite personIt is necessary to wet the perlite until it is very wet.

Step 4: soak the perlite

Soak the perlite by pouring water into your shotgun fruiting machine and mixing it until the pearlite is evenly moistened. It is not necessary to pour water so that it runs out of the bottom of the box. The intention is to cover it with water so that it can evaporate over time, increasing the humidity of the fruiting chamber.

Step 5: place the mushroom block in the shotgun fruiting machine

Now you have a reasonably humid environment that is capable of exchanging gases and receiving fresh air. Cultivate everything.Therefore, this is a perfectly camera valid for growing all kinds of mushrooms on a small scale. A typical use for a shotgun fructifier is to grow mushrooms using the PF technique. However, using sawdust fruiting blocks or even mushroom grow kits will be just as easy. Although it is not entirely necessary, a hygrometer is a useful tool that you can place in the fruiting chamber to help you control humidity levels. It will give you a pretty good idea of ​​whether you should spray the inside of the camera with water. Over time, you will learn what the most suitable humidity levels are for the different phases of the fruiting cycle.
Chamber mushroom blockA small block of fungi in a moist fruiting chamber

How to use a shotgun fruiting machine

The fruiting chambers almost maintenance free, but despite this there are still a series of best practices that you should follow to use a shotgun fructifier.

Ventilation and spraying

Holes located on the six faces of the fruiting chamber allow fresh air to be introduced and gas exchange to take place. How to ventilate? However, these holes are not enough on their own. When you put the mushroom blocks into the shotgun fruiting machine, at least twice a day you should remove the lid and let it air out. Also, to keep humidity after ventilating the interior with dry air, you will have to moisten the camera. To do this, you can use a typical spray bottle with which to soak the walls and the perlite base well with water. Try to do this without directly spraying the fungal block, as the water droplets can cause problems with the mycelium or mushrooms, such as stains caused by bacteria.
Sprayer bottleA simple spray bottle to moisten the chamber

Using a hygrometer

A hygrometer is a tool useful for humidity control of your fruiting shotgun. Although it is not absolutely necessary, it will help you have a clearer idea about whether you are achieving an environment with a suitable humidity level.

Percentage of moisture Depending on the phase of the fruiting cycle of the fungus, humidity should be between 75 and 90 percent. If the humidity drops too low, your mushrooms will have smaller, cracked hats, or they may not even come to fruition. It doesn’t matter if you buy a digital hygrometer or an analog one. Just make sure the device’s measuring range allows you to measure relative humidity up to at least 90%. In this sense, you should bear in mind that some household hydrometers are not capable of accurately measuring such high humidities. Look for the types of hygrometers used in cigar humidifiers, as they are capable of accurately measuring high levels of relative humidity.

Lighting the fruiting chamber

Contrary to popular belief, most mushrooms need an adequate amount of light in order to properly form mushrooms. However, they need this light for a reason other than plants. Indirect sunlight The best place to place your shotgun fruiter is one in the that receives indirect sunlight for most of the day. If the light falls directly, it will damage the growth. It will overheat the fruiting chamber and can cause your mushrooms to spoil. By far, indirect natural light is best. For example, you can put the fruit set near a window but away from the sun’s rays. If you do not have the option to provide natural light to your shotgun fruit set, you can always provide artificial light.
A good option would be to use a small fluorescent light with a timer that allows daily power cycles for 12 hours and then off for the same time. This will simulate a natural light cycle. If you do opt for this alternative, make sure the light source is far enough away so as not to overheat the camera.
Fruiting chamber

A quick and easy solution

There are a multitude of ways to build a complex fruiting chamber, using automatic humidifiers, powerful fans, and plenty of space. However, there is nothing wrong with using a shotgun fruit set at first. They do a great job of providing the ideal conditions that mushrooms need to fruit properly. Idea for beginners This makes the shotgun fruiting a great option for beginners who want to learn. Even for experienced growers who want a quick and easy fruiting chamber for experiments.