Wine Cap Spawn Guide

If you have wine cap spawn that's not yet colonized (it's brown instead of white:

  1. Remove the single piece of tape holding the top of the bag down, and pull the top of the bag upright.

  2. Place the grow bag in an area out of direct sunlight with a temperature between 70F and 80F.  (Down to 65F is OK, but will take longer to colonize)

  3. Make sure the top of the bag is upright, so the filter patch is not blocked.

Be careful to not touch the white “filter patch”.

Allow the mycelium to grow, until it has colonized the entire bag (until the white mycelium has reached the entire surface of the block). 

While the block is colonizing, try to not pick up or handle it any more than necessary. It’s OK to gently pick it up once in a while in order to get a better look, but jostling the block too often can disrupt its growth.

During colonization, the mycelium needs oxygen to grow.  The “filter patch” on the bag allows small amounts of air to pass into and out of the bag, while filtering out other organisms that would contaminate the block and compete with your mycelium.


Colonization can be sped up by mixing the block partway through colonization. When the bag is 10%-25% white, you can:

  1. Spray the filter patch with 70% isopropyl alcohol

  2. Carefully break-up the mycelium by kneading it with your hands through the bag.

  3. Work the substrate with your hands to evenly distribute the pieces of mycelium throughout the bag

  4. Pick the bag upright, and gently tap the bottom of the bag on a table to bring everything back down to the bottom.

  5. Spray the filter patch once more with 70% isopropyl alcohol

Using your Wine Cap Spawn

(Your fully colonized spawn can be refrigerated for up to 6 months)

Make a sandwich with woodchips on the outside, and the spawn in the middle:  Put down 1-2 inches of woodchips; then break up the wine cap spawn and spread it evenly over the woodchips; put another 2-3 inches of woodchips on top the spawn.

  • 1 lb of spawn will cover about 10 square feet.
  • Make sure your mushroom bed is out of direct sunlight
  • Use fresh woodchips
  • Break your mushroom spawn up inside the bag
  • Break the spawn up into as small pieces as possible
  • Make sure to make your mushroom bed before autumn, so the mycelium has a chance to get established before winter.
  • Water your mushroom bed at least once a week, especially in dry weather, and especially during its first year.
  • Keep your bed hydrated, but make sure it’s not sitting in standing water.

Ways to make your mushroom bed happier

  • Scrape away any plant debris from the ground before making your bed.
  • Put down a layer of cardboard under the bed
  • Put down a layer of cardboard on top of the bed

The current mushroom is Blue Brat Oyster!

Blue Brats are a variety of Pleurotus ostreatus (aka Oyster Mushrooms). Cultivated worldwide, they're easy to grow, and considered a choice edible. Baby Blue Brat mushrooms start out with a deep blue cap, eventually turning gray as the mushrooms mature.

You can buy a Blue Brat Tabletop Grow Kit through November. Orders will ship the first two weeks of December.
(After Nov 30, any orders placed will be for the next mushroom variety.)