It’s pretty common to buy mushroom spore syringes that are contaminated, especially if you opt for the cheapest syringes out there. Choosing better quality psilocybin mushroom spores is one of the surest way to make sure your syringes will not be contaminated, although even in such cases it’s hard to be sure.
The following simple process, however, will in most cases help you realize whether any contamination that might affect your mushroom cultures has come from the substrate/environment, or from the mushroom spore syringes themselves:
- Start by sprinkling a small amount of the substance in your syringes on a small amount of substrate. Make sure you keep track of the source for each culture you inoculate – both the substrates and the mushroom spore syringes that the spores came from. Prepare several smaller jars, and see if any of them grow contaminated mycellium.
- Keep track of the cultures that are healthy and document the syringe they came from. In those cases, you can already know that neither the substrate nor the spores were contaminated.
- Use spores from the “clean” spore syringes to inoculate samples from the substrate that was used for growing the contaminated cultures. This time, knowing that the spores are fine, you will know for certain that any new contamination in these cultures will be due to the substrate.
Of course, special cases can occur when all your jars are contaminated, in which case you might have to experiment with additional options. You could try different types of substrates, adjust the humidity and lighting, or test the environment for bacterial growth that might have influenced the outcome.