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Spore Syringe vs Liquid Culture

What is the difference between a spore syringe vs liquid culture?

Multispore syringes and mushroom liquid cultures are distinctively different and easy to tell apart. A mushroom spore syringe will have small (sometimes barley visible) black specks called spores. Liquid mycelium syringes on the other hand will have a cloud of white clumpy mycelium.

What is the difference between a spore syringe and a liquid culture?

Multispore syringes contain mushroom spores that are basically seeds, whereas liquid culture mycelium is like the already developed roots of the fungi. In this sense, the liquid culture has already got a head start on the growth process. The spores still need to become mycelium. This makes for quicker colonization times for liquid culture mycelium, where as multispore syringe inoculation can take a very long time.

Do spores take longer than liquid cultures?

Yes, they do, but you can just make liquid culture from spores via spores to liquid culture. Keeping multispore syringes or spore prints is a great way to preserve genetics and store long term, as spores last a very long time (at least 12 months if made correctly, can last many years). Liquid cultures on the other hand have a shelf life of about 6 months when kept in the fridge.

What is a multispore syringe?

A multispore syringe is spores taken from a spore print and suspended in distilled sterilized water. There are thousands (sometimes millions) of microscopic spores in a multispore syringe or on a multispore spore print. Each one of these single spores contain a unique genetic code, that when combined with other spores has a randomized and unique genetic make up for the later growing fungi. For this reason, when using a multispore syringe, the resulting mycelium and fruiting bodies will have totally random genetics that are based off of a specific set of genetics for that particular mushroom variety, strain, species, etc. Check out more about mushroom spores here.

At the end of the day when it comes down to spore syringe vs liquid culture, both mushroom liquid cultures and multispore syringes and spore prints have unique uses of their own depending how you would personally like to utilize them.

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How To Make Liquid Culture

Making liquid culture is a process that utilizes mushroom spores, mushroom fruit body, or another mycelium liquid culture to create a powerful and convenient solution used for growing mushrooms. If you find yourself wondering “why do these spores take so long to grow?”, spores to liquid culture is certain to fix those problems!

Our favorite LC recipe is a Light Malt Extract (LME) liquid culture recipe – but you can simply replace the LME in our recipe with 24mL honey if you wish.

Supplies Needed:

Light Malt Extract

Pressure cooker

Tin foil

Micropore tape


70% Alcohol

Distilled Water

Essentially the liquid culture recipe consists simply of 1g of LME (or 24mL of honey) per 600mL of water. You can inoculate this nutrient solution with either a multispore syringe or spore print, mushroom fruiting body, or another mushroom liquid culture.

Making Liquid Culture

1: Jar Prep

You can use for the most part any size jar. Simply make sure your jars and jar lids are cleaned very well, and then poke 1 hole in the lid of each jar with a screwdriver or syringes (tip – keep one extra lid unpoked for the next step). Be careful when doing this!

2: Filling the Jars

There is 2 options in this step – 1. You can calculate how much water and LME (or honey) you need and put that in a pot to heat on low for 5-10 minutes or 2. Simply fill each jar with water and the corresponding amount of LME and shake it up well (this is where the unpoked lid comes in).

3: Tin Foil/Micropore Placement

Again, you have 2 options here – you can fill the holes in the jar lids with tin foil (make sure it fits snug) or you can use micropore tape. Then after you do one or the other, cover each jar lid with tinfoil.

4: Sterilization of the Jars

Place the jars into your pressure cooker and sterilize them at 15psi for 35 to 40 minutes. Let them cool to at least room temperature before the next step.

5: How to Inoculate Liquid Culture

Ideally setup and sterilize your still air box or flow hood, otherwise sterilize the area of inoculation by wiping it down with alcohol.

Remove jars from pressure cooker, place them in the sterile area, remove tin foil from jars and wipe lids with alcohol wipes. If you put tin foil in the holes, take it out and place micropore tape over the hole.

For Multispore Syringe or Mushroom Culture Syringe: shake very well, (optional – flame sterilize needle), clean needle with alcohol wipe, lift up micropore tape, and inject 1-2cc of solution per 500mL.

For Fruit Body, Spore Print, or Agar Culture: Take piece of culture/fruit/pile of spores and simply dump them into the jar.

6: Mixing/Allow Colonization

Now you must mix this solution once a day. This can be done by shaking it up, or you can purchase a stir plate and metal stir bar that can use to mix it for you.

Liquid culture mycelium generally takes 24-72 hours to show noticeable growth (sometimes a bit longer for mushroom spore liquid culture) and can take 5-20 days to fully colonize. Using a liquid culture allows faster growth than spores, as it is contains already colonized mycelium – whereas multispore syringes and prints generally take 5-15 days to even begin forming noticeable mycelium. Check out our article on spore syringes vs. liquid cultures !

How to store liquid culture?

Liquid culture should be stored in the fridge, and can last up to 6 months. Do not let them freeze or get in high temperatures.

How long does liquid culture take to colonize grain?

Generally liquid culture should show noticeable mycelium growth on grain within 24-72 hours (although sometimes longer due to growth patterns) and takes about 5-15 days to colonize a jar of grains.

What is the best liquid culture recipe?

This is something that is for the most part subject to personal preference, supplies available, and other environmental factors. Generally our LME mushroom liquid culture recipe is one of the most simple and consistently effective, which is why we recommend it.

What good LC and bad LC look like :