Mycelium grows in ambient temperatures. Before using the substrate, you want to slow down the growing process. Place the substrate in the refrigerator (1° – 7°C) and best use it within five days. Don’t place your substrate in the freezer.
Ooh no! I wasn’t able to use my substrate within five days, do I need to throw it away?Eileen Morée2020-06-13T11:41:31+00:00
No, you don’t have to! We encourage you to do a little experiment and still use your substrate. If it’s very difficult to break up the substrate in small particles, it might be that the mycelium already started doing its job by gluing the particles together. Don’t worry, just add a little bit of water to prepare it for production.
My GIY substrate is white upon arrival. Is this normal?Eileen Morée2020-06-12T14:37:31+00:00
During shipping, the mycelium is exposed to warmer temperatures and therefore starts its growth. The white is the mycelium that is doing its job. Sometimes the shipping takes longer, leading to more white parts in the bag of substrate.
Make sure to properly break down the substrate in small chunks to avoid air cavities when filling your mould.
How long does the GIY substrate last?Eileen Morée2020-06-12T14:38:00+00:00
Instead of ethanol, also iso-propylalcohol (IPA) can be used. Also detergent, normally used for dishes, utensils, cups, etc, can be used for cleaning moulds, hands, mixing bowl, etc. Rinse thoroughly so no soap is left behind.
Can I just use my normal oven?Eileen Morée2020-06-12T14:39:41+00:00
No, this is not required. Mycelium grows just fine in a dark place, and some daylight does not matter. Do not place the mycelium in direct sunlight, this will heat the substrate and it could dry out faster.
Can mushrooms grow out of the substrate? This seems like a nice extra feature for my product.Eileen Morée2020-06-12T14:40:49+00:00
It’s possible but it’ll weaken the structure of your product. If this is not an issue for the purpose you have in mind for your product, feel free to experiment and extend the growing period. When the substrate starts to turn brown-ish, it means mushrooms are on their way!
Please keep in mind that if you need your product to be strong, you have to stop the growing process in time.
According to the instructions, I have to mix the substrate once all ingredients have been added. When is the substrate properly mixed?Eileen Morée2020-06-12T14:41:19+00:00
Make sure to keep mixing until all flour is evenly distributed, meaning no chunks of flour in your substrate. Also, try to avoid chunks of substrate by breaking them apart in small particles with your (clean) hands or tools.
Wait, is mycelium poisonous?Eileen Morée2020-06-13T10:40:46+00:00
No, the material will lose rigidity and will become susceptible to degradation when repeatedly exposing it to water. It does repulse water for some time and it even floats! Of course, it not raining all the time. In between showers the material will passively dry and maintain some rigidity. But in the long run, it will lose.
We are working on the development of a bio-based coating that makes our material 100% waterproof.
I’m looking for a sustainable packaging alternative for my product. Is my business product suitable for mycelium composites?Eileen Morée2020-06-13T10:37:46+00:00
Every case is different, but we are happy to explore possible packaging solutions for your product. Reach out to use and we can discuss how suitable your product is.
At Grown.Bio, we focus upon sustainable packaging solutions for people that are looking for circular alternatives. We grow packaging for bottles, electronics, cosmetic products or any other shape that needs to be packed. Check out this page to find out more about mycelium packaging!
What are the properties of your mycelium composites?Eileen Morée2020-07-14T13:44:35+00:00
The possibilities are endless! You can for example cut the material with a saw, drill holes in it or cover it in laminated wood. We recommend natural, biobased sealants as the purpose of the material is to not add toxins to the environment. The material can be sanded and finished with beeswax, milk paint, water-based polyurethane, and more.
I want to use my mycelium cool box to keep my food cooled. But are your materials suitable for food or beverage containers?Eileen Morée2020-06-13T10:35:06+00:00
It strongly depends on the environment in which you place your product. If you keep it in an inside environment, its lifespan can be a couple of years. Only when it comes into direct contact with soil or water it will start to degrade. Do not expose to high humidity.
How do I learn more about mycelium packaging?Eileen Morée2020-06-13T10:33:26+00:00
Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn for our latest developments and research! Are you curious about the possibilities for mycelium packaging for your own product? Have a look at this page about our packaging solutions.