On this rather strange UK bank holiday where we had thunderstorms and 26c weather, I decided that my ‘new’ fruiting chamber setup was completely inadequate. This is for several reasons, however, the main one was that it was setup in my shed and even though I put some plastic down water was still leaking into the flooring. Not good.
So, what do I do? BUY ANOTHER SHED OF COURSE. So that was my weekend. I was building a new fruiting chamber. Here is how it went….
It started out with thinking of a location, rather tied up on space I had only a small 3ft x 4ft area to play with, fortunately a 3×4 shed was available. I ordered it and they delivered it the next day as… flatpack. It wasn’t a difficult thing to put together but did take about 90 minutes due to a couple of mistakes I made.
But that’s all hunky dory. Now, the reason I moved out of my current shed and into a new one was the problem of water, so obviously, I needed to waterproof this shed as best as possible. I also needed to insulate it. For this, there were two options. Polystyrene or Insulation board.
Obviously, I would have loved insulation board but given that one sheet was £20 and, if costed correctly, the whole shed would have cost about £60 – £70 to do, I went with polystyrene for the grand cost of about £30.
This had a few disadvantages, it wasn’t a clean surface like the insulation board. The insulation board had a flat surface that could be wiped down and cleaned when needed, polystyrene didn’t so I needed to find a solution. It’s also a less efficient insulator, hence the price, but it would do for me.
Next, I had to cover the polystyrene so that the condensed water would run down the walls onto the floor and not rot the wood or cause a mould build up somewhere uncleanable, also making it much easier to clean the walls.
I got my sheet from Screwfix, but you can get the same size on Amazon or eBay. I measured cut the sheet in sections and then fixed them with a staple gun to the wood and into the polystyrene. A tip if you’re trying to fix the sheet onto polystyrene boards is to make an ‘X’ with the staples. Single staples pull out easily but when they’re crossed over the bond is stronger!
Next came the floor. I got some cheap-cheap lino from B&Q for £22 which was the cheapest I could find for the quantity I need (I’ve still got loads if anyone wants it), cut it and glue it to the floor using spray glue. I then cut it into place and made sure it was extra secure with a few staples around the edge
Next, I ran a huge bead of silicone around the edge of the floor where the sheet meets the lino, that way all scum and water run onto the floor from the roof and sides rather than into the wooden floor of the actual shed.
I then worked out which way water would want to run on the floor and it happened to be towards a corner. I then cut and drilled a drain hole where water could be ‘squeegeed’ out every so often.
You can see that pipe goes out of the main shed and into the new fruiting chamber at the top. I was unsure about where to put this inlet to be honest, working on the basis of heat rising and C02 being heavier than air…
However, I definitely need a bigger fan now my chamber is 8 times the size as it was before, so that is something I will be working towards. Although this fan keeps up with the small number of mushrooms I have in there right now, as it fills up humidity, C02 and FAE will all need to be scaled up. Ideally the room would have ‘positive pressure’ so that Is what I will work towards.
As you can see, the electrics for now is a simple Tupperware box with some holes melted out of it using an old soldering iron, I’ve got an Arduino temp/light/humidity project in the works so once I’ve built that whole system I’ll make the electrics a little less… illegal?
So that’s it. My little homemade fruiting chamber. I’m defiantly pushing the limit only using 1 mister. If I keep the door shut and don’t keep peaking, the humidity rises to 96% overnight before I ruin it and it drops to around 80%, I’ll address this amongst other nagging concerns a little later on! Mushrooms are tenacious, although they prefer crazy high humidity, they will still thrive on less than optimal! As Matt Smalls Blue Barrel Tek proved, you can grow outside without any extra humidity concerns!
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