Image courtesy of my friends Tony & Tiegan @ FreshCap Mushrooms and their article ‘How to Build a SGFC‘
Ol’ Trusty Shotgun Fruiting Chamber
You may have heard of a Shotgun Fruiting Chamber (SGFC), but what exactly is this?
The imagery may be confusing without visual previous visual reference, but it doesn’t take a far stretch of the imagination to see why this tub received such a loving moniker.
How Does a SGFC Work?
The SGFC works with a 4″ layer of hydrated perlite sitting in a (usually) clear plastic storage bin with an array (grid) of 1/4-1/8″ holes spaced (on average) 2-4″ apart on all sides, top and bottom. The SGFC is elevated, and as best I understand it, the heavier CO2 gas pushing out through the lower level holes creates a uniform convection with a conesequence of releasing moisture into the air. Allowing the air to remain fresh & humid and growing mushrooms at home, easily & with minimal maintenance.
Who Uses The SGFC?
Popular with growers of magic mushrooms, the SGFC is best suited for cake & tray style grows. Bag style grows are possible with a large enough tub (or small enough bag) though per the commonly used design standards offers mixed results with CO2 sensitive gourmet & medicinal mushrooms which tend to have a (mostly less desirable) morphological response to CO2 dense fruiting environments.
In other words, most common gourmet mushrooms that are grown in SGFC as designed, still tend to grow stringy, straggly and while still an effective tool for growing some mushrooms, it’s a lot of work to make and not always ideal for growing bagged gourmet mushrooms.
Not to say or suggest that psychedelic mushrooms don’t also respond to high levels of CO2, as they do tend to stretch when access to fresh air is restricted, but they do not have the same oxygen requirements as nor do they suffer the same consequence of being unsellable as fresh product in the way gourmet mushrooms would be. Perhaps being less desirable to chefs or farmers market customers or shoppers at the store. Not all markets are the same, and some buyers are just happy with fresh mushrooms, but it’s always best to try to hone in your fruiting environment and tailor it specifically to what you’re growing.
Keep on reading to learn about the monotub and finally see the PolyTub in action!