Once harvested, shrooms cannot sustain their freshness for a long time. If you intend to store them for later consumption, you must dry them first. However, to make them cracker-dry, you should secure a desiccant. Unfortunately, these are comparably costly, difficult to get, and mostly noxious. Luckily, you can make a homemade shroom dryer – which is a cheaper version of desiccant.
Drying shrooms is a simple means to reuse the produce. Although a lot of foods lose their texture or flavor after drying, shrooms improve. Mushrooms were consumed for so many years already and they were stored as a way of food during winter.
What is Desiccant?
Desiccant is simply a substance that takes in water from the air. The most regularly used desiccant is silica gel. It is mostly seen in modern packaging, although it is also seen in foods that have to be kept dried.
However, the most sensible and cheapest manner to dry the shrooms is to develop a desiccant by yourself. Although it may sound quite complicated, it is a lot easier than that. Substantially, you are simply baking the Epsom Salt from the local pharmacy.
Epsom Salt can be something that you relate more with a long-comforting bath rather than baked goods. However, included here is magic.
Epsom Salt, also known as Epsomite, is technologically referred to as Magnesium Sulfate Heptahydrate. The Heptahydrate points out to a hydrate with seven water molecules. To convert the Epsom Salt into a reliable desiccant, you will just have to oven-baked it until the entire moisture is eliminated.
The science behind this happening is being interpreted like this – Epsom Salt is a kind of Magnesium Sulfate whose chemical formula is MgSO4 7H2O. Bear in mind that the formula of water is H2O. Now, you notice in the formula of Magnesium Sulfate that there is 7H2O, right? This means that there are seven molecules of water hooked up, which leads this Magnesium Sulfate Heptahydrate.
Now, if you heat the Heptahydrate, the 7H2O will disperse, giving you with MgSO4, Anhydrous Magnesium Sulfate. Since MgSO4 aims to acquire back the seven water molecules, it will penetrate water from the air until it is drenched. If we place the shrooms along with the MgSO4, it shall take off the entire water in the shrooms.
Pre-Drying the Shrooms
To begin with, it is always recommended to pre-dry the fresh shrooms. Shrooms are composed of 95 percent water and start to dry quickly. Shortly after harvesting, two things can be carried out.
Pre-drying will help in eliminating plenty of the overflown moisture and inhibit them from becoming moldy. To perform this, place the shrooms on a plate and get a fan to blow them until they appear a little shrink and feel dry if touched.
Achieving this condition, the shrooms can survive several weeks of storage. However, if you mean to store them longer, you should try the homemade shroom dryer.
The recommended method is to dry the shrooms in a frost-free refrigerator. The humidity is nearly zero while the moisture is fierce away and shrooms are evenly and slowly drying. However, this will consume a lot of time and not all people have an available frost-free refrigerator. Nonetheless, the outputs are excellent, and the refrigerator can be personalized with shroom racks.
Homemade Shroom Dyer – Desiccant-Drying the Shrooms
Since the excess moisture was already eliminated from the shrooms, your objective now is to achieve a cracker-dry so you can keep them longstanding. The most efficient approach to execute this is by easily transforming an Epsom Salt to a homemade shroom dryer desiccant.
You will have to secure the following items when doing a homemade desiccant:
- Epsom Salt (Magnesium Sulfate)
- An airtight container
- A baking tray
- Parchment paper
- An oven
- A hammer
Steps in Converting the Epsom Salt to Desiccant
- Stuff the baking tray with around 1 centimeter of Epsom Salt. The tray should be stuffed with parchment paper. You must have sufficient salt to achieve a thick layer at the lower part of the container. Hence, always consider the size.
- Preheat the oven to 204 to 250 degrees Celsius. The closer it is to 250 degrees Celsius, the better it is.
- Place the Epsom Salt to the oven and allow it to cook for around 2 hours. This will eliminate the entire moisture that is available in them.
- The Anhydrous Magnesium Sulfate will begin penetrating moisture from the atmosphere immediately as you remove them from the oven. Hence, you need to act fast – do not allow them to get cooled. The salts will turn out to be a sturdy cake. Get the hammer and crush them into pieces.
- Put them in airtight containers the soonest time possible, while they are still hot. There is nothing to worry about the Epsom Salt humidifying again completely during this period. However, the quicker you do the execution, the better.
- You then have a homemade shroom dryer desiccant.
Another way to create a homemade shroom dryer is to build a DIY dehydrator. This method involves making your dehydrator with clean air conditioner filters, box fan, and dehydrator sheets.
- Place the unplugged box fan on the surface with one corner bolstered by 4 to 6 inches. The power is off and the airflow is aimed at the ceiling.
- Put one of the air filters on the upper part.
- On a dehydrator sheet, scatter the shrooms and put another dehydrator sheet over them. Place another air filter over that.
- If you prefer to dry two or more layers of shrooms, put another dehydrator sheet over the topmost air filter, trailed by another layer of shroom, different dehydrator sheets, and different air filter – you can accumulate four layers of shrooms over the fan in this method.
- Knowing that this method does not involve heat, it may take 2 days to finish the drying.
Importance of Drying the Shrooms
For prosperity, drying the shrooms has been the main method of conserving them to utilize the nutrients intended for the winter. Dried shrooms can endure a long period as long as they are exposed to a cool and airtight environment. When drying the shrooms during their peak period, chefs wring of a harvest, keep the largess in condense and lightweight approach, and consume it at their prudence.
Properly drying the shrooms conserves more alkaloids. Hence, the more attention you give to the process of drying, the more kickback for every ounce for you. Air drying is typically the first approach in achieving a crispy-dry shroom. However, air drying can only work to a specific extent since the corresponding humidity commands how dry the mushrooms can become. To achieve excellent condition, additional steps will have to be taken.
With a DIY shroom dryer, you can achieve the desired crispy-dry result. As long as you follow the steps properly, you should be able to enjoy the product of your invention. Drying shrooms will heighten the flavor and enhance the textures. They are meatier compared to the fresh versions.
Dried mushrooms must be crisp and easily snap, with absolutely no moisture inside. If you notice that they bend rather than break, then you should continue with the process of drying. The tiniest chunk of moisture may cause rot or mold. Keep the dried shrooms in airtight jars.
How to Store Dried Shrooms
Now that you know how to come up with a homemade shroom dryer, it is now the best time that you learn about its storage. Practically speaking, there is no single genuine method to store the shrooms. The main concept is to store them cool and free from moisture. Just like the rest of the vegetable matter, the presence of moisture can cause rottenness, and becoming rotten is not good.
- Storing the shrooms as determined dosages is a brilliant idea. With this approach, you are not opening and locking a jar or bulk bag, which may facilitate undesirable moisture and pollutants.
- Place determined doses in little bags, then keep the small bags in a container that has desiccant. Put the container in a cool, dark area or a refrigerator.
- Place the limited dosed bags in a bigger bag and store them in the freezer.
- Execute an extraction of psilocybin with alcohol either to create a liqueur or get crystals. By doing so, there will be no available organic matter to think about. Liqueurs and crystals can precisely last longer.
If properly stored, with a moisture penetrator, the shrooms can stay a decade, although flavor and quality may diminish with every year.
Homemade shroom dryers are useful if you want to keep your shrooms for later consumption. Desiccant, in particular, can facilitate a thorough drying except that not everyone can afford to buy it because of its high cost. This is where learning how to make your dryer becomes practical.
By making your shroom dyer, you do not have shell out a lot of money. If you are an enthusiast of dried magic mushrooms, a homemade shroom dryer is a good acquisition.