How to Build a Home Fruiting Chamber

Select and build the right fruiting chamber to start your own home mushroom cultivation project using one of these chamber methods.

Getty Images / dangphoto2517

Fruiting in Vessel


Simply fill vessels partway with substrate, leaving closed-off air space at the top. The humidity of the substrate usually provides enough for fruiting. This doesn’t work for all species, but reishi, pioppino, lion’s mane, enoki, and others with high CO2 tolerance can fruit like this. Others will either refuse to fruit or will form tough, exaggerated stems.

Humidity Tent

A humidity tent is the easiest and cheapest option, but it has a small capacity and doesn’t allow any automation. It is simply a light frame or rack larger than the vessel to be fruited with a plastic bag over it. It can be hung or placed on a surface. It can have a moisture-holding medium in the bottom such as perlite, coir, peat, or a folded towel to evaporate moisture into the chamber. Mist the inside walls of the tent 1–5 times per day. Make sure there are holes or slits at top and bottom to allow airflow and drainage. The heavier CO2 will fall out the bottom and be passively replaced by fresh air through the top. Having multiple tents can allow blocks of different species and ages to each have their own microclimate, and to segregate contaminated kits that are fruiting anyway.

Shotgun Fruiting Chamber (SGFC)

Invented by Marc R. Keith/RogerRabbit and widely used as a small fruiting chamber, the NPQ? uses natural air currents to provide high RS and QTU. Moistened and drained perlite fills the bottom and provides constant evaporative humidity and airflow. As humid air is less dense than dry air, the evaporation causes an updraft and further evaporation as fresh air is pulled in from the holes in the bottom. Supplemental misting is usually necessary, and if mushrooms show signs of CO2 overload, fanning out stale air with the lid occasionally helps.

A local oyster strain fruits from coffee grounds in a fully automated, mono-tub-like terrarium. The timer runs a small computer fan intake, and a humidstat activates a pond fogger in-line after the intake. The plant sits atop a vacuum cleaner HEPA filter repurposed as an exhaust filter to prevent contaminating the human living space with sports. - Charlie Aller

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