Shrooms or magic mushrooms are quite precious and can be expensive too. When buying ready-to-use shrooms, you must have seen that most of them are sold in a dry form. This is unlike the regular mushrooms, which are sold fresh. So, why are the mushrooms sold in dry form? How to dry mushrooms?
In this article, we walk you through the various aspects of drying shrooms, so you will be able to make a batch for yourself. So let us dive in!!
Why dry shrooms?
Shrooms are a category of fungi. Similar in form to your regular mushrooms, magic mushrooms differentiate themselves due to the presence of a compound called psilocybin. This psychedelic compound is responsible for most of the shrooms’ hallucinogenic effects.
Shrooms, just like your regular mushrooms, contain a lot of moisture and water. This presence of moisture content makes shrooms quite vulnerable to quick decay and spoilage. This is why proper processing and storage becomes extremely important.
Home growers may be able to do some basic cleaning and processing of a fresh batch and store them in the refrigerator. Magic mushrooms stored this way may last you a few weeks.
However, there may be situations where you want your shrooms to last you for more than just a couple of months. Or you are planning to launch a business selling mushrooms. In both these cases, drying mushrooms is your best bet to preserve quality, and potency maintains integrity, and ensure total satisfaction when consuming them.
How to dry shrooms:
Drying shrooms can be done in different ways depending on the equipment you have at hand and how long you want to preserve them. We list a few popular drying methods here.
- Remember that any time you handle a batch of fresh mushrooms, you must follow a few simple steps:
- Never handle fresh shrooms with your bare hands. Use gloves or sterilize your hands thoroughly before handling. You must also sterilize all the equipment to prevent contamination.
- Use a soft-bristled brush to remove any dirt from the surface of the shrooms. If dirt remains, run them under a very light stream of tap water. Lay the shrooms on a soft kitchen towel to absorb any excess moisture.
Air drying shrooms:
- As we mentioned earlier, home growers who plan to finish their shroom batch quickly can follow a few simple steps to dry and preserve them.
- Once you have cleaned and readied your fresh mushrooms, lay them on an oven rack for drying.
- Leave some space around each of the shrooms to ensure maximum air circulation. Expose them to a dry air source and allow the process to continue until you feel that the moisture has left.
- Once done, you can place the dried shrooms in air-tight mason jars and then place these jars in the refrigerator.
- Always remember to add silica gel packets to the jars to ensure that the contents remain moisture-free.
- When processing a large batch of fresh shrooms for multiple sessions, you can store them in multiple mason jars so that the contents of one jar will be enough for one good trip.
Shrooms dried and stored this way may last you only a few weeks. Keep checking on the stored batches from time to time to ensure that there is no mold growth on the shrooms.
Drying shrooms with a dehydrator:
Drying mushrooms using a dehydrator is quite a common method of drying shrooms for long-term consumption, especially by home growers or hobby growers.
This method of drying is pretty straightforward.
- Sort your shrooms according to size. When using a regular dehydrator, place your larger shrooms on the top ring tray and your smaller shrooms on the lower ring tray.
- Set the timer to 2 hours and the temperature to about 110°F to 120°F. Once the cycle is complete, take out your mushrooms for a check. Your shrooms must be what is technically known as “cracker dry,” meaning that you must be easily snap your shrooms.
- If you are able to achieve this texture, your drying process is complete.
Drying shrooms with a vertical dehydrator:
With the vertical dehydrator, you will follow a more or less similar procedure to a regular dehydrator. The placement of the mushrooms and the temperature settings will vary.
- Place the larger mushrooms closer to the fan and the smaller mushrooms closer to the door.
- Set the timer to 2 hours and the temperature to about 158°F.
- Check if the shrooms are cracker-dry. If not, you can continue to dry the shrooms for some more time.
Horizontal dehydrator vs Vertical Dehydrator:
When it comes to drying shrooms, both horizontal and vertical dehydrators do the job well. However, there are minor but significant differences.
The key to achieving good quality dried shrooms is how rapidly and quickly they dry out.
Horizontal dehydrators have a larger surface area which allows for rapid drying out of shrooms. So, if you are planning to invest in a piece of efficient equipment to dry out your shrooms, horizontal dehydrators are the way to go.
So, these are the three most popular methods to dry shrooms. Once you dry and shrooms with the help of dehydrators as mentioned above, you will be able to store them for up to a year safely. Remember, dried mushrooms do not have the same potency as fresh shrooms. So, you cannot really expect a strong hit from them. This is because psilocybin does react to heat. Do not worry, though!! Just up your dose, and you will be able to enjoy the psychedelic effects of shrooms fully.
Drying shrooms – Takeaways:
As we already know, shrooms are composed of a lot of water. When they continue to retain this water and are exposed to the elements of nature, they tend to decay quickly. This is the reason why it is extremely important to process and dry them soon after harvest.
Air drying helps you preserve shrooms for a couple of months, while dehydrating and other methods can prolong their shelf-life for up to a year.
When drying shrooms for long-term consumption, do remember that achieving cracker-dry texture is the key to proper drying. Anything less than that and your shrooms won’t last.
Place your dried shrooms in air-tight mason jars or good-quality zip lock bags with silica gel packs added. Store them in a cool, dry place to ensure longevity.
Shrooms can decay quickly due to the presence of moisture. Drying shrooms is a common way to remove this moisture and keep them usable for quite some time. So, how to dry shrooms? Air drying and using dehydrators are a couple of methods you can use.
If you follow the proper drying and storing techniques, you can be sure to enjoy the psychedelic goodness of these shrooms for a long time.