Spore prints are a great way of keeping genetics safe and sound (swabs are great too but spore prints are easy to store), and every spore vendor uses these to make heaps of syringes. As usual there are fifteen thousand ways of doing things, but this is how I like to do it. The important thing to note here is that I have to make sure everything is super cleanly done, as I’m producing hundreds of syringes at a time and I can’t risk anything at that level (imagine the fun of refunding all of that), so the way I do things involves spending lots of money on a big-ass flow hood, pressure cookers, scientific equipment etc.
You, on the other hand, might just be turning a spore print or two into a buttload of your own spore syringes. It’s a super economical way of doing things, and obviously if you’re just doing your own, you can go a bit lighter on the aseptic procedures if you like. It’s probably fine, most of the time, and if I was just knocking out a few for myself at home I would very likely cut a few corners – mycology should be accessible to all, and much like the amazing Uncle Ben tek, there are various slightly hacky methods of making spore syringes that will be likely good enough to get you up and running with a minimum of expense.
I sell some of my spore prints – they’re the same ones I use to make my syringes with! They are insanely good value if you are prepared to put a bit of work in yourself, and they travel very easily to countries with uptight customs agents.
Anyway, here’s what I do:
Get some distilled water from wherever your favourite shop is. I need this because it’s got nothing else in it (they basically evaporate the water to collect it), which means there’s less chance of the spores trying to germinate and zero chance of any shit being in the water. You could take a chance and use tap water if you’re doing it at home!
Place your science beaker (yeah I know it’s got a proper name but ain’t nobody got time for that) in your pressure cooker (on a trivet so it’s not touching the bottom), throw your magnetic stirrer into the beaker, and top up with lovely distilled water. The science beaker is made of Borosilicate glass, which means heat won’t fuck it up. Water in the beaker, water also in the pressure cooker. Some of this water will evaporate so add a bit more than you think you need.
Heat up your pressure cooker, and once your weight is rocking about like a motherfucker set your timer for 25 minutes. Due to the wonders of science, the water’s boiling point is now 120 Celsius, so this 25 minute blast will kill anything that might be lurking on your equipment or in your water. Once you’ve cooked stuff for the 25 minutes, turn off the heat and allow your water to cool down. This takes ages but that’s life. I tend to do mine in the evening and leave them for the next morning, as this means I can spend valuable time sleeping, which is ace. I fucking love sleeping.
Turn your flowhood on, wait 20 minutes. Put all your stuff that you are going to use in front of your flowhood – alcohol spray, alcohol wipes, spore prints, sterile scalpel (I use disposable ones, but you could easily just get an all metal one and pop it into the PC when you’re cooking your water), magnetic stirrer plate, sterile syringes, sterile luer locks (they’re the little end caps for the syringes). Clean your hands and arms thoroughly with the alcohol wipes or spray, and then I usually put gloves on and clean them too. Wipe your surfaces! Wipe everything! Overkill is your friend here.
Now open your PC in front of your lovely flowhood, and, making sure you keep everything within the airflow, place your beaker full of water on top of your magnetic stirrer. Now comes the fun bit!
Use your sterile scalpel to scrape your spore prints into your water. It’s up to you how many you use, but you’ll get multiple syringes per print, easily. Turn your magnetic stirrer on, and watch the radical little spore cyclone turn your water a shade of purple. Once you’re happy that you’ve got nice bit of spore broth going on, turn the speed on your stirrer down a bit. Don’t turn it off – if it’s just gently circulating you’ll have better distribution of your spores for the next bit.
Open a sterile syringe, and suck up some of your solution. Then open up one of your luer locks, and cap your syringe. Bingo bango, you have now made a spore syringe. You are a god amongst men.
Like I said, if you’re doing this at home you don’t have to go to these lengths. You can take a few risks! There’s a great video by Philly Golden Teacher over on YouTube that’ll guide you through it, but you basically just need some water, a syringe, a shot glass, and a pressure cooker. You can’t really get away from needing a pressure cooker in this game – it’s a really worthwhile investment though if you want to get into mycology in a big way.