Wild Bird Seed (WBS) TEK for Mycology: A Comprehensive Guide

Venture into the realm of mycology with Wild Bird Seed (WBS), a substrate offering abundant yields and countless possibilities. Discover the art and science behind utilizing WBS to propel your mycological adventures forward.

WBS, while popular among bird enthusiasts, is equally cherished in the mycological community. Its rich composition makes it an ideal choice for both beginners seeking a straightforward substrate and advanced cultivators keen on optimizing their fungal growth.


Welcome to a dynamic landscape of knowledge that is continuously refined and updated. Here, you’ll unearth the intricate details of the WBS substrate. Before delving deeper, equip yourself with our forthcoming list of essential materials and a handy quick reference chart.


  • Wild Bird Seed (WBS)
  • Gypsum (optional but recommended for texture improvement)
  • Karo syrup (optional, boosts nutritional value)
  • Pressure cooker
  • Mason Jars (Pint or Quart-sized)
  • Lids and bands for mason jars
  • Aluminum foil

Wild Bird Seed (WBS) TEK Quick Reference Chart:


Wild Bird Seed (WBS)100-125g200-250g
Gypsum (optional but recommended for texture improvement)1/2 tsp1 tsp
Karo Syrup (optional, boosts nutritional value)1/2 tsp1 tsp
Water (for soaking)Enough to CoverEnough to Cover
Pressure Cooking Time90 Minutes90 Minutes
Pressure Cooking PSI15 PSI15 PSI
Please Note: Gypsum and Karo syrup, though optional, can greatly amplify your substrate’s quality.


Selection & Preparation:

  • Start by selecting a high-quality, unsalted WBS.
  • Measure the required amount based on jar size (view the chart above).


  • Allow WBS to soak in water for 12-24 hours.
  • This ensures proper hydration and germination prevention.

Rinsing & Draining:

  • Rinse soaked seeds thoroughly to remove any debris.
  • Let it drain for about 30-minutes.

Optional Additives:

  • If using Gypsum, mix it in now for better grain separation.
  • Karo Syrup can be added for a nutritional edge.

Jar Filling:

  • Filling: Load the jars with the WBS mixture with the correct amount of WBS.
  • PLEASE NOTE: If you followed our recipe (shown above) you shouldn’t have to worry about this however, ensure you leave about a 1-inch gap at the top to facilitate room for expansion and air exchange.
  • Securing Lids: When placing the lid, ensure the rubber seal faces upward. This helps prevent the jars from getting vacuum-sealed during the sterilization process. Another option is to use a mycology lid such as one that contains a filtered vent and/or injection port (we have articles, DIY Supplies, and both Free & Paid for Mycology Courses hosted on our 🍄 Mushroom Academy!
  • Foil Cover: Wrap the tops of the jars with aluminum foil. This provides an added layer of protection against potential moisture intrusion during pressure cooking.


  • Secure lids, cover with foil, and pressure cook at 15 PSI for 90 minutes.

Cool & Inoculate:

  • After cooling to around room temperature, the substrate is ready for inoculation.

Remember, each step is integral to the success of your mycological endeavors. The universe of mushrooms is expansive, each variant bearing its own unique charm and characteristics. The Marketplace on the 🍄 Mushroom Network is a testament to this diversity. It is a haven for those seeking a deeper understanding of the magical world of mushrooms. If you’re keen on learning more about this type of mushroom and other mushroom variants, this Marketplace is your ultimate resource.


  • Ensure the WBS brand chosen is free from additives or fungicides.
  • Regular stirring during soaking can help in even hydration.
  • Some mycologists opt to simmer WBS pre-soak for optimal water content.
  • Always monitor for contamination; a fresh and clean environment is key.

Enhancing Visualization with Food Coloring:

  • One unique method to better visualize mycelium growth and potential contaminants is by adding a few drops of food coloring to your substrate mix. This not only adds a distinct color to the WBS but also helps you discern between healthy mycelium and potential contamination. Bright colors, such as blue or green, can be especially useful for this purpose.

Sterility is Key:

  • While the popcorn itself is somewhat resistant to contaminants due to its tough outer shell, maintaining a sterile environment during inoculation is crucial. Always work in a clean space, preferably using a still air box or a laminar flow hood.

Intrigued by the WBS TEK? Let the 🍄 Mushroom Academy illuminate your path. Our specialized courses, ranging from beginner to advanced, shed light on every substrate intricacy. With us, mastering WBS and other TEKs becomes a delightful journey. Unlock boundless potential in the world of fungi with the 🍄 Academy! Whether you’re a beginner eager to learn or an experienced mycologist looking to broaden your knowledge, the 🍄 Academy has something for everyone.

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Embracing the world of mycology is a thrilling venture, and with WBS as your chosen substrate, success is within reach. Remember, the 🍄 Mushroom Network is always at your beck and call. From immersive articles to extensive courses at the 🍄 Mushroom Academy or premium mycological supplies, we’re your trusted partner. Together, let’s sow the seeds of mycological mastery!

Don’t forget to check out the 🍄 Mushroom Network’s Marketplace to see what’s available. But hurry, our shelves are constantly evolving, and you wouldn’t want to miss out on this wonderful mushroom. Join our growing network of Patrons, Genetics, and Mycologist Vendors only on the 🍄 Mushroom Network!

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