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How To Make Substrate for Rhinoceros Beetle/Stag Beetle Larvae

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Made this video throughout the past few days. Hope it helps! I'd like to thank Shade Of Eclipse for helping me with extra information.

 

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Nice video! I started fermenting an entire bag of Traeger oak pellets on the 15th of last month. I used a 20 pound bag of pellets, 5 pounds of unbleached whole wheat flour and 3/4 ounce of yeast. When everything was mixed it expanded to roughly 70 liters, though volume has started to decrease due to fermentation.

 

I can't believe how hot it gets! I checked the temp before mixing it last night and it was just shy of 130 degrees! Perhaps that's just because I'm doing such a large batch all at once.

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So far there are some things I've noticed. When using wheat bran, I'm not getting the wine smell you would get with yeast and flour. It smells like an old house and doesn't generate a lot of heat. I know Daniel Ambuehl uses bran too but has bags he puts them in where the substrate can breathe. Also, when fermenting white birch it smells different than usual. It takes a while to get dark and smells like dirty socks. It's a pungent odor! Just thought I'd share some extra notes here.

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Alright guys, so I checked up on my substrate today and this picture is the end result. It is a nice dark color and has an earthy smell. I noticed that the substrate with wheat bran in it fermented faster than the one with flour in it. The buckets with the flour in it did not ferment all of the way.

 

post-7986-0-41795300-1493576848_thumb.jpg

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8 hours ago, Ben10101 said:

Question~ Do you spray water on it to keep it moist?

I'm sure it depends on how you keep it. If you're using the breathable bags and you might need to, but if you're using the tub or tumbler method then you should be ok. Decaying materials will generate a bit of moisture on their own, and it will collect in the box. Very rarely I will dump a bit of warm (not boiling) water into my fermenting sub and give it a good mix, but only if it is drying out and needs it.

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7 hours ago, PowerHobo said:

I'm sure it depends on how you keep it. If you're using the breathable bags and you might need to, but if you're using the tub or tumbler method then you should be ok. Decaying materials will generate a bit of moisture on their own, and it will collect in the box. Very rarely I will dump a bit of warm (not boiling) water into my fermenting sub and give it a good mix, but only if it is drying out and needs it.

Thanks~ I essentially keep the box open to ensure the yeast can breath right?

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14 hours ago, Ben10101 said:

Thanks~ I essentially keep the box open to ensure the yeast can breath right?

I'm sure that could work if you live somewhere humid, but I don't, so I close mine. I split my batches into two 18-gallon bins, so each is only about halfway full, and also poke divots into the top of the sub after each mix to increase surface area. With the bins only about halfway full, and the daily mixing, there is plenty of oxygen available for the fermenting process.

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For me it generally gets warm within 24 hours. However, depending on your temperatures and how much you are doing at a time, it may not be that warm. However, you should smell a stinky smell. For some it's like a wine smell and for others it's a little bit of a rotten smell. If you are getting a smell, you are doing ok. If nothing, maybe your temperatures are too low?

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Perhaps so, it has been 48 hours already and it's not very warm at all -- I used a mixture of whole wheat flour and bran for the recipe. Perhaps the yeast I bought was bad? It may be my temperature though, since it has been low 60s outside, with my room being slightly warmer. I have a hard time telling if there is a "wine" or "rotten" smell as the oak smell is very overpowering for my nose.

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If you can, heat the room to at least 70. I think the acidic smell is the fermentation, generally the oak pellets have a very nice pleasant aroma. So I think it's working. Do you have any larvae frass? You can add some frass and that also works like the  yeast.

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It's been heating up pretty well now - and I'll try to keep the room a bit warmer as you said. Theres been a lot of white mold growing on the side of some of my buckets. Should I break it up or leave it alone? I know it's said to mix compost up to promote aeration, but I'm not sure if this mold growth is beneficial or not. Should I promote its growth or??

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Are you constantly mixing it? Twice a day is good at the beginning. Mix it up really well and keep doing that twice a day and the mold will go away. 

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