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Mold In Fermenting Substrate


Ratmosphere
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Had some sub fermenting before I went away for two days. Came back and noticed some green mold in my bucket. I let it vent the time I was away. The moisture of the sub was almost perfect. This hasn't happened before because I would mix it every day. I had an other bucket fermenting too. There is no mold but the smell is horrible. It is a strong ammonia smell. Do I need to toss these batches? I wouldn't want to waste all of the hard hours I spent to get this stuff.

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By leaving it to vent, you also allowed other microbes to settle in that might prefer anaerobic conditions. The ammonia smell indicates the incorrect microbes doing the fermentation--it's the smell of proteins from the yeast and flour breaking down instead of sugars being processed. You can try mixing it frequently until the unwanted microbes starve and the mold and smell goes away. If the smell doesn't improve, you could grab a giant piece of cloth to use as a strainer and flush the free nutrients out of the sawdust with water, boil it for some time to kill as much of what was growing as possible, dry it, and start over.

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