Page 4 – The Drying Process
The next thing you want to do is pour all of your mushrooms onto a nice flat surface, here I’ve chosen one of my favourite LP’s – Blues for Allah by the Grateful Dead. You want to get rid of any dirt and bugs that may have traveled with you in the paper bag.
Now you can line them all up and take a sweet mug shot!
Next you want to prepare a drying platform for your mushrooms; chicken wire works best as it allows all angles of the mushrooms to dry, but newspaper is easier to get and works just as well. Never dry magic mushrooms in the oven using high temperatures – extreme heat kills psilocybin, the psychoactive compound in the mushrooms. If someone tells you they smoked magic mushrooms, they are full of crap. Laugh openly at their lies. Here I have a screen printing frame with chicken wire placed over it and I simply placed the mushrooms on top of the wire. Feel free to improvise.
Now you want to keep them in front of a fan overnight. If your fan has a heat mode, feel free to use it as it shouldn’t be too hot to worry about, otherwise cold air will work just fine. Obviously you’re not going to want to use the highest setting either or all your mushrooms will blow away. Believe me, it blows when that happens… (I know, but I had to). I placed the drying tray on top of a box so it could get the full stream of air from the fan and also made a little roof/wall setup out of folded up boxes. This is not necessary; I partly did it to ensure all of the air targeted the mushrooms, and partly to keep them out of sight.
After 24 hours of fan time the mushrooms will be dry… but not dry enough. You want the mushrooms to be cracker dry, that is you want the stem to snap if you try to bend it. The fan is half the battle – it will have shrunk the mushrooms in size a fair bit, but they will still have some moisture left in them. If you were to put them in a jar now, that tiny bit of moisture will sweat up the jar and rot all of the mushrooms eventually. You have two options here, one is called the oven, and the other is called the damprid chamber. I will walk you through both of them. First the oven:
- Preheat oven to 160°.
- Wait 20 minutes, turn the oven off and open the oven door a tiny bit.
- Let oven cool for 5 minutes, then place the fan dried mushrooms in the oven over several layers of newspaper, leaving the oven door open.
- Wait 15-20 minutes, remove the mushrooms from the oven and let them cool in open air for 10 minutes.
Finally once they’re cracker dry you can get a airtight container, preferably glass over plastic, and store them inside. If you have any vitamin containers or old shoe boxes lying around in the house be sure to rummage inside them for the little gel packets which are called ‘desiccant’ – yes, those things! Finally they have a purpose! These are designed to absorb moisture, so if you keep a couple inside the jar then they will ensure that the mushrooms remain dry.
I taped my desiccant packets to the lid just so they wouldn’t be in direct contact with the mushrooms. I’m sure it doesn’t matter if they touch considering the desiccant is sealed, but just to be on the safe side grab the sticky tape. The second post-fan option is the damprid chamber. It sounds hardcore because it is.
Damprid is basically super desiccant; it absorbs moisture like it’s nobody’s business. Pour the loose crystals into a tub or container then put a layer of chicken wire slightly above it so they are not touching, then you simply place the mushrooms on top of the mesh, and add more layers of chicken wire on top if needed. Close the lid and leave for 24 hours.
Someone over at the shroomery forums came up with an even better idea for a damprid chamber which I will share with you. It’s a little container which you can buy for $4 at Big W (they also sell damprid) and appears to have been designed with this exact operation in mind… I think it’s for steaming vegetables, but it’s going to be used for drying magic mushrooms all over Victoria now!
As you can see you pour the damprid under that clear plastic strainer thing, then you can just pour the mushrooms into that and close the lid! If you see yourself picking every year (it’s a great hobby) or you expect to luck out and find a monster patch, then your best option is buy a food dehydrator. This is the most time effective option, and the most cost effective in the long run as it saves you having to buy damprid all the time. Damprid is fucking expensive for a ghetto approach to drying. Besides, Big W is bound to get suss sooner or later! With a food dehydrator you can skip the whole fan and damprid process, thank God. Simply put them in the dehydrator, set the temperature to 35° C (no higher), leave them in there overnight, pray to the inventor of food dehydrators, and then they should be dry enough for long term storage.
One way of storing your dried mushrooms is to grind them up into a fine powder with a coffee grinder. This is done mainly to even out the potency between each dose, as the psilocybin content can vary from mushroom to mushroom. Two doses of powdered mushrooms are guaranteed to be of the same potency, while two doses of fresh or dried mushrooms are not. Once the mushrooms are grinded there are a couple of other advantages: 1. Easier to make a mushroom tea. 2. Saves space. 3. It is possible to make caps. When making caps it is best to get the 00 size, and to acquire an automatic filler, as it’s a pain to hand fill each cap. Caps are a preferred method of storing and consuming mushrooms for a lot of people as it’s infinitely times easier to eyeball a dose, as you’ll know the average quantity of dried ground up mushroom matter inside each capsule (I’ve found you can get half a gram dried inside an 00 sized cap). I personally prefer not to store my mushrooms as powder as I like to have the choice to grind or not before I dose. But seeing as this guide is meant for you and not me, storing your mushrooms this way is a good option to consider.
I had planned on saving this following method of consumption for my follow up guide, but I’ll share it quickly now. Mix your dried magic mushroom powder with lemon juice. The high acidity of the lemon juice will convert all of the psilocybin into psilocin, which is what your digestive system naturally does when you eat the mushrooms anyway. Having it converted before digestion results in a faster absorption rate therefore bringing the effects on faster and stronger. Wait a few minutes for the conversion process to take place and then pour the liquid into a pot of your favourite tea, or a glass of orange juice (for taste). Once they’re dry, in whichever form you’ve chosen, put them in your airtight container and leave it closed in a cool and dark place (a drawer is fine, but a freezer is best, yes you can freeze dry mushrooms, but not fresh ones) and whenever you feel like having a strange time they will be there waiting for you!
Good luck! On the next page you will find pictures of a big patch I found this season, along with the drying process for that particular haul (this was before I got the dehydrator, hard times indeed).