Originally published in 2012, updated in 2023 with new info and images.
DISCLAIMER – This guide is in no way meant to advocate the use of illegal drugs; it exists solely to spread an important pocket of knowledge that might have the potential to save lives, or at the very least, trips to the hospital. There is currently too high a risk for the uninformed novice to mistake a poisonous mushroom for a psychoactive one, and so it is my hope that this article helps illuminate the otherwise dark and mysterious pursuit of magic mushroom identification.
DISCLAIMER #2 – I do not have magic mushrooms (or any other illegal substances) in my possession. I destroy all evidence of this rewarding (but sadly illegal) hobby by means of digestion.
Every year in Victoria, Australia, between the cold months of April to August, magic happens. This magic reveals itself in the form of psychoactive mushrooms. They grow wildly in parks, playgrounds, creeks, forests, nature strips and garden beds They thrive pretty much anywhere with wood chips, tanbark, or mulch that gets a lot of rain and shade. Of course, there are lots of poisonous doppelgängers out there, so it pays to have a bit of experience in identifying the right ones. This ‘experience’ is something I have acquired over the past five or six years of picking and eating magic mushrooms, and so this guide is written with the hope of sharing that knowledge with others. Why buy a man a fish when you can give him a fishing rod, right? This guide will attempt to explain how to find magic mushrooms on your own (or with friends), and outline some good methods of drying and storing them.
Table of Contents
- Psilocybe Subaeruginosa Hunting Guide
- Where to Find Magic Mushrooms
- When Can You Find Magic Mushrooms In Australia?
- How to Identify Common Non-Active Mushrooms
- How to Dry Magic Mushrooms
- How to Store Magic Mushrooms
- The ‘Monster’ Patch
- Helpful Links
Psilocybe Subaeruginosa Hunting Guide
In Victoria, the psychoactive species is called psilocybe subaeruginosa, also called subs for short, or gold tops – feel free to call them whatever you like. The species is characterised by a caramel brown cap, creamy brown gills, and a thick white stem that bruises blue when handled – they also taste like dirty water, but maybe that’s just me? These mushrooms are very easy to distinguish, maybe not at first, but eventually you will have no trouble spotting them from the crowd. Please understand that I cannot help you out with finding any psychedelic mushroom that isn’t psilocybe subaeruginosa, as my hunting experience is limited to that species as it’s the only one active strain that grows where I live. If you’re from somewhere else in the world then you should check out this list of psychedelic mushrooms found in various countries and their states. Once you know what species you’re looking for you will have to find it on your own.
Seeing as how important your life is it would be a shame to eat a poisonous mushroom and potentially die, so if you’re just starting out it’s best to play it safe. The initial symptoms one may experience after ingesting a poisonous mushroom include severe abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhoea, lasting as long as 9 hours. Toxins also severely affect the liver, which can result in gastrointestinal bleeding, kidney failure, coma, or even death. I sound like an anti-cigarette ad right about now. A lot of cases have been reported in which a person has mistakenly eaten a poisonous mushroom and felt nothing but nausea only to die a few days later. Pretty scary!
To be 100% sure you have psychedelic mushrooms you will need to make a spore print (this is some CSI shit), which is where you take the cap off the stem and leave it face down on a piece of paper or foil overnight – the cap will drop tiny spores onto the paper, which will be a dark purpley brown colour if the mushrooms are psychedelic. Don’t waste these spores! Collect and pour them into a spray bottle filled with water, then spray it on your patches to see accelerated growth.
It’s also worth taking a good picture of the mushroom in question, preferably with the entire mushroom in focus, along with the habitat in which you found it, so you can get it identified by professional mycologists over at the mushroom hunting/identification forum at shroomery.org. They’re good people that only want to help!
Cap: 1.5-5 cm. Conic to convex expanding to broadly convex with a slight umbo (central bump). Translucent and striate when moist. Hygrophanous and caramel or olive brown fading in drying to a pallid brown to a dingy white. Can sometimes appear wavy, with the gills around the edge of the cap sort of pointing towards the sky.
Gills: Adnate to annexed. Cream coloured when young (think milky tea), smokey-brown when matured (think chocolate Big M).
Stem: 30-125 mm long by 2-5 mm thick. A shiny white, and quite sturdy. Can be uniform and straight but usually with a slight twist. Sometimes long and thin, other times short and fat, depends on the growing conditions. Usually swollen at base. Bruises blue.
Habitat: Solitary to gregarious in complex habitats such as soils rich in woody debris, decaying piles of leaves and twigs, sandy woody soils, gardens and amongst bark chips.
Distribution: Australia and New Zealand.
Season: May through August
Potency: Dried: 8mg psilocybin per gram + 1.5mg of psilocin per gram. Fresh: 0.799mg psilocybin per gram + 0.239mg of psilocin per gram. Magic mushrooms are roughly 90% water weight, so as a general rule 10 grams fresh will equal 1 gram dried. Some of the psilocin will disappear as a result of the drying process, so fresh magic mushrooms are usually more potent than dried ones. It’s also worth noting here that subaeruginosa is considered to be one of the most potent species of magic mushroom, second only to psilocybe azurescens.
Dosage: 1 – 3.5 grams dried, 8 – 30 grams fresh. Please see the Dosage Calculator to decide on an adequate dosage for the plateau you want to reach. Note that re-dosing with magic mushrooms doesn’t have the same effect as with most drugs, such as ecstacy, as taking a second dose after the first one has already kicked in will not ‘double up’ the effects but only prolong the current effects. It’s best to have a set of pocket scales handy to weigh up your doses, but in case you don’t have a set, you can refer to this picture to get a visual estimate of what a gram of dried mushrooms looks like. Note that the picture contains 3 individual grams – it seems that 3 medium sized mushrooms equals roughly 1 gram. Also note that the mushrooms in this picture are dried, and so they have shrunk considerably in size from what they originally looked like.
When it comes to picking psychedelic mushrooms it’s helpful to remember that once you pluck them out of the ground they instantly become class A drugs – the same category as heroin, crack and cocaine. So it’s wise to have a good cover story – if you have a dog, bring it with you; it’s not illegal to walk your dog. If you don’t have a dog but have a camera instead, bring that with you (why not bring both if you have them!?) If you don’t have a dog, but have a cat… Please don’t be one of those people that walk their cats. They can walk themselves just fine.
It’s always a good idea to bring a camera on your hunts, not only to help get the mushrooms identified, but so if you’re unfortunate enough to get confronted by the fuzz you can say you are testing out your new camera. This will explain why you are on your knees looking at mushrooms, as your camera has a macro function and you need to get up close to use it. Keep all of your mushrooms in a paper bag (plastic bags will trap all the moisture and make your mushrooms turn to sludge), or in a tupperware container lined with newspaper, and have it stashed in a backpack at all times, that way you never get caught with anything illegal visibly in your possession, and it is unlikely cops will ever ask to search your bag if you’re simply strolling through a park.
If you ever do get caught with mushrooms just say you are doing a mycology assignment and are examining the various mushrooms growing wildly, or if that’s too lame an excuse for you, say you are simply looking for some non active edibles for tonight’s dinner – basically say anything that comes to mind but never mention that you are specifically looking for magic mushrooms. The cops will doubtfully know what the difference is between them anyway and will not waste their time to take you down to the station. At most they might just ask you to empty your bag (which you should do respectfully) and call it a day. Most people going picking end up taking home nothing but non active mushrooms anyway, so there is no point in being nervous if you actually have nothing illegal on you. Keep a childlike ignorance with you at all times and you will be fine – you can apply this to lots of situations, have fun with it!
If you are really paranoid about getting caught you probably shouldn’t be fooling around with psychedelics anyway. They will only expand and trap you in your own paranoia, these are meant to be taken with a clear head and in a stress free environment, and with people you know and trust. Like I said earlier, if you happen to live in Victoria, there is one mushroom you are hunting, and only one. All of the others are not important, so don’t bother picking them. Then again a particularly cautious individual might purposefully pick the wrong ones along with the right ones in case they are confronted by police, as it makes their stash appear a lot less incriminating if it’s an assortment of mushrooms rather than a bag full of class A drugs. It would be far easier to plead ignorance in this case as the appearance of many types of mushrooms is confusing and will surely make it hard for anyone to accuse you of picking a ‘particular’ mushroom. They can still suggest you were picking magic mushrooms but you can just point to the bag and say ‘I picked many mushrooms, which ones are magic?’, a question they will be unable to answer.
Police paranoia aside, It is important to develop an eye for spotting the right ones and sorting them from the wrong ones. The pictures scattered throughout this guide display both the mushroom in question and their ideal habitat. They grow on wood chips and bits of twig and are sometimes hiding under patches of grass, but more often than not they are in woody areas. Note, while subs love to grow on and around wood chips, they do not grow on trees, so don’t waste your time checking every one you see. Scan the ground, that’s where they are. You will get used to walking everywhere you go with your head pointed to the ground (so much so that your neck might start to hurt) and people will no doubt think you look suss as hell.
This breed of mushroom doesn’t like the heat and will generally stick to shaded areas, but they love their rain. If the season is very wet the mushrooms will grow bigger and there will be more of them. Subs start out small, and have little button/knob like caps which connect to the stem. Don’t pick them when they’re small! Let them grow so that you not only get a bigger mushroom (later), but also so they have a chance to drop spores and spread their goodness. The texture of the cap is similar to a puppies’ nose – velvety smooth and wet. The stem is thick (not needle thin!) and doesn’t feel hollow to the touch. Sometimes it curves a bit, or a lot. Once the mushroom matures the cap blooms open and exposes the gills, which is the fleshy material under the cap, so it can drop spores onto the ground and grow more of the little guys. The colour of the gills is dependant on the spores inside them, so older specimens will appear browner, and younger ones lighter.
Sometimes the cap can be flat and symmetric or it can appear wavy and disorganised, and this is O.K; mushrooms, like people, take a variety of different shapes. You will often see psychedelic mushrooms covered with nibble holes, and may even see a caterpillar munching on one. Who knows what effect this has on the little dudes – maybe they turn into butterflies and fly away!
The subaeruginosa mushroom sometimes grow in solitary, or with a few placed sporadically around them, or they can grow in huge clusters with mushrooms literally fighting for space, which can look like they’re all growing out of each other. These ones are usually harder to pick out of the ground without unearthing the whole lot, which is looked down upon by the picking community. When picking, you will often see fellow mushroom hunters; smile politely and don’t be afraid to say hello, or ask for advice. Sometimes they will even share spots with you. Don’t worry, no one is going to beat you up for your mushrooms, they grow everywhere and so your big bag is not going to make anyone burn with jealousy. But then again who knows? Maybe they will beat you up. Stranger things have happened.
In the below two pictures you can see the difference between a young and a mature magic mushroom. The tan coloured gills on the left indicates a subaeruginosa mushroom that is in early to mid development. Notice the slight blueing around the edge. The brown gills on the right indicate a mature subaeruginosa mushroom, you can see its much darker brown colour. This has to do with spores; older mushrooms tend to drop more spores and so these collect inside the gills which makes them appear darker than the younger ones.
Now for a look at the stems of a young and mature magic mushroom. On the left is the stem of the tan gilled mushroom, and on the right is the stem of the brown gilled mushroom. Notice how the younger mushroom has a whiter, cleaner looking stem, while the older one has a more greyish white stem – it looks like it’s seen a lot of things in its time.
You can also see how the stalk is fairly thick. If you squeeze it gently with your thumb and index finger you should feel that it is packing a lot of water weight and will be firm, but spongy. It should also bruise blue, as this indicates the presence of the psychoactive ingredient psyilocybin, which is the chemical that converts itself into psilocin upon digestion, attaches itself to the serotonin receptors of your brain and eventually makes you trip ballz. The more potent the mushroom, the more aggressive the blueing will be, at least that’s what I like to think – I don’t have a crazy science lab going on in my basement to test this theory out. The psilocybe subaeruginosa mushrooms also have a glossy sheen to the stalk that almost looks like it has a wood grain, sort of like what you see on an electric guitar with a gloss finish. You can notice that on the above two pictures no doubt.
In this picture you can see the caramel coloured cap, which often fades into a paler colour around the ring. It is for this reason that I personally nickname them Jersey Caramels, a name which hasn’t and probably never will catch on. Jersey caramels (pictured right) are the best. So that pretty much covers what they look like. They are pretty unique looking mushrooms, and shouldn’t be hard to spot. There is a toxic mushroom that looks slightly similar, but it is usually much thicker, has a more orange coloured cap and the white stem often has orange on it too. These are bad. The stem should be a silvery white, with bits of grey and blue. No orange. I will cover inactive mushrooms later on in this post. Stick around, kick your feet up.
Where to Find Magic Mushrooms
Above are a few pictures I took to help you visualise the sort of places to be looking for these mushrooms. There are more habitats they can grow in, but these are some of the more common places to look:
Typical growing location # 1: On the side of a walking trail in a foresty/park type area with lots of wood chips.
Typical growing location # 2: Near a creek, or river, with lots of wood chips or fallen trees nearby. I’ve found that magic mushrooms in these sorts of areas tend to prefer slight inclines over flat bits of land, so they will often set up camp on the inclined dirt leading into a creek. Something to keep in mind.
Typical growing location # 3: In piles of mulch! Obviously the piles don’t need to be this extreme, you will often find mulch like this in parks and in garden beds. Who knows, you might have some growing in your own garden? I have never been so lucky, but I like to think there are people luckier than me out there.
Typical growing location # 4: Tanbark. Psilocybe subaeruginosa are wood loving mushrooms, that means they love wood. They can’t get enough of it. Tanbark provides a lot of it, and because the pieces of wood are so small, they offer little resistance for the mushroom to grow out; they simply slip in between the bits of bark.
Typical growing location # 5: Tall tufts of grass. Subs also love to grow in tall grass, especially with lots of twigs or pine needles scattered on the floor. I assume they like it for a few reasons, one being the grass provides perfect shelter from predators such as ourselves; two: the grass collects a lot of moisture from the rain and allows the mushrooms in on some of the wet action without getting directly soaked and waterlogged, and three: the soil is usually softer and offers the least amount of resistance for them to grow.
Because of this mushrooms growing in tall grass will typically have longer and thinner stems than their tanbark and wood chip brothers, who will usually be stumpier (short/fat stems). At least that’s what I have found, feel free to prove me wrong; I have nothing to lose. For a better idea of what sort of habitat these mushrooms thrive in check out this thread which has pictures of all sorts of environments to look out for.
When Can You Find Magic Mushrooms In Australia?
The season generally starts in April, but doesn’t officially start until we get a good amount of rain, which often doesn’t happen until mid to late May. I’ve found that once Mothers’ Day has passed it’s go time. Sorry Mum. One night of rain is all it takes as the mushrooms grow extremely fast, but as a rule of thumb it’s best to wait until there has been a week of good rain before you go hunting. Urban legend says you must wait for the first full moon… Whenever you decide to go hunting remember that the sun sets at 5.30 – 6 pm and it is impossible to hunt then, even with a flashlight, so get up early and enjoy the crisp morning air!
In the above pictures you can see a whole lot of mycelium, which is the vegetative part of a fungus. It grows under the soil and branches off into huge networks that allow the fungus to absorb nutrients. It is out of this stuff that the mushrooms grow, and if you find a patch of the stuff be sure to check back on it in a few days time! Mycelium looks a bit like spider web as it’s fluffy and silvery white. When picking magic mushrooms it’s common etiquette to be respectful to their habitat by not yanking them out of the ground along with all of their mycelium. Bring a pair of scissors with you, if you can remember, and cut them from the base of the stem, therefore leaving their roots behind to continue growing. This is also respectful to other pickers as well, so they may see some harvests in spots which you have already picked. If you don’t have scissors then you can pinch the mushroom at the base of it’s stem; don’t pull it out of the ground, and definitely don’t dig up the soil with your hand.
Before I go on with the drying/storing process I’ll show a few more pictures of mushrooms I have picked in the 2012 season to give you a better idea of what to look for. If you’re reading this guide and it’s not 2012, don’t worry, they still look the same today.
Above is a typical ‘tall-grass’ variety of the subaeruginosa mushroom.
How to Identify Common Non-Active Mushrooms
And now for some common non-active mushrooms (a non-active being any mushroom that does not contain psilocybin), it is useful to know how these look as well in order to diminish your chances of picking them. I will describe non-active mushrooms in three categories: edible (meaning you can eat these for dinner), inedible (meaning you will likely get sick if you eat these) and poisonous (you might die if you eat these).
NOTE: take extra care to not pick any Galerina or Cortinarius mushrooms as they are both very poisonous. Know that these mushrooms do not bruise blue, and their spore print is a rusty brown, compared to subaeruginosa which is violet-brown.
Galerina marginata – poisonous
This is an extremely toxic doppelganger, also known as a ‘skullcap’. Note the veil still attached to the stem from the opening of the cap – these are absent on psilocybe subaeruginosa mushrooms. Be sure to look at more photos and really learn to identify these so you can avoid picking them. If you are really unsure then do a spore print, they will turn up a rusty brown.
Pholiotina rugosa – poisonous
Whenever I take new people on hunts this is the mushroom that they always mistake for subs and is one of the reasons I wrote this guide in the first place. I was known in my circle of friends as the guy to ask about this sort of thing and they’d always send me pictures of this mushroom asking if it was magic – often amidst a pile of actual magic mushrooms. Please take note that the Pholiotina has its veil still attached, while the Subaeruginosa does not. Be mindful of this. Also, more importantly, notice how the Pholiotina’s stem is not white but actually looks more like a sour coke bottle. Again, look at more pictures until you’re sure of the differences.
Leratiomyces ceres – poisonous
The most common non active, distinguishable by their orangey red cap. the appearance of these are usually a good sign that psilocybe subaeruginosa are nearby, but be very careful as they very often share the same patch. Be diligent when picking and ensure you don’t bring any of these home. Much like subaeruginosa, these lookalikes like to grow in clusters. Here are some more pictures to get acquainted with.
Cortinarus – poisonous
There are a few different varieties of this poisonous lookalike, I’ve shown three separate types to help give you an idea. Some of these can look very similar to subs; especially the Dermocybe variety, as they can have a slightly caramel colour to the caps, which can throw a novice hunter off if they’re not careful. Be sure to examine the stem and gills to look for signs of slight orange tones. Since there are a lot of varieties (some are even purple!) be sure to check out more photos.
Hypholoma fasciculare – poisonous
These mushrooms tend to grow in clusters just like subs do, and they sort of share similar physical characteristics. The main thing to look out for is their yellow hue, which is the mushrooms way of saying don’t eat me! I remember in my very early days I would sometimes spot these and think they were magic, so be sure to look at more pictures and identify why they are not.
Inocybe – poisonous
This is another poisonous mushroom that has a few different varieties. You can pick these by their almost milky tea looking caps, stems and gills. Whenever I go picking I almost always see a lot of these uprooted from the ground by pickers who lifted them up thinking they were magic. With a bit of practice you won’t need to do that and can spot these a mile away. More pics here.
Amanita phalloides – poisonous
A.K.A the ‘death cap’ – one of the most toxic mushrooms you may ever come across, it is responsible for the majority of accidental mushroom poisonings. One mushroom is enough to kill an adult human. This one is certainly no fun-guy. Fortunately for you, this mushroom looks nothing at all like any magic mushroom that exists on this planet. It’s big and white and has a slightly yellow hue. Best to really learn what these look like just to be sure.
These ones might make you sick, so do avoid. Fortunately they don’t really look much like subs and are less likely to get you caught out than the poisonous ones above.
These mushrooms are neither poisonous or psychedelic, they won’t make you ill and some of them might even be tasty.
Psychedelic and Poisonous
Now here’s an oddball mushroom that falls under all of the categories (psychedelic, poisonous, in-edible, and edible) depending on how you prepare it.
Amanita muscaria – psychedelic, poisonous, edible
A.K.A the fly agaric mushroom – it is poisonous if not prepared properly. Very easy to spot and by far the most ubiquitous magic mushroom thanks to its rich history and references in pop culture (the Mario mushroom, anyone?). They can grow quite large and have thick white stems and red caps with little white dots on them. Sometimes lots of dots, sometimes not many or none at all. You can also find them with yellow instead of red caps.
Whilst psychedelic, this is considered a non-active as it doesn’t contain psilocybin (the active ingredient in magic mushrooms) but instead contains muscimol. It is also the only mushroom mentioned that is both edible and inedible, depending on how it’s prepared. When eaten raw it is toxic because of a chemical it contains called ibotenic acid. Drying the mushroom converts the ibotenic acid into muscimol (the psychedelic compound), it is important that you dry them properly though (I cover drying mushrooms in depth later on). The psychedelic compound ‘muscimol’ is water soluble, so boiling it (after drying it) and discarding the water will make it edible, without any psychoactive effects (it is very tasty). Alternatively you can boil the ‘dried’ mushroom, and then drink the water as a tea to experience its psychedelic-ness. Whatever you do, just never eat it raw.
So there you have it, you should now have a good idea of what it is you’re looking for, and also (more importantly) what you’re not looking for. If you have any pictures of non-active/poisonous mushrooms that I haven’t covered, or even a better shot of one I have, please send them to me via email ([email protected]) and I will add them to the list. Once you have all of your mushrooms the only thing left to do is to have a bite to eat (looking for mushrooms is draining!), and head home to start the drying process. Or you can bypass the whole drying part by eating them fresh.
Fresh mushrooms, if kept in the fridge (NOT the freezer as they will melt and turn to shit) will last about 3 to 5 days, and will be more potent than when they are dried. About 90% of the mushroom is water weight, so as a rule of thumb 10 grams fresh equals 1 gram dried – therefore you would need to eat about 30 grams of fresh magic mushrooms to have a strong trip, or 3 grams of the same mushrooms dried. Obviously you can eat a lot more too, but if you’re just starting out save the experimentation for later. Doses over 3 grams are for people who have some experience with the territory. Once you dry mushrooms you can hold onto them indefinitely and they will stay potent and edible.
How to Dry Magic Mushrooms
When it comes to drying magic mushrooms, there are several methods you can use to ensure they are preserved properly for short to long-term storage. I will briefly go over four popular methods: the fan method, the oven method, the Damprid method, and the dehydrator method. It doesn’t matter which method you choose as they will all get your mushrooms dry, but it’s nice to have options. So let’s go over them!
The Fan Method
For the fan method all you need is a fan. Any fan will do, so long as it blows air and does so without you needing to babysit it. The idea behind this is that the air will slowly but surely blow all the moisture out of the mushrooms. This is a simple way to dry mushrooms but it’s also the method that takes the longest. For most people the oven would be an easier solution, but for those that live with their parents or suspicious roommates, hijacking the oven for a magic mushroom drying operation might not be an option.
Here are the steps you need to take:
Step 1: Gather your mushrooms and clean off all the dirt and bugs that may have traveled with you in the paper bag.
Step 2: 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. 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 (as I have done).
Step 3: Now you want to keep them in front of a fan overnight. If your fan has a heat mode, feel free to use it, otherwise cold air will work just fine. Obviously you’re not going to want to use the highest fan setting either or all your mushrooms will blow away. Take it from me. 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.
Step 4: 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. Maybe your fan is better than mine though, either way, keep fanning them until they are completely dehydrated.
The Oven Method
This one’s fairly straight forward, so let’s not waste time. We all know how to use an oven (I hope).
- Preheat oven to 160°C.
- 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 recommend this step with all of the methods if you plan to store your mushrooms for longer than a couple of weeks.
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 Damprid Method
The second drying 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 Australia 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!
The Dehydrator Method
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 on this sooner or later! With a food dehydrator you can skip the whole fan and damprid process, thank God. Simply put your shrooms in the dehydrator, set the temperature to as high as it will go (generally this is around the 80°C mark), leave them in there overnight, pray to the inventor of food dehydrators, and then they should be dry enough for long term storage.
How to Store Magic Mushrooms
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:
- Easier to make a mushroom tea.
- Saves space.
- 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!
The ‘Monster’ Patch
Here are a bunch of photos from a humungous patch of magic mushrooms that I found this season on a frosty morning. There’s enough photos here to further demonstrate the physical characteristics of the mushroom you are looking for. These pictures also show subs preference to cluster together.
Update: sadly this patch has been totally ravaged, last time I checked it was littered with beer cans and the ground was completely uprooted. Please be considerate when picking mushrooms, bring scissors or pinch the stem from the base.
The Drying Process
And there you have it, a hopefully helpful and comprehensive guide to finding and identifying magic mushrooms in Australia. If you made it this far – high five. Be sure to check out the next instalment of this series: How to Prepare for a Psychedelic Trip.
- An overview on how to find psilocybin mushrooms
- Australian mushroom field guides.
- A practical guide to psilocybin mushrooms
- Psilocybe Subaerugionsa guide
- Picking Psilocybe Subaeruginosa In South Australia For Beginners
- Australia habitat shots
- Compilation of images showing the variations in shape and size of subaeruginosa
- The woodlover smoothie TEK
- Myco’s guide to creating outdoor patches for woodlovers
- Psilosybe subaeruginosa cultivation
- Documentary: The magic mushrooms of Balingup
- COOKED101’s massive haul – 2012 season (#Pics #NSFW #Mushroom Porn)