You’ve watched and cared for your crop of magic mushrooms as they’ve gone from seedlings to full-fledged shrooms. Or, perhaps you went out shroom hunting with friends and found yourself with a lot of magic mushrooms to use in the days and months ahead.
No matter where your fresh mushrooms come from, you will want to make sure you care for them and prevent them from degrading or going bad. The first step you’ll need to take? Drying them out.
Below, we’ll cover what shrooms are, why you need to dry them, and how.
Magic Mushrooms: A Summary
First, let’s review what these popular fungi are and what they can do when people ingest them.
Magic mushrooms, also called shrooms, are a type of mushrooms that can be found in the wild or can be grown. They contain one important ingredient that sets them apart from other mushrooms: psilocybin.
Psilocybin is a naturally occurring psychoactive and hallucinogenic compound. It is the compound responsible for the strong and unique effects users experience when they take shrooms.
Shrooms are known for producing both mental and physical effects in users. Common effects include:
- Feeling euphoric
- Increased relaxation
- Distorted sense of time
Because shrooms can have such wide-ranging effects, it is essential that users start with a small dose their first time. And, be sure to use them when you are in a good state of mind and in a place where you feel comfortable.
Why Do I Need to Dry Magic Mushrooms?
Whether you grew your own or went foraging for mushrooms in the wild, you need to be sure you dry what you don’t use right away. The closer you can do to harvesting them, the better your results will be.
Drying your mushrooms is important for many reasons.
- Mushrooms are made up of more than 90 percent (or more) water. Too much water can cause them to spoil and grow mould. If your shrooms have mould on them, you cannot eat or use them, rendering your crop useless.
- Too much moisture can also change the appearance of your shrooms. They can take on a blue or darker colour than they usually have. This can be unappealing to those you share your shrooms with and make it difficult for you to know if your shrooms are good or not.
- It improves their shelf-life. Magic mushrooms are generally very strong, and most people don’t need to use a lot to get strong effects. That means if you had a large crop or found a lot on your hunt, you’d need to use them fast. But, when they are dried and properly stored, dried shrooms can last for up to one year, giving you plenty of time to use and enjoy them.
How to Dry Magic Mushrooms
Now that you know why you need to dry your shrooms, let’s go over how to do it.
There are two ways: one using a dehydrator and one if you don’t have one.
Here’s how to clean your shrooms if you have a dehydrator:
- Gently wash off your shrooms to remove any dirt and debris.
- Place the largest mushrooms on the top ring tray of your dehydrator, with smaller mushrooms on the bottom tray.
- Set the temperature to 43 to 48 degrees Celsius.
- Set a timer for two hours.
- Once your timer goes off, check the mushrooms. If they are as dry as a cracker would be, they are done. If not, let them go a little bit longer. You should be able to snap the stem easily.
If you don’t have a dehydrator, don’t worry. You can still dry your mushrooms; it just takes a little longer. To dry them without a dehydrator:
- Gently wash your shrooms to remove debris.
- Lay your shrooms out on a wire rack, space them out so none of them are touching.
- Get a small fan and point it at the shrooms.
- Turn the fan onto a low setting. You want to be sure the airflow is gentle so as not to break your shrooms. If needed, put some space between the fan and the rack of shrooms.
- Let the fan run on the shrooms for a few days until they reach that cracker-like consistency.
If you use the fan method, be sure you keep your magic mushrooms out of the path of children and animals while they dry out.
Storing Your Dried Mushrooms
Once your shrooms are dry, you need to store them for use. Storing them correctly is just as important as drying them.
After finishing drying your shrooms, place them in an airtight, glass mason jar with the lid on tight. Then label the jar with the date you picked and dried the shrooms and place it in a cool, dark, and dry place.
Although your mushrooms will degrade slightly over time, exposure to light and moisture will speed up the process. By keeping them in the correct container in the right place, you can help your dried shrooms last, so you can use them for the months to come.
What to Do With Your Shrooms
You’ve dried your shrooms; now what?
There are many ways people can use dried shrooms. They can be eaten raw, cut up and added to pizza or pasta toppings. Some people may even grind up the dried shrooms and use them to make shroom edibles or capsules.
While you can purchase dried shrooms from online retailers, some people enjoy growing their own or hunting for them in nature. If that is the case, you need to be sure you dry them quickly after picking them.
Drying your shrooms helps preserve their potency and appearance. Plus, dried shrooms have a longer shelf-life than fresh ones. Although you can utilize “fancy” equipment such as a dehydrator to dry them out, you can also use things you have around the home, such as a fan and a drying rack. Just be sure you keep them in a sealed container and a cool, dark, and dry place when you are done.