This is a second fruiting. The cake was flipped over on wet vermiculite and the remaining top layer of vermiculite (previously the bottom) was given 3 shots of spray from a spray bottle once or twice a day. Notice the large "fat asses". This cake received a lot of water during the second fruiting stage via the vermiculite layers.

These are the remaining two shrooms left to mature on another second flush. But on this cake, the vermiculite was watered only once, at the beginning of the phase. The shrooms are slender. This shows how the fruit bodies shape is strongly influenced by an environmental effect caused by water absorbtion (osmosis).

Also, notice the disappearing annuli. The PF spore race shrooms do have annuli but the tendancy is for them to break up around the gills often giving a ringless (no annulus) stem.

This is a post third flush straggler growing out of the bottom wet vermiculite layer. The entire stem is about 3 times the normal size. The wet vermiculite feeds water into the growing shroom with a resultant large stem.

There was an argument expressed in contradiction to the above results. On the newsgroups, was a post saying that the poster had two cakes growing side by side and in one cake, the stems were slender and not fat assed, while the second cake had fat asses. The poster said that this showed the water bloat theory to be incorrect. But his error was that he did not do the experiment above, and secondly, jar formulation is always different. An accurate rendering of the water content can be dead on if you use a syringe to administer the water. But wide inaccuracy is prevelant when the dry mix materials are scooped up and put into the mixing bowl. When you scoop up brown rice powder, the density of the powder will always be different. This can set up a relative difference. So with the same amount of water (accurately rendered), the difference in the substrate amount will add up to a difference in the relative water content. So, with many jars, the moisture levels can be very different - less or more. That is why the poster saw difference. The difference was in his substrate amount, not water, which makes for a different overall water content in each jar.

The more scientific way to do it, would be to weigh the dry substrate accurately before formulation. Then, the jars will be very close and the results can be more reliable. But weighing substrate is a real pain in the fat ass. If some cakes are fat assing and others not, it is just this relative difference that is showing the results, not the genetics. And if some jars are fat assing and others not, it is because the water envelope is being pushed to the edge. The answer would be to lower the water content in the overall formulation. That is what I did (lowered the 60cc water amount to 55cc's) and I no longer get routine fat assism.

PF substrate has a special water delivery system in built. The vermiculite in the substrate cake is the vehicle. For years I have been pushing the idea that water content should be maxed to the limit for the best fruiting. But now, I am backing off of that. Instead of going for the biggest fruiting, I would suggest going for the highest quality fruiting, and that fruiting is a smaller, tighter, and denser shroom fruitbody which is the result of the right balance of water to substrate. So once you get a maxed up water content and big fruitings but with fat assism, just back off of the water amount a little and you can get max fruitings while maintaning quality by growing the shrooms with slender tight stems.

This photo is from the original PF TEK papers published in 1991. These PF spore race shrooms were grown differently than any of the shrooms at this site. They were grown in a large terrarium with an electric humidier blowing in humidified air on a period timer which provided the growing shrooms with constantly replenished oxygen. The stems grow about twice as long and with no enlarged bases. Oxygen supply will shape shift these shrooms radically.

But a good question would be is what is so bad about "fat asses"? Actually, nothing, as long as there is no water rot or contamination. This article was written not to warn about "fat assism", but to explain it.