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19th of October 2014


Wow, great idea! I was wondering for some time how I would dry mushrooms without a big gas bill (here the majority of heating is in gas, first tough was to use the gas oven). I have a kind of wood heating place, I can use that and play with the distance to dry them cheaply :) Nice!

It is not so much the warmth, but most of all the circulation of air which dries the mushroom. So, one possibility would be to build a rack and place a small electric fan under it. But of course it is better and cheaped with burning wood =)

I used to have that rack on top of my previous fireplace. Now I just placed red bricks on top of the stove and placed the rack standing on the bricks. Today, when I was at home I didn't have the rack on, I just burnt a small fire for several hours - to cook food and to warm the house. Then before I left for work the fire was out and I placed the rack on top of the stove which was still warm. This system seems to work nicely.

Thank you for the tips mate!
At the moment, for the first time in my life, I'm drying mushrooms :) In the evening, relaxing from a day of work in the city, I wandered through the woods and found 6 Parasol Mushroom (Macrolepiota procera) :3 Autumn finally is starting for real, it was an intense week of rain and mushrooms bloomed everywhere (in the other hand, abnormally, these past days temperature jumped from 16 to 30 degrees till the end of the week). Since 1 Parasol Mushroom is enough for a good meal, and more will come, it was time to dry for the first time (freezer was a solution, but drying sounds better).

I have not built a rack yet, so I could not do it Erkkas's way =) but done it with a small wood stove no one was using for some time, with the door opened and mushrooms inside, just a few wood from time to time to keep a little heat. Now its time to sleep, tomorrow I'll see how it went. In the weekend I'll build a rack :3

Sounds cozy and nice! I hope your drying experiment was a success!

I constructed my rack so that those platforms can be freely moved in and out. I makes loading / unloading easier.

I have never tried Parasol Mushrooms - they do grow in Finland, but are somewhat rare. And it somewhat resembles a poisonous mushroom, and I'm not sure if I can identify them reliably...

My first drying process was a success :) I tooked it slow and clumsy but it ended well, time will tell how well by its concervation qualitty, but I think it will be ok :)

In Portugal the Parasol Mushroom is very common, its nicknames are "Touxeiros", or "Frades" or "Gasalho" (it is a small country, but lots of isolated provinces, so lots os different nicknames in each one). It grows a lot next to cultivated soils at the beginning of Autumn, when time is not very cold like in the late November. It can be confused with some toxic ones, you are right. In portugal the most dangerous look alike and toxic one is the Macrolepiota Venenata. The key tips to identify the Procera (=Parasol) are: vertically movable ring at the top of the stem; stem higher than the cap width; brown salient nipple at the cap center; no color changing when bruised; stem colour like a brown zebra pattern; volva without external skin (these characteristics are the main ones to identify the Procera and differentiate from the poisonous Venenata; the cap should also be 20 to 40cm diameter and stem higher than 10cm (this is important to distinguish from another deadly look alike one I don't remember the name, since it is always a lot smaller than the Procera, never bigger than that). There is another look alike (Chlorophyllum molybdites) but it don't grows in here (and has faintly green gills, not fully white ones). In this article, if you find one Prasol one day, starting at page 12, there are pictures of the main differences between the Procera and the Venata (it is in portuguese, but the pictures are nice and self-explanatory): http://www.drapc.min-agricultura.pt/base/documentos/mproceravenenatafina...

Mushrooms are like women: desirable and beautiful, but dangerous, some can stop your heart if we don't take care xD

PS: when I build my rack I'll post photos :D For now I'm using this (photos of my first drying mission): https://fbcdn-sphotos-c-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xfa1/v/t1.0-9/10710842...

Oo, nice picture - thanks for sharing!

Parasol Mushroom is Ukonsieni in Finnish, which would translate as Ukko's Mushroom, and ukko means either an old man, or the highest Pagan God of old Finnish mythology. Reading my mushroom book it says that they are somewhat common in Southern Finland, and in my area can be occasionally found on places with fertile soil. I'll keep my eyes open the next season - thanks for identifying tips.

I remember one person describing the hallucainations she got when mistakenly eating the poisonous ones instead of Ukonsieni - it came with severe nausea.

passive solar dehydrator


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