Foraging or growing a big batch of mushrooms can fill you with a deep sense of accomplishment and appreciation for the psychedelic trip you are about to experience. Harvesting these dome-capped fungi is only the first step though, storing them is key. After magic mushrooms are foraged they only stay fresh for about a week before they start to decompose and lose all of their coveted medicinal benefits. This guide will take you through how to properly store your mushrooms and continue to enjoy this batch’s effects for up to a year.
If you have found a secret spot to forage your mushrooms in the wild, hold on to it! This means not picking too many of them, ruining your spot for the upcoming year. There needs to be enough leftover mushrooms to produce spores. You can help them out by using what experienced foragers refer to as the pick n’ flick technique. Every time you pick a mushroom, flick it to shake out extra spores for new growth. A woven basket isn’t only used for aesthetics- it has a purpose. As you walk a breadcrumb trail of spores is shaken free to follow in your path.
Storing Fresh Mushrooms
Now that you have your basket of lovingly collected magical shrooms it’s time to properly store them. Make sure to wear gloves or sanitize your hands before handling your bounty and then brush off all the excess dirt. If there’s still unwanted debris coating the outside of your mushrooms then run them under water and pat dry. Be very gentle when handling your wet mushrooms. Over-handling them causes damage which reduces their quality and potency. Once they are dry and cleaned they are ready to be stored in the fridge.
Now, To Dry
Drying mushrooms may seem intimidating but it’s easy! It may be time-consuming but it takes very little effort and no professional equipment.
- Lay the mushrooms out on either a wire rack, flat sheet, or towel.
- Make sure none of them are touching and they are laid out evenly.
- Put your trays in front of a gentle fan and let them sit.
- Within a day they should be dry but they aren’t quite ready yet. Within 3 days they will become cracker dry and that is what you’re looking for. The amount of time will vary depending on the climate you live in. For example, I live in Tofino which is notoriously damp so it will take much longer but if you live somewhere dry like Arizona they will dry much faster.
In this state, your mushroom shelf life has risen to a couple of weeks. Unfortunately, even though they look dry now they will still contain about 10% water. This may not seem like a lot but it is enough to cause rotting. This next drying step is where you can get a bit creative. To remove the rest of the moisture you can use a food dehydrator, oven, or desiccant.
Food Dehydrator: Put your mushrooms in the dehydrator for 36-48 hours and you are done! This is the easiest method.
Oven: Lay your mushrooms on a baking sheet and cook for 12 hours at low heat. This is a great option if you don’t have to pay for electricity in your home.
Desiccant: This is a simple option to do at home which includes Epsom salts or silica gel.
Silica gel- The amount you need will be dependant on how many partially dried mushrooms you have. There will be a 3cm deep layer in the bottom of your drying container.
Epsom Salts- Using Epsom salts as a desiccant is a bit more work than using a silica gel. First, you will need to put your salts on a baking tray and put them in the pre-heated (250 degrees) oven for 2 hours. When you remove the tray the salts should have baed into a solid slab. If they have no then you are not done yet! Once your big salt slab is out of the oven use a hammer to break it back down into a powder and use it right away.
Now that you have decided what desiccant to use, let’s talk about how to use them.
- Put 3 cm of the desiccant of your choice into the bottom of your drying container.
- Place a paper towel over this layer.
- Top the paper towel with a rack before spreading your mushrooms out evenly. You can make multiple layers if you have room.
- Seal the container and move it to a cool, dark place for at least 3 days. If they look like they are cracker dry and ready to snap when touched then they are finally done.
Storing Dried Magic Mushrooms
Now that you have put all of this effort into harvesting, cleaning, and drying your psychedelic fungi it’s important to store them well. Jars with silica packs in them work the best as they will keep them safe and dry. Make sure to keep them out of the sun and at a dark, cool place in your home. Mason jars are my go-to as they work perfectly for everything and storing your mushrooms is no exception.
Now that your mushrooms have been properly stored they can last for up to a year. If done properly, you should be able to experience all of the psychedelic effects that you need until the next harvesting time. Have you tried storing and drying your own mushrooms? Let us know in the comments below!