Smelly orchiata

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May 14, 2017
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Dallas, TX
Good morning everyone,

I am frantically preparing for a record number of flasks to be potted up this weekend, and this morning I drained a bucket of fine grade orchiata I have been soaking in tap water for about a week.

As I strained out the water- I noticed it smelled rather unpleasant. Kind of like mold or rotting food. I gave it 3 rinsings in fresh water and now it seems to be fine with just a light mossy/woodsy scent.

I do not recall this ever happening before. Anything to be concerined about? I don't want to use this batch if this mornings rinsings just temporarily masked a potentially larger problem.

For reference- the material looks normal and also is mostly still floating, so it never got waterlogged.
Orchiata is naturally inoculated with trichoderma and penicillium fungi, both beneficial. I doubt you have much to be concerned about.
Orchiata doesn’t soak well, and as it strips the dolomite off of it, I’d advise against it.

I found that the better way was to pour a small amount of very hot water over it- enough to wet it, with little drainage- then wait 30 minutes and repeat.

The hot water causes the bit to expand and become more absorbent.
Thanks everyone- it was ok the next morning and potting has commenced. It just freaked me out to get that smell, and right when I was about to need a ton of mix.

To the question of why soak it- I just did because I always have. The bags do come slightly moist, but I was just doing things the way I always have. Knowing it is not essential- or even good- for orchiata is helpful and will save time in future.