The Super Loop
At the SLF we like to pioneer and come up with new ideas that help shroomers become better at their art. And we think we've hit upon the perfect thing to allow you to take your home-made spore syringes to the next level giving them a turbo-charge, so that when you do eventually inoculate something, it'll explode with life. It is with great pleasure (and maybe just a small hint of smugness!!) we present to you our gift to the SLF - the Super Loop.
The Super Loop is an inoculation loop on steroids. It's also a highly practical and easy to make tool that can be designed to your own requirements and needs. You wouldn't think it's possible to improve on an inoculation loop, but we beg to differ. The picture opposite shows a standard kind of inoculation loop. Admittedly they do come in a range of shapes and sizes, but all operate on a simple design premise of offering a stick of some kind that when rubbed against a spore print will pick up the spores, thereby allowing quick and efficient transfer to another substrate. From a shrooming cultivation perspective this is usually a petri dish full of agar jelly, or to a container of sterile water for making spore syringes.
I know it doesn't really look much but behind this simplicity is a lot of clever logic that really lends itself to our job of producing great syringes. We'll explain with the aid of more pictures. The core component of the Super Loop is its steel coils. The metal kitchen scourers are absolutely perfect for our needs as they are cheap and readily available in any supermarket. What the coils bring to the Super Loop is a massively expanded surface area, (compared with a standard inoculation loop) with acres more places where a spore can attach. In fact we've seen a Super Loop hoover up an entire Spore Print in a few quick passes.
The only variable for you is what shaft you attach the coils to. It really can be anything, but we'd recommend metal. In fact we've used a metal fondue stick with great results. It had the added advantage of having some notches on the side of the two prongs which made it easier to attach the coils to. However if you look at our Super Loop pictured, we've simply used a metal shaft, with a rubber grip added to stop heat burning our fingers. However give some consideration to where the Super Loop will be used. In a tight cramped glove box, our fondue stick was a little long, hence why the one shown here has a nice short shaft, for easy movement in a small space.
To get going simply cut off a snippet of the coils from the scourer - probably best to not get too greedy here, and just keep the amount on the smaller side. We think ours is just about perfect. Then take some Twist Ties and strip away the plastic sheath to expose the wire. Use this wire to wrap the coils tightly to your chosen shaft. Make it secure and sound. And then you're pretty much done. We added the finishing touch of a rubber grip, just to stop our fingers burning when we heat up the coils.
The Super Loop is designed to be used with an alcohol flame or jet lighter. Basically use something that can rapidly heat the Super Loop's coils till they glow red hot - see the pic below. When it's red like this - it's sterile - guaranteed. The great thing about these coils is they dump heat rapidly, so quickly return to a safe temperature, but you can dip your Super Loop into some sterile water to cool down even quicker and then swab it across your spore print. Watch it disappear in front of your eyes. Then quickly transfer to your sterile water container and give a quick swish to shake the spores into the solution. Repeat as you feel necessary.