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A Cut-and-Dried Method for Drying Your Magic Mushrooms

There’s a good reason you don’t eat magic mushrooms fresh — they don’t last as long as dried ones. With that in mind, here’s how to dry them out for a very un-dry time

If you’ve ever bought shrooms off a dealer, you may have been surprised to find that — unlike the delicious mushrooms you get in the supermarket — they were shriveled up and kinda crispy. Although this texture (along with the nature of psychedelic mushrooms) makes them much less tasty than regular mushrooms — and sometimes reduces their potency — it does preserve them, meaning you can enjoy them at your leisure. 

Fresh mushrooms last around five to 10 days in the fridge, so if you want to trip immediately after harvesting, then you don’t need to worry. But if you have too many, or just aren’t ready to take them yet, then you’ll need to dry them — and dry them properly and quickly, in order to avoid them decomposing.

As Double Blind reports, before you do anything else, you’ll need to cut off the bottom of your shrooms’ stems to remove the substrate — the material that helped them grow. “Although it played a critical role in the growing process, it’s no longer useful to the end-goal,” the publication explains. Zamnesia also recommends pre-drying your shrooms by placing them on a piece of cardboard or a dry towel and leaving them in a well-ventilated area that’s out of direct sunlight.

Then, you have a handful of options. If you have a food dehydrator on hand (there’s a guide if you’re looking to buy one here), you can put the shrooms into the machine, set the temperature and time, and wait until they’re “cracker-dry.” Double Blind offers the following specifics: If you have a horizontal dehydrator, dry them for two hours at 110 to 120 degrees, or if you have a vertical dehydrator, it’s two hours at 158 degrees. This takes around four to eight hours, but you should check on them every hour or so. When they “snap under pressure,” that’s when they’re ready to go.

Most people, however, just air-dry their mushrooms, which requires a piece of cardboard, a cooling rack or sushi mat as well as a slow-moving fan and a well-ventilated spot away from the sun. You can also add an electric heater under the shrooms to regulate the temperature. Zamnesia warns that this method can be inconsistent, as it’s difficult to know the humidity of the environment (though you can buy a hygrometer to measure it). This method takes a couple of days.

The final way of drying your shrooms is to use a desiccant, which Shroomery describes as “a chemical substance that absorbs water from the air” — the dry air then extracts water from your shrooms. This is often done after you’ve air dried them, as they need to be as dry as possible for the desiccant to extract the last amount of water. After air-drying, Shroomery advises that you place the shrooms in an air-tight container, with a rack separating the desiccant (bottom layer) and shrooms (top layer). Common desiccants are silica gel, calcium sulfate and calcium chloride, which you can buy online.

Although you need to do it quickly and properly, drying shrooms isn’t particularly difficult. Take this Redditor, for example, who just sets them “behind his PS3 by the fan” for a couple of days while he plays video games. Or this person, who didn’t buy anything new, and just left them next to a bulb and a fan. Easy!

After your shrooms are thoroughly dried, you need to store them properly: in an air-tight container in a cool, dark location. After that, they’re ready to blast off whenever you are.