I’ll start with the punchline: If you store your mushrooms in capsules, they will probably last a long long time, regardless of container, humidity, and temperature, and lighting. (But, may as well keep them in the dark with a dryer packet, room temp).
A year ago I harvested mushrooms from an single batch and packed them into clear (non-light-blocking) capsules. I then stored them in three different places:
- Set 1: capsules in the open-air, direct sunlight
- Set 2: container within a container, dryer packet, drawer
- Set 3: container within a container, dryer packet, freezer
Initially I wanted to see how much longer a freezer might preserve versus room temp. Then, almost as a joke, I put a few of the capsules on a windowsill in direct sunlight.
Then I waited one year.
One Year Later
I ordered six testing kits from Miraculix (specifically the American distributor, saferpsyche.org). I placed my order and didn’t hear back for a few days, but as soon as I contacted the folks at Miraculix HQ in Germany, they were on top of it – I had my order in about 1 week.
After prepping each test and removing each jar from the incubation process, I was surprised to see all of them near identical color. What the hell? I thought for sure the capsules in direct sunlight and fluctuating temperatures/humidity would be weakened by now.
Was the test kit broken?
Did I screw something up?
I then ran two additional tests – one with lion’s mane mushroom capsules purchased from a store (zero psilocybin), and one without any test material at all. These are pictured on the far right, below.
The next morning I was unsettled. I mean, whatever- I had been storing and using capsules for over a year, and everything was fine. This test wouldn’t affect that. But still – what was going on here?
Time to ingest the sunlight dose and see what happens.
It was morning time, empty stomach, and it had been a couple weeks since my last microdose. I took the three sunlight caps (around 400mg psilocybin total – any feedback that this exceeds “micro” is duly noted in advance). I half expected nothing to happen – to barely detect anything, or absolutely nothing. Yet, sure enough, around 50 minutes, the familiar and unmistakable glow started to kick in.
This seemed so bizarre – sunlight was supposed to destroy psilocybin – but clearly the test kit was accurate in validating the strength of the sunlight dose. This was as potent as any other dose I’d ever taken.
Weird. Not expected. But also, cool!
Why did the sunlight capsules survive? Why did the freezer not really preserve anything more than room temp? Here is my hypothesis:
First, the capsule keeps the contents nice and dry- sheltering it from fluctuations in ambient humidity. Second, the sunlight was only blasting the top layer of the capsule, and the inner-contents of the capsule were shielded from damage.
I suspect over a longer time span the freezer might have preserved the longest. But because the capsules are so robust, it would take a long time – years! – to notice any appreciable degradation.
So – not at all what I was expecting – but good news for capsules!
My practical takeaway is this:
Capsules are excellent for both preservation and convenience. Even though these capsules survived one year of direct sunlight and humidity, you might as well keep them in a dark container with a dryer packet, because why not. The freezer is probably only worthwhile if you plan to store for many years. But even here, who knows, the room temp capsules might be just fine. I won’t be able to verify that until 2027 or something. But why bother… growing is so easy.
So there you have it. As Fadiman would say – one small contribution to citizen science. (or at least, the methods of storage that support said science).