Finding yourself with a bounty of mushrooms is an excellent situation, assuming you are located in an area where they are legal! However, if you have a lot of fresh or even dry mushrooms, it isn’t always the right moment to eat them all, and learning proper preservation and storage is essential to stay safe from consuming harmful contamination.
If you want to preserve your magic mushrooms for the long term, there are a few key points to consider, like fresh shrooms going rotten and that the psilocybin, the psychoactive compound in magic mushrooms will degrade over time, even when properly dried.
But don’t worry; whether you grew your own mushrooms, foraged them in the wild, or purchased them in their fresh form, with proper drying and storage found in this guide, your mushrooms can maintain most of their potency for up to a year.
Storing and Eating Fresh Magic Mushrooms and Truffles
If you grew your mushrooms or perhaps foraged them in the wild, you might have a pile of fresh mushrooms. You can certainly consume fresh psychedelic mushrooms, and some users claim the experience is somewhat different than eating dried mushrooms, which could be because of higher levels of a psychoactive compound called psilocin found in fresh mushroom fruits.
How to Store Fresh Mushrooms and Truffles
Fresh mushrooms and truffles need to be stored in a paper bag in the fridge to slow down their decomposition. Mushrooms are mostly water and are living organisms that will begin to degrade or become contaminated by other bacteria and fungi.
If you have fresh mushrooms, it is good to take them quickly, as they will only last a week or two in the fridge. However, if you need to keep your mushrooms for weeks or months, you must remove all the moisture by thoroughly drying them.
How to Dry Magic Mushrooms
Dehydrating magic mushrooms is the easiest way to store them long-term. Once their water content is removed, they will not decompose, while the active compound, psilocybin, remains.
When drying mushrooms, it is essential to remove as much water as possible because even a tiny residue can be a source of rot or a point of contamination by bacteria or other fungi, making your mushrooms dangerous to consume. On fresh or dried mushrooms, any odd colors or smells should be regarded as contamination, and the specimen should be discarded.
To know if your mushrooms are properly dried, you can perform the “snap test.” This is bending the stem of your mushrooms until they snap cleanly. If they do not snap and only bend, there is still moisture inside. In this case, more time or a more intensive drying method is needed.
How to Dry Magic Mushrooms in a Dehydrator
The gold standard for drying mushrooms is using a food dehydrator. These can be purchased online quite easily. The best dehydrators can be expensive, although their settings like having timers and different heat settings are helpful features.
To dry mushrooms in a dehydrator, space them apart evenly on the tray and set up the dehydrator in a safe place. Depending on the size of your mushrooms, type of dehydrator, and climate where you live, this can take anywhere from a few hours to a couple of days.
Keep checking your mushrooms until they pass the snap test. Remove smaller fruits and give large ones the time they need as a single shroom not dried correctly could contaminate others.
How to Air Dry Psilocybin Shrooms
If you don’t have a dehydrator, you can dry your mushrooms in a cool, dry, dark place. Examples are a cupboard in the kitchen or a top shelf in a closet. Keeping magic mushrooms in the dark is essential as light damages psilocybin. Ideally, there is a bit of airflow to speed up the process, and some folks choose to set up a portable fan to move air over the mushrooms gently.
Layout the mushrooms on a paper towel and wait for several days. Keep an eye on them for contamination and ensure the surface they are sitting on stays dry by swapping out paper towels. The mushrooms shouldn't be touching as this can be a spot for contamination to form.
Air dry is accessible to everyone, but be forewarned - it probably won’t get your shrooms to pass the snap test perfectly. If this is your only option, it is worth doing, and chopping up large shrooms into pieces can help speed up the process.
If your magic mushrooms have been air-dried, keep a close eye on your stash for signs of contamination. Be sure to consume them without too much delay, particularly if they are not “cracker dry.”
How to Dry Psilocybin Mushrooms with a Desiccant
Another possibility is drying mushrooms with a desiccant. Desiccants are substances that absorb water and, in several days, can remove all the water content from shrooms.
Some examples of desiccants are silica gel which you can find in vitamin bottles, cat litter, and activated charcoal. Silica is the most common, and bulk gel beads can be purchased online for a reasonable price and are safe in most cases. Make sure they are food-grade desiccant packets; getting the wrong desiccant can be poisonous.
To dry mushrooms with a desiccant, find a clean, dry container with a lid. Add a layer of desiccant, place a layer of paper towel or newspaper, and then your mushrooms. Close the box lid and leave it for a couple of days. The silica will absorb the moisture in the box better if not opened frequently.
After about 48 hours, check to see if the silica gel is changing color, which means it is absorbing moisture. Test the psilocybin shrooms for dryness by bending the mushroom stem to see if it breaks cleanly, like snapping a cracker or cookie.
Once you have dried your psilocybin mushrooms, they need to be stored in conditions where the active compounds within them remain stable.
How Long are Dried Magic Mushrooms Good For?
The main active compound in magic mushrooms is called psilocybin, along with psilocin and several other potentially psychoactive compounds. With the exception of psilocin, these are all preserved best in dried form with optimal environmental conditions explain below.
Dried Magic Mushrooms Shelf Life Explained
A study published in 2020 examined psilocybin’s stability in different conditions. It determined that high levels of psilocybin will remain inside your mushrooms for up to a year in the ideal environment.
What to Consider When Storing Dried Magic Mushrooms
Storing Psilocybin unlike storing LSD requires keeping your mushrooms magic for more than a month, you will need to control the following factors as per the Psilocybin Stability Study:
Light will degrade psilocybin. Always keep your shrooms in the dark. Samples researchers studied with the highest concentrations of tryptamines were always those stored in the dark.
It is established that psilocybin will break down in the presence of air through oxidization. The study recommends an “inert gas environment,” however, for those of us at home, a reasonably airtight container should do the trick.
The water inside mushrooms or in their storage environment can contaminate dried mushrooms. Your mushrooms are an organic material that will decompose or be fed on by other organisms.
Heat breaks down psychoactive compounds in magic mushrooms. Higher temperatures over a long period might lower your mushroom's potency. The study showed the most significant drop in strength was at over 100 C°.
This number seems high, but many mycologists remain cautious with psilocybin around heat sources far less than 100 C°. For example, drying your mushrooms in an oven at low heat is assumed to degrade psilocybin.
On the other side of the temperature coin, the Psilocybin Stability Study also showed that freezing your mushrooms might not be a great idea. In temperatures of -20 C°, psilocybin degraded rapidly, and - 80 C° was the most damaging.
The study showed grinding mushrooms proved to be damaging over the long term, particularly if done while they are fresh. Speculation on this was that the cell structure became damaged, causing active compounds to degrade through oxidization and turn blue.
How to Store Magic Mushrooms
Now that you know all those specifics, what exactly can you do?
Well, it doesn’t need to be complex. That ziplock plastic bag in your closet actually will do the trick for many months. As long as the mushrooms are well dried, in the dark, and not exposed to extreme temperatures, they can easily last months or even a year.
Mason jars are also a popular option, along with adding a desiccant like you could recycle from a vitamin bottle to ensure long-term protection from contamination causing moisture.
If you have a large number of mushrooms, getting a vacuum sealer that removes all the air and seals a bag shut is a good option. Restricting airflow offers protection from airborne contaminants and might slow oxidization.
A delicious method for preserving mushrooms is submerging them in honey, sometimes called “blue honey”. This is an old technique that some claim keeps mushrooms fresh for up to several years, although those online anecdotal claims we couldn’t confirm. There also can be moisture and air bubbles in honey, so keep an eye out for weird smells or funky colors if you go this route.
As mushrooms become more widely available, chocolate is becoming many people’s favorite way to consume mushrooms. If you can’t find products legally in your area, you can check out Psyfront’s guide to making mushroom chocolates.
The Keys to Drying and Storing Mushrooms
If you have a stash of mushrooms or truffles, we are happy for you, but please keep them safe from contamination and degradation.
Remember, fresh truffles and mushrooms should be consumed quickly, and if this is not possible, they should be adequately dried and stored.
To store dry mushrooms take precautions like protecting them from air, light, moisture, and extreme temperatures. If you can do all that, you have an excellent chance to keep your mushrooms magic for many months.
Even if you have done everything right, always check for contamination before consuming mushrooms. Anything suspect should be discarded immediately. However, if the mushrooms are clean, you should be able to have many safe and powerful journeys.