Whether you grew, forged, or bought fresh shrooms, you’ll likely need to dry them before you have time to use them.
Like button mushrooms you can buy at the supermarket, all shrooms have a limited shelf life. Drying magic mushrooms promptly will preserve them for many months under the right conditions while protecting them from decomposition and contamination.
In this guide, we cover how to dry shrooms, different methods of drying magic mushrooms, how to store them, and spotting contamination on dried mushrooms.
While there is nothing wrong with eating fresh psilocybin mushrooms, if you find yourself with more than you can handle in one go best practice is to dry them.
Fresh mushrooms are heavier because of the water content (so you need to eat more), although the rumor is they’re also more potent.
If you are eating fresh mushrooms, be aware that dosage is not going to be the same as most guides provide weight, assuming you have dried shrooms.
In general, the dose of fresh mushrooms is about 8–10 times higher than the equivalent dose of dried mushrooms — but this isn’t an exact science. Psilocybin and psilocin levels can increase much more significantly in fresh mushrooms compared to dried ones.
The length of time it takes to dry magic mushrooms depends on the method used, how you prepare the shrooms and the climate you are in.
A quality dehydrator is the fastest method, being possible in a few hours with good equipment and conditions.
That said, we recommend taking your time rather than trying to dry shrooms fast because cutting corners can leave some moisture behind.
Not getting your shrooms “cracker dry” can lead to contamination during long-term storage.
To decrease the amount of tie required for drying mushrooms, you can break large shrooms into smaller pieces by tearing or cutting them.
This will increase the surface area of the shrooms exposed to air and speed up the process.
Cutting and tearing shrooms will not lessen potency by a noticeable amount.
The drying process needs to eliminate as much moisture as possible, which isn’t as simple as plopping the shrooms in a dehydrator or box.
Shrooms are around 90% water when you get them fresh . Inside and outside the mushrooms are mold spores and bacteria. If you try to dry the shrooms too rapidly, pockets of moisture remain inside the mushrooms. If there is any moisture available, contaminants like mold and bacteria will grow.
To pre-dry your shrooms, make sure they are clean and find a dry and ideally dark place with good airflow.
Set out the mushrooms on paper or in front of a fan and leave them for a few hours to a few days. They are ready for the next stage, when they start to wrinkle and have a rubbery texture.
It’s possible to dry mushrooms for free in a few days. Air can get shrooms dry enough for long-term storage in climates with low relative humidity.
If you aren’t sure about your humidity levels, you can test a location with inexpensive humidity meters from a garden center. For many of us, to get mushrooms to pass the “snap test” (if the stems break clean or simply bend), air drying will only be the first step.
There is also a greater risk of airborne contamination with this method.
How To Air-Dry Shrooms:
- Find a clean, dry, cool, dark place. Good airflow is nice, but a shelf inside a closet works fine too. You can set up a fan to move the air.
- Set the shrooms on a paper towel or paper. Placing the shrooms on a screen or oven rack works and allows for more airflow as well.
- Check for contamination. You are looking for fuzzy stuff, odd colors, or slimy texture. If any shrooms show signs of this, remove them.
- Leave the shrooms for several days. You can rotate large mushroom chunks, but the most needed is time.
How to Dehydrate Shrooms
Using a dehydrator is a great way to dry magic mushrooms. While it requires a bit of investment, if you have a steady supply of fungi, this is going to be worthwhile.
You can buy a dehydrator online or department store. They often start around 100 dollars for an entry-level model and go up to very expensive high-end machines.
To dry shrooms, you don’t need anything too fancy, but temperature controls and a timer function make the process much easier.
Here is how to dry mushrooms with a dehydrator:
- Make sure the racks are dry and clean, particularly if other food is in the dehydrator.
- Place your pre-dried mushrooms on the rack, ideally with some space for air to move around them. If they are big, it’s best to chop or tear them into smaller pieces.
- Close the lid and choose a low setting. It can be tempting to crank the machine up to max in an attempt to get the job done quickly, but low and slow is the best way to ensure the shrooms dry all the way through and avoid heat degrading their potency.
- Check them out after a few hours to see if they pass the “snap test.” Depending on the dehydrator, your shrooms, and the environment, this process can take a couple of hours to a few days.
What Temperature to Dry Magic Mushrooms?
There isn’t a standard temperature to dry your mushrooms. Higher isn’t better, as you want your shrooms to be as dry as possible, inside and out. A gradual, slow process is the best way to do this. Rushing the process can leave pockets of moisture trapped, which creates a danger of contamination.
Research into the stability of psilocybin has also shown that at high temperatures, psilocybin degrades significantly . A very slight degradation begins at 25°C, and then psilocybin and psilocin degrade significantly after 100°C.
For this reason, we don’t recommend using a convection oven, air fryer, or hair dryer to dry shrooms. These methods lack the delicate controls to have a slow and gradual process.
If you don’t want to buy a dehydrator and air-drying isn’t going to be thorough enough, drying shrooms with a desiccant is a great option. This method is also a good low-key way to dry a lot of shrooms, as dehydrators usually make some noise.
A desiccant is a substance that absorbs water. You have probably seen little packets of silica inside vitamin bottles or in the box with new shoes. Silica gel inside these packages protects products from moisture and contamination. Another example of a desiccant is cat litter.
Desiccants have a set amount of water they can hold, but once at capacity can go through a regeneration process. Some products will change color as they reach their capacity for water. However, the chemicals responsible for this may contain heavy metals.
Whatever product is used, avoid contact between desiccants and the mushrooms, as a funny taste can sometimes linger.
Here is how to dry shrooms with a desiccant:
- Find a large box, ideally airtight. A Tupperware or tote works well.
- Purchase a desiccant. This is easily done online by searching for “silica gel.” This can come in bags of gel beads which are convenient for filling containers.
- Make a layer of desiccant in the bottom of the container and add something to separate the shrooms from the desiccant. A screen or rack works well, and paper towels or cardboard work too. Some people bend the chicken wire into a nice rack.
- Seal the container and leave it alone for a day or two. Try to leave the box tightly closed as much as possible in between checks for how dry the mushrooms are.
Storing Magic Mushroom Tips
Magic mushrooms’ shelf life depends on the storage method. Generally speaking, a cool, dry, and dark place is best for mushrooms. There are many different creative options, from a ziplock bag in your sock drawer to mason jars in a pantry or a vacuum sealer for large quantities.
Whatever method you choose, here are some psilocybin mushroom storage tips:
- Studies and anecdotes suggest psilocybin and psilocin seem to degrade under UV light, so an opaque, airtight container is ideal [3, 4].
- As we mentioned, heat will degrade psilocybin too. Freezing fresh or dried mushrooms is not recommended by science. However, psilocybin edibles are suited to a fridge or freezer.
- Restricting airflow is necessary because moisture and airborne contaminants can spoil your carefully dried shrooms.
- The stability of the psilocybin study suggests that grinding and storing mushrooms (like microdose capsules) may lose potency faster.
- Mushrooms will retain their potency for several months to up to a year, depending on how dry they are and the storage situation.
- Adding desiccant packets and O2 absorber to containers protect from contamination and increase shelf life.
- Mushrooms chocolates, gummies, or gel keep longer by protecting the psilocybin extract from degradation inside a delicious package. While these products have a long shelf life, we don’t really know for sure. Reports online suggest over a year.
Spotting Dried Mushroom Contamination
Knowing if dried magic mushrooms are safe to consume hinges on spotting contamination. This usually shows up in colors like black or green, and a foul smell will also be present. Do remember that mushrooms will have a bluish tinge to them, and this probably isn’t mold.
Pay attention too for slimy texture and if, over time, your shrooms are transitioning from cracker dry to soft and bendy. This means there is still moisture in them, and a deeper drying process is necessary to protect them from decomposition and contamination.
FAQs: Drying Magic Mushrooms
A convection oven is not recommended for drying shrooms. Psilocybin degrades at high temperatures, and a convection oven lacks controls to keep the heat at low levels. If the feature exists for you, it would be possible to place shrooms in the oven and only use the fan. There are reports of turning the oven on and cracking the door online, but we advise using one of the drying methods above to protect your shrooms. Air fryers also are not recommended.
2. Can I Dry Shrooms in The Sun?
Drying shrooms in the sun will cause the psilocybin and psilocin to degrade. Studies of cultivated psilocybe cubensis suggest that under UV light, psilocybin degrades rapidly. Shrooms are best kept in a cool, dark, and dry place.
3. Can You Dry Shrooms With a Microwave?
While some people do use the defrost setting of their microwaves to dry fruit, we don’t recommend this for shrooms. Folks dehydrating don’t have to worry about excess heat messing with their sweet snacks. However, even on defrost, it’s likely that heat from the microwave would damage the psilocybin in shrooms.
4. Drying Shrooms With Cat Litter
It is possible to dry shrooms with cat litter as it is a desiccant. However, don’t just use any old bag of kitty litter. There are specific brands that use silica gel to absorb the moisture without creating the dust of other types. Check out the drying with desiccant instructions for using cat litter.
- Kurtzman Jr, R. H. (1997). Nutrition from mushrooms, understanding and reconciling available data. Mycoscience, 38(2), 247-253.
- Gotvaldová, K., Hájková, K., Borovička, J., Jurok, R., Cihlářová, P., & Kuchař, M. (2021). Stability of psilocybin and its four analogs in the biomass of the psychotropic mushroom Psilocybe cubensis. Drug testing and analysis, 13(2), 439-446.
- Rafati, H., Riahi, H., & Mohammadi, A. (2009). Enhancement of Indole Alkaloids Produced by Psilocybe cubensis (Earle) Singer (Agaricomycetideae) in Controlled Harvesting Light Conditions. International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms, 11(4).
- Badham, E. R. (1980). The effect of light upon basidiocarp initiation in Psilocybe cubensis. Mycologia, 72(1), 136-142.