Puerh and mold

One of the intentionally aged teas, Pu-Erh has a loyal following.

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Sep 22nd 09 9:05 pm
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Puerh and mold

by android73 » Sep 22nd 09 9:05 pm

Hi all,

I unfortunately just discovered that there is green mold on my cakes. What does one do in this situation? Any advice would be much appreciated. :(

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Sep 22nd 09 10:38 pm
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Re: Puerh and mold

by Mr Wigster » Sep 22nd 09 10:38 pm

Green?!

From my understanding, white is "sort of" good, can help with the maturing process.

Yellow mold is bad, and apparently can be "toxic" never seen anybody with green mold before though.

I'm a tea novice btw, so this is just my basic input, before the connoisseurs come along.

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Sep 22nd 09 10:45 pm
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Re: Puerh and mold

by android73 » Sep 22nd 09 10:45 pm

Yes, I have heard that white mold is ok. It doesn't appear to be a lot of mold, but definitely noticeable. It would really suck to have to pitch any of them. :cry:

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Sep 23rd 09 12:00 am
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Re: Puerh and mold

by brandon » Sep 23rd 09 12:00 am

Start by removing it with a clean (ie new from box) toothbrush or similar device. Let it air out for a bit and see if issues persist.

Is it in a damp area or stored with things that aren't tea?

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Re: Puerh and mold

by heavydoom » Sep 23rd 09 12:03 am

a photo would be totally radical dude!

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Sep 23rd 09 3:08 am
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Re: Puerh and mold

by odarwin » Sep 23rd 09 3:08 am

mind sharing the conditions of where you stored and found the green mold in?

-darwin

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Sep 23rd 09 3:40 am
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Re: Puerh and mold

by oldmanteapot » Sep 23rd 09 3:40 am

heavydoom wrote:a photo would be totally radical dude!
+1... yeah a photo speaks a thousand words... hehe.. :-p
odarwin wrote:mind sharing the conditions of where you stored and found the green mold in?
Please share with us.

Cheers!

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Sep 23rd 09 4:06 am
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Re: Puerh and mold

by MarshalN » Sep 23rd 09 4:06 am

Green is definitely a bad sign. How green is green?

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Sep 23rd 09 2:49 pm
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Re: Puerh and mold

by android73 » Sep 23rd 09 2:49 pm

Well, I was storing it with simply a damp sponge(no hydrometer unfortunately), perhaps became too humid with not enough air flow. I had been using an old retired frontloader dryer with a stainless steel tub inside.(see pictures on post "puerh storage dilemma") Probably not the best place I know, but I simply laid a board on the inside for shelves and it seemed to work nicely. No odors, and I would open it regularly to get some of the tea out that I wanted to brew, so regular air flow was accomplished that way. The cakes were fine up until recently, because I would check them regularly for signs of mold. Anyway, I have moved them to a cardboard box for now, and will try brushing the infected cakes off with a toothbrush. Thanks all for the tips everyone!

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The fungus amongus.

by Intuit » Sep 23rd 09 3:23 pm

Heh. An old dryer probably would have residual mold problems, since you live in a humid climate (MO).

"What are hypae? They are filamentous thread-like structuresof molds/fungi that spread horizontally on the surface of the substratum."

Unfortunately, fungal hypae also tend to penetrate into the growth substrate, too.

Removing visually contaminated surface isn't going to eradicate it. Moving to a drier location is a start.

Air movement and turnover is at issue here. With sporulating molds, induction of air turnover can spread molds to adjacent uncontaminated surfaces.

If some of your cakes aren't affected yet, segregate them from the moldy ones.

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Re: The fungus amongus.

by oldmanteapot » Sep 23rd 09 4:22 pm

Intuit wrote:Heh. An old dryer probably would have residual mold problems, since you live in a humid climate (MO).

"What are hypae? They are filamentous thread-like structuresof molds/fungi that spread horizontally on the surface of the substratum."

Unfortunately, fungal hypae also tend to penetrate into the growth substrate, too.

Removing visually contaminated surface isn't going to eradicate it. Moving to a drier location is a start.

Air movement and turnover is at issue here. With sporulating molds, induction of air turnover can spread molds to adjacent uncontaminated surfaces.

If some of your cakes aren't affected yet, segregate them from the moldy ones.
+1 :mrgreen:

Segregate you unaffected Beengs first. It would also help to open the wrappers and allow then to be aired in a warm place. But then again... green molds aren't good.

But this is a first time I've heard of green molds growing on Pu.

Cheers!

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Re: Puerh and mold

by android73 » Sep 23rd 09 5:10 pm

Hi all,

When you say green mold is not good, what does that mean? Can I continue to age these or should I pitch those that are infected? The mold just looks like little fuzzy hairs on the surface of the cake. I think it's green, although it could be white, not sure. Very tiny hairs that look more like green to me. Thanks everyone for taking the time to respond!

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Sep 23rd 09 5:24 pm
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Re: Puerh and mold

by android73 » Sep 23rd 09 5:24 pm

Here is a photo of the infected cake....
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Re: Puerh and mold

by oldmanteapot » Sep 23rd 09 6:06 pm

android73 wrote:Here is a photo of the infected cake....
Definitely looks green to me. I would segregate the uninfected ones and air them immediately without any delay. Turn on your fan if you need to, I'm not familiar with the weather there at the moment since Winter is drawing close. But if you could get it a little warm air it would be good. It takes some moisture off your Pu.

It looks very similar to the fungus or molds you get growing on expired bread under hot and humid environments.

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Re: Puerh and mold

by Intuit » Sep 23rd 09 6:54 pm

Throw out your sponge. Only use fresh, unused sponges for providing humidity in your storage area.

If you're not using one yet, Wallyworld (aka Walmart) carries cheap (sub $12-15), small/portable temperature and humidity monitoring units from Accu-rite; they also record and store high/low readings and can be easily reset.

The mold looks dark on my monitor.