After harvesting, the Hericium erinaceus needs to be classified according to the size in time. After classification, it is prepared for drying. Before drying, the drying room must be preheated to make the temperature in the drying room reach 40 °C. When a large number of Hericium erinaceus are sent to the mushroom drying room, the temperature could maintain at the range of 30℃-35℃. The starting temperature should be lower to ensure a good appearance of the dried product. The starting temperature of baking is generally 30 °C, and should keep the temperature for 1 hour. If the temperature is too high, the tissue will lose water too quickly, and the water on the outer layer will evaporate. On the contrary, it locks the moisture of the inner layer to evaporate, which is not conducive to drying, at the same time, the activity of polyphenol oxidase and peroxidase would be inactivated. If the activity of the enzyme is enhanced, it will cause browning and darken of the dried mushroom.
During the drying process, it should be noted that the temperature in the drying room should rise slowly. Generally, the temperature should not exceed 2℃-3℃ per hour. If the temperature rises too fast and the amplitude is too large, the speed of the water inside the Hericium erinaceus cannot keep up with the speed of the evaporation of the surface layer. It is easy to form a hard shell on the surface layer, further hindering the loss of internal water, resulting in incomplete internal drying, meanwhile, the temperature will rise sharply, which will increase the activity of phenolase and the browning is aggravated, so the temperature should rise slowly.
After the Hericium erinaceus enters the drying room for 7-8 hours, you can choose the standby mode to stop the drying process for 2 hours, so that the moisture in the inner layer can naturally move out. The difference between Hericium erinaceus and other edible fungi is that the individual is large and spherical. If you dried it by layers, although the surface is dried, the internal moisture has not dropped below the safe moisture content, so it is easy to resurgence and mildew during storage. Therefore, when the progress of drying process reach 80%, take it out and put it in a box lined with plastic film, seal it with a lid, and make the moisture inside and outside reach a uniform state. This process is called even wetness. It takes about a day to get wet.
The evenly wet Hericium erinaceus is sent to the drying room for the second drying (re-drying) proceeding. The temperature should be controlled at 55°C, and the maximum should not exceed 60°C. Generally, it takes 3-4 hours to dry. The initial baking and re-baking time take a total of 12-18 hours.
You should strengthen humidity management. During the drying process of Hericium erinaceus, the management of humidity is mainly realized by adjusting the size of the air inlet and exhaust port. The large amount of water evaporated from the Hericium erinaceus in the initial stage forms a lot of hot air in the drying room, which must be discharged in time. At this time, all the air inlets and fresh air valves should be opened, so that the hot and humid air in the drying room is discharged from the exhaust port, and the outside fresh air is drawn in from the air inlet. With the extension of the drying time, the water in the Hericium erinaceus gradually decreases due to evaporation, so the air inlet and fresh air valve should be closed accordingly. Within 1-2 hours before the end of drying, the air inlet and exhaust port should be closed.