Friday, September 21, 2018

Stub 5.6: Setting up the lab, Part II

Hunter was glad Indie was home to move the boxes inside. The Fedex van filled half the porch. It wasn’t that they lived in a high crime area, relatively speaking. It was just that some neighbors had very good vision and loose definitions of private property.

Indie and Donald helped him unpack the boxes after he came home from class. Most of the stuff looked like what Indie imagined a lab equipment to look like but some of it raised her eyebrows.

“A microwave?” Indie asked.

“Yup, nothing better for drying samples and for pasturizing small amounts of liquid.” Hunter said.

Indie’s eyebrows nearly shot off her head as they unboxed the largest package. “A waterbed!!! Just what do you plan to do in this lab...create life?”

“The boss gave me a protocol to follow. The cheapest way to keep the cultures at 95 degrees is in a waterbed.” Hunter said.

Hunter sterilized forty, twenty-ounce pop bottles with screw tops using materials he had from his homebrewing enterprise.

Hunter mixed up four gallons of phosphate-buffered saline in the coffee urn and set it to “Brew” to sterilize it.

Then he and Indie started filling the waterbed mattress with warm water, trying to hit 95 degrees.

The first pop bottle that Hunter filled he measured out 500ml with great care. It came up exactly to the top of the label. After that, Hunter simple filled each bottle in turn. He unscrewed the cap of the sterilized bottle. Filled it from the smoking hot coffee urn and then put the cap back on. After filling, he turned the bottle upside down to ensure that the heated liquid sterilized the top of the bottle.

After filling the forty bottles, he placed them atop the water bed mattress and flipped a couple of comforters on them. He would check the temperature in the morning and call “the boss” if they were between 90-and-95 degrees.

All told, between himself and Indie, they had put in eight hours of work.

The next morning, the inexpensive IR thermometer told him that he was good-to-go. The bottles in the center of the bed were slightly warmer than the ones along the edges so Hunter placed them all close together.

Hunter sent “the boss” a text. The return text directed him to send pictures.

After sending the pictures, "the boss" said that the starter culture would be delivered via expedited shipping late that evening. The text also asked how many hours Hunter had into the project.

Next Installment

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