This week we make some special miso. A regular barley miso with herbs and a 2 year rice miso using small black soybeans (a heritage variety from what I understand).

The beans were boiled the usual 4 hours and left overnight, then ground and mixed with rice koji and salt as per my standard recipe.

Then packed and put away for fermentation.

The jars on the right are the barley herb miso, on the left is the small black soybean miso.

The first batch is done and ready for drying, while the next batch is inoculated and ready to put in the chamber.

It’s the second day (36 hours). The tane koji (starter) spores have long since germinated and the mycelium has grown so much that it has started to bind the rice corns into a cake.

The smell is right – delightfully sweet and fruity. The temperature is right after a slight adjustment, and the moisture, tho a little on the wet side, is OK. Now I’ll break up the clumps while adding air and put it into the heat chamber for another 12 hours.

At the same time the next batch of rice is washed and soaking for tonights steaming.

During the 48 hours of koji cultivation one must take care of it.

I open the heat chamber every morning and evening if not more often. I check the moisture (if the inoculated rice is getting too wet or too dry), the thermometer to make sure that the temperature is around 30 centigrade and then add air by paddling the mass back and forth a few times.

Then back into the warmth for a while.

I need some rice koji. I’ve already run out of that which I made this spring. So off to an early start.

Just inoculate steamed rice with good tane koji, and put it in the heat chamber for a couple of days.

i

The snow has melted and it’s rained a little, so now there is water everywhere, especially around the edges and low spots.

Too muddy to dig, I’ll have to wait until the next cold spell to hopefuly finish.

These last few days have been good for digging – snow and a cold crust on the muddy clay. It’s supposed to get warm and mucky again, so dig while the frost sprinkles!

The deer have been digging too.

They have gotten through or over the fencing some how, and have found the remaining beets, chard and cabbage. That’s OK – they’re too small and skrawny to worry anout.

This weeks batch is a 2 year Rye Miso.

This time it was a little too much for the 2 jars, so I put the extra into a small jar with some chili peppers just for fun.

Getting into the Christmas spirit at the market.

We woke up to our first big snow this winter.

I love snow, and after a couple weeks of grey, rainy weather, it was extra welcome, along with the cold sunshine that came after.

I love dirt too, so after the period of rainy muck, I can now get back into digging again.