Archives for category: Food processing

My first batch of light rye koji was dried and ready to use, so I boiled a kilo of french eco soybeans.

This time I’m using the rye koji made with Higuchi yellow barley tane koji. The next batch will be with the one from Gem Cultures.

I’m using the standard 2 year miso recipe.

At about this time last year I got the idea of trying rye for koji making. I had my grain farmer run the rye grains through the husking machine he uses for barley. It worked fine, so I made 3 batches of rye miso. The first one, a 6 month miso, was good and now long eaten up. The second, a 1 year miso is now open and it is great. It has a flavor of it’s own.

There is a 2 year miso too, to open next year.

In the mean time I must get busy and make more rye koji and rye miso.

It grew very well

I’ll make some with the other barley tane koji too – and a couple batches of 2 year rye miso.

I’ve made a few varieties of koji this season using tane koji from different companies, and I wanted to test the effects on miso, so I cooked a kilo of soybeans last night. This morning I divided the beans into 2 portions.

I ground them and mixed in the koji and salt and put it into jars. You can already see the difference.

The one on the left is made with koji grown using starter (tane koji) from Gem Cultures. The one to the right using starter from Higuchi.

It seems I divided the beans poorly, which means the proportions are all off. Nevertheless, it will be interesting to see how they develop over the next 2 years.

I opened one of those old tane koji packages I found recently. It’s about 30 years old but maybe still viable.

It grew slowly, if at all.

After the normal 48 hours:

So I let it grow another 12 hours

It turned out quite good, however slow and weak.

The problem is, I was not very scientific. Everything else was the same, including the uncleaned trays, which could very well have inoculated the barley from spores left from earlier batches. I’ll try again later with well cleaned trays. In the meantime I’ll stick to new bought tane koji.

We had a gang over to study kimchi making. The youthful enthusiasin turned it into a great party.

We made 2 kinds of kimchi – sauerkraut style and chunky style, and turned about 25 kilos of vegetables into many jars of kimchi.

Lots for everybody to take home.

Inspiring and tiring.

Doing some cleaning in the cellar yesterday, I found a lot of old starters I bought in the 80’s that I had forgotten about. Starters for natto, tempeh, shoyu and koji. There was an intact carton of starter for red barley miso koji.

The packages look good, whole and uncontaminated, so I’m going to try this variety out too, and if it is viable I’ll add it to my test.

The first batch of barley koji made with the Gem Cultures starter.

Compare this with the barley koji made with Higuchi starter.

Not much difference, but here’s a close up of the first

And the latter

The Gem Culture starter produces a greener koji, and it has a stronger sporulation, which can produce quite a cloud when harvesting and using.

Be careful!

I’ve done 8 batches of barley koji so far this year. The last ones started to show signs of a little bacteria growth – wet spots in the wood of the growing trays and a slight change in the smell. So, I skip a batch and clean the trays. After a thourogh scrub and rinse (no detergent) I sometimes put them in the oven at 100 degrees C for an hour.

Then start a new batch.

I have made the first 8 batches with the yellow barley tane koji from Higuchi. Now I’ll make some with barley tane koji from Gem Cultures to see the difference. There should be a diff in sporulation and color.

Later I’ll make 2 parallell batches of barley miso with the 2 kinds of koji for comparison.

Actually it’s 100% miso, of course.

But I only had 800 grams rice koji left from last years production, so that’s 80% from my standard recipe for 2 year miso, which is:

  • 1 kilo soybeans
  • 1 kilo koji
  • 460 grams seasalt

So this time it was 800 grams each of beans and koji, 370 grams salt and put into a 4 liter jar.

Some good old fashioned 2 year barley miso. Ready for fermentation.

My favorite!

This batch is made with 1 kilo of new freshly grown and dried barley koji, along with 460 grams seasalt and 1 kilo of eco soybeans from China. I’m still looking for a new source of soybeans grown in Sweden.