Archives for category: Food processing

But good amazake.

I made 2 basic mistakes. I mixed in some old rice, and I steamed one portion twice as long as I should have. I always steam the rice about 20 minutes but got mixed up and cooked it twice. The old rice got a little soggy, and the double cooked got really soggy. I can probably save the properly cooked rice as koji, but the soggiest portion will have to be relegated to the desert corner. It is very sweet with a tinge of alcohol – amazake, so it can be eaten as candy now or be made into a desert. So bad turns good.

Now I’ll have to take a break and clean the equipment before starting up again.

This time it’s a rice miso with the standard proportion of ingredients, but with herbs added.

Herb miso for 2021.

There were a lot of green tomatoes to pick last fall and save to ripen during the fall/winter. We’ve been eating them until now, and these are the last.

These various kinds of small cocktail tomatoes last the longest. The flavor is not that great, but turned into a cresmy tomato soup, the flavor is excellent.

Dried and packaged for later use.

And now the second batch is up drying, and the third batch is inoculated and in the incubator. It’s kind of like a conveyor belt operation, but with little hands on work. If the conditions are right the aspergillus mold grows very well on it’s own.

The first batch of koji was done last evening. The harvest was good and of good quality.

Now it’s spread out drying above the warm water pipes and the next batch is already in the incubator growing.

It’s growing very well.

It looks good – a nice powdery white color. It smells good – a sweet grapefruity, slightly sour aroma fills the room (and house). It tastes good – sweet like amazake. It has a good consistancy – it cakes together in one big clump, but breaks apart easily. The humidity factor is good – slighty dry especially on the surface and does not have any gooeyness.

Now to mix in air, and the dryer surface rice with the moister rice from the bottom and put it back in the heat cabinet (30 degrees C) for the last 12 hours.

In the meantime I’ll get ready for the next batch.

Last evening I took the soaked rice and steamed it.

After cooling, I inoculated it with spores of aspergillus oryzae from Higuchi Shoten in Japan.

Then put it into the incubator.

This morning I took the containers out to check, break up clumps and mix in air.

This procedure happens every morning and evening for 2 days (48 hours) until done, and I have the next batch ready to go. The harvested koji will then be dried for later use.

I still have a little barley and rye koji left from last years production, but no rice koji. Time to get busy. I’ll need some to sell at the Fermentation Day in Uppsala, and a lot to use for making miso and amazake throughout this year.

The first thing is to rinse and soak some rice.

While it’s soaking all day, I can clean the utensils and equipment.

We made a bunch more timchi (kimchi) of the sauerkraut type.

I’m runing out of fermentation jars (they’re all full), and I couldn’t find any the right size to buy, so I had to get one of my abandoned stoneware crocks out.

We are planning for a Fermentation Day in Uppsala, the second of March, at Håga, with market, workshops, talks, demonstrations, cafe etc. The crock full of timchi will be a nice eye catcher for my market stall.

More information about the Fermentation Day will be posted later. Or contact me with questions.

Another batch of rye miso.

The 2 on the left are from today made with dark rye koji. The ones on the right I made a few days ago with light rye koji.

The light koji is made with starter from Higuchi Shoten Japan, and the darker with starter from Gem Cultures USA. It will be interesting to see how they progress and taste 2 years from now and to compare this with a similar test I set up earlier last spring with 2 batches of barley miso.