Archives for posts with tag: Barley

Yesterday I was out at Stora Hällsta, the organic farm where I buy my barley and rye for koji making, as well as other farm products.

They have a full battery of milling machines, including a huller for hulling barley. When I order whole grains for koji making, I have them run through the huller i little extra, so that the koji mold grows better. That goes for the rye too, even tho it does’t need hulling.

More september miso. This time a barley miso. 

I’ve used up all of my supply of pearled barley. I’ll need much more and have ordered a 25 kilo sack. 

Here is the result of this springs barley koji making – 5 kilos. 



I’ll use 2 kilos for miso making now and save the rest for miso this fall. I still need to make a little more rice and brown rice koji for this autumn too. 

The last batch of barley koji is in the incubator almost ready to be put out to dry.

The koji season is coming to a close. The supply looks good. Enough for this years miso making and some koji to sell to other miso makers. (Note; there is an odd shadow discoloration in the middle of the following pict – should be whiter)

And now the miso making season is started with a double cook of soy beans made into a two year rice miso and a two year barley miso.

But first a little break from gardening, carpentry and food processing – tomorrow we get on the plane and head to Kyoto Japan for an immersion into Japanese culture.

The koji made with the new barley turned out great.

The hulling was just right.

Out to dry.


I was out to Farmer Petersson yesterday and bought 10 kilos of hulled (pearled) barley. He had already hulled the barley. I had hoped for slightly more polishing, but I’m sure it will be quite suitable for koji making.

It looks like nearly all the individual grains are polished enough to let the Aspergillus oryzae mold get in, get growing and produce loads of enzymes.

I have been making rice koji steady since the middle of January – a batch nearly every three days. I now have about 15 kilos, and that’s enough for miso making this year plus some to sell. I’ve run out of tane koji for rice koji anyway, so now I definitely have to get more when we are in Japan.

This time one half (one of the two crocks) turned out greener than the other due to sporulation.

I had let them incubate longer – 54 hours instead of the normal 48. I will test for differences in the subsequent miso.

Now I must make a few batches of barley koji, but first I have to get some well hulled barley.

That’s not easy to find, but tommorow I’m going to visit an eco barley farmer who has a hulling machine we can hopefully tune just right.

While the third and last (for this season) batch of barley koji is still growing in the incubator, I will make some barley miso with the first one.

Here’s what we need:
700 grams soybeans
700 gr barley koji
320 gr sea salt

Start out by washing and soaking the beans for about 8 hours.

Boil the soybeans about 4 hours, keeping an eye on it, especially in the beginning, so that it doesn’t bubble up and boil over.

Let the beans cool down. Normally I cook the beans in the evening and then let them sit on the stove overnight to cool down slowly.

Mix in koji and salt.

Mash with an immersion blender into a fine consistency leaving a few beans whole.

Pack into an air-tight canning jar pressing out as much air as possible.

The result:

3 kilos of barley miso

– but first it has to ferment for 2 years. I leave it in a corner of the kitchen a couple of weeks to get it going, then take it to the cooler food cellar to ferment slowly.

I have enough barley koji now to make two more such batches of barley miso. We will use a small portion of this miso in our own cooking and sell or give away the rest.

After making 8 batches of rice koji, I’ve been making some barley koji too. The barley I use is slightly polished so that the aspergillus mold can penetrate the hull and the bran.

I follow the same procedure as I described in rice koji making earlier. There are, however, slight differences in odor, color, growth etc. The main difference in my procedure is that I use wooden (ash wood) boxes without lids, because these keep a better balance between air and moisture that is just right for the steam cooked barley.

The mold grows faster and flowers early on the second day. Still, I let it grow about 48 hours as with the rice.

The color at flowering (sporulation) is a rich greenish-yellow tan. When harvesting the koji, a cloud of mold spores rises, so do it carefully. Dry it and package it for later use in making barley miso.