Archives for posts with tag: Koji

I still have s couple of batches of miso to make before summer. Today it was an herb miso. Soybeans, rice koji, salt, garlic, thyme, oregano and basil.

The last batch of koji for this year is put out to dry.

I’ve gone through about 15 kilos barley, 10 kilos rye, and 16 kilos of rice turning it into koji. Some has already been made into miso, some has been sold, a little more will be made into miso and the rest will be saved to sell or make into miso in the fall.

The koji making season is over for this year. Now it is time to start planting seeds.

A couple weeks ago I reported on a koji that turned ugly, but not not bad. It had a good smell and taste. So now I made a miso with it to test it’s enzyme power, using the standard recipe.

I cooked 1 kilo of soybeans (there’s about 2 kilos of cooking liquid too).

1 kilo of ugly rice koji thoroughly ground in.

Then 460 grams seasalt mixed in.

Then put into fermentation jars to watch for 2 years. So far it looks just like it should.

My last batch of rice koji started to go gooey, so I spread it out in the wooden trays instead of the terracotta forms in order to air it out and dry it more. I don’t know why it went wrong, but I believe it’s because I mixed kinds of rice from 2 different sources and of differing quality. I noticed already after steaming that it looked off.

I succeeded it seems. After 2 days the smell and the taste were fine, and altho it didn’t look like it should, I put it out to dry and will use it later for a batch of miso.

This morning I started the fourth batch of rice koji.

Growth is good with the new package of starter (tane koji) from Higuchi.

Now I have a half kilo ready to send off to a costomer.

I’m done making barley and rye koji, as well as barley and rye miso for this season. There should be enough koji for sales and making miso in the fall.

But I still have to make about 10 kilos of rice koji, and the first batch is getting ready.

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.

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.