Archives for posts with tag: Tane koji

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 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.

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!

The koji looks pretty good after 2 days of growing.

This year I’m using tane koji starter from Higuchi. It’s the one they call ‘barley yellow koji’. This one sporulates yellow while the one I used last year from Gem Cultures sporulates green and more profusely. That will probably make this years barley miso a lighter color and perhaps a slightly different flavor. It will be interesting to watch it develop over the next two years. But first I have to dry the koji for later use.

Koji season has started.

I’m using the fresh barley from Stora Hällsta and the tane koji starter from Higuchi Shoten, Osaka.

A package came today. 


2 packages of tane koji – one for rice koji and the other for barley koji. 


I ordered them about 2 weeks ago from:

Higuchi Matsunosuke Shoten Co., Ltd.

TEL:(81)06-6621-8781

FAX:(81)06-6621-2550

E-mail:koichi@higuchi-m.co.jp

URL:http://www.higuchi-m.co.jp/ 

It took a little longer this time, because I wasn’t familiar with japanese international banking practices. 2 years ago I ordered from Gem Cultures in the US and payed very easily using Paypal. Higuchi doesn’t have Paypal or such, so I had to figure out a new way. With banking information from Higuchi and help from my local bank it worked smoothly. 

Each of these packages is enough Aspergillus mold spores to enoculate 200 kilos of rice or barley, so it’s going to last me many years. This is the smallest amount they sell and probably too much for a home koji maker, but the price is very good, and the payment procedure is easy enough, so I can definitly recommend buying tane koji from them. They have a very good web site in english too. 

I’ve got the incubator plugged in, and the first batch of barley is steam cooked and inoculated with tane koji.  

 
Koji making season has started. 

  

On the right is a koji I made a few days ago – rice koji starter on eco rice. On the left is the same rice substrate but using starter for barley koji instead. 

As I figured, it sporulated earlier, more profusely and with a much darker green color. It will make a darker miso with perhaps a stronger flavor, but I’ll have to make a couple parallel batches of miso to see and taste the resulting misos after another 2 years. 

I was out of starter for making rice koji. It came the day I set up a batch of rice for koji making. I figured I could use tane koji for barley instead. It wouldn’t make much difference really. But it came, and I did it right. 

Here I’m mixing in fresh air and breaking up clumps.  

I think I’ll make the next batch of rice koji with tane koji for barley anyway, just to see what difference it makes. I’ve done it before, but a long time ago and don’t remember any details. 

I finally got the package of koji starter (tane koji) that I ordered three weeks ago. 

  

I sent in the order to Gem Cultures (find under links in the menu) via email, and they replied very quickly with a cost proposal and Pay Pal info. Pay Pal was easy to use and seems very secure. They sent the package off immediately, but then it took about three weeks for the postal service to get the package to me. It could also be that the customs controls caused delay, but there were no signs of that. 

All in all, I’m very pleased with the service and highly recommend Gem Cultures for ordering starters and cultures from probably anywhere in the world. I have used their koji starters for years and they are excellent. 

  

Later I will order some starter from Japan to see how that goes.