Anything I’m Fermenting

April 30, 2008

Tempeh Tasting, Part 2

Filed under: Tasting,Tempeh — iwouldntlivethere @ 2:05 pm
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As J.Back points out, the true test of how the tempeh tastes is how my wife feels about it, as she is really the tempeh fan around here. Once I saw J.Back’s comment, I immediately asked what Jul thought of the tempeh. She said: “Good!…I just had some tempeh at Juice-for-Life and it tasted just like that.”

So, there you go. Using store-bought tempeh as a starter really does work, and tastes like store-bought tempeh.

April 25, 2008

Tempeh Tasting

Filed under: Tasting,Tempeh — iwouldntlivethere @ 3:59 pm
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Just a quick comment on how the tempeh tastes. I fried up strips of tempeh in a bit of oil and butter, and seasoned with a bit of salt.

It tasted like…well, fried tempeh! Kind of bitter, kind of mushroomy, kind of beany. It was good.

The real test will probably be if my wife, a true tempeh lover, will enjoy it raw, as she eats store-bought tempeh this way. My thoughts on raw tempeh? Bleagh!

April 24, 2008

Tempeh Part 2: Fermentation

Filed under: Tempeh — iwouldntlivethere @ 2:47 pm
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Step 12: Let ferment at 30 degrees for 36-48 hours.

I believe that my fermentation temperature for the first 12 hours or so was around 28. It subsequently started rising, and I had to remove the lights, one at a time. I eventually clued in to the fact that the tempeh packages were generating a lot of heat – so much so that I had to remove some of the packages from the cooler for a while and place in a drafty window to cool down. They remained quite warm to the touch for the last 12 hours of fermentation *.

Step 13: Cut in half while in perforated bags. Remove the halves and wrap in cling wrap. Consume, freeze and/or refrigerate as required.


Day 1, afternoon – grind soy beans to remove husks and begin soak

Day 2, late evening – cook soy beans, dry, inoculate, fill perforated bags (around midnight)

Day 3, morning – checked temperature – around 28, added a few lights into cooler. Noticeable mushroom aroma in cooler.

Day 3, midday – checked temperature: mid to high 30s! Progressively removed lights from cooler, until none remained. Fungal strands visually apparent.

Day 3, afternoon – temperature again has risen to high 30s, remove bags from cooler and set in window to cool off.

Day 3, afternoon – return bags to cooler after 30 minutes, but leave cooler open to dissipate heat.

Day 3, evening – bags still warm to touch, visually beginning to be covered by white fungal growth, but many individual beans still visible.

Day 4, morning – bags warm to touch, most covered completely by fungal growth; black spore areas near perforations in bags. Removed from perforated bags, wrapped in cling wrap, placed in freezer. During handling some white fungal areas crushed and oxidized somewhat – beans again visible occasionally (see photos).

* One of the bags (see photos) did not have a nice uniform white fungal coating by the end. It did have good coverage around the edges of the bag, but not in the centre. I believe this may be because it possibly overheated during fermentation. My reasoning is that I am fairly sure that the inoculum was evenly distributed throughout the soy beans, and even if it hadn’t been, it would not have been missing from such a large, symmetrical area in the centre of one bag. Further, the fact that the mold did take successfully around the edges of the bag, where it would presumably be cooler than in the centre, also point to heat damage. Some of the patties were verging on hot to the touch during the fermentation.

It can be seen on the area that has not been covered by fungal growth that there are nevertheless many fungal strands crisscrossing the soy beans. This would also indicate that it was not a lack of inoculum that caused this.

Another culprit may be anaerobic conditions, but I do not believe that this would have manifested itself in such a pattern.

The question remains, why only on one bag? I haven’t weighed the bags, but this bag appears to be somewhat thicker and heavier, meaning it would generate proportionately more heat than bags with fewer soy beans. As well, I accidentally left one of the bags in the cooler, while the others were out in the window. This may have been the one that stayed in the cooler.

As a result, I have left this one bag in the cooler in the hope that the fungus will be able to recolonize the middle area. As the fermentation has only proceeded for about 34 hours, I believe that I can safely let the bag continue to ferment for at least 12 hours if necessary.

Tempeh Part 1: Soak, Cook, and Innoculate

Filed under: Tempeh — iwouldntlivethere @ 3:24 am
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Step 1: Buy package of unpasteurized tempeh (found at Noah’s at Bloor and Spadina) and dry soy beans

Step 2: Grind soy beans in grain mill, at a very loose setting, to remove seed husk.

Step 3: Soak split, de-husked soy beans overnight

Step 4. Boil soy beans for about 30 minutes until softened

Step 5. Puree store-bought tempeh to create starter

Step 6. Strain boiled soy beans, shake out excess water, then lay out on towel and roll up to absorb any remaining water (every tempeh making guide has stressed this, see photos)

Step 7. Punch holes in zip-lock bags to allow oxygen to enter fermenting tempeh (I used a fine-tipped chopstick)

Step 8: Drizzle about 3 tablespoons of white vinegar on dried soy beans and mix well

Step 9: Mix boiled, dried soy beans with pureed tempeh. Mix well, making sure to break apart any clumps and ensuring that most pieces of soy bean had touched fragment of tempeh – to evenly innoculate

Step 10: Partially fill bags with tempeh/soy bean mixture. Press flat.

Step 11: Place filled bags into a cooler with a string of non-LED, miniature Christmas lights to maintain a temperature of around 30 degrees. Monitor temperature and remove lights as necessary to prevent over-heating (I think the ambient temperature was around 22, and I needed only around 4 lights in the cooler to maintain temperature).

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