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I find that winter time slows down fermenting for me.  Mostly because the temps are lower and fermenting literally slows down for me.  Right now I have three ferments going.  One is my Kombucha Culture, the second is my sourdoug starter (on the other side of the kitchen) and some lacto/molasses juice to make bokashi for this summers fermenting.

Whats fermenting in your house now?  Whats the oddest thing you everfermented and then maybe tasted?  Whats on your fermented project list.

While not a true ferment I will be making some MISO with friends this sunday!

One of my favorite ferments is the "Friendship Fruit"... might just have to get one going MMMMMM

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I'm in process of Miso right now too, are you making Koji Rice first?  Or starting with dried Koji?

I am using dried barley Koji.  I will be trying to make my own koji in the future, the 101 on here is pretty good on it and the author is reachable for questions

That is what I think I'm gonna do this time as well, although i am still deciding, might do a koji first to start, so much cheaper to make your own koji.  Planning to do a black bean base.  I'll post some pics when I make it.
Can you tell me how to find the "101" you referred to? on making miso/koji I presume?

its on this site.  I googled MAKING KOJI and it was one of the top ten results.  I think it is definitely cheaper to make your own but it seems making small amounts in not worth the time you have to make at least 3 KG.  Also despite there being a 101 it is fairley technical and takes some pre-planning and specilized equipment/set-up.  Not saying its undoable but if your going to make miso once a year... Might be easier to buy it .  Locally I can get the spores from the home brew shop for around $15 enough to make lbs and lbs of koji.  I would just be worriedabout shelf life.. You need to check out the KOJI 10 and chat with the dude.

http://www.homegrown.org/forum/topics/koji-rice-101

Thanks for all your tips Joe.  I am planning on doing several test runs and then ramping up into commercial miso production, so I will need to learn the koji process eventually. Below is my proto-type design for a koji incubator,  which I also plan to use to make tempeh.  I have the tempeh process down, using a smaller incubator, but miso is a new adventure.  Yes I have seen the koji 101, love the wooden boxes!

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Looks Good.  See Iwould just make a few batches of Miso and move on, its my ADD nature :)  and So I am probably more of the cooler/heating pad type.  Good luck,

Thanks for taking a gander at that  design.  I am actually planning to use a front loading upright fridge with sliding glass doors and adapting the plans to it.  Do you have experience with the heating pads, are they pretty strong, ie enough for one to heat a whole fridge inside heated building?

No, I intend to, though I have been looking at two types the regular Muscle ache heating pad which I think will go to higher temps but they all seem to have an auto shut off...then there are the heating mats for seedling trays but only seem to go to 75°F.  i intend to use the cooler method with plastic pans because food grade pans are very easy to get around me.  Definitely keep me posted on your project!

Andy Reed said:

Thanks for taking a gander at that  design.  I am actually planning to use a front loading upright fridge with sliding glass doors and adapting the plans to it.  Do you have experience with the heating pads, are they pretty strong, ie enough for one to heat a whole fridge inside heated building?

I looked at it you might need more than one to raise the temp reliable in that large an area!  It seems to be the same type as the seedlings mats.  Do a google search on seedling heating mats.  some list the temp as steady 75°F some say like this 25 degrees above ambient..seems the Koji needs 85 to 95 °F to get going it seems..the seedling mats seem to be about 20 inches long by 9 to 12 wide depending on MFG.. about the same price maybe slightly higher.

The whole process is keep it warm enough to get going then keep it cool enough to not ruin the process...

I would purchase one then use it combination with a cooler and thermomter to see how fast the temp comes up, where it stops vs the inside volume of the cooler...

Do you intend to dry the koji for later use or use it "fresh"

The Brew Heating pads are designed to be warmer than the seedling mats, meant to raise temp in large carboys.  inside an insulated fridge with two under the water baths I am confident will be no problem for 88F

Fresh koji is the plan, to me it seems drying it would be an extra unnecessary step, is there an advantage to drying?

I think the idea is that fresh koji is better..so say most things i have read.  I think like myself I might make the koji and then dry it since I wont be making miso full time.  though if I amgoing to do it once a year or so maybe fresh is the way to go....

I used dried barley koji for the batch this weekend.

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