How did roasting affect the flavor of your soy sauce? I'm curious. I'm thinking of making my own soy sauce too and I'm trying to learn everything I can before I start, lest I end up poisoning myself
Hi! I'm not sure at all what effects, if any, the roasting have had. I would believe it's having just as much impact on the color of the liquid as it has on taste.
But the more important matter is... And I'm sorry to say it; unless you get VERY specific instructions on how to do this, do not expect to get instant results (and when a batch takes at least 6 months to complete, it's not fun if you have to start over because it got ruined).
Here comes a few more notes about my experiences, read if you have the patience:
My jars of this slurry have been sitting in windows, in ovens and various other places (if I turn my head right now I can see them in my window) for about 6 months. About 4 months into the project, I started to get the feeling that all the fascinating "guides" I've been reading about this had somehow left out something crucial...
I read somewhere that stirring the mixture was not necessary everyday - perhaps just once a week. So after about a month of stirring (with a spoon, almost daily), I started to wait 4-6 days between stirs. About that time I also got a tip about thinning out the mixture - I was probably using too little water for the amount of soy&wheat. So I doubled the amount of water (and added extra salt to keep the salt levels approximately the same).
Soon after the was some surface mould in almost all jars... I had probably waited too long between stirrings, or thinned out the mixture too much, perhaps even contaminated the liquid. The mould has since come back a few times, but not if you keep stirring relatively often. It's a white furry mould that might simply be Aspergillus oryzae mould, but since I have no means of knowing...
One thing that I've been scratching my head about is the salt content. Many sources specify salt content in %. But it's not clear if it's percent by weight or volume, which could potentially make a lot of difference. I almost can't remember, but I'm pretty sure I calculated the salt level by weight.
Summer is soon kicking in here in Sweden so I'll give these jars a month or two more in REAL sunlight, perhaps outside. Wintertime here means it's only real sunlight between 10am and 3pm, the inverse is true in the summers so we have looong days.
So... Right now my soy sauce project is sort of neglected. Instead, I'm a few weeks into a miso paste project - and I have second miso batch planned, which uses an alternate approach. Miso is much more valuable for me, since organic soy sauce is easy to find here (and not too expensive), but real unpasturized organic miso is almost impossible to find (and it's quite expensive if I do find it). Actually, I've only been able to track down the dark misos from Clear Spring. I'm trying to accomplish the more yellow, sweet and quicker to make miso. Miso needs less attention once it's going, and can be fermented at around room temperatures.
This was a long post, but I hope it can make you think twice and do some more research before attempting to make shoyu. I'm not saying my batch is ruined, but it doesn't look and smell much like the different varieties I've tried - I'm not even sure I will use it. I can say though, that if I find a clear guide on how to make this work, I will surely try it! It's quite fun doing these experiments.
Edited by joakimlinden, 25 April 2009 - 10:45 AM.