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Hmm, what's the point of introducing mold if it's killed in the brine? I would have thought that a certain strain would survive in the brine and help the fermentation process

the purpose of the salt brine is to kill the mold and maintain the enzimes it produced alive and fermenting.

icheck this "recepie" on the book of miso on google books (making traditional japanese shoyzu):

http://books.google.es/books?id=N3EJorOxXt...dJ-Go#PPA184,M1

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Do you top up the liquid with brine or water or not at all?

Since these are in open topped containers for aerobic fermentation covered wih a grid or cloth some evaporation is inevitable.

It looks like the biology is that Apergillus is somewhat salt resistant, so the salt and the high summer temperatures select for the right organisms

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Do you top up the liquid with brine or water or not at all?

Since these are in open topped containers for aerobic fermentation covered wih a grid or cloth some evaporation is inevitable.

It looks like the biology is that Apergillus is somewhat salt resistant, so the salt and the high summer temperatures select for the right organisms

hi there, yes, when i poured the brine i marked the water level, i add more mineral water and as it evaporates.

i think that the aspergillus is not salt resistant, but the encimes produced by the aspergillus are (only on brines under 30% salt concentration).

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Industrialization of Indigenous Fermented Foods, Second Edition

"The second step in the manufactue of fermented soy sauce is brine fermentation. This fermentation is unique in that it utilises halophilic lactic acid bacteria and salt tolerant yeasts. The presence of NaCl in brine (16-19g NaCl/100ml) effectively excludes undesirable microorganisms"

http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=WfjPq9d...&hl=en#PPA19,M1


Edited by jackal10 (log)

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hmm not sure there is enough salt

4oz is say 100g in 4lbs or 1.8l is 5g/100l rather than 16-19g or 20%

Should I add 12*18 = 200g salt? (more like 12oz in 4lbs)

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hmm not sure there is enough salt

4oz is say 100g in 4lbs or 1.8l is 5g/100l rather than 16-19g or 20%

Should I add 12*18 = 200g salt? (more like 12oz in 4lbs)

Although the short answer is 16-30% salt to water ratio, this is a kind reply from a person working at Kikkoman Europe re. this very same matter:

Dear Mr. Inigo Aguirre,

First of all, we thank you for your inquiry made to us and your interest in making

soy sauce by your self for educational purpose.

As per your inquiry, I’m happy to reply although this may not be enough

information to you.

It all depends on what kind of soy sauce (salty, light etc.) you intend to make, but

we suggest that you use 30g of salt per 100ml of water to use.

I hope you would find a way to make it successfully.

Best regards,

And this is just an extract from another mail replying to my query on the minimum % of salt that should be used for light salted soy sauce:

For your information, it is recommended that you use at least 15 to 16% of salt against water, otherwise Moromi mash can be decayed.


Edited by inigoaguirre (log)

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Noticed that some soya sauce labels contain some form of caramelized sugars for colouring.

It has been several months since the first posting. Just curious how everyone's aged, finished products compare, in terms of taste and colour, with something like kikkoman's soya sauce.

Great thread.

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Final process on soy sauce making: filtering and pasteurization

After the long process of fermentation and, for the past 6 months, almost daily stirring the moromi (the fermented mix of soy, flour and brine) while sunning at my terrace, the mash has darkened considerably and seemed a good moment to filter and pasteurize the soy sauce. Its interesting to see how a hotter climate (Spain vs Canada) and 3 extra months fermentation affects the final product, (comparing to that of Canucklehead’s soy sauce) both in terms of aroma and colour.

After filtering through increasingly smaller holes, (first a normal colander, then through a sieve and finally a smaller filter, I have obtained a dark soy sauce, just a tone lighter than the colour of any industrial shoyzu with added brown - reddish tones. (I have obtained only 4’5 litres of soy sauce out of 9 litres of moromi).

You can see here the miso and the filtered soy sauce before pasteurization here:

gallery_59574_5930_192852.jpg

gallery_59574_5930_81472.jpg

There are no mayor changes in terms of colour and aroma in the soy sauce before and alter pasteurization. The mayor difference is that before pasteurization it is more difficult to separate the fat from the rest of the liquid. In terms of flavour, the soy sauce has richer and more complex aromas, with notes that remind of a strong miso and ordinary shoyzu. Still, it’s less salty than ordinary shoyzu. I have found no flavours like fermented fish sauce in the process as that of Canucklehead’s.

gallery_59574_5930_54198.jpg

In order not to kill off aromas through heating, I have pasteurized the sauce for 3 hours at 70º Celsius, which is enough to kill off any harmful bacteria. I have used a device attached to a rice cooker that maintains a precise temperature through time. It is perfect for sous vide cooking, but it has other thousands applications.

While pasteurization the liquid divided into 3:

The fat separated and formed a very thin film on top of the soy sauce

The liquid became clearer

And the solid remaining floated beautifully on the sauce as if it were miso on a soup.

gallery_59574_5930_184137.jpg

gallery_59574_5930_27751.jpg

After this process the sauce went through a final filtering process and also had to skim off the fat with a consommé de-fattening jar (the fat floats on the surface and remains in the jar while pouring).

Foto jarra

This are photos of the 2 soy sauces, the first being the unpasteurized one (with small fat granules still floating in the sauce; you might notice that the soy sits in the base of the bowl adapting an irregular shape) and the second pasteurized and skimmed of the soy oil.

gallery_59574_5930_23323.jpg

And the very final product, the soy sauce bottled and labeled: :)

gallery_59574_5930_166515.jpg

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Beautiful!! I would buy that in a heartbeat!

How does your temperature stabilizer thing work btw? What is it called and where can I get one?

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Beautiful!! I would buy that in a heartbeat!

How does your temperature stabilizer thing work btw? What is it called and where can I get one?

hi takadi,

great news! please let me know how you use it.

you can buy and see info re. the cooking temp controller here:

http://auberins.com/index.php?main_page=pr...&products_id=44

It’s a great device normally used for sous vide cooking (cooking a vacuum packed product at a very precise temp inside a water bath). There's a very interesting doc there on the basis on sv cooking.

The device it’s very easy to use. The rice cooker is plugged in to the temp cooking controller (which is plugged to the wall) in order to control the flow of electricity. It also has a thermometer that measures the temperature of the rice cooker pot so that you could set the temperature and program a timer.

You can find a better explanation at their site (copied from the page):

It can be used to precisely control the temperature of a cooking pot such as rice cooker, slow cooker or table top roaster. The temperature range of the cooking device can be controlled from 5 degree above the ambient to 250 F (140C) with one degree precision and stability.

Operating the temperature controller is easy: plug the cooker to the output socket of the controller on the back, drop the sensor into the pot from top and place the cover, turn on the controller and cooker, set the cooking temperature and timer. It will do the rest of job for you. When finished, the timer will display END and turn on the beeper to tell you the food is ready.


Edited by inigoaguirre (log)

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After straining through a chinois, then muslin, then coffee filter I have a jar of cloudy black/brown liquid, very salty, smelling powerfully of old socks and earthy tasting. I am currently pastaurising it.

What next? Not sure I want to use this for cooking...I have serious doubts about that earthy taste

Clarify using a little gelatin and freezing?

Throw away?

This year the weather was not that warm, and I am not sure the salt level was right. I think I started with too low salt, and although the brew smelled like soy sauce, I was not sure about other bugs in there, so I upped the salt and maybe overdid it.

Next year, if I do it again, I will wait for hot weather (late June), and watch the salt levels more closely..

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This is my first post at eGullet - looks like an awsome forum so far.

I found this thread through a blog, which caused me to start a soy-project of my own.

I have put up a blog documenting each step with photos, but for now it's written in Swedish. I might translate/recap the text if there is enough interest here.

I've used organic ingredients and a tiny tiny amount of Aspergillus Oryzae to get the mould going (ordered from Vision Brewing almost one year ago).

The grains used in this experiment are of two kinds:

Organic Wheat and organic Spelt (whole grains sold as a replacement for rice or bulgur in cooking). I roasted them slightly before crushing them in a stone mortar. Some grains where simply cracked and mashed, others turned into flour... I think this method will give a special touch to the whole process - instead of using machine-made flour.

Check out the photos in the blog if you want to know how it's working out (I might post the images here if someone requests that). I've gotten a lot of mould in just 30 hours, which surprised me.

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The grains used in this experiment are of two kinds:

Organic Wheat and organic Spelt (whole grains sold as a replacement for rice or bulgur in cooking). I roasted them slightly before crushing them in a stone mortar. Some grains where simply cracked and mashed, others turned into flour... I think this method will give a special touch to the whole process - instead of using machine-made flour.

Hi joakimlinden. I looked up your blog but it's in Swedish. 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 :unsure:

Here's a question to everyone: is it okay to use those food-grade plastic containers that are used for food additives etc? I'm not sure if I can find a glass container large enough to hold 4 liters of liquid at a time. Is sunlight important for the soy sauce to brew up correctly or will opaque containers do equally well? I have this nagging worry that all the plastic we use for food is re-arranging our DNA this very moment. :laugh:

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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.

/ Joakim


Edited by joakimlinden (log)

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Thanks very much for your input, Joakim. It's just the kind of advice I need. I live in the Philippines, and if there's something that's abundant here all year round is sun and heat. Hopefully, I will be able to mature my soy sauce in less time. I will study carefully all the procedures so far presented and try to condense everything into a master recipe. I will be probably try to use a 25% brine (ie. 250g salt for every liter of water), ferment in opaque containers, and skip the roasting. Could the roasting have disabled some wheat enzyme or protein crucial to the process?

Your miso project sounds interesting. I hope you will let us know how it turns out. I can buy miso (both the Japanese and Filipino styles) here but I'm curious to see how your home-based effort turns out. Like you, I find culinary experimentation fun and extremely fulfilling. Thanks very much again!

Nathan

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Thanks very much for your input, Joakim. It's just the kind of advice I need. I live in the Philippines, and if there's something that's abundant here all year round is sun and heat. Hopefully, I can mature my soy sauce in less time. I will study carefully all the procedures so far presented and try to condense everything into a master recipe. I will probably try to use a 25% brine (ie. 250g salt for every liter of water), ferment in opaque containers, and skip the roasting. Could the roasting have disabled some wheat enzyme or protein crucial to the process?

Your miso project sounds interesting. I hope you will let us know how it turns out. I can buy miso (both the Japanese and Filipino styles) here but I'm curious to see how your home-based effort turns out. Like you, I find culinary experimentation fun and extremely fulfilling. Thanks very much again!

Nathan

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Thanks very much for your input, Joakim. It's just the kind of advice I need. I live in the Philippines, and if there's something that's abundant here all year round is sun and heat. Hopefully, I can mature my soy sauce in less time. I will study carefully all the procedures so far presented and try to condense everything into a master recipe. I will probably try to use a 25% brine (ie. 250g salt for every liter of water), ferment in opaque containers, and skip the roasting. Could the roasting have disabled some wheat enzyme or protein crucial to the process? 

Your miso project sounds interesting. I hope you will let us know how it turns out. I can buy miso (both the Japanese and Filipino styles) here but I'm curious to see how your home-based effort turns out. Like you, I find culinary experimentation fun and extremely fulfilling. Thanks very much again!

Nathan

Hey Nathan, in case i'm not too late, try and roast the weat, all good qualities soy sauces are elaborated this way, producers say that it helps to darken the sauces andit also intensifies the taste

cheers and please keep post your process!!

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I recall my grandma had a very simple recipe for soy sauce (and from the taste of it, delicious too). Mum wrote it down while we were visiting in the US...will have to dig it up later.

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I recall my grandma had a very simple recipe for soy sauce (and from the taste of it, delicious too). Mum wrote it down while we were visiting in the US...will have to dig it up later.

That would be very interesting to read! Hope you have time to publish it here!

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Hi Iñigo. Thanks for the info. It has been unseasonably rainy in what is supposed to be the dry season, so I haven't started on the soy sauce project yet. Will probably try one batch with wheat flour and another with roasted wheat kernels (if I can find whole wheat kernels).

nathan

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Hi! I hate to turn threads into ZOMBIE THREADS, but I've been wondering what finally happened here? I've got some soy/flour cakes molding up right now, harvested from my own farm.

Thanks so much!

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Such a great thread!

It's cooling down here but probably not like the rest of you guys are experiencing. I may just wait till April to start this process.

Anyway, my understanding is that the mold(s) are needed for their enzymatic actions upon the complex sugars in the soybeans so that they can then be fermented properly as mono and disaccharides. Obviously one could use enzymes such as present in beano or the like, however loss of complex flavor will most likely result. There is a reason for the lengthy process and the difference between quality and cheap mass produced soy-sauce.

Off the top of my head I seem to remember that barley is present in Miso so the use of ground barley malt would also lend the enzymatic effects at extremely warm temps- perhaps speeding up the entire process or circumventing the absolute need for aspergillus for saccharification. However, my thoughts are that the two enzymatic actions harmonize and complement each other. It'll be difficult to avoid fungi in this process as it will naturally occur.

Since I have plenty of barley malt on hand I will forego the wheat flour and use my own ground malt flour instead.


Edited by radtek (log)

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I'm hoping some of you are still watching this thread. I am planning on starting a batch of soy sauce in the next few weeks, and am ordering the various necessary ingredients now, but I couldn't find any detailed info on wheat. I was planning on purchasing whole grains and roasting/cracking them myself, but am at a loss regarding what sort I should purchase. Hard/soft? Winter/spring? Red/White? I could also use barley I guess... Not sure what different strains would mean for the final flavor. Anybody have any insight?

 

thanks!

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    • By liuzhou
      Note: This follows on from the Munching with the Miao topic.
       
      The three-hour journey north from Miao territory ended up taking four, as the driver missed a turning and we had to drive on to the next exit and go back. But our hosts waited for us at the expressway exit and lead us up a winding road to our destination - Buyang 10,000 mu tea plantation (布央万亩茶园 bù yāng wàn mǔ chá yuán) The 'mu' is  a Chinese measurement of area equal to 0.07 of a hectare, but the 10,000 figure is just another Chinese way of saying "very large".
       
      We were in Sanjiang Dong Autonomous County, where 57% of the inhabitants are Dong.
       
      The Dong people (also known as the Kam) are noted for their tea, love of glutinous rice and their carpentry and architecture. And their hospitality. They tend to live at the foot of mountains, unlike the Miao who live in the mid-levels.
       
      By the time we arrived, it was lunch time, but first we had to have a sip of the local tea. This lady did the preparation duty.
       

       

       
      This was what we call black tea, but the Chinese more sensibly call 'red tea'. There is something special about drinking tea when you can see the bush it grew on just outside the window!
       
      Then into lunch:
       

       

      Chicken Soup
       

      The ubiquitous Egg and Tomato
       

      Dried fish with soy beans and chilli peppers. Delicious.
       

      Stir fried lotus root
       

      Daikon Radish
       

      Rice Paddy Fish Deep Fried in Camellia Oil - wonderful with a smoky flavour, but they are not smoked.
       

      Out of Focus Corn and mixed vegetable
       

      Fried Beans
       

      Steamed Pumpkin
       

      Chicken
       

      Beef with Bitter Melon
       

      Glutinous (Sticky) Rice
       

      Oranges
       

      The juiciest pomelo ever. The area is known  for the quality of its pomelos.
       
      AFter lunch we headed out to explore the tea plantation.
       

       

       

       

       
      Interspersed with the tea plants are these camellia trees, the seeds of which are used to make the Dong people's preferred cooking oil.
       

       
      As we climbed the terraces we could hear singing and then came across this group of women. They are the tea pickers. It isn't tea picking time, but they came out in their traditional costumes to welcome us with their call and response music. They do often sing when picking. They were clearly enjoying themselves.
       

       
      And here they are:
       
       
      After our seranade we headed off again, this time to the east and the most memorable meal of the trip. Coming soon.
       
       
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