koji question

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koji question

Postby Aliyanna on Tue Mar 15, 2011 7:02 pm

I am trying to make koji. I am wanting to get started but am having a difficult time.

What is the rice supposed to look like after it is steamed. Mine is dry and sorta hard...but was steamed for 50 min.

Also can I use brown rice or sweet brown rice? I am wanting the koji for miso and amazake.

thanks
A
Aliyanna
 
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Re: koji question

Postby Tim Hall on Tue Mar 15, 2011 8:21 pm

Aliyanna, I'll probably be able to better answer your question in a month after I get back from Sandor's miso/koji workshop. I seem to have trouble with koji too, despite several attempts. Hope to have it figured out soon.

On the one hand the rice is not supposed to be soft or rubbery, but on the other it seems it needs enough moisture to support fungal growth. I'm having a hard time knowing where that balance is. My koji does grow, but it doesn't seem to take off nearly as well as it should.

Re brown rice: Theoretically one could use all kinds of starchy substrates for koji. Wheat, barley, even sweet potatoes. But my understanding is it's sometimes difficult for the culture to grow on grains (like brown rice) that still have the bran intact. Apparently the bran can prevent the Aspergillus from growing into the grain and converting the endosperm.

If you want to make a semi-brown-rice amazake, you could probably make the koji from white rice, and there will be enough enzyme activity to convert a quantity of uncultured brown rice.
Tim Hall
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Re: koji question

Postby Aliyanna on Thu Mar 17, 2011 2:06 pm

The problem I am running into is that the rice still seems rough and hard after 50 min of steaming. Is it supposed to be that way? If it were a noodle...it would be on the hard side of al dente.

I know of several amylase products...I am not sure about this yet..but
I was thinking about the protoletic enzymes we use in biomedical treatments for leaky guts....one of them is amylase. Is this the same?

When you go to the ferment fest....will Sandor's new book be there?
I love the old one and would love to get his new one... Was hoping they would have a web site or something to order or at least a time when available.

Thanks for your help.
Aliyanna a real newby to miso!!! lol
Aliyanna
 
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Re: koji question

Postby Tim Hall on Fri Mar 18, 2011 6:01 pm

Amylase is actually a diastase (starch cleaving) enzyme, not a protease. The primary enzyme produced by the koji fungus is amylase, but it also produces some proteases depending on the strain.

I don't believe Sandor's new book is due to be released until sometime this fall or even later, but I'm not sure.

As far as the rice texture goes, again my literature says boiled rice "creates a wet texture which encourages the growth of undesirable bacteria." So I'm having the same problem as you, determining the proper consistency of the cooked grains. Somehow I think my steamed rice is coming out too 'al dente' also.

Again the koji grows on this steamed rice, but it doesn't seem quite as vigorous as I imagine it should be, and I'm wondering if the rice too low in moisture.
Tim Hall
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Re: koji question

Postby Aliyanna on Fri Mar 25, 2011 12:49 pm

I decided to give it a whirl. The other one that was harder kept going at room temp....had the fuzzy white but a not right smell. So it
became bird food.

I started a new batch. Cooked it good. and inoculated it and it is finished, I think. It doesn't have the powdery coating as much...just a little but has a wonderful smell to it. Sweet and yeasty a little grainy and definitely fermented. You take a smell and say yum!!! Does this sound about right.

I want to try some koji carrots so was wondering if it was ready to go...also want to make some amazake.....but the smell smells as if it is already there...lol. The grains are still separate..but kinda soft and moist..not watery but definitely quite moist.

Do you think it is safe to try the miso? I really need to make a bunch of that...we go thru soooooooooo much of it.
thanks alot
Aliyannna
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