Tempeh in a dehydrator

Miso, tamari, tempeh, idli/dosa, natto, and more!

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Re: Tempeh in a dehydrator

Postby growninbrooklyn on Thu Jun 06, 2013 8:42 pm

Getting to the correct temperature is simple. The way that I do it is in a plastic tank (any vessel will work) I fill it with water and use an aquarium heater to heat the water to 87 deg. I then place another smaller vessel on top of the water so it floats and put a top on it and put the bagged and inoculated beans in this. I also put a top on the larger vessel. Then I wrap the outside in a blanket so the heater doesen't have to work so hard. After about 12-14 hrs the tempeh creates it's own heat this is where you have to pay attention. For me maintaining the heat is simple knowing how to keep it cool is difficult. A fan is good you really want to start cooling it when it goes above 92 deg. (the ambient temperature is not important the internal temperature is what you want to measure, get yee a probe thermometer they work great and I owe my successful tempeh business to this piece of simple equipment.
good luck
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Re: Tempeh in a dehydrator

Postby grumps on Fri Jun 07, 2013 7:15 am

If you go to a second hand store or get one on sale, the regular picnic coolers work really well when you use water and float a tray on top. Take a look at makethebesttempeh.org which uses a more expensive Insulated food carrier (Cambro) but any old cooler will work just the same, perhaps needing a bit more insulation (small blanket) on the lid. (22 hrs, 87˚F, small air pump and water heater from pet store)
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Re: Tempeh in a dehydrator

Postby mud-luscious on Sat Jun 08, 2013 4:16 pm

I ended up just getting a different thermostat and setting that up in an old cooler. That part was successful, but my tempeh still isn't turning out. I've did a half chickpea/half kidney bean mix (2.5 cups total), 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar, and 1 tsp starter. Then I let it incubate at 86 degrees for 24 hours. Nothing. So I upped the temperature to 88, and it's gone for another 24. There are patches of mycelium here and there, but that's it. In fact, one of the patches is black, which I take it is what happens when it ferments too long?
Any idea what is going wrong? Could it be the type of bean? (I've heard about successful chickpea/brown rice tempeh, so maybe the kidney beans are the problem?)
Thanks for the help!!
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Re: Tempeh in a dehydrator

Postby mud-luscious on Sat Jun 08, 2013 4:19 pm

As an added note: after cooking, I left the beans too long and they got very dry. I tried to rehydrate them with a bit of water, and between that and the vinegar they seemed like the right moistness (i.e. pretty much dry but not crunchy). Maybe that was the problem, though?
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Re: Tempeh in a dehydrator

Postby Tibor on Sat Jun 08, 2013 6:22 pm

it's possible that the beans were too dry,your holes in the top were too big or your light was too close to the beans.I don't see why the bean mix should not work but chick peas need to cook 45 minutes after dehulling but kidney beans only need 5 minutes. I messed up a few times too when I first started out.Get the book and try again.
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Re: Tempeh in a dehydrator

Postby mud-luscious on Sat Jun 08, 2013 6:43 pm

What would be the problem with the tempeh being too close to the light? That it would get too hot?
I probably overcooked the kidney beans and undercooked the chickpeas, in that case. Oy vey. Time to soak some beans and try again! I might just try straight chickpeas this time, so there is one less variable to deal with.
I ordered a used copy of the Book of Tempeh, so thank you for the recommendation!
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Re: Tempeh in a dehydrator

Postby grumps on Sat Jun 15, 2013 8:15 am

You can take a look at our website showing our easy method for making tempeh. makethebesttempeh.org
Feel free to write with any questions. This has been a foolproof method that many people are using.
We produced Betsy's Tempeh in Mich. for 9 1/2 years and our customers loved our product since we produced the tempeh on stainless steel trays.
Betsy Shipley
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Re: Tempeh in a dehydrator

Postby aehebay on Thu Jun 27, 2013 1:30 pm

I have made tempeh in my microwave, with the door open just enough for the light to stay on, but not open enough for anything (like insects) to get in. It worked beautifully. After it starts generating it's own heat I simply close the door all the way and the light shuts off.

I think this is one of the only times I have actually used my microwave... It works great for incubating some yogurts as well.
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Re: Tempeh in a dehydrator

Postby MessyCook on Mon Aug 05, 2013 2:30 pm

I just wanted to add that I have and continue to make successful tempeh in my dehydrator. The minimum temperature is 95F so it does take some fiddling, but with the trays slightly extended and the tempeh just on the edge, sticking out slightly, it seems to work well. I've done this to make okara tempeh too.
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Re: Tempeh in a dehydrator

Postby grumps on Wed Aug 07, 2013 9:47 am

You might find the water bath method much more reliable because it keeps up the humidity. Take a look at makethebesttempeh.org for the principle of it and know that you can also use a floating pan in a cooler if it has a big enough rim or if not, support a tray on 4 6" glasses and have the water just 1 mm over the top of the glasses. Also, it is a good idea with an ordinary cooler to put an extra blanket on the top lid because they do not have enough insulation.
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