Tempeh won't colonise the inside of the cake

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Tempeh won't colonise the inside of the cake

Postby Shanidze on Tue Jul 09, 2019 5:33 am

Hi folks,

I don't post here often, but I come now to seek for your help.

I've been growing Tempeh for almost a year now and I have overcome different problems through experience, but I can't seem to find the cause of this problem:

Sometimes the mold just grows on the outer rim of the cake, and leaves the insides uncolonized - sometimes it get contams in there, which I've learned to avoid and aren't present on this small batch.


The only possible explanation I can think of is that the inside gets more of its own heat and hinders growth, whereas the outer parts stay cooler and have more favorable conditions for full growth.

Could this be the reason? If yes, how can I alleviate this problem?

Is it maybe because the strain's got old? and weak?

This picture is taken after 60 hours of inoculation, but it was already like this after 40 hours.

Please, share your thoughts and experience - what can I do for the mold to colonize the full cake as perfect as it does on the outer parts.

Any insights are deeply appreciated!

Many thanks in advance
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Location: Tbilisi, Georgia

Re: Tempeh won't colonise the inside of the cake

Postby salto on Tue Jul 09, 2019 9:58 am

I had the same results with several types of legumes and found out that overheating seemed to be the cause of the problem. Tempeh starts producing it's own heat and if that temperature gets too high, even earlier formed mycellium inside the cake disappears. Use a thermometer to measure the inside temperature and watch carefully. After 12-14 hours temperature might increase rapidly. Lower the temperature of the incubator or take the tempeh out and let it work for itself. To prevent breaking the colonisation you might cover the tempeh in a cloth, but as long as there is no draft in the room, it will be OK. Much depends on local circumstances like temperature, humidity etc. I notice that what works in wintertime won't hold in summertime and vice versa. It much depends on the area you live in. Even now I seem to know the drill, I have fails as well. We have some very hot days in summer currently, so I take my tempeh out of the incubator after about 12 hours and leave it on the sink. The whole process seems to last as long as during cooler days, but the tempeh stays less hours in the incubator.
If you think your starter is too old, you might double the dosage. I take notes of what I do when making a batch. This helps me to change the process if I have a fail and figure out the best strategy for next time.
Don't give up! ;)
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Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2018 6:23 am

Re: Tempeh won't colonise the inside of the cake

Postby cerbu on Tue Jul 09, 2019 11:26 am

yes, this time of year take it out of the incubator at about 12-14 hours , poke more and bigger holes
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