"Dry or wet" method for tempeh

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"Dry or wet" method for tempeh

Postby kutululu on Tue Mar 03, 2020 5:57 am

Greetings to all the experienced tempeh making users here on forum. A lot of information available. I want to get into making my own tempeh, too and I'm looking around for any ideas to make myself an incubator.

Actually I'm trying a water bath with an aquarium water thermostat, will see how it turns out, but the current solution is really just a temporary experimental emergency. I've found it's possible to use a plastic bucket, a styren box, an icebox, a microwave and possibly even a dehydrator (I have one 9-tray Excalibur myself). Obviously with the water bath method there's going to be more moisture in the incubator compared to the other methods using different ways for heating (a bulb, a heating pad etc.). So if possible, I would like to know, whether the result is going to be pretty much the same regardless of the chosen method and if there's any more risk of a spoilage with the water bath because of the moisture, as long as it's a real problem. Thanks for any insight/info.
kutululu
 
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Joined: Tue Oct 29, 2019 8:52 am

Re: "Dry or wet" method for tempeh

Postby curtijam on Mon Mar 09, 2020 6:38 am

Hi Kutulu,

I’ve tried a passive water bath (no pump) as a method of keeping the tempeh cool (I am in a hot environment) and it worked well.

The main information I have found on using water baths is from the betsy’s tempeh website (https://www.makethebesttempeh.org/how-t ... ncuba.html) and from what I understand the air is circulated by being bought in from outside the incubator, electrically pumped through the submerged water stone, humidified as it passes through the water, and then circulates above the uncovered tempeh (within the enclosed incubator) and finally exits the incubator under positive pressure.

If I understand correctly, the humidified air provides an appropriate moisture level for the mycelium growth, and the fact that it’s circulating means there will be no build up of condensation.

Do give us all feedback if you build a water bath incubator!
curtijam
 
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Re: "Dry or wet" method for tempeh

Postby kutululu on Tue Mar 10, 2020 4:33 am

Hello curtijam, thanks for your reaction. I'm reporting back with my results.

My first attempt a week ago was with a baking glass bowl filled with water and a submerged aquarium thermostat. Another smaller baking glass bowl was floating in the water with the inoculated soya beans in a plastic bag. It didn't turn out very well, probably for more reasons - I didn't dehull and "break" the beans as I had read that the mold is able to penetrate even through the hulls and the pack of the beans was probably too thick. Another problem could be keeping the right temperature in the bowl evenly.

The second go was with a water bath again, but this time I've used a soft cooling box put in a cardboard box to keep the shape. The aquarium thermostat and a baking glass bowl (only one this time) were used again and a plastic bag with the dehulled soya beans put in it. Under the bag I put two stripes of a food grade plastic pad (used for cheese aging) to allow the air to circulate.
I covered the cooling box with a dish towel to catch some of the rising moisture and loosely closed the lid. I was able to balance the temperature inside the box to be 31°C. After 24 hours the mold was obviously growing and the culture was very warm on touch, 34°C on its surface. I put it out of the incubator to continue growing at the room temperature. At that time a digital thermometer showed 37.4°C inside the culture. After next 16 hours the block got solid and looked finished, completely covered with the white mold. I took it out of the plastic bag and let it cool for 30 mins, then put it in the fridge.
We've had it fried on ghee yesterday and it was really delicious.
Some photos included, I hope that's the way it should look in the end.

Anyway, I'm still thinking about making a "dry" version of the incubator as I was a bit concerned about the level of moisture. Also I would guess that running and maintenance of a temperature balanced box without water should be easier and the results more consistent.

Definitely looking for more tempeh adventures!
Attachments
incubator.jpg
incubator.jpg (25.59 KiB) Viewed 333 times
tempeh 01.jpg
tempeh 01.jpg (32.29 KiB) Viewed 333 times
tempeh 02.jpg
tempeh 02.jpg (22.5 KiB) Viewed 333 times
kutululu
 
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Oct 29, 2019 8:52 am

Re: "Dry or wet" method for tempeh

Postby curtijam on Tue Mar 10, 2020 2:05 pm

Looks fantastic! Nice work :)
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Posts: 39
Joined: Wed Jun 05, 2019 9:53 am


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