Question about miso

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Question about miso

Postby Pendecardiel on Wed May 02, 2018 5:20 pm

I am preparing to make homemade miso for the first time. I have 1 lb of brown rice koji and want to make chickpea miso. My main question is about the ratio of beans to koji to salt. Can I safely double a recipe calling for half a pound of koji? Also, what is the ideal container to use for miso? Can I make it in several quart mason jars with plastic lids? I like the idea of having one jar to decant in a year and letting another age for more time. Would this work? Do you have any more tips for making miso for the first time?
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Re: Question about miso

Postby cerbu on Thu May 03, 2018 2:21 am

maybe helps
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Re: Question about miso

Postby bjdmytro on Sat May 05, 2018 10:16 am

This ratio chart above is a good resource. If you want a more detailed breakdown, check out The Book of Miso, by William Shurtleff & Akiko Aoyagi. There is a great chart of ratios for different varieties of miso on page 122 of the 2nd edition. It doesn't specifically break down the ratio for chickpea miso or brown rice koji. These are not traditional miso ingredients and are part of the American miso culture.

Do you have a recipe for miso that calls for brown rice koji and chickpeas? If you have a recipe calling for those two ingredients, you can probably double it. Are you wanting to make a sweet or a darker more mellow miso? That changes the ratio and the aging time. Also, working with the chickpea changes things, because it has more carbohydrates and less protein that soy. If the carbohydrates are too high, the salt too low, and the aging time too long, you can get a skanky tasting miso.

You can make miso in quart jars with a lid, but the texture will be a bit different. As it ferments, CO2 bubbles will form if there is not a weight pressing them out. Also, the exposure to the light darkens the color and changes the flavor. I have made miso in quart jars, food grade buckets, and a stoneware crock. The difference is subtle, but the crock yielded the best flavor, in my opinion. Also, some may be turned off by this, but there will usually be a bloom of aspergillus oryzae (the koji mold) on the top of the fermenting miso. I simply scrape it off and discard it, when it is done.

As far as tips, I find the miso ferments better the more ground up the ingredients are, unless you want a chunkier miso. Afterall, many misos, like edo (sweet red) miso, are supposed to be chunky, but if your are like me and use the miso mostly in sauces and soups, I recommend making it a smoother texture, to start off with. Also, keep in mind the fermentation temperature. If you are doing a short miso (a few months), you want it to be warm (~80F). If you are doing a longer miso (a year), it should go through a warm spell and a cold spell (summer and winter), to develop a full bodied flavor.

Other essential things to keep in mind with all fermentation: be meticulous about sanitation and cleanliness, keep a log of everything you did, and label everything you make! These tips make all the difference.
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Re: Question about miso

Postby bjdmytro on Sat May 05, 2018 10:36 am

Here is a chickpea & brown rice miso recipe that looks promising. I'm also copying the recipe into this post, in case the link breaks by the time you get to read this.
I think that you can double this recipe with success.

Chickpea Miso
Filed Under: Tofu & Cultured Soy Recipes, Miso
Enjoy soups, marinades and traditional miso sauces without the soy. Chickpeas and brown rice koji give this miso a sweet, nutty flavor.

When making miso, it is recommended that all ingredients be measured by weight. Salt especially will vary dramatically depending on coarseness. While the salt may seem excessive compared to vegetable ferments, beans must be salted well to prevent spoilage.

500 grams (1 lb) dry chickpeas
1 Tbsp. dried seaweed
250 grams (or ½ package) brown rice koji
2 Tbsp. miso from a previous batch, or purchased raw miso
¼ pound salt, plus extra for preparing the culturing vessel

1. Soak chickpeas for 10-12 hours. Rinse and drain.
2. Combine the soaked beans with seaweed and boil in fresh water until very soft. Alternatively, use a pressure cooker and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
3. Drain the cooked beans and mash until relatively smooth. Some like a very smooth miso, while others prefer to leave some texture.
4. Add the salt and distribute evenly.
5. When the temperature of the bean mash is below 140°F, stir in the koji and miso.
6. To prepare the culturing container, rinse with water and drain, but do not dry. Sprinkle salt liberally inside the container to lightly coat the sides and bottom with salt, to help prevent mold.
7. Pack the jar with the bean mixture, adding small amounts at a time, packing well. There should be no air pockets. It helps to pound the container on a hard surface after each addition.
8. When the container is full, coat the surface of the miso with salt to form a protective crust. Weigh down the paste, cover the container, and culture in a cool spot for at least 3 months. At temperatures below 65-68°F, miso may take as long as 6 months or more to mature.
9. Mold may form on the surface. Scrape it off before storage. Miso can be stored for years, and the flavor will continue to develop. The process can be slowed by refrigeration.
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Re: Question about miso

Postby Lulu on Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:30 am

Pardon my ignorance but regarding the ratio chart above: are those referencing dry ingredients? i.e. dry soy beans, dry koji or dry soy, fresh koji? Thanks.
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Re: Question about miso

Postby cerbu on Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:53 am

I use wet weight, just before mixing,also weigh any additional water you might use prior to calculating salt content
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