Junmaidaiginjo tane-koji

We wanted to see what would happen if we tried to make this small portion of a very large batch of koji made from extremely polished rice (78% of the bran and outer layer removed) which is 1% more than the absolutely brilliant Dassai 23. Started to sporulate but don’t yet know what will happen since we are testing different humidity and temperatures. So if any koji makers out there are reading what temperature would you try to sporulate at? Have you ever tried with extremely polished rice?

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Goat Milk Kefir

At the recent NYC Fermentation Festival we samples some of our goat milk kefir. Singly pasteurized goat milk is available at a price at places such as Whole Foods. You can also buy raw goat’s milk if you are in a state the allows people to purchase raw milks from quality controlled, typically small family farms that know very well how to prevent contamination and diseases. Although goat’s aren’t breeding as much as when the Spring comes around some farms have a year-round goat breeding scheduled to make it available.

Our milk kefir grains are over a decade old. The amount we  need to make a gallon of milk is about a teaspoon. In 4 to 5 hours and several vigorous shakes and burping along the way the kefir is just about to start separating out. At that point we strain the grains or SCOBYs out and start the second fermentation.

Second Fermentation or 2F is very important for the development of key nutrients, as well as the ongoing reduction of lactose. The bacteria and yeasts in milk kefir love the milk sugar lactose. As the eat over time they produce byproducts the flavor and unlock the vitamins. They will eventually make the kefir a bit more sour.

Our 2F process usually  involves adding either a sugar source (raisins, dried figs, dried apples, fresh berries, andimg_3228 even fruit juice or raw sugar) and perhaps raw fruits, spices, herbs or vegetables. For example a 2F kefir with garlic, mint, pre-salted cucumbers, scallions and celery seeds is a great drink.

After 4 or 5 hours – unless it’s really cold – your kefir is done and it can be refrigerated. It will last at least few a weeks refrigerated, but burp then shake once a day and drink it when you can. Store your grains in good milk in the fridge. The grains like to be used frequently, especially with raw or singly pasteurized milk.

At the New York City fermentation festival we brought a gallon of a raisin, cardamom raw goat milk kefir. It was well received. We just finished making a few more gallons.

Grilled broccoli with fermented garlic and cultured butter

Broccoli is a great vegetable. We peeled some and cut it up into large pieces including the stems. In a cast iron skillet heated until very hot we added some high temperature sunflower oil and really seared the broccoli. Then we added slivers of fermented garlic and some toasted walnut oil and some sea salt. Covered until just tender we added some cultured butter (cultured with kefir grains). If you want to serve as a main dish or a full vegetable course add chopped well roasted walnuts and a little extra butter or olive oil in place of the butter and a dab of umeboshi paste.

Koji

img_6884Culturesgroup started out Aspergillum (notably A.oryzae) experiments last November 2016 and it seems we haven’t stopped yet. Nor do we plan to. We’re looking at different rice strains, different semibuai rates (polishing) different inoculation temperatures and preparation techniques. img_6885img_6888

One of our recently finalized dried koji based powders. This one lasts for at least 9 months on the shelf, a typical test for the stability of drug candidates as reviewed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). What can be done with this and other forms of koji is the topic of one of the books we are currently writing with the goal of distributing it for free or at cost.
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Green Kimchi

Daikon radish, leafy Nappa cabbage, salt, puréed garlic, ginger, green apples, lime juice and ferment for about 21 days then refrigerate. We put a mashed potato and lots of kombu in this one. After a few days we tasted and stirred in some crushed lime leaves (kaffir), Szechuan peppercorns and some Himalayan salt.  #wildfermentation #chefkenfornataro #bostonpotter #contrabandferments #justfoodnyc #sandorkatz #rootandrise #kimchi #lactofermentation #microbiology#foodmicrobiology #fermentationonwheels #sandiegofermentersclub #austinferments #portlandfermentationfestival #brooklynbreadnerd #sourdough #matcha #culturesgroup #chefkenfornataro #greentea #milkkefir #rawmilk #foodmicrobiology #chefs #koji #fermented #fermentation#microbiology #austinferments #newyork #wildyeast

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