• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Anne Miller
  • Nicole Alderman
  • r ranson
  • Pearl Sutton
  • Mike Haasl
  • paul wheaton
stewards:
  • Joylynn Hardesty
  • Dave Burton
  • Joseph Lofthouse
master gardeners:
  • jordan barton
  • Greg Martin
gardeners:
  • Carla Burke
  • Ash Jackson
  • Kate Downham

make your own miso at home

 
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Has anyone tried making their own Miso? My husband has been begging me for a long time to figure it out but I've always brushed it off saying that I thought it look lots of specialized things and that I probably would be no good at it. What are your experiences? Is this something the novice fermenter can accomplish?
 
gardener
Posts: 3038
274
forest garden fungi trees books food preservation bike
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have never made it. There are many bikeable Asian grocery stores in my neighborhood with inexpensive, good miso, so I don't have any call for it. Sorry.
John S
PDX OR
 
master steward & author
Posts: 20667
Location: Left Coast Canada
5763
books chicken cooking fiber arts sheep writing
  • Likes 7
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Sorry I missed this earlier.

I make my own miso. It's affordable and surprisingly easy.

Because I can't eat soy, I make miso with different types of beans. The best so far have been chickpeas and adzuki beans. The worst was lentils.




This video was my main inspiration for making miso at home. I now have a miso club that meets every so often to make miso together like they did in the video.



MISO INGREDIENTS:


You can use any kind of dry bean you like, even soy. My favourite is chickpea.

The grain is usually barley or rice that has been cooked and inoculated with a mold called koji. You can buy koji from GEM cultures. If you live outside the USA you can only buy the spores and have to culture the grain yourself. This is actually quite easy and an economical option to buying pre-cultured grain. Here's my experience culturing barley koji

The miso we made with this koji turned out amazing. It was one year chickpea and barley miso. Fantastic.

Salt is also a very important ingredient. A good sea salt (in my opinion) tastes best. Pickling salt tastes worst. Use the best salt you can get, but make certain it does NOT have iodine in it as this will affect the ferment.

The last, and also important ingredient is water. Well water is considered best as the minerals help somethingsomething important... I can't remember off hand. Distilled water is second best choice. If you are on city water, you can boil it and then leave the water uncovered at room temp for a day to evaporate any extra chemicals that are in it.

Recipes:


I have a few recipes on my blog. Most of my recipes are inspired by Katz writings; Wild Fermentation and The Art of Fermentation.

The Book of Miso, out of print now, but thankfully available free online, is the number one English Language resource for miso making both commercially and at home. It is incredible.


Miso can take as little as 3 weeks to make or as long as 5 years.


When you make miso, you often get a secondary product called tamari which is like a super-potent soy sauce.


Tools for making miso:

A big pot for cooking your beans. I recommend making a one gallon vat of miso, which takes about one kilogram of beans or two and a half pounds. You can cook this in one big pot, or in several batches in smaller pots.

A Vat for aging your miso in, an inner lid for the vat, a stone to hold down the inner lid, and a cloth and string to tie on top of the vat. The insert from a one gallon slow cooker is a good crock to start with.

If you are culturing your own koji, a steamer is useful.

Spoon, bowl(s) to mix it in, and something to mash the beans with.

You could have more tools if you like, but people have been successfully making miso with this for many generations. Anything else is superfluous.


This should get you started. Any questions, just ask.

Winter is the perfect time of year for starting your one year miso (salty, or red miso). You can make the one month miso (sweet) any time of year.

 
r ranson
master steward & author
Posts: 20667
Location: Left Coast Canada
5763
books chicken cooking fiber arts sheep writing
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I forgot to mention, it's important to cook the beans really well. Most recipes don't mention this, but I've found that under cooked beans, make the miso taste funny.

Anyone else here make miso?
 
steward
Posts: 3601
Location: woodland, washington
145
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I've made a fair amount. getting the hang of koji cultivation is worthwhile for more than just miso, too. amazake, shio koji, doburoku, shoyu and tamari, even sake if you enjoy failure. they all start with koji. I've also heard of a koji beer, though I haven't tried any. instead of malting the grain, it was inoculated and incubated with koji.
 
Posts: 7645
Location: Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep clay/loam with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
1471
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
After making tempeh successfully for years I thought I was ready for miso....my koji worked but it was downhill from there. I think much had to do with the temperature...I started it when it was too warm to have the wood stove going but much cooler in the house than the fermentation temps that the miso needed. It took a couple months or so for me to notice the dead smell in the living room and more than a year to soak the smell out of my crock
Tempeh is easy to moderate temps in the oven with a pan of hot water and a 40 watt bulb for the less than two days it takes. In our home, keeping something warm for a year or even six months is not easy.
This thread may get me to try again...
 
tel jetson
steward
Posts: 3601
Location: woodland, washington
145
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Judith Browning wrote:In our home, keeping something warm for a year or even six months is not easy.



last time I made miso it was in February in an unheated house. I would guess that temperature wasn't your problem. low temps slow down the maturation, but that shouldn't cause any problems other than a longer wait.
 
Judith Browning
Posts: 7645
Location: Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep clay/loam with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
1471
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

tel jetson wrote:

Judith Browning wrote:In our home, keeping something warm for a year or even six months is not easy.



last time I made miso it was in February in an unheated house. I would guess that temperature wasn't your problem. low temps slow down the maturation, but that shouldn't cause any problems other than a longer wait.



...so maybe my koji wasn't as mature as I thought? It's been awhile now and I convinced myself it was the temperature so now I don't really remember what else might have affected it. I was just recently able to find tempeh starter again after GEM quit carrying it so maybe I'll try miso again also. I wonder if using the oven as an incubation place for koji after years of tempeh could have been a problem? I rarely bake so the oven is never up to sterilizing temps......
 
r ranson
master steward & author
Posts: 20667
Location: Left Coast Canada
5763
books chicken cooking fiber arts sheep writing
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Judith Browning wrote:After making tempeh successfully for years I thought I was ready for miso....my koji worked but it was downhill from there. I think much had to do with the temperature...I started it when it was too warm to have the wood stove going but much cooler in the house than the fermentation temps that the miso needed. It took a couple months or so for me to notice the dead smell in the living room and more than a year to soak the smell out of my crock
Tempeh is easy to moderate temps in the oven with a pan of hot water and a 40 watt bulb for the less than two days it takes. In our home, keeping something warm for a year or even six months is not easy.
This thread may get me to try again...



Oh, that's sad. Dead smell is nasty. Glad you were able to get it out of the crock.

Miso doesn't mind being cold. It just slows down if things get chilli. That's what I love about koji and miso, they tolerate a much wider temperature range than many ferments.

Salty miso (one year+, also called Red miso, or aka miso) ages better if it can start it's first few months at just above freezing. 1 to 4 degrees C is awesome. It mellows the taste somehow. I put mine in our unheated garage. It starts out very cold, then in the summer gets warm, then cools down again in the winter.

Traditionally, miso is a food often made by peasants that have no time to fuss about keeping their ferments at a specific temperature. They let natural seasonal cycles do that for them. That is why traditionally sweet miso (1 month, also called white miso or shiro miso) is made in the summer, and Salty miso made in the winter. Since many people now have heated homes, they can start the sweet miso just about any time of year they like. It seems best between 10 and 20 degrees C, but is willing to grow outside that range.


I had a few really bad miso experiences. One batch in particular was particularly nasty. Don't tell anyone outside the forum how horrible that batch of miso went as I'm well known for crowing about how awesome and easy it is to make miso. I'm only sharing with you guys because you are kind. Looking back on it, the two biggest mistakes I made were to include a grain that hadn't been inoculated with koji, and that I had trouble cooking the beans evenly. Some of the beans were still raw inside which always makes my miso smell horrible. Now I cook the beans well past done.


Haven't made Tempeh yet. Anyone know if it can be done with non-soy-beans?
 
r ranson
master steward & author
Posts: 20667
Location: Left Coast Canada
5763
books chicken cooking fiber arts sheep writing
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Judith Browning wrote:

...so maybe my koji wasn't as mature as I thought? It's been awhile now and I convinced myself it was the temperature so now I don't really remember what else might have affected it. I was just recently able to find tempeh starter again after GEM quit carrying it so maybe I'll try miso again also. I wonder if using the oven as an incubation place for koji after years of tempeh could have been a problem? I rarely bake so the oven is never up to sterilizing temps......



Now you have a good excuse to do some baking. Or even a nice tray of roasted root veg rubbed with olive oil and sprinkled with a little bit of salt.

It could be cross contamination. It could be salt that had iodine, it could be undercooked beans, it could be the miso god was on vacation that month and not one person in the world had a successful miso experience.

Have a look at The Book of Miso I linked to above. That might provide some inspiration to help you try making miso again. They have a lot of good troubleshooting tips in there.
 
Judith Browning
Posts: 7645
Location: Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep clay/loam with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
1471
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator


r ranson wrote:Haven't made Tempeh yet. Anyone know if it can be done with non-soy-beans?



yes, it can and you can also add herbs and small amounts of vegetables. I have to say I was lazy about that though and because we loved soybean tempeh I just stuck with that...we were able to buy organic soybeans out of the fields less than 100 miles south of us where we also got our organic rice. From what I have read rice will work, as will other types of beans and grains. I've seen pics of some with slices of red and green peppers incorporated.
 
r ranson
master steward & author
Posts: 20667
Location: Left Coast Canada
5763
books chicken cooking fiber arts sheep writing
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator


And another one, this one includes how to culture the koji.

 
r ranson
master steward & author
Posts: 20667
Location: Left Coast Canada
5763
books chicken cooking fiber arts sheep writing
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Another delicious chickpea miso recipe.


 
gardener
Posts: 1709
Location: South of Capricorn
657
dog rabbit urban cooking writing homestead ungarbage
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
so glad to see this post. My family makes miso and I would seem to be the person who is nominated to carry on the tradition in this generation.

I have done it a few times, but (SHHHH) I don't like the taste of the miso the way it is made here (we also have no access to purchased koji, it is collected from grass on cornmeal. It smells like something that comes from the bathroom, not the kitchen. Oh please don't tell my mother in law I said that....). It is awesome to see the barley starter, I was considering buying starter when I travel abroad but I will see what I can "catch" locally.
 
pollinator
Posts: 618
Location: Scioto county, Ohio, USA - Zone 6b
155
forest garden duck hunting foraging books cooking food preservation woodworking homestead
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The Korean doenjang I tell how to make here is basically the same as miso. It does use a different method for inoculation.

https://permies.com/t/102798/kitchen/Making-Meju-Blocks#848154
 
Posts: 7
1
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Greetings Miso Masters. I just tried something different today and substituted hulled barley for 1/2 of the soybeans. Used brown rice Koji and normal amount of salt.  Any thoughts? I usually ferment 36 months - how will the additional carbs affect fermentation time?
 
tel jetson
steward
Posts: 3601
Location: woodland, washington
145
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Jae Jones wrote:how will the additional carbs affect fermentation time?



I have no idea, but I'm curious to hear how it turns out. I think I would probably check on it earlier than your usual time just to keep track of its progress.

I've never used any grain that wasn't inoculated with koji for miso, but I don't know of any reason that would be a problem.
 
Posts: 40
Location: USDA Zone 7a
2
books food preservation wood heat
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Ok all you miso making experts, here's my question:  Is it possible to use a little bit of ready-made (commercial) chickpea miso to innoculate a fresh batch of well cooked chickpeas - like a starter culture?  I'm hoping for a shortcut.  Thanks.
 
Tereza Okava
gardener
Posts: 1709
Location: South of Capricorn
657
dog rabbit urban cooking writing homestead ungarbage
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I've also got a question, which popped up recently- everyone says "don't use iodized salt" but I haven't found out what happens when iodized salt is used. What does it do?

(living in a place where all salt for human consumption by law must be iodized... I wonder if that is why the miso made by my family here has a certain funk to it. I have recently learned that I can buy non-iodized salt for aquariums or for cattle to eat, in quality terms I'm frankly not sure which is worse, but maybe this means I should try miso again)

 
r ranson
master steward & author
Posts: 20667
Location: Left Coast Canada
5763
books chicken cooking fiber arts sheep writing
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Denise Cares wrote:Ok all you miso making experts, here's my question:  Is it possible to use a little bit of ready-made (commercial) chickpea miso to innoculate a fresh batch of well cooked chickpeas - like a starter culture?  I'm hoping for a shortcut.  Thanks.



do you also have koji rice or grain?  it is a big part of how the miso ferments.  like barely is to beer.

That said, there are ways to inoculate chickpeas with koji, but I found it complicated and easier to inoculate grain or to buy koji-rice from the local sake maker.
 
r ranson
master steward & author
Posts: 20667
Location: Left Coast Canada
5763
books chicken cooking fiber arts sheep writing
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Tereza Okava wrote:I've also got a question, which popped up recently- everyone says "don't use iodized salt" but I haven't found out what happens when iodized salt is used. What does it do?

(living in a place where all salt for human consumption by law must be iodized... I wonder if that is why the miso made by my family here has a certain funk to it. I have recently learned that I can buy non-iodized salt for aquariums or for cattle to eat, in quality terms I'm frankly not sure which is worse, but maybe this means I should try miso again)



iodine kills bacteria, mould, and yeast which are the invisible beasties that make the fermentation happen.

how about kosher salt or pickling salt?  
 
Tereza Okava
gardener
Posts: 1709
Location: South of Capricorn
657
dog rabbit urban cooking writing homestead ungarbage
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
thanks R.
Sadly, no pickling or kosher salt here. Not sure about the legality of importing it but probably not likely if it's not iodized. (Generally living in tropical paradise is great... but in the developing world we don't have as many options.)

That being the case, I use iodized for all my pickles and ferments, and generally it's no big deal. Kimchee tends to get softer a bit faster than I would like, that's the big difference I've seen.
I need to talk to the guy at the feed store. I don't want to use salt that is going to have grit in it that makes me break my teeth....
 
pollinator
Posts: 268
Location: South of Winona, Minnesota
49
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
You can use the salt crystals that are sold for use in a salt grinder. They are just salt, no iodine added. I use them in pickling/canning as well.
 
Posts: 3
Location: South Florida
cat fungi bee
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I made my own miso with black turtle beans and let it age for two years. It's great! So fragrant and mellow. I have a couple bags of non-GMO soy beans and am planning on making more, and I might try making Tofu, just for gits and shiggles.
I used Celtic or Himalayan salt. And of course koji rice. Good luck! Lotsa videos and blogs on this. It's worth the time and energy.
 
Jae Jones
Posts: 7
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
When I started making miso years ago I used non-iodized salt but in the last 5 years I have used Himalayan (actually  https://www.amazon.com/REDMOND-Real-Sea-Salt-Unrefined/dp/B000R5PKD0) style salt with all the minerals including iodine although it is a small amount probably compared to 'iodized' salt.  The Himalayan type salt works the same for me and I haven't noticed any difference in the quality of the miso but I would expect the minerals add to the nutrient value of the miso.  Fine grind is what I use so that I can lightly salt the edges and bottom of my crocks. I spritz the inside of the crock with water first and then use a salt shaker to coat the sides of the crock well before adding the miso mixture.  The fine grind also dissolves into the bean water more easily as well.  
 
Posts: 40
6
goat trees chicken
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
A lot of iodized salt, at least here in the US, also has an anti-caking agent in it. That may be contributing an antimicrobial effect.

Also I"m pretty sure you need both the koji and the live miso for the best results, but you can leave out the live miso and still get a good miso. The koji provides the enzymes that the microbes work with. The little bit of live miso added is like seeding the tasty microbes before the wild ones which may not be tasty a head start. You may get something tasty without the koji but it's probably not miso.

Easiest koji I've ever made: Instant Pot, custom yogurt setting, double conander inserts, a bit of water in the bottom pot (for humidity) remove the rocker weight and the button pressure indicator so some air gets in.  I can even check the internal temp by sticking my electronic thermometer probe in the pressure indicator button hole. Works with tempeh and natto too though with different settings.

 
if you think brussel sprouts are yummy, you should try any other food. And this tiny ad:
Rocket Mass Heater Plans - now free for a while
https://permies.com/goodies/7/rmhplans
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic