It is not always easy to purchase tempeh starter (especially if you live on an Island off of the west coast of Canada) so I recommend learning how to save the mold spores for future use. The good news is, that if you’ve already successfully made tempeh, then you’re well on your way to making tempeh starter!
All that is required to make tempeh starter is to allow the mold to continue growing until it spores, then to collect those spores.
Please note: the photo above is tempeh before it spores. Spores are exactly like this but grey and black. They are very unphotogenic, and I just couldn’t stomach putting a picture of black tempeh up on my blog.
- One recipe of basic tempeh (see notes).
- Follow the instructions for basic tempeh, then continue to ferment until the mold spores. You will know that the mold has spored because your tempeh will go from being mostly white, to black. The black colour is from the spores. (Approximately 60 hours after starting to culture).
- Take off the lid off of the fermenting container to allow the tempeh to dry out.
- When it is dry, use a blender to pulverize the tempeh into a dust that can be used as a starter for future batches of tempeh.
- Store the starter in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer.
-You will need to start by following my basic tempeh recipe.
-Make sure that everything is very sterile so that you have a good strong culture. While this is always a good practice when fermenting, it’s even more important when saving culture. Read up on various sanitation and sterilization procedures.
-The strength of the tempeh starter will depend on how many mold spores grew before you dehydrated the tempeh. You may find that your own saved mold spores grow more quickly or slowly than the store bought spores, just adjust your culturing time as necessary.