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 tempeh culture 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 (and very unphotogenic.)Print
How to Save Tempeh Culture
It’s easy to save tempeh starter culture. The process is the same as making tempeh. Just follow these simple instructions to make your own tempeh culture.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 10 minutes
- Yield: 2 1/2 cups
- Category: Culture
- Method: Fermented
- Cuisine: Indonesian
- One batch of homemade soybean tempeh
- Follow the instructions to make a batch of soybean tempeh.
- Instead of stopping the fermentation after 24 hours, continue to ferment until the mold spores. You will know that the mold has spored because the tempeh will go from being white to grey and black. The black is the colour of the mold spores. It will take approximately 60 hours of fermenting to have a good batch of mold spores.
- Take off the lid off of the fermenting container to allow the tempeh to dry out.
- When the tempeh 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.
- Make sure that everything is very clean 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.
- 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.
Keywords: culture, saving, mold, spores, vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, egg free, dairy free, nut free, frugal, protein