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Jan 14, 2009 07:14 AM

I Wanna Make Home-brew Shoyu. Am I Nuts?

Every now and then, I get the urge to do something out of the ordinary...sometimes WAY out of the ordinary. The latest urge is to make shoyu (soy sauce) at home. I know the basic ingredients (soy beans, wheat, salt, water) and *general* brewing methods, but nothing about quantities or ratios or temperatures. Do I absolutely need Aspergillus mold? Anybody got any wisdom or advice for me?

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  1. Wisdom says not to bother, but it does sound like an interesting experiment. If you do try it I would say do everything in your power to make it as precisely and as close to the real way as possible. Otherwise, why bother if you know from the start that you're going to produce an inferior product.

    2 Replies
    1. re: HaagenDazs

      That's kind of my problem, tho...I don't know what the "real way" is, in terms of recipes. I know I should start with equal parts soy beans and wheat, steam the mixture, and add salt and water...but how much salt? How much water? Do I let the mash sit until it tastes like shoyu? Can it really be that simple?

      1. re: ricepad

        Oh gosh - I don't have a clue. I've seen some food programs here and there that show how it's made but I've never paid attention enough to really know how it's done.

        I did a little Google search and found this which would be of ENORMOUS help to you:

        One key here is the use of the hot sun to help ferment and age the sauce. In other words, if you want to do it now is the time to plan for summer.

    2. I would toss this up with home made phyllo, more effort than it's worth, with the end product being not necessarily what you wanted.

      Out of curiousity, what recipe are you using?

        1. I'd say you're nuts, but gotta love your determination. For me, even if the recipe worked out, just can't ever imagine myself saying "that was some damn good shoyu". Let us know how it turned out.

          1. Ricepad, Go for it!

            This from someone who's been stone-grinding everything for the past year, so take it with a grain of ....something.

            I will add my observation from stone-grinding soaked soybeans though. During one of the times when I was making soymilk I happened to save a small jar of the soy mixture/foam from the step in the soymilk making just prior to straining. So, this is the light foam on the top of the kettle , from stone-ground soy cooked for a while in water. I put it in a glass jar, covered it, and it stayed in the refridgerator for maybe 1 week or two? I forgot about it. When i came upon the jar, I opened it and wow, what a beautiful fragrance! Just totally delicious smelling!

            At that time i didn't do anything with it because I wasn't thinking. I have a feeling I'll come back to it the next time I make soymilk. Maybe I will be relying on your shoyu making wisdom then.