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October 7, 2010 AT 10:35 am

Tempeh – The (not so) Difficult Fermentation and the DIY temperature controller

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Tempeh – The (not so) Difficult Fermentation and the DIY temperature controller, Mikey writes –

Can I tell you how much we love tempeh? We used to buy it by the case. Our favorite was “fakin’ bacon” a food item that was the cornerstone of our now defunct vegan diet. Once we got into fermenting, making tempeh went to the top of our list. Unfortunately, the temperature requirement of holding a precise 85F for up to 24 hours was too difficult without specialized equipment. Designing a temperature controller that could help us make tempeh seemed like a obvious solution so we took care of that first (this is the same temperature controller we use on our dorm size cheese fridge and converted chest freezer). We ended up with 2.3 lbs of organic tempeh which is worth about $10. It would have made sense for us to start with 3 lbs of dry soybean which would have required just a little more work to produce $30 in tempeh.


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2 Comments

  1. Easy enough to do with a simple electronic baseboard heating control found at any home center.

  2. Good point about the baseboard heating controllers.

    The are a few drawbacks to the kind of controllers found in home centers.

    – They have a limited temperature range of 50F – 85F. While this might be enough for tempeh they would not be suitable for freezer hacking or higher temperature fermentations like yogurt.

    -The commercial controllers do not offer the correct hardware for simply plugging in appliances. There store bought models are also closed design with no firmware or hardware design access in case you wanted to hack them further for efficiency or tighter temperature ranges.

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