I make my own miso every year. Usually in winter so apparently miso has a gentle start to start fermenting as the temperature is not too high.
If you have made miso yourself before you know that it is not as hard as lots of people assume. I have always made miso with soy beans but have been wanting to try to make some with chickpeas.
The thing about miso is (like other fermented products) you make it but you don't see the result straight away. It is not up to you. You provide the source and the environment and hope for the best. out of your control! :-) it is kind of philosophical isn't it?
Anyway making miso yourself is great, obviously because of the taste and assured quality. Also it is said to provide you sort of probiotic bacteria that YOU need because the miso was fermented with them in your environment. There are very good quality miso that you can buy in Australia, such as organic MUSO and SPIRAL brands. But if you would like to make some yourself I have included a step to take
soybeans or chickpea 600g
salt 190g plus extra (use good quality salt!)
1. rinse the beans briefly and cover with filtered water over night. Make sure to put plenty of water as the beans expand quite a lot
2 drain the soaking water. (It is not traditional but I have sprouted the beans as you can see. fermentation makes the otherwise hard to digest beans more digestible anyway but sprouting also does the same. it improves nutritional levels too. If you don't want to wait till the beans to sprout that is fine.)
3 cover with fresh filtered water. cook till the beans are beautifully soft to the consistency that you can mash with your finger. I have used pressure cooker for this. It took only 30mins or so but if you are cooking the beans in a pot it may take for a couple of hours. Make sure to keep adding the water.
4 leave the cooked beans in a pot with the cooked water over night. it will encourage all the flavours to be reabsorbed into the beans.
5 Next day prepare koi by mixing together with salt. use your hand so they are mixed together really well.
6 heat the beans once more till it starts to boil. Turn the heat off.
7 drain the beans and start mashing (I have cheated by using a food processor because i was making bigger batch but using pestle and mortar is ideal) reserve drained water and add if needed
It shouldn't be too smooth tough. it is best to leave it quite rough.
8 when the beans are cool enough to handle, about body temperature mix in the prepared koji mix. make sure they are well mixed
11 cover with either a cloth or baking paper and put on a heavy weight to press down to accelerate the fermenting process, as well as prevent the air to spoil the miso.
12 you can start using the miso from 6 month if you would like. longer you leave the miso stronger the flavour is.