Tempeh is a cultured soy product loaded with beneficial enzymes. Tempeh production is an art and a science. It includes straightforward production methods such as maintaining a proper temperature in your incubator and keeping its surfaces clean enough to prevent the spread of unfriendly bacteria. Tempeh production also involves artisan touches such as air drying the beans in the right environment for a proper length of time. You can make your own tempeh incubator out of any kind of sealed box that you can keep clean and maintain at a temperature of 30 degrees Celsius.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Old refrigerator
- Portable ice chest (optional)
- Wooden box with styrofoam installation and aluminium foil (optional)
- Light bulb
Use an old refrigerator to make your tempeh incubator. Any kind of sealed, easy to clean box will be suitable but an old refrigerator is ideal because it has shelves, it seals well and its surfaces are easy to clean. If you do not have an old refrigerator, you can build a wooden box, line it with stiff styrofoam insulation and then cover the styrofoam with aluminium foil. You can also use a portable ice chest cooler.
Create a heat source for your tempeh incubator. The strength of the heat source will depend on the typical outdoor temperature in the area where you live. Northern climates require a considerable amount of heat to maintain a temperature of 30 degrees Celsius, while very warm climates may require no additional heat source at all. If you live in a cool climate, install a light bulb as a heat source in your incubator. If you are using the wooden box or cooler, make a hole in the back and run a cord for the light bulb through this opening. Alternatively, if the refrigerator already has a light bulb, you can run it by plugging in the unit but turning the temperature control to the "off" position.
Monitor the temperature in your tempeh incubator to make sure that it is consistently 86 degrees. Position thermometers in different parts of the incubator and check them at different intervals. You can also use an oven thermometer with a remote temperature reading to check the temperature inside the incubator without opening the door. If the incubator is too cool, install another light bulb or replace your existing light bulb with a more powerful one. If it is too warm, replace your existing light bulb with a weaker one.
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