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I need some better info from u about koji-kin

Large batches small batches, what have you tried (crazy unique or conventional) that has turned out better than expected. For instance average temps for koji many say 95f but I found from a sake company they say its better (safer) for the right enzymes at 100-105f Iand i have found my koji doesn’t have a prob with this.temp (neither with 120f once before).

Also I’m am having trouble nailing down the perfect koji-kin. Getting it to grow is no prob just getting it to cover every grain seems impossible, even 50% has been alluding me for some time. Growing in a bucket I reached 92% coverage but with quantity and a larger container I am pretty sure some of the parameters need to be adjusted. Maybe you have some knowledge on this.

Ii have read almost all the info out their and implemented almost all of it , except those crazy ridiculous ones, but I would like to hear you out if you have something unconventional, that “HAS” worked for you.


I understand your concerns. I’m sure most of us have at one point or another wanted to produce our own tane koji. If I may ask, what koji kin are you currently using? Is it vision, gem, or akita konno?

From what I’ve read:

  • KCl, MgCl, and NaCl (to a lesser degree) salt increases conidia formation in Aspergillus spp. Therefore, you may try adding sterile wood ash at 1% W/W to the steamed rice substrate prior to inoculation.

  • Pure KCl or Morton’s salt substitute could potentially be used to substitute the wood ash. Try making a 0.1M – 1M KCl solution to soak your rice in before steaming.

  • You could also try using brown rice instead of polished rice, as it will have more potassium in the kernel.

  • Lastly, keep the temps between 34-36C for 1 week.

Here is a picture of some tane koji I made in a mason jar one time.

Hope this helps and be sure to post the results if you end up experimenting,



Thats what I’m talking about!! Anyone else who has hard to find or interesting knowledge I would like to hear it.

Mpfbrewer thanks for the info. I have read about using wood ash but they never commented why, and so I wouldnt try it out of fear of contaminants. I appreciate your info and ill be sure to incorporate this into my next batch. I’m on hold for the time being as spring is pulling me outside to build for chickens and a small hopyard. Even considering a rice field or two, I have the perfect spot in mind. Oh almost missed to mention I got my innoculated rice from fh stienbart in (Oregon) I believe, they get it from a brewer up there.

MPF, I successfully grew a jar of tane-koji using Brainman’s method of time and rehydration using Cold Mountain Koji. Looked pretty good so I decided to inoculate a batch of steamed rice to see if it would work. I took a large 4+ inch green fuzzy chunk and ground, broke, mixed the entire block of it into 3.5 cups of steamed rice and used the koji-growing Taylor method keeping the batch at a consistent 96 degrees. Enough to give the batch the given greenish tinge required.
The smells changed from sulfur to very strong chestnut/cheese by when I finished by hour 50 as suspected. Problem is, I got very little white frosted color, most of the rice turned out to be a dull bloated yellow color. (there were pockets of clumped white spots here or there) I waited an extra day at room temperature just to see if if all would turn white-fuzzy but the batch didn’t. I never exceeded 100 degrees during the growing process.
Is dull yellow rice with some white a normal end result? The taste was slightly sweet with a lot of tanginess…chestnut flavor with cheese…no outward white fuzzy no matter how long I waited and I believe that the exothermic reactions could have kept going a lot longer but I didn’t want to have it turn toxic and produce kojic acid after my extended waiting period.

Todd, I’m still pretty new to sake, but I did find (somewhere, can’t remember) that there are several types of koji, one looks a bit grey-ish, another white, (which I believe is what the vision spores are) and another comes out with a yellow-ish tinge… I’d be willing to bet that’s what kind the cold mountain koji is, but Brainman knows for sure… we can search his thread and see what his first batch came out looking like.

Doing a check of the threads from the Cold Mt Koji thread and others. Seems that the experiment worked and was mentioned that he was able to make successful batches from it, but no details on what it looked like.

You might have a point about the different types of koji: CMK, although in a dried state, seems to just be coated with white but isn’t actually fuzzy either. The consistency of the CMK rice are very grainy when you rub one into your fingers, probably a lot of broken-down sugars. Mine, on the other hand, are yellow, tangy rather than sweet, have a strong pleasant smell, but are rubbery when chewed. (enzyme level unknown)

I can only guess that I didn’t use enough spores from the homemade tane and would definitely use a minimum of a handful of green fuzzy rice in the future. (pepper grinder limited success, kept clogging)

I had the same issue with the pepper grinder. So far the best koji-kin I have made has come from a very liberal inoculation with vision spores; which was actually an attempt at tane-koji, but failed to go into the budding stages. Maybe this approach would be the way to go, once you have made the first batch of tane-koji from the CMK… just inoculate the living heck out of your rice… it can’t hurt. From what I’ve read, and from talking to TMAK, the fresher the tane-koji, the stronger the enzymes… which, if used to then make more tane-koji, imo should yield an even better quality tane-koji end product.

Let me know how it goes; I have yet to get mine to go into the budding stages. My next attempt will be using the sterile wood ash and brown rice as MFP mentioned… hopefully I can get it to work.

I had great results using Nu Salt which is a pure KCl from the supermarket. (basically the same as Morton’s salt substitute) For the Cold Mt experiment, I used about 1/4 tsp of it in a partially-filled spray bottle to moisten the koji and it grew like crazy.

As for my rice, I’ll simply use it for regular rice additions in my next sake this fall. Yes, will definitely keep you posted and find some photos on my progress so far.

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