Our first Group Experiment Night (GEN1) went extremely well, with a packed house, A wide array of participants, and some fun hands on experiments. The theme of the night was filamentous fungi, and we experimented with fermenting soybeans with rhizophus oryzae into tempeh. People had fun getting their hands dirty dehulling beans, and packing them into bags for incubation and fermentation.
We were lucky to be visited by Jonas Edvard, who told us about his project using oyster mushroom mycelium to re-purpose waste materials into functional objects, while producing edible mushrooms as part of the production process. A great fusion of art, design, and science.
While the tempeh we produced as a sample for the event turned out great when we ate it, we have had reports that some of the fermentations did not go so well. It sounds like there may have been some issues with too high moisture content in the beans (we did not dry them enough), or the innoculation level was not sufficient. Some of those left it the lab didn’t ferment so well, and ended up being tossed out. Of course, if it doesn’t look or smell good, don’t eat it. Such is the process of experimentation, where one can’t expect to succeed at any method the first time, but usually with practice it is possible. People are always more then welcome to come try again in the lab if they were not successful at home (we have lots of extra soybeans).
We had a great time and hope everyone else did too. See you all at the lab sometime (Thursday evenings is the best time to drop by), or next month for GEN2, where we will explore yeasts. More info coming soon on this event.