Monday, December 28, 2015

Making Exceptional Yeast Cakes, Week 3

Last time, on yeast cake adventures, we flipped the yeast cakes.

Today, we're going to gather them.  Excitement!
至二七日,麴,還令塗戶,莫使風入。
After another seven days, gather the cakes, again mud the door, allowing no wind to enter.

I double checked to see if there was more meaning to that word (bolded in the original and in the translation), and there really isn't:
聚 jù Middle Chinese dzjuX
  1. collect(ion), assemble, gather together, group(ing); (a)mass, accumulate.
  2. assembly of 3 or more celestial bodies in the same lunar lodging.
  3. community, populace; settlement.
So I guess I'll make a pile of them.
The wetter cakes

The dryer cakes - they're still quite damp
This time, the cakes smelled much more interesting.  I got strong caramel notes - I'm reminded of some kind of cookie my grandmother used to make but I can't put my finger on it.  I also get some floral notes.  It's interesting how much the aroma changed from last week.  I wonder if the caramel notes are due to saccharification byproducts.
I have an 8x lens for my phone, which let me take a close-up of the cakes (one of the wetter ones).  You can see the hyphae!  The cakes are holding together fairly well, which I think is because of the hyphae more than because they're slightly dryer.


It's unclear to me what purpose the gathering has, but it's easy enough to stack the cakes.  I have to wonder if having a much larger pile (30 liters vs perhaps 3) would have a different effect.

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