I decided to try the second yeast cake recipe:
YE2 又造神麴法：Another method for making exceptional yeast cakes
Take equal quantities of steamed, stir-fried and fresh wheat, and join them as in the previous recipe, but without the north-south cross, the offering of alcohol and dried fruit/meat, the cooked noodles, offering to the “yeast cake king” or having children shape the cakes.
Prepare the three kinds of wheat as before, join them and finely grind them. On the third day of the seventh month, make the yeast cakes. Wet them so they are “firm [more water than “just add a little”].” Pound the mixture until it is evenly mixed and fine. Make it into cakes using a round iron mold, 5 thumb-joints across, and one and half thumb-joints thick. On top of a level board, have a strong person really stomp on it. Use a peg to pierce a hole in the middle of the cake.
Clean and sweep a room with an east-facing door, and spread the cakes over the floor. Block the windows and doors, using mud to seal any cracks, so as to not allow wind to enter. Flip the cakes after seven full days. After a second seven days, gather them, and both times re-seal the room. After a third seven days, take them out, and air them in the sun until dry. The cakes are finished.
Whenever you please, hang the cakes for storage in a high, dry place. These cakes do not keep if stored in a weng. Cakes that are stored in a weng turn black and vile, and around the hole they will be black and rotten. If you want to have people help you, you must at least make sure that the three types of grain are equal, and don’t let three dan of grain be a limit.
One dou of these yeast cakes can ferment three dan [thirty dou] of grain, while one dou of common yeast cakes can ferment six dou of grain: whether use a little or a lot decidedly depends on this. Use Qixi burnt wheat yeast cakes or spring wine yeast cakes like common yeast cakes.
This is nearly identical to the first one, but presses the molds into cakes. I used a cheese press I had lying around.
|Mixing the three kinds of grain in a food processor.|
|I'm using this metal tray, and using sushi rolling mats to keep the bottoms from getting too damp.|
|Flipped after a week.|
|Gathered after another week|
|These are a little grosser than the first ones. I scrub them before using, since the recipes say to, and it seems to make sense.|
|Grating it on a box grater reveals the inside.|
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.