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Where do I find Tempeh Starter Culture? — FermentWorks

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The hardest part about making tempeh can be sourcing tempeh starter culture. Tempeh is based on the fungus Rhizopus oligosporus (or Rhizopus Oryzae or a mix of the two). The spores of this fungus is starter that is needed. As tempeh gains world interest simply sourcing the Rhizopus to get started can be the barrier. This difficulty has increased with pandemic shipping. While the starter can be made from scratch, given the right conditions and the right hibiscus leaves it really isn’t beginner project, and especially if you don’t know what you are aiming for.  For safety reasons, as in purity and getting the right strains it is always better to use professionally produced starters which are grown in sterile conditions. These starters are are also free of tag-along microbes that might make you sick.However, once you have a quality starter, with care, it can be propagated and kept going–like yogurt–for a few batches, at which point it becomes weaker and diluted. I prefer to use fresh starter for every batch but understand that isn’t always feasible.The original idea for this list is that it is a living document where sources for tempeh starter producers, or importers, are added as they are shared with us. In this way, we hope that quality tempeh spores can be sourced in any country. As does when things are crowd sourced the idea grew. We started to get information on small artisan tempeh makers from all corners of the world. We are building a second list so that they can also be found and connect with eachother. The list has now grown into one that can connect makers throughout the world — both commercial makers that you can buy tempeh from and home makers that you can connect with to share ideas, recipes, and local sourcing for starter or substrate materials.If you know someone please share how they can be reached best. To share head to the course discussion, email Christopher@ferment.works, or DM @kirstenkshockey on IG. Also if you know what countries that a source sends to or doesn’t please let us know.  Tembeh binds beans and we want to take that further with  “tempeh binds community.”Because this is a live document — from feedback so far we are adding a second section for finding raw tempeh makers.TEMPEH BINDING THE WORLD SOURCING GUIDESTARER CULTURE PROVIDERS These providers are either importing quality starters or have a lab to make their own.INDONESIATHE TEMPEH STARTER STORE notes: We have received a number of cultures from them and they are responsive to work withRAPRIMA.COMnotes: Starter developed as a project at the LIPI institute in Bandung/Java/Indonesia in response to a need for a reliable, successful tempeh starter. The formula and rights were bought from LIPI and are the basis for the production of Raprima tempeh starter. Doesn’t sell small packets. Contact Amita Buissink < mrtempeh@gmail.com > who is happy to talk to people who want to take on distribution in other countries. TEMPEH BUMBUNGnotes: Javanese company since 1960AUSTRALIAMARGARET RIVER TEMPEH SHOPnotes: Starter produced in Indonesia, they sell starter and tempeh kits as wellBRAZILERIC PRATT  (email: enpratt@gmail.com)notes: Produces and sell tempeh starter in Sao Paulo, Brazil, he will ship all over Brazil. Email, or contact on Facebook Tempehtastico, or WhatApp 55-11-96402-8575MEXICOTEMPEHSTARTERMEXICOnotes: Eugenio Molina N., Tempeh Starter México, now distributing Tempeh Starter for Mexico and South America+52 1 9611483044UNITED KINGDOMTEMPEHTATIONnotes: This Scottland made starter is lab tested.USATHE TEMPEH LAB notes: Tennessee family run company has its roots in the first wave of tempeh in the US. You can order small or bulk amounts. CULTURES FOR HEALTH notes: Small kit amounts online.ORGANIC CULTURESnotes: some folks have mentioned having trouble with getting orders, you might check in with them if orderingEUROPEAN UNIONFERMENTATION CULTURE. EU notes: This is a great resource for many koji and other cultures in Europe. TOP CULTURES notes: This small company, based in Belgium, like The Tempeh Lab got its start in the 70s when soy was the hope for the planet and food security.STARTERCULTURES.EU /.NLnotes: A wonderful selection of all manner of cultures, not tempeh specific, but does carry it.MAKROBIOTIC VERSANDnotes: German site that sells many Japanese foods, starters and health products.ONLINE (unsure of place based)TEMPEH.INFOnotes: Not sure where this company is located but they distribute spores from Top Cultures. We have been told that they ship to Chile, but right now the website is showing restricted shipping.TEMPEH STARTER SHOPnotes: Various packet sizes and a rare find — dehulled soy beans. The site also reads in Spanish. DESHIMA.EUnotes: Looks like a Dutch based health food company with many Asian options including starters.

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