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question re culturing koji

A Grimes adamgrimes at mindspring.com
Tue Jul 17 20:26:46 EST 2001

I have an unusual question.  I am trying to grow koji, which is the fungus
Aspergillus oryzae on rice.  This item is used in the manufacture of various
Japanese foods like miso, sake and soy sauce.  The fungus makes an enzyme
that converts starch to fermentable sugar.

I have in my possession some of the spores of this fungus, and have been
able to culture them on rice at a temperature of about 35 C for 2 or 3 days.
I would like the fungus to go to spore (which the Japanese call tane koji)
so that I can inoculate more rice.  I know the process as done in Japan
involves rice, wood ash and the spores.  Should I just let the fungus grow
longer on the rice?  Will conditions of temperature or humidity cause the
mold to form spores?  Hopefully, someone reading this newsgroup will be
familiar with the process and can help, but I'd appreciate any help anyone
can give me.  Thanks in advance.

Adam Grimes

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