Making Miso in the Farmhouse Tradition
A Grand Tour

Final Mixing Process

On Day 3 of the bean cooking process, beans are placed into a stainless steel mixing box.
Some already mature "seed" miso is mixed with bean cooking liquid and added to the cooling beans. As in sourdough bread making, a lineage of culture is continued down through the centuries from one batch of miso to the next.
By the ancient process of foot treading, the beans are mashed underfoot. The treader wears two pairs of organic cotton socks and plastic foot coverings.

(line drawing to the right) Treading miso in the traditional Japanese shop. Until World War Two, nearly all miso was made in this way.

Preparing to tread. Cooked soybeans in stainless steel mixing box in foreground.
Beginning the tread. The salted koji (in tubs, foreground) will be added into the mix after the beans are first mashed. It takes about one hour to tread and mix 500 pounds of miso. At that rate, and after producing about 600,000 pounds of miso over the past 21 years, we have walked the equivalent of about 3500 miles in the treading process.

The treading process is nearing completion. The salted koji is now being mixed in with the mashed beans.
Raw miso is now ready to be removed to the fermentation vat.
Yukio cleaning one of our large Cypress vats, capacity 7500 pounds of miso.
Raw miso being removed from mixing box.
Raw Barley miso removed to fermentation vat. Only wooden vats are used for the fermentation of South River Miso.

The miso is first covered with a sterilized muslin cloth. A wooden pressing lid is then placed on top of the cloth. Stones or other heavy weights are then placed on top of the pressing lid. The pressure draws liquid up from the miso, which seals off the miso, protecting it from drying out and from external contamination. The vat is tagged with the appropriate lot number, which later will appear on each individual package sold.
Be in touch!
South River Miso Company
888 Shelburne Falls Road
Conway, MA 01341
PH: 413.369.4057
FX: 413.369.4299

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