The word “handmade” is thrown about a lot these days but at Tempeh Culture, we mean it.

We’re a small home-based craft business so every step, from purchasing the soy beans to delivering your order is done by the same pair of hands. Each batch is made to order and the whole production takes three days to complete.

Splitting the soy beans using a hand mill helps us speed up the process.

The lengthy process starts by first sorting out any bad beans. While the Australian farms we source from do a fantastic job growing quality produce, a little vigilance goes a long way.

These beans are first cracked and dehulled then left to soak overnight till it doubles in size. They are then boiled in water and a souring agent.

Once it’s tender, the cooked beans are left to dry and cooled before we stir in our tempeh starter culture, which is made in-house. At this point, the beans are ready for fermentation, weighed out and wrapped individually with wax paper.

Every slab of tempeh is wrapped individually, and by hand.

This is why our tempeh operations are limited to a very small batch; every slab is cared for and no single detail is overlooked.

Fermentation takes 24 to 30 hours where a fluffy white layer will develop and wrap around the beans until it forms a dense cake. Each time we make tempeh, we’re nourishing new life. During this time, the nutrients in soy are broken down, making it more digestible for our consumption.

All our packaging — from the boxes to the batch numbers and expiry dates are hand stamped.

In between we get busy and start stamping our logo, batch numbers and expiry dates on every box and label. We also name each bag as every tempeh is made to order.

Tempeh is done when it resembles a nougat. It will be moist and warm to the touch as it’s very much a living whole food. That’s when we know it’s ready to be wrapped with a label and then slotted into the bag. Know that each time we make a drop, the tempeh is freshly fermented that very morning.

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