Clone Wars!

November 2008:

Clone wars!

At last back amongst the surviving packets on the grand isobaric terrain of the intArweb.  In my travels I have seen many lonely deserted packets, dropped needlessly from their groups… 8, 32, thousands… why do they not care for the feelings of a single packet, leaving them to separate into fragments of bits at our very feet.  But behold, I have before me packets folded to my bidding.  Networks staged on the very air over my living establishment are now mine, MINE, at my very bidding… my beckoned call to bow upon my every whim and desire.

Oh yes… I have internet access now.  Clandestinely perhaps, but I never claimed to be a Greenpeace activist.  I’m not armed enough for that role, yet.

June 2010:

Time progresses and this blog consists of things I have ran across and/or learned within the last 2 years.  In some cases, simply being a documentation for me to refer to later, along with sharing to the rest of the world.  I forget more than I ever type, sadly.
No longer am I clandestinely pirating airwaves to gain ‘net access.  I find my own connection to be far more sound.  That, and I can afford it now ;)

Kitchenaid KGM Grain-Mill Attachment for Kitchenaid Stand-Mixer (soy cracking/splitting)

I needed a grain mill that would crack & split dry soybeans so I could easily remove the hulls.  The problem is, there’s not many created that are good at that task for some reason.  Sure, some of the less available or more expensive models are good at it (e.g. Family Grain Mill, Porkert universal grain mill), but why spend more money when I already have a kitchenaid attachment for grain mill use?  The issue is that it doesn’t have the setting for it, and needs to be modified.  I just did that today, and ran some dry soybeans through it perfectly.

The Kitchenaid KGM grain-mill attachment is nice in the fact that it’s all metal, and not many parts to it.  The bad part is that it’s made from the factory for smaller grain grinding.  However, since the design is so simplistic, it’s relatively simple to change that.


What I did was turn the adjustment knob all the way to the left until the pointer was on the large grain setting.  Then, I used a #4 hex wrench (allen wrench) to unscrew the holding screw in the middle of the adjustment knob.
Once that is unscrewed, pull the screw and safely set it aside.  Carefully slide the adjustment knob off, and you will notice a spring-loaded pressure pin underneath the adjustment knob.  It adds the clicking sound when the wheel turns, and provides uniform pressure to make it feel firm when you turn it.  Remove the pressure pin and the spring, and safely set it aside.
Now comes the adjustment!  Before doing anything from this point, realize that unless you make notes/marks to return it to stock settings, all stock settings will be lost.  It’s best to be aware of this before going any further

What I did was unscrew the center threaded post, which the adjustment knob was attached to, 1-2 turns left which made it pull out a bit.  Then, I grabbed 1/4 cup of soybeans, turned the Kitchenaid stand-mixer to 10, and fed 5-10 soybeans into the grain-mill to see the outcome.  If it’s splits them in half, you’re spot on and can take the final step of reassembly.  If needing to go more, turn left a bit more and try again.  If you went too big, turn right to tighten and try again.

Once you have the setting to your desire, place the spring-loaded pressure pin back into the hole it came out of.  Be careful not to smear the grease all over the place, since it’s necessary to lubricate.  Place the adjustment knob in your hand with the pointer in the position for the largest grain on the mixer, and put it back into place carefully.  Make sure the pressure pin is to the left of the pointer when you re-install the adjustment knob – simply turn the knob once you’ve placed it on, to make sure.  Once you are sure everything is fine, re-insert the scew to the center of the adjustment knob and tighten it up.  From there, you’re done and ready.  I ran mine through a test run of 1/4 cup soybeans at largest grain setting just to make sure everything was set correctly.  They come out cracked, with hulls sitting separate from soybean grain.

I also took this time to run some coconut oil over the bearings of the grinder shaft where it inserts into the assembly, which makes the vibrations much less.  Lard, or any thick food-grade grease would work as well.


Soy in your diet

While searching the net over the last month or so for different recipes & methods of fermentation for soybeans, I’ve noticed quite a large percentage of the people in the world confused about soy beans.  Some believe all soy is GMO (genetically modified), while others believe soy should be avoided like the plague due to nutritional reasons.  What I believe is happening is misinformation being passed by pseudo-science in old wive’s tale form.  Also, broad standards are applied by most people without realizing that not everything happens to every person in the same way.

The first wide-spread thought is that soy should never be digested because of it’s effect on the thyroid.  This came about due to soy containing isoflavones, which do contain hormonal properties.  There have been many studies done, and there has been a rare occasional exception to the most found answer that isoflavones do not directly cause hypothyroidism.  As with any foods, some bodies do have adverse effects.  There have been studies performed on animals that were fed soy as a primary protein source which had thyroid hormonal shifts, however the amount hasn’t been reflected in humans that I have seen.

There is also a wide-spread thought that soy is GMO, and should be avoided.  While Monsanto does have a GMO version that is RoundUp ready, not every soy is GMO.  In fact, there are a wide selection of soy available that are made by farms that are exclusively non-GMO with prices that are not artificially high.  The one I use (just because I’ve had great results with them for over a decade) is Laura Soybeans from Chambers Family Farm in Corwith, IA.  I order through their website.  (  Of course there are many others but I only have experience with one.

Many believe soybeans are bad for the digestive system, as well.  This is an exaggerated thought, based upon the fact that soybeans do contain phytic acid along with other compounds which inhibit the digestive systems ability to ingest minerals from the soy.  Taken as raw soy, this is very true.  However, soaking and boiling soy is usually the first step taken which lowers the amount of phytic acid.  When soy is fermented, a whole other world of nutrition is created which allows the human body to absorb a large variety of nutrition without any of the other issues.  Hexane is another worry, but most fail to realize it’s a foreign pollutant and is not in organic soy.  It is an airborne particulate, and used by some companies to extract proteins.

Last but not least, the machismo flag comes out and soy is considered a “non-manly” drink due to the belief that when a man drinks it, they become more female due to the estrogen in it.  First off, there are no estrogen hormones in soy.  The proper name is phytoestrogen.  Yes, the name literally translates to “plant estrogen”, mostly because of the chemical structure is similar to the hormone estrogen.  Many studies have found that the male body does not have more then a negligible effect when large amounts of soy are digested.  The effects found were when some male participants digested 3 quarts of soy milk daily for 6 months.  After which, the body self regulated and returned to normal.  The main idea to take away from this is there have been little to no findings of anything more than negligible results from extreme cases.  There are more positive results (protection from prostate cancer, etc) than negatives, which should be kept in mind as well.

When given the choice, soy should be digested in fermented state.  While soy milk & tofu are not necessarily bad for the human body, when tofu is fermented (tofu misozuke) it lasts for long periods of time and the simpler broken-down nutrients are absorbed more readily by the human body.  There are a large variety of fermented soy foods, from a variety of countries throughout the world, which can be produced in your own home with very little effort.  Japan is one that I believe most Americans can connect to when it comes to fermented soy recipes, and here are a few:

  • Natto
  • Soy Sauce (Yes, it’s fermented soy)
  • Miso
  • and others…

Other countries soy foods that are fermented:

  • tempeh
  • Cheonggukjang
  • pickled tofu
  • stinky tofu
  • tamari
  • doenjang
  • oncom

OS X Yosemite In Bootable ISO format

Maybe you’re something like I am, and want to have a bootable ISO of OS X Yosemite to run under a VM on a Mac. (It’s not going to do very well on it’s own with PC architecture)
Nothing fancy, just an install that you don’t need to bend over backwards and pray to the deity of choice to make happen.  After looking around (since I’ve only really done it directly to USB flash and not to ISO really) I ran across this script made by someone else who wanted the same thing.  I don’t have the URL of where I got it, but I wanted to share.  Keep in mind, you will need to first download Yosemite through the Apple App Store, which will place it in the Applications folder.  Leave it there for the script to do it’s thing.

Just copy and paste this into a script and run it from the command line.  It will make an ISO called Yosemite.iso right on your desktop.  I have an SSD drive and it took approximately 2-3 minutes to complete.  I’m thinking on a regular harddrive with the amount of disk activity it will take longer, but well worth the wait.

Here it is (it’s all there, just not displaying properly.  When you select it all, it will copy fine):


# Mount the installer image
hdiutil attach /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ -noverify -nobrowse -mountpoint /Volumes/install_app

# Convert the boot image to a sparse bundle
hdiutil convert /Volumes/install_app/BaseSystem.dmg -format UDSP -o /tmp/Yosemite

# Increase the sparse bundle capacity to accommodate the packages
hdiutil resize -size 8g /tmp/Yosemite.sparseimage

# Mount the sparse bundle for package addition
hdiutil attach /tmp/Yosemite.sparseimage -noverify -nobrowse -mountpoint /Volumes/install_build

# Remove Package link and replace with actual files
rm /Volumes/install_build/System/Installation/Packages
cp -rp /Volumes/install_app/Packages /Volumes/install_build/System/Installation/

# Copy Yosemite installer dependencies
cp -rp /Volumes/install_app/BaseSystem.chunklist /Volumes/install_build/BaseSystem.chunklist
cp -rp /Volumes/install_app/BaseSystem.dmg /Volumes/install_build/BaseSystem.dmg

# Unmount the installer image
hdiutil detach /Volumes/install_app

# Unmount the sparse bundle
hdiutil detach /Volumes/install_build

# Resize the partition in the sparse bundle to remove any free space
hdiutil resize -size `hdiutil resize -limits /tmp/Yosemite.sparseimage | tail -n 1 | awk '{ print $1 }'`b /tmp/Yosemite.sparseimage

# Convert the sparse bundle to ISO/CD master
hdiutil convert /tmp/Yosemite.sparseimage -format UDTO -o /tmp/Yosemite

# Remove the sparse bundle
rm /tmp/Yosemite.sparseimage

# Rename the ISO and move it to the desktop
mv /tmp/Yosemite.cdr ~/Desktop/Yosemite.iso

Cuisinart Pressure Cooker

I have very little time after work to fit in the multiple things I want to do, and also sometimes I just want to veg for a bit while things get done. I’ve gotten to the point of wanting to compress time used making soy based products (tempeh, soy milk, tofu, etc etc) along with soups, meatloafs, etc. I’ve also never had one in my life, but I’ve known people who have. I wanted a pressure cooker. It might seem like one of those things you just “have” and it’s there, no one is without one… but I’m a bachelor who lost most of his kitchen stuff during the move back to Arizona. Long story.

I found an awesome deal on for a Cuisinart 6-quart electric pressure cooker, for a double-digit price!

Mostly because it’s a refurbished product, but I’ve had good experiences with refurbished products over the last 5-7 years. This one is no exception, I cleaned it up and used it tonight for the first time! To test it out, I cooked a 1/2 cup of dry soybeans under high pressure for 30 minutes. Once it was done, I let it naturally release pressure and tried them. Amazingly enough, they were soft and very tasty.


After that, I figured I’d put it through a real-world test.  I pulled out some dry garbanzo beans, dry navy beans, dry long grain rice, dry TVP (textured vegetable protein), and dry lentils.  By eye, I poured a little of each into the canister, just enough to be enough for tonight and lunch at work.  Then I poured in 2 cups of water, locked the lid down and put it on high pressure cook for 15 minutes.  After it was done, I set it to simmer and put a little Sriracha sauce on the top and stirred it in.  It stayed that way for 5-10 minutes to evaporate some of the water.  After, I set it to ‘keep warm’ and put some into a bowl for dinner.  While the garbanzo beans were a little firm (not hard, just firm soft) and I could have added 5 or so minutes to the time to fix that, it was tasty with a dash of salt.

I bought this to speed the cooking of soybeans for tempeh mostly, but I see this puppy being used for lots of things with as much time as it saves!  I could actually make a small amount of chili just for myself for once, and not have it take hours.

Only thing I need now is an Excalibur dehydrator, and I’ll have the entire cycle of food creation! ;)

Yeah, as you can tell I love food.

Passive Cooling Added To Tempeh Incubator

Having used the tempeh incubator that I made just recently, I’ve noticed that the heat collects within the case to the point I need to open it to let out some of the heat off and on during the incubation time after 8 hours.  At that time, the tempeh mixture starts to create heat from the fermentation.  I’m going to guess it’s because of my home being 80 degrees most of the time, however it’s not good to make excuses.

What I ended up doing was setting up a passive cooling setup involving a water pump, vinyl tubing, & miniature radiator, & fan.

Here are links to amazon where I ordered everything

Tubing from water pump (to be connected to reducer, below):

Reducer to connect the 1/2 inch tubing from the pump to the 5/16 inch tube of the radiator:

The fan I use to vent through the radiator:

Water pump I’m using (of course anything can be used):

Miniature Radiator:


Of course I was haphazard with my choices since I couldn’t find anything else locally.  I gave up and just went amazon, but the ideas are here!

I tested it tonight after installing everything:
IMG_2510Here you see a test setup I used to make sure everything was in good shape.  The pump I attached to the wall in the back, and the hose coming out to the reducer (out of sight near the floor) which connects to 5/16 inch hose to the radiator.  From the radiator, notice the hose leading out, and runs parallel to the hose back into the water to exhaust back into the case.  This setup works the way I like it to work – not overly excessive amounts of heat being removed, but enough that I can keep it on all the time.  The heater I use has enough power to heat the water more than the radiator can remove it.  I have a digital temperature controller thermostat coming in the mail that is 2-stage, and will control the heater & the cooling on separate circuits.  Once the temperature is set, it will turn on the heater once the water is below a certain temp and will turn off once it reaches a max temp.  When the water reaches a certain high temp, it will push power to the water pump & fan which will cool the water.
what I have coming in the mail the beginning of next month is:

After placing holes in the proper places for the tubing, this is the (almost) final outcome:
IMG_2511Of course I am going to optimize the tube placement, and find a better placement for the radiator/fan setup along with the air pump.

I’m debating on trying a different idea for the cooling using a cooling block instead of a radiator, then attach a peltier cooling unit to that with a CPU heat sink to that.  That would change from a passive cooling to active cooling, and would definitely drop the temperature significantly.  Once the temperature controller comes in, I’ll see if that’s even necessary.

Tempeh Incubator

Having made one test run making tempeh for the first time at home, I decided I’m going to be making it regularly so I wanted to make a solidly built incubator. After looking around on the net, I ran across a website from a professional tempeh maker that had a pretty nifty incubator setup. (
I learned quite a bit while making this, and I’m still fine tuning it because of some cheap equipment not functioning as it’s supposed to. I picked up a relatively inexpensive air pump , but after 24 hours of using it the temperature kept being increased by it. I didn’t realize it until the end, when I did some tests and removed the air stone and minute by minute the temperatures dropped. I put it back in, and the temperature increased yet again.


I took one thing from this: Never cut corners on the key components.  I’m repurchasing a water heater & air pump due to my decision to go inexpensive.  I’ve also learned that after 10 hours, the tempeh’s self-created heat from the fermentation will collect quite a bit in this well insulated container.  The water does a great job of distributing the temperature, but I found myself needing to drop ice into the water to bring it down from 92 degrees as it kept climbing higher and higher.  After I purchase a new air pump, I’m going to see how things work out.  Worse case scenario, I will use my geek powers to fabricate a water chiller with temperature controller.

Outside of the incubator, this is how I did tempeh, which will probably change soon:

  • Collect 3 cups soybeans, and crack them in grain mill (I use kitchenaid grain mill on coursest setting)
  • soak cups soybeans overnight
  • rinse soybeans and cook for 30 minutes
  • drain soybeans, and dry them well.
    NOTES: There are many ways to do this, but I’ve done both of these:
    1) put soybeans in bowl, and use a hair dryer on soybeans while stirring, until they are well dried.
    2) Put soybeans into a pillow case with zipper, and put into dryer. (THIS WORKED WONDERFULLY FOR ME)
  • Put dried soybeans in bowl & stir in 1 teaspoon white vinegar very well
  • Put 1 teaspoon tempeh starter culture into soybeans and stir in very well (for 2-3 minutes)
  • Make sure water bath in incubator is at 86-88, and put soybeans into stainless steel hotel pan.  Evenly spread them over the entire pan, patting down.
  • Place pan into incubator, make sure air pump & heater are running, then put the lid of the cambro container back on.
  • Note the time.  10-12 hours later is time to examine and make sure the temperatures are okay.
  • Periodically view the temperature to make sure it doesn’t skyrocket over 91-92 degrees F.  It’s not that it can’t go that high, it’s just not conducive for good growth.
  • After 10 hours, heat will be generated by the soybeans from fermentation.  White coating of mycelium should be visible by 12-14 hours.  It will thicken as time goes on.
  • It is possible to stop at 24 hours, but I recommend 30 hours due to protein fermentation that occurs which makes it taste better.
  • When it’s time, pull the tray and let it cool to room temperature.
  • preheat the oven to 180 degrees, and cook tempeh for 35-40 minutes to pasteurize.
  • Pull from oven, and let cool.  It’s ready to be cut/shaped/used for food!






I have cut tempeh into squares the first time and cooked in a pan.  I’ve decided for now that tempeh will be replacement for hamburger patties & the remains will be chopped and used as filler with anything else being made.


EDIT August 3rd, 2015
I just had some of this tempeh for dinner (a sous vide cooked patty with spices, olive oil, balsamic vinegar) and the smaller sections of soybean made by the Kitchenaid grain mill (quarters instead of just halves) made the patty taste more full and have a great texture.  I prefer it more than the last batch I did with the beans being split in half by hand.  It also was less prone to having a bean slip out when being flipped or moved roughly since it was solidly tied together by the mycelium like this.  The patty also seemed to absorb the marinade quite a bit faster than it did with the last batch.

EDIT August 22nd, 2015
I made a couple of adjustments to the design of the tempeh incubator.  With the temperatures in Phoenix during the summer not being terribly helpful, my house is about 80 while I’m home & hovering between 85-90 while I’m at work.  As you can imagine, this can make the last 12 hour run of tempeh creation a little rough.  What I did was created a make-shift water radiator system.


Above is a picture before I created pass-through holes for tubes & electrical wires.  On the back wall of the cooler, you will see a submersible water pump.  This pump is a bit of an overkill, with 290 gallons per hour ( ), but I wanted something that would be scalable to multiple coolers/incubation areas in the future.  I also picked up a miniature radiator for the water to pass through and release the heat into the air.  ( )  The radiator has a vinyl tube attached to it’s intake, which has a reducer ( ) attached to it to connect the pumps tube to it.  The other tube on the radiator goes directly back into the water bath in the cooler.  The radiator has a small 120v powered fan attached to it, ( ) which is whisper quiet.

It doesn’t pass much air, but it blows enough air to pass over the radiator fins and absorb heat.  This design was not meant to be excessive in energy movement, as I wanted to keep the temperature motion neutral and not swinging drastically in both directions.  I was originally planning to use a coolant block used in PCs, attach two peltier coolers to it, and an aluminum heat dissipator on the top.  The reason I did not was because it would require a 12v to 120v energy transformer (for one item, why?) and it would be an excessive amount of cool water for 1-3 degrees variation.  Peltiers are great for computer processors at 150-175 degrees fahrenheit, but definitely an overkill for 88-91.


The coup de grace for the entire setup is a temperature controller ( ) with two circuits – one for heating & one for cooling.  This temperature controller has a thermostat which I put into the water bath to measure.  I then attach two power strips to the temperature controller, one on each circuit.  I placed the fan & water pump onto the cooling circuit, the heater is the only thing on the heating circuit currently.  The fish pump is attached directly to the wall since it runs continuously.

After going through the instructions, I boiled it down to setting the temperature I desired (88), the amount of degrees below the temperature I desired that would activate the heating circuit, and the amount of degrees above the temperature I desired that would activate the cooling circuit.  The rest is simply calibrating the thermostat, and setting the “pump standby time” to 0.  I used it with a “hands off” approach today, and things went swimmingly.  The highest I’ve seen the temperature go was 90.3 degrees, and that’s with the controller set to activate the cooling circuit at 90 degrees.
I am planning on expanding the incubator into becoming a pasteurization system for the tempeh, where the temperature would rise to 180 degrees for 35 minutes.  Once that plan is put into effect, it’ll also be capable of being a sous vide system.  That isn’t something I’m trying to do however, since I already have an Anova sous vide system that I use regularly and it works wonderfully.

Making Tempeh with Sous Vide

After getting everything needed, I’ve taken the time to make a new food at home, tempeh!
[I’ll include a quick list of foods needed at the bottom if you want to skim through this]

It’s a fermented food originating from Indonesia.  Describing what it is could throw some people off, I know.  The thing to realize is, bacteria & different molds are in nearly every food we eat on a daily basis.
Tempeh is a food that can be made with soy beans, barley, and quite a few other media.  That media is fermented, bound together by a natural culture, and forms a solid body.  That body can be cut into various shapes depending upon needs.  I’ve personally just cut a patty, cooked it as I would a hamburger patty with a little olive oil & balsamic vinegar.  It has an earthy taste, with subtle nuttiness, and also takes on flavors of marinades to add to it.  The reason for this for me is because soy beans have quite a few things in them that inhibit the human body from digesting the nutrients contained within.  When you ferment, the process in a way pre-digests the bean contents, with an end result the human body can easily absorb.  It’s also frickin awesome to experiment with new food types for me, especially when it’s scientific.


To start, you’ll need to source a supply of tempeh culture & soybeans.

The tempeh culture could be either Rhizopus oligosporus or Rhizopus oryzae.  For a first time, I went with Rhizopus oligosporus.  My supplier is TempeStarter/IndoPal ( based in Indonesia, and I’m in Arizona USA.  I picked up a 120 gram package which was $16.95 + $8.95 shipping.  The 1 teaspoon I used wasn’t alot, I’d say there’s about 15-20 teaspoons in there.

I have a sous vide circulator/cooker made by Anova that inserts into water, then runs a circulator along with heating the water to the temperature I program it with.  This entire process can be modified however you wish.

  • I used soy beans from Laura soy beans ( that I buy to make soy milk due to my lactose intolerance.  Non-GMO, and always great quality.
  • I first took 2 cups of soy beans & soaked them for a day in water at room temperature.
  • I then drained, and placed in fresh water.
  • The hulls need to be removed, so I kneaded the beans (at times rubbing bunches of them between my hands) to brush the hulls off.  This is what takes most of the time.
  • I then washed the beans again, dumping the hulls out as they floated to the top.  (I used my garbage disposal, but you can use whatever method)
  • Then, put beans in pot, add water until beans are just covered, & add 4 teaspoons vinegar, bring water to a boil.
  • Simmer for 35 minutes.
  • Drain and remove the remaining boiled off hulls
  • Put beans into large bowl, and using a hair dryer stir & blow dry the beans.  Don’t skimp on this, dry them until they’re dry to the touch – the starter doesn’t do well with moisture on the outside of the beans at the beginning.
    (This can be done with a dehydrator at about 115 as well)
  • Add 1 teaspoon of starter/culture, sprinkling it throughout.  Stir in VERY good through the entire body of beans.
  • Add to 9×13 rectangular cooking pan (mine was glass), and spread evenly, patting down once done.

I used a 13-gallon cambro container filled with water, and inserted the sous vide circulator with it set to 88 degrees.  (the image shows 90’s because tap water came out hot, it cooled and tempeh culture can handle up to 99-100 degrees)


Once the temp is stabilized, it’s ready.  I placed the cooking pan like a boat into the water, verifying the water level on the outside of the pan was alright.  I then placed plastic wrap over the top of the container to capture the heat in the air (for the top of the tempeh), then set a timer for 30 or so hours.
Once you pull the pan, put it into a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees for 30 minutes covered, which will stop the fermentation completely.  Before putting it into the oven, you can place marinades into the pan.  When the tempeh is warm, it absorbs the marinades much better.


For those that are wanting to know how to gauge how things are going, you probably won’t see anything for the first 10 hours.  About then is when the activity starts happening, and heat is produced by the tempeh. (absorbed by the water)


You can pull the cooking pan anywhere from 24-48 hours, but my recommendation is to wait until between 30-36 hours.  The second stage of fermentation starts at about 30 hours at 88 degrees, and produces a more fuller taste.  I pulled mine at 32 hours, and it was awesome.

he above image is after I cooked the pieces in olive oil & balsamic vinegar.  I added a few drops of Sriracha hot sauce to give it a little spiciness, as well.

Tempeh will not last very long at room temperature, approximately 4-5 days at most.  You can either refrigerate or freeze them.


  • Tempeh starter/culture –
    • Tempeh Starters (Rhizopus Oligosporus ) 120 Grams Cap Jago (there are others, you can choose yours, this is mine)
  • Soy Beans –
    • Whatever package size you want, just be careful not to get sprouting/natto soy beans unless you’re doing something else.  This needs regular soy beans.