One thing to know about me is that I don’t have much time to dedicate to one particular task, so I continually look for ways to compress as much finished work into one time cycle. Naturally I have downtime, that’s not going to go away. Thus, the reason for wanting to fit more into the time… because I don’t want to give up the downtime I dedicate to myself to keep from going insane, and shooting up the mall. So! One issue with making tempeh (or anything soy based) is that you need to dry the soybeans after boiling them. That can take LOTS of time, and isn’t fun at all. It’s not as simple as waiting for them to dry either since.. well.. they’re soaked with water and they are beans. Beans have a tendency to not want to dry in small amounts of time. Using a hair dryer blows them around if you’re not careful, and no matter what there will be some residue blown.
Wanting to fix this (along with add on to other things in life in one swoop) I decided I’d pick up a food dehydrator. It’s good for fruits, some meats, but most of all soybeans! I found a very good quality used Excalibur parallaxx 9-tray 600-watt food dehydrator, which would suit lots of desires. Without trays, I could even slide a couple mason jars of yogurt into the case and incubate them at 110 degrees fahrenheit. The thermostat ranges from 85 degrees to 165 degrees F, with a timer as well that ranges from 2 hours to 24 hours. I’m actually pretty impressed.
I tested it for the first time with the one thing I’ll be using it quite a bit for! Drying freshly boiled/strained soybeans. For 1 1/2 cups I used 2 trays which were not fully filled. I turned it to 115 degrees, and set the timer to 2 hours. After 15 minutes I came back and pulled a tray to feel. The soybeans were ready to be mixed with the culture already. I dumped them into a bowl and they were cool enough by then to add the starter. A very nice addition to the family.