The process starts by sorting the soy beans to remove damaged or moldy beans (Figure 12-5). The beans are usually given a quick heat treatment (about 70°C to 100°C for ten to thirty minutes), and the hulls are removed either manually or mechanically.The former method, practiced by very small traditional manufacturers, involves rubbing the beans with hands (or even feet!) and then separating the hulls by floatation. Manual de-hulling, however, has been largely replaced by the use of various types of mills, which can be used on dry or wet beans. Some manufacturers omit the first boiling step, although this is considered by some tempeh experts to be an essential part of the process, facilitating hydration and hull removal.
Figure 12-5. Tempeh flow chart. Adapted from Shurtleff and Aoyagi, 1979.
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