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Raw Paleo Diet Forums => Hot Topics => Topic started by: surfsteve on February 26, 2019, 11:02:21 pm

Title: Anyone Ever Made Natto?
Post by: surfsteve on February 26, 2019, 11:02:21 pm
I was just wondering if anyone here has ever tried natto and made it themselves. It's supposed to be good for all kinds of things and if you didn't need to cook the beans it would be totally raw paleo. I wonder if some form of paleo natto exists in nature. Surely somewhere, one would think
Title: Re: Anyone Ever Made Natto?
Post by: surfsteve on February 26, 2019, 11:30:06 pm
I got interested in natto when I bought a bottle of nattokinase with serapeptase pills several years back.

I was feeling a little stiff a month or so ago so I took some and though it took away my stiffness it made me dehydrated. Luckily it was cheaper to buy the nattokinase and serapeptase pills separate or my story would have ended there. Rather than quit taking both I decided to try each one separate and it turned out to be the serapeptase that was making me feel dehydrated and foggy and had nothing to do with the nattokinase.

I looked on Ebay and found someone selling an entire 500 gram bag of nattokinase and bid 72 dollars which was the cost of 2 bottles of pills and won it. Suddenly I could afford to take all I wanted and instead of the 1/32nd teaspoon on the bag I was taking half teaspoon fulls at a time. I really liked the way it tasted. Before it came in the mail I tried a bag of natto (the stuff from which nattokinase was extracted.) I also liked the way it tasted but didn't care for it's gritty texture. I discovered though that it made a pretty good base for salad dressing when mixed with vinegar and oil and that soaking it in the dressing decreased the gritty texture. 

Almost forgot to mention that natto is the richest source of vitamin K on the planet. No other food comes close. Also nattokinase is an extract and doesn't contain much if any vitamin K.

By this time I had developed a taste for powdered natto. I watched some videos about traditional natto and the texture looked really gross. Supposedly most westerners are revolted by it as well as many Japanese. Long story short I ordered the cheapest natto I could find from Korea but it is going to take at least several more weeks to arrive in the mail. Meanwhile I turned into a dried natto junkie and used up my entire bag of natto yesterday way before the one I ordered is going to get here. I called an oriental grocery store in town and they only sold fresh natto so I bought a few packages to try but at my present dried natto consumption rate it will cost quite a bit to use them every day. I been reading that natto can be made at home. It is a cultured product and I've made a lot of cultured products (I have culture!) so I started doing some research on how to make it.

This is ironic because I haven't even tried eating the fresh natto and there's a good chance that I wont even like it!   
Title: Re: Anyone Ever Made Natto?
Post by: surfsteve on February 26, 2019, 11:57:35 pm
Here are some pretty cool links about natto that were in my windows that I'm about to close up. I hope you like them...

Making the Stinky, Sticky, Slimy Beloved Superfood of Japan: (Natto)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XY8rCvLzZp4

Making natto from chickpeas
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QxYcnKsrTZU&index=6&list=WL

Making natto using a rice cooker
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DI7H1pspd7k

Making natto in a yogurt maker
https://cookpad.com/us/recipes/155232-homemade-natto-using-a-yogurt-maker-japanese-food-anywhere-you-go


After I watched these videos I've decided that first I should try eating some of the natto I bought to see if I even like it. If I do I think I will try combining all the methods in the links above I just posted; making my first batch my own way with pinto beans because I have tons of them on hand. I will cook them in my rice cooker ( I cook them twice, using double the water for rice each time). It is a fool proof way of cooking all kinds of beans including pinto and garbanzo, my two favorites. You just set the rice cooker (twice) and forget about it.

Next I will ferment them with my yogurt maker because my rice cooker isn't digital and the temperature wont go low enough to make natto. Seems like a good idea to put a steralized shop towel over the natto instead of yogurt lids like the guy did in one of the videos I posted.

I will use the remaining natto I bought from the store as starter culture.

I have a lot of experience making cultured foods and have successfully made yogurt, sauerkraut, Pickles, fermented onions, carrots and celery medley and many other vegetables. I've even grown my own mushrooms so I should be able to make natto.  At least I hope so...

Really busy today so it might be a bit before I have a chance to get around to it. Will keep you guys posted...


Title: Re: Anyone Ever Made Natto?
Post by: surfsteve on February 27, 2019, 12:16:20 am
I just tried some of the fresh natto I bought at the store. It's pretty good. Comes with it's own hot mustard and soy sauce in separate packets. which I obviously wont be using when I use it as starter culture. Fresh natto should make even better salad dressing than dried natto.

Here's a video of someone making salad dressing from natto. I been making it from dried natto, adding vinegar, olive oil, dill, sea salt, pepper and hot mustard; but this recipe looks yummy. I just don't have her ingredients on hand.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6eHsqXOsyek

Damn. I want some more natto. I could eat a giant bowl of this stuff. It comes in really puny boxes and costs a fortune. Sure hope I can make it myself because it will be a hundred times cheaper.
Title: Re: Anyone Ever Made Natto?
Post by: surfsteve on February 27, 2019, 12:29:02 am
One last note. I should be able to use the dried natto I have coming as starter culture. I recall someone saying they did that on an Amazon review for natto. Once I dust off and sterilize all my equipment this should be something I can whip up with just a few minutes prep time, requiring not much more effort than making yogurt...
Title: Re: Anyone Ever Made Natto?
Post by: surfsteve on February 27, 2019, 01:14:10 am
I just discovered that my small rice cooker bowl fits inside my yogurt maker perfectly. Though I can't make as big of a batch as with the large one this should greatly simplify the process because the rice cooker will automatically sterilize the  bowl while cooking the beans. All I should have to do is use a sterile spoon to stir in the starter from the cooled rice cooker and drop it into the yogurt maker and cover it with a brand new or freshly washed towel.

I think using a clean towel rather than a sterile one will be ok because the towel will not actually touch the beans. Same with the yogurt maker. Just a quick wash with hot soapy water. The bowl and spoon probably must be sterilized because they are in direct contact with the beans.  If I make a pot of herbal tea I can kill two birds with one stone to sterilize the spoon. I don't think the whole spoon needs to be sterilized. Only the part coming in contact with the starter and the beans. 
 
(Hint to newcomers: Be sure to let the beans cool to warm before adding the starter culture. Adding it to hot beans will kill your starter.) Traditional natto is made from soy beans though any kind of beans seems like they will work. I wonder what else can be used. A mixture of rice and beans might be good. You'd have to add the rice on the 2nd cooking of the beans if you are using a rice cooker.  I don't think meat or fish would work. Fermenting cooked meat can be deadly but might be ok seeing it would be sterilized along with the beans. Raw meat (which also could be potentially deadly) isn't sterilized so would probably result in a natto failure due to contamination.

If you got a digital rice cooker that can be turned down and maintained around 105 degrees F. you can probably simplify the process even more by cooking the beans, letting them cool, adding the starter and culturing them all in the same vessel.

https://strengthandsunshine.com/how-to-cook-beans-in-a-rice-cooker/
I do it similar to this link only I rinse the beans and add the full amount of water on the 2nd cooking...

Title: Re: Anyone Ever Made Natto?
Post by: surfsteve on February 27, 2019, 11:21:00 pm
I wish I could say this was the video that got me interested in trying natto; but I already bought natto and had it in my refrigerator. I just didn't try it till after I watched the video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XY8rCvLzZp4


I looked on Amazon for an all in one cooker that would cook the beans and ferment the natto and found a returned one of these for under 50 dollars
https://www.amazon.com/Instant-Pot-Multi-Use-Programmable-Pressure/dp/B00FLYWNYQ/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=yogurt+rice+cooker&qid=1551244443&s=gateway&sr=8-2

I watched the video again before going to work and started making my very first batch of nato as soon as I got home even though all I have on hand is pinto beans. Then I went to bed and slept on the idea of buying an all-in-one "natto" cooker. I had intended to wait and see how my first batch of natto turned out before buying one; but this morning I decided that even if it's a total failure I should buy the cooker anyway; and keep on trying to make it till I learn how. One of the things that convinced me to go ahead and buy it was that it was all stainless steel.

My first batch of home made natto is in the yogurt maker and will be ready to put in the refrigerator just before I go to bed tonight.

I really love natto. It reminds me of chocolate or carob mixed with brie cheese; and the taste lingers on for hours after you eat it.

Instead of cattle grazing on grass. Natto is bacteria grazing on beans. Though in the analogy you don't just eat the cattle, You eat them bones and all plus the entire field that they are grazing on.
Title: Re: Anyone Ever Made Natto?
Post by: surfsteve on February 28, 2019, 07:18:15 am
I just checked on my natto and it seems to be doing fine. It has another ten hours to go in the yogurt maker before I refrigerate it. This morning it didn't looks so good but it's starting to get really stringy. When I checked on it this morning it was looking very dry. When I reviewed how to make it I saw that I should be filling the yogurt maker base that the bean pan is sitting in with water. It wasn't till I did that that it started getting stringy.

One bad thing is it's stinking up the house with an ammonia smell. I was afraid to taste it because of the smell but I tried a spoonful and once I put it into fresh air it didn't smell at all so I guess the smell isn't going into the food. It's just a gas the microbes give off while making it. It did have a pinto bean taste but there was a definite natto flavor along with it. I ordered some soybeans to try. Got a feeling that using them will make it just as good as the stuff I buy from the store.

I'm also thinking that if I don't let the gas escape it will either cause the natto to fail or be forced into the flavor of the food. Summer is coming so I wont have to worry about the smell once I turn on my swamp cooler. I suppose I could just set the yogurt maker outside. It's not really that bad...

Title: NATTO SUCCESS!
Post by: surfsteve on February 28, 2019, 05:47:13 pm
I had to take a client to the emergency room and I got back a few hours later than my natto was supposed to be done. I've already eaten half of it. It came out really wonderful. I don't think it matters what kind of beans you use. The texture is different with the pinto beans but the taste is exactly like the soybean natto I bought from the oriental market. I wonder if there are different strains of natto like there are different strains of yogurt. Mine actually came out a little stringier than the natto I bought at the market to use as starter. Maybe it's because I fermented it a little longer.

I was worried when it smelled up the kitchen earlier but every hint of stinkyiness was gone when I got home and not only did the kitchen not smell but there wasn't even a trace left in the natto it's self. OK maybe just a little but no more then brie cheese and It had that chocolaty brie taste just like the natto I used as starter. 

I started another batch already. I'm so glad I discovered natto and took the time to find out how to make it. The best part is it should totally clean out my arteries, melt all the fiber that was causing sore muscles and I will never have to take a vitamin K supplement ever again.
Title: Re: Anyone Ever Made Natto?
Post by: Eric on February 28, 2019, 09:30:33 pm
Intriguing. It had never occurred to me to make my own natto. I have always bought it from the store, at exorbitant prices. Your posts on it here have inspired me. I will probably try making it with a locally-grown bean of some sort, and maybe try a batch with garbanzos.
Title: Re: Anyone Ever Made Natto?
Post by: surfsteve on February 28, 2019, 11:37:22 pm
Cool Eric!

I would also like to try it with garbanzos myself! One of the videos I posted used them in it and it turned out fine. I wonder if you could ferment beans and rice, or beans rice and fish? I probably wont be trying that last one. I soaked my 2nd batch overnight and got them started cooking this morning as I write this!. I can't wait till my all-in-one cooker gets here to see if it does just as good a job as my rice cooker and yogurt maker method. It's a huge 6 quart cooker so I will be able to make giant batches to share with everybody I know. Plus it's a pressure cooker too. I just hope it can function as a yogurt maker with a towel over the cover to vent the natto fumes! I don't see why not!

Speaking of venting. My 2nd batch is going to be bigger than my 1st. I noticed the lady at in the natto company video didn't stack the beans too thick while fermenting them. I hope my stacking them a little deeper than her still allows them to vent the natto fumes off of them properly. When I get my 6 quart machine I shouldn't have to worry about that. My current rice cooker is only 6 cups!

Oh yeah. I let my dogs lick the dish afterwards and even they seem to like natto!

It's hard to believe I am the first one to make natto on here. I would have figured with the high meat threads and all, that several of you guys would be experts at making it. I tried making yogurt again a year or so back and found it to be highly inflammatory and it gave me sinus problems. The natto doesn't seem to do that and seems to be a great substitute for cheese!
Title: Re: Anyone Ever Made Natto?
Post by: surfsteve on February 28, 2019, 11:46:55 pm
What do you guys think about fermenting beans rice and fish together? I'm a little worried that the meat could develop botulism but I don't think it would, since cooking it should kill all the bacteria. You'd just have to make sure not to get any cross contamination so that the meat is only inoculated with natto bacteria. If I ever try that it will be way on down the road and I will probably want to read about others doing it and having success with it before I try it myself. Seems a little to risky unless you are dying for natto-tized fish. I think I'd rather have mine cooked at 112 degrees F. or more on the side and the natto only cooks at 105 F.
Title: Re: Anyone Ever Made Natto?
Post by: surfsteve on February 28, 2019, 11:56:23 pm
I just googled natto fish and the word bonito came up. I've had bonito before, it is a dried fermented tuna and tastes very good but I didn't see anything anywhere about throwing fish in with soybeans to make natto.

Here's a wiki that came up when I googled bonito

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katsuobushi
Title: Re: Anyone Ever Made Natto?
Post by: Eric on March 01, 2019, 12:46:43 am
I wonder if cooking the bean is necessary for the fermentation to work? I know that you can eat garbanzos raw if you soak and sprout them. I might try making natto from raw, soaked and sprouted garbanzos.
Title: Re: Anyone Ever Made Natto?
Post by: surfsteve on March 01, 2019, 12:59:46 am
I'd be interested to find out how that works out for you. I don't think it will work though. What about inoculating some other food that can be eaten raw with the natto bacteria? No wait. That probably wont work either due to cross contamination. Raw foods already contain bacteria of other species. If you inoculated raw cucumbers that already contain their own bacteria you'd most likely just be making pickles.

Another example would be sour milk vs yogurt. If you don't boil the milk to kill off the competing bacteria you don't get yogurt it turns out more like curds and whey.

No. I don't think beans can be eaten raw because they make you sick and I don't think the natto bacteria would detoxify them to prevent that. But I could be wrong. Let us know how it goes and what you decide to try!
Title: Re: Anyone Ever Made Natto?
Post by: surfsteve on March 01, 2019, 01:02:57 am
Oh my. I completely ignored the part about sprouting the beans. Yeah if you can eat them sprouted you can certainly eat them fermented but I got a feeling that they would turn out more like pickles due to cross contamination from the predominant bacteria already in the air. Would probably be good though!
Title: Re: Anyone Ever Made Natto?
Post by: surfsteve on March 01, 2019, 01:14:50 am
You might try throwing a few sprouted garbanzo beans in with some other assorted vegetables and letting them ferment in a jar of water naturally. I've pickled all sorts of vegetables. Carrots, celery, onions and cauliflower all mixed together are my favorite. Sometimes I throw in a little sliced cucumber. I always add salt and spices. The salt makes them crisp I guess by favoring bacteria that like salt. If you don't use it your pickling will turn to mush.  Oh yeah. I used to throw in some cayenne pepper to spice it up but that's before I stopped doing the nightshade thingy.
Title: Re: Anyone Ever Made Natto?
Post by: surfsteve on March 01, 2019, 01:31:39 am
I just ordered some bonita flakes I found on Amazon for under $20 a pound. I couldn't make them myself that cheap. Probably made from more than 5 pounds of fresh tuna.

Here's the link if anyone is interested:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B013CFCJ5I/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Title: Re: Anyone Ever Made Natto?
Post by: surfsteve on March 01, 2019, 04:50:27 am
I'm ten minutes away from inoculating my 2nd batch of pinto beans I just cooked up. I boiled an ounce of water and a spoon full of honey in the microwave that is cooling down enough to add my natto starter. The honey will help it multiply faster. I think I forgot to mention it last time. I left the spoon in the honey water so it will be sterilized as well.

Once I take it out of the microwave I'm going to microwave a damp towel 3 minutes to sterilize it.  I feel the towel needs to be sterilized this time because I made such a big batch that it's going to come in direct contact with the bowl of beans I placed inside my yogurt maker which is full of water. This could contaminate my natto.

Hope this batch turns out as good as the first one did.

Oh yeah I also didn't drain all the water from the beans. Left an ounce or two. I am hoping this will make it stringier as there will be more liquid. In hind sight I suppose I should have just used more water with the honey.

Here I go!
Title: Re: Anyone Ever Made Natto?
Post by: surfsteve on March 02, 2019, 01:27:25 pm
Here's a video about making natto with the pot I just bought. Mine came in the mail today!

DIY Instant Pot Natto
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2JbWqRNCmxQ

She made that look too easy. I still have a ton of natto so I should probably wait before making anymore but I just can't wait to try it with my new gizmo. Wow she paid $100 for hers? The one I bought was half that. Other than a few smudges that looked like fingerprints it was brand new!
Title: Re: Anyone Ever Made Natto?
Post by: surfsteve on March 07, 2019, 05:38:12 am
I just made natto for my first time using soy beans. It turned out super slimy and gooey! I used extra honey and water in the inoculation but even so, I think it was the soy beans that had something to do with it. I been making a batch every day or so while the previous one is soaking. I even got my dogs eating it! Now that I'm used to making it I can definitely say it's no harder to make than yogurt!
Title: Re: Anyone Ever Made Natto?
Post by: surfsteve on March 07, 2019, 06:21:05 am
One thing I can say after eating natto is that I have been unintentionally cutting down on my meat consumption. I don't think there are any vegans here among us but if there are I would definitely say, eat natto if you want to be a healthy vegan. In addition to vitamin K there's definitely loads of B vitamins in this stuff because it makes my pee yellow just like I took a vitamin. After eating it a while I'd have to say it's more like a meat than it is like a vegetable.

If you just want to get used to natto I would recommend you start off eating the powder first because it's not slimy and then when you make it don't add a lot of water and little or no honey to start the culture. I wouldn't recommend decreasing the fermenting time though because the longer it ferments the more it vents off the stinkiness. Also it tastes better when it's aged in the refrigerator a few days.
Title: Re: Anyone Ever Made Natto?
Post by: surfsteve on March 08, 2019, 12:01:06 am
I ate a huge bowl of the soybean natto I made yesterday and I can really feel the difference. I can still taste it this morning and I feel an almost high from it. It would be interesting to find out the vitamin content of natto made from different types of beans. The soybean natto is the mildest tasting and all the extra honey really fed the microbes and got them going quickly. About halfway through the fermentation process I stir the beans and added more water to them. The last batch was noticeably more fermented than any previous batches. To the point where it was half beans and half stringy ferment which is sort of like gravy. OK maybe not sort of but enough to remind me of it.

I'm adding a monster sized tablespoon of honey to my next batch and planning on fermenting it for 30 hours. I'm also out of store bought natto so I'm inoculating it with the natto I made from the previous batch. I wonder if it will reduce the quality the way it does when you do it with yogurt. It seemed with yogurt that after 3 or 4 generations the quality was noticeably worse.

Title: Re: Anyone Ever Made Natto?
Post by: surfsteve on March 10, 2019, 12:45:22 am
I am eating my 2nd batch of soy natto that I cultured from the last batch. It is noticeably less stringier but seems to have a slightly stronger carob or bitter cocoa flavor. I'd have to say that the culture probably breaks down like yogurt does, probably due to contamination and that you should probably make it from store bought natto every time unless you know a trick to keeping the culture pure or are doing it under laboratory conditions, which I don't.

Yeah. I'm eating a batch of the first natto and it's definitely stringier but doesn't have coco like flavor. I think the 2nd generation batch definitely tastes better but isn't as stringy. This could be due to the extra honey I added to get the culture started. I might point out that there is no sweet taste at all. I suspect the sugar is completely broken down from the microbes.

I think this thread is winding down. If I can figure out for sure what gives it that cocoa like taste I will add to it. ( maybe more culturing time?) Also I will try and post what it tastes like when I make it from dried powdered natto. I noticed they sell spores specifically as starter that are very expensive. I wouldn't waste my money on them but if you do I'd be interested to hear how the natto turned out.

Take care,
and I hope someone enjoys this thread!
Title: Re: Anyone Ever Made Natto?
Post by: surfsteve on March 10, 2019, 01:10:07 am
To conclude: I'm eating a 3rd bowl of natto this morning. (1st and 3rd bowl from batch 2 and 2nd bowl from batch 1.) I believe the more it's cultured, the stronger the cheesy cocoa taste it develops. Even after only 12 hours of culturing it's pretty stringy and doesn't get much stringier after 30 hours, I think it's pretty much the taste that changes. My first batch I only had a tiny bit of starter natto left but I used a huge tablespoon from that batch to make the 2nd one, that plus the honey plus the additional culture time made the taste a lot stronger.
Title: My first natto failure!
Post by: surfsteve on March 15, 2019, 12:37:16 am
As insurance I ordered some dry natto spores and made a batch of natto as usual. After 8 hours I stirred the natto and I had zero cultivation so I added some powdered natto into the batch and checked it again this morning. I still have zero cultivation even after 16 hours. I added some more powdered spores but I'm not expecting natto to cultivate. What a waste! Both the spores and powdered natto have failed to produce natto. I'm headed to the oriental grocery store to buy more fresh natto. This seems to be the only source that works. I'm buying two packages and putting one in the freezer for emergency. Never tried making natto from frozen natto but apparently it works.

Since I started eating natto my health has gone up several notches.

It's very disappointing not to be able to make natto from either of the dry sources because natto would be a really good food to make in a SHTF situation. I think I'm going to order a bag from the same source as when I first tried dried natto. The new stuff doesn't even taste like natto, just plain old dried and powdered soy beans. I wonder though why the spores didn't work. Going to give it another 8 hours and if it doesn't work by the time this new batch of beans are done soaking, throw away the whole mess. My dogs are begging for natto but I'm eating it all myself till I can grow enough for them!

Who knew?
Title: Re: Anyone Ever Made Natto?
Post by: surfsteve on March 15, 2019, 08:40:55 pm
They didhn't have the same cheap brand of natto to use as starter at the oriental grocery store yesterday but the brand they had worked just like before.

I had high hopes for using dry natto or the spores. Too bad they didn't work.

How am I going to make natto during the zombie apocalypse or if Trump doesn't get reelected in 2020?
Title: Re: Anyone Ever Made Natto?
Post by: surfsteve on March 18, 2019, 02:59:44 am
OK. So I thought I had become an expert at making natto but apparently it was beginners luck. Even the oriental grocery store knows little about natto. When I bought it for the 2nd time the same boxes were sitting in the refrigerator. The expiration date was several months from now. The problem was the date was for keeping the natto frozen and it was being sold as refrigerated. By the time I got my 2nd batch home it was already too spoiled for making natto but I've learned a few tips since then:

One thing I learned (I will post links at the end) is that the spores I ordered can tolerate very high temperatures and can even survive being boiled for up to an hour. Though to be safe you should not exceed 175 degrees F. when inoculating. I reasoned that the opposite was true and  that the naked spores could be killed instantly as opposed to being protected by being in the beans. Nothing could be further from the truth and one website went so far as to say the spores should be shocked by inoculating while the natto is steaming hot, much like the way some seeds proliferate after a forest fire. No wonder my natto from spores failed!

I was also worried that maybe my natto had failed because of the honey. Honey is sterile and I thought maybe the honey had steralized them. Though neither of the links I am about to post recommend using honey they do recommend using salt for minerals and sugar or molasses to help give the spores a head start in addition to the heat shock treatment.

I also read that Bacillus subtilis, the strain of bacteria that produces natto is somewhat essential to the human gut and that it is very rare, only found in a few cheeses and very few other foods. Though most bacteria are killed by stomach acid, Bacillus subtilis spores survive the journey surprisingly well and once introduced proliferate in the small intestine.

Also natto is one of the few fermented foods that is alkaline, a PH of 9.0 and virtually every other fermented food is acid.

For more information kindly read the links below:

https://www.seriouseats.com/2017/07/obsessed-ann-yonetani-natto-nyrture.html

http://www.tahoescience.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/LTFedEvent-2008-natto-making.pdf

Thanks for putting up with my natto obsession.

surfsteve.
Title: Re: Anyone Ever Made Natto?
Post by: van on March 18, 2019, 03:05:09 am
all very good stuff   thanks for the info
Title: Re: Anyone Ever Made Natto?
Post by: surfsteve on March 19, 2019, 01:21:52 am
Thanks!

The batch I made yesterday came out good again.  I'm making a new batch today and intend on inoculating it with spores while the beans are still fairly hot. I'm also going to use extra salt and a lot of molasses instead of my expensive honey in the inoculate solution and I steamed them in a steamer basket in the pressure cooker instead of cooking them in a bowl as a double boiler.

I think where I went wrong on my bad batches besides letting the beans cool down was draping a clean towel over them to help the fumes escape so I'll be steaming the towel by dampening it and putting it in the microwave for at least 5 minutes from now on. Boiling the spoon in a cup of water in the microwave works plenty good for sterilizing it. I didn't even bother to sterilize the spoon on the first batch that failed.

I'll let you guys know when I perfect the art or at least get close to it. This batch turned out as good or better than commercially produced natto.  I learned a lot from the two failures I had so I don't regret them. After tomorrow I should have enough to start feeding it to my dogs again. I fed them some of the failed batches and even ate some myself but neither of us cared for it like the way we love it when it turns out really good! I'm anxious to see the difference between making it with molasses instead of honey! Oh and the salt seems to have affected the culture and given it more of a coffee like taste. Really good!

Oh yeah. One last, last note. I forgot I had one of those gun type infrared thermometers and got it out. My beans got done while writing this and were 220 degrees after pressure cooking, 175 degrees after the seal went down, 155 degrees when I pulled out the steamer.  My inoculate solution also 155 when I added the spores. By the time I dumped  out the steaming water and got everything back into the cooker, set it to yogurt and covered it with a hot towel  before putting the lid back on it went down to 135 degrees. The use of this thermometer will help me to turn it into more of an exact science! Let's see if they are right about the spores being ok at these extremely high temperatures! I will find out tomorrow!
Title: Natto Recap
Post by: surfsteve on April 04, 2019, 08:15:53 am
I am still making natto everyday. Haven't had a batch fail in a long time! I use bleach to sterilize everything now because it's so much easier to spray it on and just wipe it down with a paper towel than messing around with boiling water. I also quit messing around with fresh natto and just use the spores. I use plenty of them and found them really cheap in .3 gram packets on ebay. Around 25 bucks for 8 boxes of 10 premeasured packets!

I use the duo-instant pot exclusively. Very convenient to pressure cook the beans and culture them in the same pot. The timer is also nice. I just set it and forget it...   Found a 2nd used one on Ebay so I can make 2 batches at once. My dogs love natto and fight over it. I give them the cheaper pinto bean natto, which I sometimes eat and save the non GMO soybeans for myself.  I heard it also tasted good with red beans and a friend promised to give me some that they don't use. Want to try some with black beans too for variety!

I've gone from boiling the beans to steaming them above the water in a steamer basket that I bought for 3 dollars. While they are still very hot I transfer them to a sterilized bowl to culture them, covering them with plastic wrap and letting them cool before inoculating them. They are only in the open air for a few seconds when I pull off the plastic and add the innoculant. Then I add a fresh layer of wrap, poke it full of holes with a clean tooth pick, press that down and add a 2nd layer of plastic wrap which I also poke holes in. The plastic wrap is sterilized from the factory unlike the towel I used to cover them with which doesn't always get sterilized by microwaving it.

Making natto has become a ritual and takes less prep time than it took to write this post.
Title: Re: Anyone Ever Made Natto?
Post by: surfsteve on April 05, 2019, 11:56:15 pm
I started a batch of red bean natto and it has 4 more hours of culturing left before I age it in the refrigerator. I also bought some black beans from the store yesterday.

I didn't brush my teeth this morning and when I ate my natto they felt like they had been brushed. That has to be a good thing. It's not just acting on my teeth. It's doing the same thing to my entire digestive system.

Also I was wondering how paleo natto actually was. I know the cooked beans are the antithesis of paleo but it seems the bacteria that feed on them surely must be. I would think a healthy paleo person would have lots of these favorable bacteria and very few of the harmful ones that proliferate in modern foods and circumstances. Were these bacteria present in much larger proportions before we started on the path of sterility and antibiotics? So it seems to me that the raw material of which natto is made is not paleo but the bacteria that feed on it are very much so. I also wonder if there is any benefit breathing in the natto fumes that are stinking up my kitchen. I am looking forward to summertime, and airing this place out. For next year I am considering making natto outside. Maybe even sooner...
Title: Sterility, ventilation culture and aging the perfect natto.
Post by: surfsteve on April 09, 2019, 01:02:51 am
I probably haven't; but I really feel like I've perfected the art of making natto. Sterility and ventilation are two opposing forces that must be dealt with. I've made a few batches without ventilation but I discovered the strong coffee like nutty taste is virtually gone when you do this. The more ventilation  the stronger the nutty, coffee like flavor it develops but this also increases the risk of natto failure due to contamination. You can reduce the risk of contamination by inoculating with more spores or more fresh natto and also by adding layers of sterility and redundancy. When I first started I covered my natto directly with a sterilized towel and this worked if I used an entire tray of natto to inoculate but not so good using spores or less natto. Instead of the towel I started using 2 layers of plastic wrap, punctured hundreds of times with a tooth pick. One laying directly on the natto and another on top of the bowl. I just make sure not to let the tooth pick come in contact with the natto. The plastic wrap is virtually sterilized when it comes from the factory. I just pull past the first layer that's been exposed to air making sure it never comes in contact with the culturing natto. I still use a towel but it suspended way above the beans and serves as a spacer for ventilation purposes. I also spray everything with a 50/50 mixture of bleach water from a spray bottle and wipe it off with a clean paper towel. Much like washing windows. I do this for everything, even the inside of the pressure cooker and everything that goes in it, despite it's going to be sterilized by the heat of the pressure cooker anyway.  Aging the natto greatly improves the taste. I make sure to bleach spray and wipe the tupperware that the finished natto is  going into as well, adhering to my double redundancy principal. I do my best not to breath on the natto while I'm inoculating it but I refuse to wear a mask. You gotta draw the line somewhere! Almost forgot. I no longer add any honey, molasses or anything to boost the spores. I think this was messing up my natto and increasing the chances of contamination. I thought maybe this helped give it more of the coffee like taste that is so greatly sought after or increase the stringiness but I was wrong. It's best to just keep it simple. I also found that filling the water all the way up, touching the bottom of the steamer makes the beans more tender but don't go too much above or you'll be boiling the beans which takes the skins off and makes a mess. One last tip. Don't get greedy and try and make too much at one time. An inch deep layer of beans will culture up just fine but if you go too much beyond that bottom layers wont get enough ventilation.
Title: Re: Anyone Ever Made Natto?
Post by: surfsteve on May 06, 2019, 11:46:23 pm
I went back to carnivore and stopped eating natto for several days in a row because I sort of got tired of it and I woke up with terrible leg cramps yesterday. Been eating natto again. I think just a bowl a day is plenty but I remember now that I haven't gotten leg cramps since I started eating it. Not even once. Not sure why.
Title: Re: Anyone Ever Made Natto?
Post by: surfsteve on May 06, 2019, 11:52:15 pm
Oh yeah. I forgot to say that I had forgotten how good it tastes. I still hate the slimy texture though. If you are considering eating natto I can't recommend strongly enough to start off with the dried natto till you get addicted to the taste before trying slimy fresh natto.

I wonder how drying my own natto in my dehydrator would work. Probably have to dump it out on wax paper. I just put that on my shopping list...
Title: Dehydrated Natto is weird.
Post by: surfsteve on May 07, 2019, 10:20:51 pm
I only put my natto in the dehydrator for 15 hours. When I looked at it this morning it looked like raisins. I am eating some right now and it's the weirdest food I ever ate. It even reminds me of raisins while eating it except they stick to my teeth a lot more and aren't sweet. Not sure whether I should keep drying them or just eat them like this...
Title: Dried natto tastes great!
Post by: surfsteve on May 08, 2019, 10:58:13 pm
I put my natto back into the dehydrator for another 10 hours and when it came out it tasted amazing.

It's kind of a pain to make. Soak beans for 24 hours. Pressure cook them. Cool them. Inoculate them. Culture them for another 24 hours and then dry them for 24 more hours and peel them off the wax paper...  I guess that's why it is so expensive to buy! Powdering them would be even one more step but the whole beans taste amazing and if I were making dressing I'd just be grinding them up in the food processor anyway...

I guess it's worth it. I ate every last one of them in one sitting. They would make an awesome food to take anywhere, where fresh natto is pretty much only eaten right out of the refrigerator. I got my spare pressure cooker/yogurt maker out and am making a double batch. I've made salad dressing with store bought dried natto and it is very good. Can't wait to try it with my own whole dried natto beans. I don't care for the dressing when it's made with fresh natto because it's too slimy. It also doesn't taste vinegary enough. With dried I can rehydrate the beans with vinegar instead of all that water!
Title: Re: Anyone Ever Made Natto?
Post by: surfsteve on May 19, 2019, 07:33:25 pm
I took a break from natto for a while and just started making a batch yesterday. I'm not sure what to think of it. It's definitely a good food but probably not the miracle that everyone claims it to be. I'm glad I know how to make it and I think it would be a great survival food in a SHTF situation when organ meat becomes unavailable because the electricity has gone out. Hopefully that will never happen. As a society we are pretty stupid so I think we should all be prepared.

Natto is to beans what yogurt is to milk... I guess I have tried fermenting everything except high meat, which I have no desire to ever try. I don't know how you guys do it!
Title: Re: Anyone Ever Made Natto?
Post by: van on May 20, 2019, 01:30:15 am
my guess is the real benefit is long term usage where it cleans out plaque over time.
Title: Re: Anyone Ever Made Natto?
Post by: surfsteve on May 22, 2019, 02:19:00 am
While waiting for my natto to ferment I took some nattokinase, the extract from natto. I bought an entire kilogram a while back (got a really good deal on Ebay) and took a heaping tablespoon and I can really feel it. I also took a tablespoon a few days ago and felt fantastic, took my 2nd one this morning. I was trying to figure out why and was suspecting everything but the nattokinase. A teaspoon was the most I ever took before and they only recommend a 32nd of one so I took a massive dose. Don't know if it's wise to take that much long term. I got a feeling it is but intend to use caution.

Been wondering which is better, natto or nattokinase. From reading they say only the natto contains vitamin K2 and depending on what I read it either contains more than anything else in the world or a lot. I don't know how much nattokinase is in natto. Probably have to eat several pounds of natto to get the equivalent of a tablespoon, would be my guess.

Maybe I'll continue taking a break from natto, It's been almost 2 weeks. I got one batch aging and a 2nd one fermenting as I write this.

I read so damn much and it seems like I know so little...
Title: Re: Anyone Ever Made Natto?
Post by: surfsteve on May 23, 2019, 12:43:06 am
My throat felt a little raw last night. I think it was from the nattokinase but it is all better this morning. I also noticed my pee seemed kind of cloudy. I wonder if my kidneys were filtering out all the excess calcium that might have been dissolved by the nattokinase. I think a teaspoon is ok but a tablespoon is definitely pushing it.

I just put the second batch of natto in the fridge. The first one has had a couple of days to age and is just about ready. I'm thinking of eating some for breakfast but I should probably wait and have a few liver and organ meat smoothies first or it will spoil my apatite. It's weird that I'm hungry for natto now but can wait a while for liver which is much more filling.
Title: Re: Anyone Ever Made Natto?
Post by: norawnofun on August 08, 2019, 01:57:01 pm
Does natto reduce the estrogen amount in soy?
Title: Re: Anyone Ever Made Natto?
Post by: surfsteve on August 08, 2019, 09:37:56 pm
I honestly don't  know.

I stopped doing natto several months ago. It's definitely a lot better for you than consuming legumes but it's not even in the same league as consuming organ meats. I would say natto is to soy to what fresh lemonade is to Mountain Dew.

I think the extract nattokinase would be better if you're concerned about soy estrogens but I stopped taking that too. I would take it again but I feel that I have zero plaque in my arteries and haven't found any on my teeth in a long time.

I still take what I believe to be nettle root extract, which was sold to me as nettle root on ebay for almost nothing. After I got my first kilogram a few years ago I ordered the remaining 4 kilograms they had for sale. Still got 3 and 1/2 kilograms left. I don't know what I'm going to do when I run out because I can't afford to buy the extract but that wont be for several years...

Nettle root extract is considered to be only a mild aromatase inhibiter (prevents testosterone from turning into estrogens)  but it works very well for me. I mix a tablespoon into one of my liver smoothies once a day. Actually improves the taste. The remaining liver smoothies I take plain. Maybe the reason it works so good is because I take an entire tablespoon. I used to take that much nettle root. When they sent me the mislabled extract I began taking the same amount. I figured what the hell.