Home made Nukazuke part II: conclusion
It is long overdue, but here is the conclusion of my Nukazuke experiment.
In short: it was interesting, I made a few mistakes, the results were tasty and it is more work than expected.
So what were my mistakes?
Not caring enough. Nukadoko needs to be cared for. It needs to be airated and turned daily. In the beginning this was alright, but I got lazy and forgot sometimes. The Nukadoko answerd by getting smelly. (In my opinion the smell was not to bad, a bit acidic, however Katharina did not care for it)
Wrong container. The Nabemono, while pretty, is not ideal for mixing wheat bran in it and keeping the edges clean. I would suggest a higher container without the prounounced inward curve at the opening. A straighter opening would have been better. When airating the Nukadoko you always get a little bit on the edge of the container, and the inward curve made it difficult to clean (When working with any type of fermentation, you should always try to avoid little bits away from the main mass - those attract mold). It als was a bit to large, which leads to:
Underestimating production volume. While I do like Nukazuke, we simply did not eat enough of it. I am used to the slow life of my sourdough, which is sitting in the refridgerator for one or two weeks before demanding attention again, and then produces one loaf of bread, or is satisfied with just feeding it without any production. The Nukadoko however turned vegetables into fermented goodness in a frightening speed. It took about a day for the process to finish, and then the feeding could beginn again.
I have to admit, that while writing this, I get the urge to try again, maybe with a smaller container. However I currently have to travel quite a bit for work, which makes the required constant care for the Nukadoko rather difficult.
Therefore I will stick to low maintenance fermentations such as sourdough and Kimchi for now.