Now seal, and you’re done! I use 2 part canning lids, but any lid that seals well is fine. If it is very tight, plan on loosening it a quarter turn every few weeks to allow gas to escape.

Now the waiting part. If you are able to keep the miso at a consistently cool temperature of 55-60, it will take roughly 5-6 months. At 65-72, the miso will be ready in about 3 months. There won’t be much change at first, and you may wonder if anything is happening at all. Around 2 months, some liquid will start to form around the edges. When the miso is ready, it will have a sweet, nutty, mushroom-like aroma. When it smells like you can’t wait to try it, then you’ll know it’s ready. Absolute culturing times are hard to give. The longer the ferment, the more flexible the culturing time.

Mold is almost sure to grow on the top and around the edges of the vessel. This is to be expected and will not harm the miso at all. When it is finished, scrape off the mold and dig out the finished miso into smaller jars for storage or sharing with friends. As long as the miso smells pleasant and has not developed any slimy patches inside the jar, it is quite safe to enjoy.

Mixing miso with hot water is my favorite light breakfast. It’s also very comforting when I am under the weather. Add a scoop of miso anywhere you would use a bouillon cube for seasoning. Mix in equal parts with mayonnaise for an amazing sandwich spread. Or shake up with roughly equal parts of rice vinegar and your favorite salad oil for the perfect dressing on spring greens.

Don’t forget to start a new batch soon. This one will be gone before you know it!