30 January,2023 10:43 AM IST | Mumbai | Shriram Iyengar
The physicist Richard Feynman famously stated âAll life is fermentation*. His conclusion finds merit in the fact that every civilisation across the world uses fermentation in their cuisine. Entrepreneurs Nakul Bhonsle and Prachet Sancheti find the Japanese elements of koji and miso to be most fascinating. Their workshop this week will explore the properties of these agents in enhancing craft beer.
For Bhonsle, director of Great State Aleworks, the fascination with koji began during a visit to Copenhagen in 2018. He says, "I wanted to learn how we could integrate it into the brewing process." A few years later, he came across Prachet Sancheti*s venture, Brown Koji Boy, in Goa that explored a similar concept.
Nakul Bhonsle hosts a session
Sancheti was studying at the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Italy in 2018 where he learned of it. Despite the pandemic*s interruption, the experience had already sparked his curiosity. "I was trying different ferments, but noticed there was a lot of scope for koji," Sancheti elaborates. Koji, he explains, is a filamentous fungus. "At different temperatures and humidity levels, it can create wonderful aromas and flavours. What yeast is to bread, koji is to miso or sake."
Bhonsle reveals that they are trying to integrate these flavours into craft beer using miso and koji at various stages of the fermentation process. "For instance, Gose is a sour and salty beer with a savoury profile. We tried infusing the taste of miso with it. We have also added it to a stout where it gave a nice punch to the stout."
The workshop, to be held at Saltwater CafÃ©, will see Bhonsle and Sancheti unravel the process from the perspective of the brewery and the developer. It will also be the first in a series across different cities to introduce the flavour to patrons. "We are trying to introduce people to the concept, so that there is an improved understanding of koji, craft beer and miso," Bhonsle reveals.
Miso is a popular Japanese flavouring agent
The workshop will also feature chef Gresham Fernandes who has curated bite-sized treats centred on miso. In addition to these, participants will be able to learn and understand the fermentation process, how it is infused in beer followed by a tasting session. Sancheti concludes, "It is an easy starting point for people to understand what koji and miso can bring to beer."
On: February 1; 7 pm
At: Salt Water Cafe, Chapel Road, Bandra West.
Log on to: insider.in
Cost: Rs 2,100