Salvaging moldy sheng
So I had a canister of samples that I was over exuberant in humidification and the teas that were in paper packages are covered in green mold and smell like blue cheese. The tea in foil is ok but I’m airing it out and gonna drink it fast. I’m wondering if it’d be safe to let the moldy tea sit out s few days then do a few rinses before toasting in a skillet then drinking it.
I lost a few this way a while back. I was hesitant to drink them. Can you break off the moldy parts and let it dry out and try it then. This why I keep about 70 to 75% max.
The bigger crocks seem to stay around 65% with a soaked terra cotta plate but I used a smaller flour canister for the samples and didn’t monitor the humidity. The samples in paper bags really drew damp. The ones in open foil bags look ok. The one sample is loose and totally covered in green mold so I’m guessing it is a loss.
Cwyn has a post about drying out moldy cakes and re-starting the fermentation process. Took almost a year to do it. Here’s the link: https://deathbytea.blogspot.com/2016/09/airing-storing-and-wrapping-musty-old.html
Sounds like a metal canister is too much for sample bags and added humidity. Alas, green mold is a loss, you must toss it. A bit of frosty white mold is okay to dry out.
Pat yourself on the back for learning, especially on samples. Your regular crocks will be the better for it. At a steady 65% your tea won’t dry out or mold, the crock climate is ideal for slow fermentation.
Too high humidity creates toxins in pu. Toss the green mold. As Cwyn said, a little white/gray mold is fine but anything green/blue and it’s gotta go
Ok I’m having this issue again (think mold spores are developing) in the crocks I’ve been storing my sheng in and I’m seeing what looks like a little light free powder on some of my best cakes. I’ve been keeping the humidity at about 60% by using tobacco buttons and terra cotta saucers soaked in boiled water. A few months ago a few cakes that touched the saucer had a few spots of green mold. I isolated those cakes, cleaned the mold off and began wrapping the bottom of the saucer with aluminum foil. This seemed to fix the problem. This morning I reached for an lbz cake on the bottom (the humidity buttons are always on top and have only been keeping it around 50% lately) anyhow, the bottom of the cake was developing some greenish powder that looked like mold beginning. I brushed it off w a dry toothbrush and it tasted fine. Looking through that crock, a few cakes (sadly my best ones) are beginning to get a little of this green powder where I’ve chipped away from the beenghole. I was hoping this was dried resin but fear I have a mold problem beginning. I keep my aged sheng in another crock and have no such problems. The ambient humidity in my house is about 20% now.
Regarding the solution, I was considering brushing off the affected cakes and airing them out in storage cabinet I have in a spare room and microwaving the wrappers to kill any spores. Any other suggestions? I have all my best young gushu in this 1 crock and I’m terrified of losing it.
Digital meter in the crock.
If you are trying to dry out moldy tea, do not use added moisture in the crocks. Tie a cloth or paper towel around the top. Let it air a couple of years.
I think removing the good teas into a cupboard is a fine idea for now. Brush off what mold you can and prepare for a long haul, as in wait a decade for the tea to age and balance out before drinking it. One idea might be give the tea a day in sunlight. I can take a look if you want to send me some photos.
I wasn’t trying to dry moldy tea. I was trying to keep new cakes from going stale in a crock and possibly age them and I noticed green powder that I think is mold. Still tastes good but I’m trying to prevent them from going south…like 8 cakes of good stuff. 4 had a little residue…