Jump to content
MrsSurvival Discussion Forums
Sign in to follow this  
ArmyOfFive4God

Fermenting 101

Recommended Posts

Fermenting is basically a way to "grow" the good bacteria, AKA- probiotics. They are excellent for gut health, detox and a multitude of other things.

 

There are several different ways to get this, and can be tailored for each person's taste. For instance, one person may not like yoghurt, but they love kraut. The next might no like kefir, but they like kombucha, etc.

 

Fermenting has to be done the proper way in order to acquire the good bac. The sauerkraut you see in the store- no good, because it is heat treated for pasteurization. The heat kills the good bac.

 

A few ideas for fermenting:

 

Water kefir- from wiki:

 

"Tibicos, also known as tibi, water kefir grains, sugar kefir grains, Japanese water crystals and California Bees, are a culture of bacteria and yeast held in a polysaccharide matrix created by the bacteria. As with kefir grains, the microbes present in tibicos act in symbiosis to maintain a stable culture. Tibicos can do this in many different sugary liquids, feeding off the sugar to produce lactic acid, alcohol (ethanol), and carbon dioxide gas which carbonates the drink.

 

Tibicos are found around the world, with no two cultures being exactly the same. Typical tibicos have a mix of Lactobacillus, Streptococcus, Pediococcus and Leuconostoc bacteria with yeasts from Saccharomyces, Candida, Kloeckera and possibly others. Lactobacillus brevis has been identified as the species responsible for the production of the polysaccharide (dextran) that forms the grains.

 

People who do not wish to consume dairy or have a vegan type diet may find that water kefir provides the living pro-biotics without the need for dairy or tea cultured products, like kombucha. Since the finished product, if bottled, will produce a carbonated beverage, it provides an alternative to sweet soda drinks for children and adults."

 

Kombucha from wiki:

 

Kombucha is the Western name for sweetened tea or tisane that has been fermented using a macroscopic solid mass of microorganisms called a "kombucha colony".

Contents

 

The culture contains a symbiosis of Acetobacter (acetic acid bacteria) and yeast, mostly Brettanomyces bruxellensis, Candida stellata, Schizosaccharomyces pombe, Torulaspora delbrueckii and Zygosaccharomyces bailii. The culture itself looks somewhat like a large pancake, and though often called a mushroom, a Mother of vinegar or by the acronym SCOBY (for "Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast"), it is clinically known as a zoogleal mat.

 

Various yoghurts. These have different strengths and tastes:

 

Piima, fiji, viili, matsoni, Greek, filmjolk (there are more, but this is off the top of my head)

 

Fruits & veggies:

 

Many fruits and veggies can be made the same way as kraut- carrots, lemons, etc. There are some recipes out there as well for other fermented dishes, such as salsa.

 

I'll keep posting more info as it is requested or as I have time. Hopefully this is a good start for Mother.

Edited by ArmyOfFive4God

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks AO54G. It is a great start. :D

 

I have severe yeast (bakers and brewers) allergies and an intolerance to some cheese cultures as well. I have been reluctant to try some of these cultures. I'd like to find some info on their allergen potential and cross reactivity to other products if possible. Have you run across anything like that in your reading. I haven't so far and I've been looking and reading for about a year.

 

I also have IC Interstitial cystitis ( http://www.ichelp.org/ if anyone is interested in what that is) and carbonated drinks are one big no no because of bladder irritation. Vinegar, acids, and etc are all problematic with this and am interested in the acidic levels of these products. It is usually the acid that preserves them.

 

Any ideas?

 

:bighug2:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mother,

A couple of ideas come to mind. One is Harsch Crocks. They have a water seal style of fermenting. They have recipes.

The next part; the types and percentages of acid vrs the probiotics available in fermented food is best found in a good macrobiotic cookbook.

Try the Healing with Whole Foods book by Paul Pitchford. Sub title is Oriental Traditions and Modern Nutrition. Published by North Atlantic Books, Berkley, Ca.

It's a whoppper sized book, with a whopper price. To me it's the best thing I have found to self-help in the 'try this...it'll cure you right up'.

It is a reference of using food to cure problems. It is also extensively footnoted; so you can read the scientific papers that are presented. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just opened my last jar of fermented pickles from last summer. They are at least 10 months old and they are still crisp and tasty.

For some reason, not every batch turned out, even though I followed the recipe in Nourishing Traditions exactly for each batch. Some were slimey and had to be thrown on the compost. Others just tasted bad.

Last year was only my second year doing them, so I haven't learned enough to know why they failed. I had put off trying this last jar because I was sure it would be bad. What a treat to get to enjoy them today for lunch. I was actually going to give up on doing any this year. Now I'm re-comitted!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Skagit. I'll look into some of my macrobiotic cook books to see if I can find something there to give me the acidic levels of various products. Otherwise I might have to see if I can find the info online or from the book you mention.

 

I am vitally aware that probiotics are essential for regaining health, especially from certain conditions, but they often come with that acidic level. I have made my own fermented products for years but now even supplemental probiotics are problematic for me. It would be nice if I could find what might give the best benefit for the least problems. I really miss my own crock pickles and even just using vinegar for mayonaise and such. For a person who has even made her own vinegar in the past,,,,,this sucks.

:bighug2:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just started some ginger carrots from NT this afternoon. My first time. I'll LYK in a few days what we think. If we don't like, I'll try it with filtered water, like I do most of my ferments.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like this thread. It's something that I've really wanted to do, since learning about TF.

 

How long do fermented foods last? Both in the fridge and out... I'm wondering for things like saurkraut, kimchee, kefir(water & milk), yogurt, etc. Since fermenting is a way to preserve something for longer, shouldn't these be able to survive with no refrigeration? I know that my great-grandmother kept a crock of saurkraut in the cold cellar all year and it was fine...is there any reason we couldn't do this, too?

 

Right now, the only thing that is close to fermenting for me is the no-knead bread that I'm making. Did my first loaf today and it was wonderful!

 

What would you recommend as the first thing to try fermenting? Something with the lowest failure rate. :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Try kefir. It is pretty simple.

 

I started a batch of yogurt today. Brought in the warm milk and dumped a pack of culture powder in the jar. Left it set on the counter. Who needs a thermos? It is hot here already.

 

I tried to ferment some cukes once for pickle and it was a slimy stinking mess. I think it was too hot. I didn't have a cellar and the weather got hot right after I started them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mother, the culture I bought to do cheese is simply a yogurt culture. There are specialty cultures, but I wasn't sure I'd like them. I also got kefir grains and those can be used for cheese culture too.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the easiest thing would be kefir. Easier even than yogurt, since it's done at room temp.

 

You pretty much just pour cold milk over the grains, give it a little shake and let it set on the counter for 12 hours.

 

I do swish mine around whenever I pass by it during the day. It seems to thicken more evenly that way but it's not necessary.

 

These ares just the abbreviated versions you need a certain salt to veggie ratio:

 

Fermented salsa is very easy also. Just cut up your veggies and herbs add salt and lime put into jars and leave on the counter for 48 hours.

 

I have to say though that Pico de Gallo doesn't last long around here so fermenting it added some probiotics and some tang but I have no idea about the keeping qualities.

 

http://www.traditionaltx.us/salsa.html

 

Sauerkraut is pretty easy too but it takes considerably longer and needs more monitoring (for molds and to make sure the cabbage is kept under the brine). I did mine in a big jar but I think next time I'll try the canning jar method.

 

Sauerkraut2.jpg

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually the yoghurts I listed above are also done at room temp. Plus more ppl like &/or can adjust to yoghurt better than kefir. BUT, kefir is a better probiotic formula. Piima is supposed to be one of the milder yoghurts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would love to have a cold cellar to keep my fermented foods cold. I had to buy a second fridge to store them since I make large quantities.

I have no idea how long the fermented foods can last, they usually get consumed before any spoilage. I pulled pickles out of my fridge yesterday that were at least 10 months old and they were yummy. Most foods will continue to soften over time because they continue to ferment at a slow pace, even in the cold.

A word of warning. I had trouble occasionally, using regular mason jars. The regular mouth ones did better than the wide mouth. The pressure builds up and the lids warp and pop off. One day I found, to my dismay, Red cabbage sourkraut juice all over my pantry because the lid popped off. What a mess. I learned to give it a little extra headspace.

The best thing to use is those bail-wire jars with the rubber gaskets. I ordered a case from Kitchen Villiage online. Just google fido jars. They were pricey, especially with shipping, but I figured this is my new way of living and I was investing in mine and my families health. My father-in-law gave me a case for christmas, so I'm set. You can use mason jars, but to be safe, I would set them in a dishpan and cover with a trashbag.

If anyone is interested in kombucha, I do my first ferment, growing the scoby, in a glass bowl. After 10 days, I pour the kombucha into those easy-cap bottles used for beer, add a little grape juice, and let it have a second ferment for about 3-4 more days. I get my bottles from Northern Brewery, online.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have made cheese using both yogurt and different types of cheese cultures. I make cottage cheese, vinegar cheese and whey cheese as well. I started doing this over forty years ago and never had any trouble with it until the last few years. We have friends we can get organic raw milk from all summer and we have our own Nigerian milk in the winter months (I dry them off in the summer because we travel) so I know it's not the milk we are using. It sems to be more a body chemistry change in me.

 

It is the same with pickles and other fermented products. I've made hundreds of batches of crock pickles over the years using all sorts of vegetables (I especially like cauliflower and onions pickled that way). I've had a few batches spoil too but usually because the salt ratio was not quite right or it was too hot for them. Carla Emery's book has a great crock pickle recipe in it I've used for years though I do vary it some and the vegetables that go into it vary from year to year as I use my crocks as a place to put the odd amount of a veggie that is not enough to can. I've also made saurkraut in crocks and in jars.

 

I have a recipe for dill pickles, given to me by an elderly friend years ago. I make dozens of jars each year and my kids love them. They are made in a canning jar with a brine poured over them and then water bathed for a few minutes to seal the lids. They never bubble over even though they have to be left for at least three months before they are ready to eat and at a year they are even better. I've even sent these to Thailand for our son.

 

I tried a few of the recipes from the book I mentioned in the resource thread last year, tomatoes being one of them but they fermented all over my pantry and look so shrunken and wrinkled that I didn't want to try them. (tomatoes are also a no no for IC) I no longer have a cool basement area to store them and the extra refrig is outside and everything in it freezes during the winter months here. I am intending to try more of the lactofermented recipes this year though if I can figure out a way to keep them cooler.

 

I am really enjoying these threads and learning a lot as I read. Thanks everyone.

 

:bighug2:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I did Sauerkraut last fall and then canned it. I am looking for the kefir grains for milk. That's the next project I want to take on. And I am going to try that yummy looking lacto-fermented salsa, when the garden comes in. I think my family will really enjoy that one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

May I ask a newbie question?

 

Is there anything fermented that isn't sour?

I like bitter, but my tummy doesn't handle sour (or hot) well.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I believe everything fermented is sour.

Most fermented foods were meant to be consumed in small quantities along with your meal. Of course, traditionally, many different fermented foods were served at a meal. Remember, this was one of the few ways people preserved their foods, so they had a lot.

I find certain combinations of foods to be helpful or harmful. I would never drink my kombucha or eat a pickle along with some sweet fruit. the flavor contrast would make me sick. I love my pickles with cottage cheese or meat. I usually drink my kombucha with a slice of raw cheddar cheese at snack along with a handful of nuts.

I'm not sure if it's a matter of taste alone, or if somehow our bodies know that certain combinations of foods cause an imbalance in the body, so it makes us react to it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
May I ask a newbie question?

 

Is there anything fermented that isn't sour?

I like bitter, but my tummy doesn't handle sour (or hot) well.

 

Some of the yogurts are pretty mild. I've done Matsoni/Caspian Sea yogurt which is a room temperature ferment. I found it to be very mild tasting.

 

I didn't keep up with it well though and eventually other beasties started to grow in it. It's easy to make you just have to keep an eye on it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mother, Dr. Mercola recommends eliminating grains and adding fish oil for the inflammatory treatment. Have you tried this?

 

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles...09/bladder.aspx

 

I also have never had fermented foods (meaning solids) last (because they get eaten) but I'll tell you that my fermented beverages last at least a year. Ginger beer with no refrigeration, in my kitchen, and bottled kombucha and raspberry-orange drink (all from NT) The kids drink it so fast, if you blink you'll miss it. One time I did make huge batches and they eventually forgot about the box in the kitchen and when they did remember, it had been a while. Some changes in flavor, but still yummy and they drank it all up.

 

I can't stand carbonated beverages, but I will tell you that fermented is just some how so refreshing in a way that soda never could be. :)

 

Oh, and there are some sweet fermented items, such as the drinks. Slightly tart, rather than sour. If you can't handle sour, you can ferment just a little bit slower and eat them before they are "done" fermenting (although they never really finish changing) - it's better than not eating it at all.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Help!

I was going to start a batch of buttermilk using the recipe in Nourishing Traditions. I wanted to let the curds separate from the whey so I could use the whey in another recipe. I needed a starter of live buttermilk to innoculate my milk and get it started. I accidentally bought half-n-half instead of buttermilk. :shakinghead:

 

Is there a way I can separate the whey out from my non-homogenized whole milk without the innoculant?

 

I'm frustrated because I don't have access to a vehicle right now because my kids are gone. I can't drive anywhere to get buttermilk.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It won't be "real" buttermilk, but you can also use cultured sour cream, yogurt (especially cream style Greek, etc), piima, viili, or creme fraiche to inoculate it. It comes out very similar and tastes good. If you are going to be using it to keep a batch going (keeping the culture) it may be worth waiting for the right culture. It will be thicker.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you just want something buttermilk like for a recipe you can use 1 Tbls lemon juice or vinegar to 1 c milk.

 

well duh, I should pay attention to what I read. You want the whey. The above should still separate the milk into curds and whey, but you can't use it to inocculate another batch. I don't think it can be use to ferment other things either.

 

::just diggin a bigger hole ::

Edited by Prickle

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I went with the sour cream with live cultures. We'll see what happens.

 

Don't worry Prickle, I've done it too. Sometimes you get so excited because you want to help someone and later you find out that you really didn't read the post enough. It's the thought that counts!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, it worked out fine using the sour cream with live cultures instead of the buttermilk. The whey separated out.

I made my first batch of fly,(sweet potato soda.) I let it sit in the bowl for three days. It didn't get fizzy but it tastes alright. I'm sure it would be better if it was fizzier, so I poured it into my easy-cap bottles and I will leave it at room temp. for a few more days.

Next time I will make two batches and leave one in the bowl for an extra day or two before putting into the bottles to see how it compares.

I'll let you know how it goes.

 

Oh, by the way, I found a use for the used sweet potato shreds that were fermented. I gave them to the hens, and they slurped them down. They clucked to me that I need to make more!

 

On as side note, my daughter asked her college friend who is a missionary kid from Africa if he ever had any. He said they have sweet potato soda, but it's not fermented. Another case of modern industry "improving" on traditional foods and destroying it.

Edited by Homemaker

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.