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ArmyOfFive4God

Fermenting 101

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You all have me curious about about fermenting things. So I have my first batch of kefir going. I was given some grains by a buddy on another board. I have also started a whole wheat sourdough that I am feeding right now, I have three more days to go. We also started a batch of crockpot yogurt. Next up will be to make some buttermilk to make the sourdough bread next week. I will let you all know how it goes.

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My one and only attempt at whole wheat sourdough was a disaster. It never rose.

I don't know what I did wrong. I followed the recipe from Nourishing Traditions.

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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.

 

How did these turn out?

 

Since I am only days away from 'home ownership' I'm getting excited to start new ferments/cultures. In fact so excited that I'm doing yogurt and maybe ww sour dough starter tomorrow.

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I tried the ginger carrots from the NT cookbook. My husband and I didn't like it.

We have been buying ours from our food co-op. Theirs has a little cabbage and onion in it, without the ginger. I should try making that sometime.

My garden beets are ready, so next week I'm doing pickled beets and beet kvass, which is a tonic drink. Not all that tasty, but great for you.

 

I'll let you know how my regular grain kvass and the fly is when I finish it.

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Well, I tried my fly again and it has no fizz. Either I did something wrong, or it is'nt supposed to be fizzy.

I would think that something fermented that contained as much sugar as I had to put into it would be.

 

I don't think I'll try it again. It really isn't all that tasty without fizz.

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The first stage was in a bowl covered with a piece of cloth, according to the directions.

When it wasn't fizzy after three warm days, I decided to give it a few more days out, but put it in my easy-cap bottles.

 

Still nothing.

 

I used whey made from milk with active cultures. There should have been something to get it going, and there was plenty of sugar to keep them going.

 

Maybe there weren't any live cultures??

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I just looked at the TF resource list and saw the link to Cultures For Health.

They have water keifer cultures. Apparantly you can use them to make healthy sodas. I wonder if I could use them in the fly ferment to get the fizz.

I've never made keifer before, so I'll have to study it some more.

 

I'm thinking that perhaps the whey I make from milk doesn't have enough of the bacteria to make a good ferment. That would explain why my pickles and the fermented drinks I try to make don't always work out.

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I harvested some of my cabbage this week and made 4 quarts of saurkraut using the Nourishing Traditions recipe. I have 3 more cabbages in the garden, so I'll make more soon. This was the first year I got to make kraut from my cabbages. The groundhogs usually get them. Hurray for Harvey, the wonder dog!! He's doing his job.

 

I also made some pickled beets. When I harvest more next week, I'll make beet kvass. Nasty stuff, but oh so nourishing.

 

My cucumbers are starting to produce, so I'll be doing pickles soon. The tomatoes are getting big, soon I'll be fermenting some salsa.

 

I love my garden!!

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Homemaker, how do you prepare you pickled beets and salsa. I am guessing you don't can them? Where do you store them. I have no cool basement or even a cool place and am thinking of getting a big second refrigerator to store my fermented foods in.

 

Is there a recipe on here for Kvass? And if it's so nasty, how do you manage to eat it??? LOL

 

:bighug2:

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I bake the beets at 300 degrees for a few hours until they're tender. peel and julienne them. I put them into a clamping top jar with a gasket, pour in half a cup of whey to innoculate it and I believe it was one tablespoon of salt and about a cup of water. You can forgo the whey, but you will need to add lots more salt to protect it from spoiling before the good bacteria gets going. Let it sit at room temp for 2 to 3 days. I store it all in a second fridge in the basement. It gets pretty packed from all of the summer ferments along with the kombucha bottles.

 

The beet kvass is a tonic beverage. You only need to drink a small amount, about 4 ounces morning and night with your meal. It aids in digestion and is cleansing. It aids in kidney stone prevention and treatment.

 

The salsa is adaptable to whatever you like in yours. Just innoculate it with the whey and put in the tablespoon of sea salt. If no whey, double up on the salt.

 

I do not heat treat any of these foods. To do so would destroy their vital probiotic and enzyme benefits.

 

I encourage you to get the book, Nourishing Traditions and others with fermenting recipes, that way you have the exact measurements and ideas for variations. Since it's copyrighted, I don't feel comfortable copying out the whole thing.

 

 

 

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Thank you. I have sent for NT and am waiting for it to arrive.

 

I had wondered about the enzymes if you have to cook the beets first. Now I see that you are adding the whey to substitute. You are still losing the enzymes of the vegetables by cooking them as apposed to using them raw but replacing them with a culture much as you would yogurt. Nutritious but different than the raw enzyme.

 

I thought perhaps you used a lacto-fermentation process to preserve them. In that way they are preserved raw instead of cooked. The raw vegetable is diced, chopped or grated into small pieces and they are put in jars, crocks, etc with a small percentage of salt (normally figures about 1% by volume if in a brine, a sprinkle between layers if solid) and allowed to ferment naturally. There's a lot of info about this method in the Preserving Food without freezing or canning book listed in the resource thread.

 

I'm really enjoying these NT threads and learning a lot from them.

 

:bighug2:

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Dh has been dying for some kraut this year. Now that is has gotten so hot I don't think we're going to harvest enough cabbage to make much. I sure hope we can get a fall crop when things cool off.

 

Do you think it would be safe to make some kraut from store bought cabbage? I'm wondering how old it might be by the time it gets to my store.

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Momo, can you get organically grown cabbage? I made small batches of kraut from farmer's market organic cabbage a few years and it turned out wonderful.

 

:bighug2:

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Dh has been dying for some kraut this year. Now that is has gotten so hot I don't think we're going to harvest enough cabbage to make much. I sure hope we can get a fall crop when things cool off.

 

Do you think it would be safe to make some kraut from store bought cabbage? I'm wondering how old it might be by the time it gets to my store.

 

 

I've made kraut from store bought cabbage without problems.

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I think the beet recipe in NT is the only one that has you cook it first. Everything else I make is raw, including the beet kvass.

 

The book doesn't say why you should cook the beets, it only says not to shred it because it would cause a rapid ferment that would favor the formation of alcohol, rather than lactic acid.

 

I have always used store bought organic cabbage for my kraut, until this year when I got the joy of keeping my own from those little hairy devils outside!

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I've been doing kraut for months now & this year is the first I've gron cabbage (if growing is what you can call it, LOL). So you can def. make it from store bought. Organic or not. Whatever your preference is.

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One of my (and the kids) favorite recipes from NT is ginger beer. Sooooo good.

 

Also, the raspberry orange fermented drink is pretty good.

 

Anyone else try it? If you want to but haven't, I'll give you a few pointers... First of all, use very fresh ginger. Second, put the addition of ginger and sugar in each day at the same time. Third, keep it at room temperature. Too hot or cold, and it never seems to work. In the winter, when my kitchen gets cold, I put it in a warm cupboard. It always bugs up for me on day 7, which is crazy. I never figured out how it knew when the seventh day was.

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