Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Fermenting (Ideas and Foods)

A lot of people are fermenting foods right now. It is great for your health and (apparently) easy to do, once you get the hang of it.
It started with sauerkraut and kimchi, German and Korean  fermented cabbage dishes. I have made both and, trust me, homemade is VASTLY superior to store bought!
Recently I have seen way more fermented foods than I thought possible. There are whole web sites and books devoted to it. Carrots, fennel, onions, ginger, apples, you name it, somebody out there is fermenting it!
Some people use vinegar.
Some use a salty brine.(Or just salt)
Some use whey from cheesemaking.
Some use honey.

Then there is kefir, kombucha, water kefir and fermentation to make natural fizzy sodas.
There is a whole dictionary of terms used by the fermenting crowd.
Here's a short glossary:

AAB: Acetic acid bacteria
ABV: Alcohol by volume, usually calculated as a percentage
ACV: Apple Cider Vinegar
BABY: When a batch of Kombucha grows a new SCOBY it is called a Baby.
CB: Continuous Brew. A large crock used to ferment kombucha. Fermented kombucha is drawn off in small amounts through a spigot at the bottom. Fresh sweet tea is then added to the top.
GBP: Ginger Beer Plant - a SCOBY that ferments sugary water with ginger.
GRAINS: The SCOBYs for kefir and tibicos are called GRAINS due to their granular appearance.
JUN: A drink similar to Kombucha, but dominated by bacteria. A SCOBY is used to ferment green tea with honey.
KEFIR: A cultured dairy beverage made with kefir grains.
KOMBUCHA: A cultured beverage made by fermenting sweet tea with a SCOBY.
KT: Kombucha (Tea), also "Buch" or "Booch"
LAB(s): Lactobacillus Bacteria
MESOPHILIC: Cultures that work at room temperature, usually in regards to yogurt.
MOTHER: Name for the gelatinous glob that forms in raw vinegar. Also used to describe the SCOBY for Kombucha.
MK: Milk Kefir
MKG: Milk Kefir Grains
MOV: Mother of vinegar, a.k.a. mycoderma aceti. It is acetic acid bacteria suspended in cellulose.
SCOBY: Acronym for "Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast." Kombucha, Kefir, and Tibicos are cultured using a SCOBY. The SCOBY is comprised mainly of cellulose, with live bacteria and yeasts trapped within its structure.
THERMOPHILIC: Cultures that need to be incubated at a warm temperature to function, usually in regards to yogurt.
TIBICOS: A cultured beverage made by fermenting sugar water or juice with tibicos grains, also called "water kefir" or "sugar crystals".
WK: Water Kefir
WKG: Water Kefir Grains
1F or 1st Ferment: When you ferment a sweet liquid with SCOBYs it is your first ferment.
2F or 2nd Ferment: When you strain the fermented liquid into a bottle, add flavoring, and let it sit until bubbly that is a second ferment. 

Now, I have made my own vinegars, so I know the process. I have made pickles. I have had kefir before, and found it delicious. It is kinda like a thinner yogurt that you drink. Never had Kombucha, but, this morning I have some to try! I found it in the organic section of the store I went to yesterday. It was pricey...2.78 for one 16 oz bottle! So, hang on for a minute while I try a sip....

Oh yum! That is pretty good! 

That's the one I bought. They had several other flavors, but hey, I love ginger! . It says a serving size is half a bottle, but I will probably only drink a quarter bottle this first time and see how it sits on my stomach for a few hours before drinking the rest.

Fermented foods are supposed to be super healthy for you because of the probiotics they contain.
Most of us already eat some fermented foods...
Cheese, yogurt, buttermilk, cultured butter...all fermented foods!
Sauerkraut and kimchi, fermented foods.
Here's a list of fermented foods that are pretty darn good and where to buy them, if you don't ferment your own:

I plan on fermenting my own once I get in my own place. This might be something that could be sold at a local farmers market, too.
For those of you reading the story i am writing, please be aware I am continuing it. I add a little just about every day. I hope you are enjoying it!


  1. thanks for info. have bought a book and hope to be using it by autumn.
    don't like sauerkraut but friend gave some homemade with dill weed in it--delicious.

  2. I'm hooked on the Holly and Ivy story! Riveting!


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