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What's fermenting in your kitchen?

 
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Hello, I would like to start a thread on common fermentation where we can share our daily accomplishments in growing probiotic bacteria to delight our microbiome. No need to list recipes or be too descriptive, just share your shelf space and enjoy.
Yesterday I set some cheese out to press the excess whey, fed the sourdough, poured a second ferment of water kefir, made some tea and sugar for the kombucha and shredded some ginger and carrots for a lactobacilli veggie ferment.
Today I hope to peel garlic for a pint of honey garlic and ferment some beets.
Who here prefers fermentations to pickling? Or who likes the flavor of both but ferments for the health benefits?
 
gardener
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What are you going to do with those beets, Gail?

(here I have kombucha, yogurt, sourdough, kimchi, mustard pickle, fermented lemons [for drinking and for cleaning, different ones], some dill sauerkraut, and I just used up the half-sour dill pickles the other day. Good stuff.)
Ah, and I`m using some of the sourdough discard to flavor dhokla batter for dinner tonight (steamed indian bread kinda stuff made of rice and bean flours).
It`s time to start up some Sichuan pickles again too, hopefully today I can do that. I accidentally ripped up an immature butternut squash in the garden and that would be a good thing to put in.

To answer your question, I love the flavor but like the probiotic angle. I love yogurt but am having problems with milk as I get older, so I prefer to get my microbes elsewhere.
 
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Holy Cow! You are totally together! My continuous brew kombucha crock is now in the kitchen of my newly married son, I'm almost out of sauerkraut and have been meaning to start a new batch for a month, I've been buying yogurt because the cow of my milk source is taking a break until late January and my sourdough starter is languishing in the back of the refrigerator. Thanks for the kick in the backside! I'm getting busy now!
 
pollinator
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Intentionally?

-CK
 
gardener
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I have been pretty active.

Kefir
Yogurt
Carrots
Cauliflower
Cabbage(sauerkraut)

Veggies are all small batches. Pint jars. I usually do a big batch of sauerkraut each year but pressure can it. Small batches I can eat raw.
 
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Just to be different from the above, I've got a litre of (hopefully) vinegar forming, from some local barley wine. The first time I made it, in 2017 it came out delicious, like apple cider vinegar, but in 2018 it went mouldy. This time, I'm still not sure.
I've got two jars of kimchi made, and this time in the small jar I added in a few small dried fish, as I've been told is a Korean thing, but seems like it might be just way too weird. The big jar is plain cabbage, with just ginger, garlic, powdered red chillies and salt. Should have added carrots and onions, but hey, I got it done so...
I've got an almost full litre of salted lemons left from last year. I hope I get back into using them soon! (Not sure if they're fermented).
The capers I collected in May from the desert around here are sitting nicely in salt after fermenting their bitterness out and their flavour in.
I killed the sourdough an acquaintance kindly keeps giving to me again, so I'm back to powdered yeast, though that is in fact fermentation too.
Food storage for winter is critical here, because the road connecting our cold-winter region to the rest of the country closes from around now until April or May. No fresh veg or fruit will be in the market when the current stock runs out, except root cellared things and greenhouse leafy veggies, so drying and pickling are key. I've got an assortment of vegetables dried, and several kinds of leafy veg coming up in the greenhouse, and these various pickly things will help when food choices get limited in March and April.
 
author
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Love all the fermentation happening here-- y'all are awesome!

I'm keeping it simple right now-- all my veggies are done since it's super snowy and cold here in WY.

Just my sourdough starter and continuous brew kombucha at the moment!
 
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I have a three gallon crock of hot peppers that’s been on the bottom shelf for a year and a half...
 
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Right now:

Milk kefir
Viili yoghurt
Kombucha
Sourdough
Gherkins
Kimchi
Sauerkraut
Hard cheeses
Feta cheese
Chorizo
Saucisson
Prosciutto
Dry cured bacon
Neglected water kefir grains
Ginger carrots again soon
 
gardener
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Currently, only water kefir, saur kraut, mead, and purchased cheeses & pickles. We hope to get back to doing raw milk yogurt and kim chi, soon, as well as adding a variety of our own cheeses and pickles. We can't seem to find anyone locally, who sells raw milk, so that and the cheeses probably won't happen until after my goat freshens, in the Spring. Hubs is planning on a batch of kim chi, and more kraut, next week.
 
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Lots of nice ferments!
For me, it is the usual stuff - sometimes I have more than this, sometimes less:

Sourdough (wheat-rye mix)
Lievito Madre (a more dense italian fermented dough)
Fed my ginger bug to make more of that brew that resembles Ginger Ale
With all the apple scraps left from last week's apple sauce cooking (for an event) I started a new batch of - hopefully - Apple Cider Vinegar
I opened a jar of salted cucumbers that I had made with a new recipe this summer, and they taste slightly fizzy and sour, a nice surprise. I have another jar.
I have milk kefir going
I shall make more yoghurt, and probably shall try simple cheese again (I have a farm nearby that sells raw milk)

Now that cabbages are in season, I could set up some kimchi.
 
Mother Tree
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I have yogurt and olives on the go.  

Some of the olives, the larger ones, are still leaching but the smaller black ones are in brine and busy doing their thing.  I just fished some out to see how they are doing and they're just starting to get a nice bit of flavour to them. I made up a little jar with a weaker brine, a dollop of olive oil and some herbs and garlic so we can have some to snack on.

These are the olives, busy doing their thing in brine.



This is the old milk churn/bucket thing that they're in.



It's the old milking machine bucket from the goat milking machine that my partner's mum used to use when she got a bit too old to hand milk her multitudinous goats. There was no suitable lid so I'm improvising with an old enamel bowl that was left in the house we just bought. In the background are a couple of the big stainless lidded pans that I leach the olives in.

And here's the jar of olives I've just prepared for snacking on.



I use a much weaker brine solution for this as I don't like them to taste too salty, and they don't have to store long by the time they're in this jar.  The herbs and garlic flavour the olive oil, which coats the olives when they're pulled out of the brine and makes them taste awesome.

 
Gail Jardin
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Tereza Okava wrote:What are you going to do with those beets, Gail?

(here I have kombucha, yogurt, sourdough, kimchi, mustard pickle, fermented lemons [for drinking and for cleaning, different ones], some dill sauerkraut, and I just used up the half-sour dill pickles the other day. Good stuff.)
Ah, and I`m using some of the sourdough discard to flavor dhokla batter for dinner tonight (steamed indian bread kinda stuff made of rice and bean flours).
It`s time to start up some Sichuan pickles again too, hopefully today I can do that. I accidentally ripped up an immature butternut squash in the garden and that would be a good thing to put in.

To answer your question, I love the flavor but like the probiotic angle. I love yogurt but am having problems with milk as I get older, so I prefer to get my microbes elsewhere.



I love the idea of fermented lemons for cleaning. I usually put lemon or grapefruit peels in vinegar to clean with. Can you share your recipe for a fermented cleaner? Does it cover the surface with probiotics that over power bad bacteria? I'm fascinated by this idea!
Have you tried raw type AA milk? A lot of people do well with fresh, raw AA milk when other milks upset them. Yogurt if made correctly should have very little lactose in it and the casein in AA milk is different than store bought milk.
 
Gail Jardin
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Burra Maluca wrote:I have yogurt and olives on the go.  

Some of the olives, the larger ones, are still leaching but the smaller black ones are in brine and busy doing their thing.  I just fished some out to see how they are doing and they're just starting to get a nice bit of flavour to them. I made up a little jar with a weaker brine, a dollop of olive oil and some herbs and garlic so we can have some to snack on.

These are the olives, busy doing their thing in brine.



This is the old milk churn/bucket thing that they're in.



It's the old milking machine bucket from the goat milking machine that my partner's mum used to use when she got a bit too old to hand milk her multitudinous goats. There was no suitable lid so I'm improvising with an old enamel bowl that was left in the house we just bought. In the background are a couple of the big stainless lidded pans that I leach the olives in.

And here's the jar of olives I've just prepared for snacking on.



I use a much weaker brine solution for this as I don't like them to taste too salty, and they don't have to store long by the time they're in this jar.  The herbs and garlic flavour the olive oil, which coats the olives when they're pulled out of the brine and makes them taste awesome.


Impressive! You have some beautiful fermentation going on there.
 
Tereza Okava
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Gail Jardin wrote:
I love the idea of fermented lemons for cleaning. I usually put lemon or grapefruit peels in vinegar to clean with. Can you share your recipe for a fermented cleaner?


That is what I do- citrus peels, in vinegar, leave it a good 6 months. As far as I know that produces limonene, I don`t think it's an active probiotic. I like it to clean my stainless steel sink.

Gail Jardin wrote:
Have you tried raw type AA milk? A lot of people do well with fresh, raw AA milk when other milks upset them. Yogurt if made correctly should have very little lactose in it and the casein in AA milk is different than store bought milk.


I'm not a fan of raw milk (I do a lot of work in epidemiology and public health, it ruined me for ground beef, raw milk, sprouts, and eating in restaurants], but it doesnt seem to be a lactose problem. It seems to be a general milk problem, whether lactose free, enzymes in it, whatever, my stomach doesn't appreciate it. I don't think we have the A1A2 business here, never seen it (maybe 10 years from now, we tend to get the trends much later). I was vegan for many years so I don`t feel like I`m missing out on much. Thanks for the idea though.
 
pollinator
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I just took out a batch of oat amazake. I made some with arborio rice earlier this week but it was a little dry, especially the koji grains because I didn't rehydrate them first. I was following instructions in the Shockeys' "Miso, Tempeh, Natto and Other Tasty Ferments" but I think it's important to rehydrate dried koji grains first, or you might get crunchy bits. I'll probably use the remaining rice amazake to make shio koji, apparently the world's best condiment, and to try a lacto-ferment WITHOUT salt...imagine! The Shockeys explain how to do it, but unfortunately not the shelf life. Even the internet can't help with that. I want to remain surrounded with ferments, but to omit as much salt as possible.

Got some kkakdugi fermenting...I bet a lot of us have more daikon radishes than we know what to do with. This is daikon radish kimchi, and I've kept it for up to a year. It's really best from your own radishes so that the greens are freshest. It's very hard to find daikon with greens included because they are so perishable.

Also have jun going, as usual: first ferment, and second with turmeric, fresh ginger, schisandra, black cumin, black pepper, cinnamon, cayenne.

Still have burdock and cabbage waiting in the fridge for a burdock kraut.
 
Rebecca Norman
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Burra, I've got olive envy! I collect and ferment capers, but they're nowhere near as useful and yummy as olives!

Today I decided to harvest the kale in the greenhouse and make a funny ferment I did a few years ago that came out awesome. I made it in the past with mustard greens or kale. It's greens, salt, and dill. I eat it as a sandwich filling.

Wash and chop up the greens.
Shake salt over them and mix it well. It should be mildly salty, like a condiment. Leave in a covered bowl to wilt for a couple of hours or overnight. This allows better packing later.
Add fresh or dried dill, and pack into glass jars. Leave a little empty headroom at the top because like all ferments it will bubble up.
Keep in a warm place on a tray to ferment for about a week. It will get sour and umami and savory. Once it is nice, take it out of the warm place and store in a chilly place such as a fridge until use.
 
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I've just started getting into fermentation, but I've got a small selection going right now. Some carrots, two different types of beets, and some cucumber pickles. I'm hoping to try out some ginger beer here soon since I wasn't able to harvest any elderberries for wine this year (just never got warm enough to form berries).
IMG_0537.jpeg
fermenting carrots, two different types of beets, and some cucumber pickles
fermenting carrots, two different types of beets, and some cucumber pickles
 
Gail Jardin
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Tereza Okava wrote:

Gail Jardin wrote:
I love the idea of fermented lemons for cleaning. I usually put lemon or grapefruit peels in vinegar to clean with. Can you share your recipe for a fermented cleaner?


That is what I do- citrus peels, in vinegar, leave it a good 6 months. As far as I know that produces limonene, I don`t think it's an active probiotic. I like it to clean my stainless steel sink.

Gail Jardin wrote:
Have you tried raw type AA milk? A lot of people do well with fresh, raw AA milk when other milks upset them. Yogurt if made correctly should have very little lactose in it and the casein in AA milk is different than store bought milk.


I'm not a fan of raw milk (I do a lot of work in epidemiology and public health, it ruined me for ground beef, raw milk, sprouts, and eating in restaurants], but it doesnt seem to be a lactose problem. It seems to be a general milk problem, whether lactose free, enzymes in it, whatever, my stomach doesn't appreciate it. I don't think we have the A1A2 business here, never seen it (maybe 10 years from now, we tend to get the trends much later). I was vegan for many years so I don`t feel like I`m missing out on much. Thanks for the idea though.


Aside from the eating in restaurants we're complete opposites, lol! I make ground venison, drink raw milk and have jars of sprouts and trays of microgreens. I only eat at restaurants when I'm working in one and watch the cooks prep the food or make it myself.
 
master steward
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I have a quart of water kefir going!
Water-kefir.jpg
[Thumbnail for Water-kefir.jpg]
water kefir
 
pollinator
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kombucha? I steam juice apples and berries together then run the pulp through a champion mill to take out the seeds. The frozen pulp is my mainstay for making smoothies all winter but I need yogurt for that so I buy a gallon of raw milk each month and make it into yogurt in 2 quart jars in the corners of my water bed which keeps it warm.
So I have gallons of apple/berry juice left over. I have a gallon jar with a spigot so I fill it with the juice and float a scuby on top. when it gets to be a strong vinegar I drain it off and use it to acidify my stomach. I can fill it about 3 times before I have to rinse out the sediment and reduce the scuby.
I could make hard cider but it sits on the shelf and I am getting mor requests for my fruit kombucha.
 
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I found this thread on the Daily-ish email and thought I'd take a look because fermented foods are a staple part of our diet. I always have milk kefir going, feta and domiati when the girls are in milk, and we just finished a years-worth of kimchi.

I love sourdough, but that one, especially, is a challenge for me because of our house temperatures. We gave up air-conditioning several years ago, and while our summer indoor temps are cooler than outside it's still pretty warm, mid-80s in the afternoons. I really have to keep an eye on fermenting projects when it's that warm. Winter we have the opposite problem. We're having a mild spell now (low 40s at night; mid-60s during the day), so we aren't keeping the woodstoves going. House temp is currently 63, which is tolerable with enough layers, but slows down my fermentation projects. My sourdough seems to be the least happy with these conditions.

Anyway, after reading through the comments, I'm inspired to dig some Jerusalem artichokes today and get a crock of them started.

 
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My wife and I have fermented a few things over the years, my favorite is carrots.

But I do remember when I was stationed in Berchesgaden Germany in the Army there was a certain trail I loved to hike that had a family living along it.  Their primary income was from sauerkraut.  You could smell the kraut from a mile or more away!  They had dozen's of wooden casks all around their place filled with sauerkraut.  They would always give me a sample when I stopped to say hi.
 
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I love all the ferments going. I especially have olive-envy.

Right now we have the following going or stored:

kimchi
sauerkraut (white and purple cabbage)
beets
dill cucumber pickles with garlic and hot peppers
garlic by itself
chiles from the garden
rye levain for bread (I let this slow ferment in the fridge for a week. It's not very sour, but the flavor is good and it's active)
poolish pre-ferment for bread
salsa
cyser (apple juice and honey mead) with raisins. This ends up tasting a little like sherry when done.

We keep our house fairly cool (low to mid 60s F) so the ferments are slow but they still have a great flavor. I ferment the kimchi in the garage that's in the low to mid 50s F this time of year. I've read that before the days of refrigeration and air conditioning, kimchi used to be fermented in crocks buried in the ground because that gave good temperature control like a root cellar, so I thought that the colder temperatures are probably more traditional. I have no idea if this changes the fermentation process other than slowing it down, but the end result is always really good. I've always had more problems with ferments when it's too warm vs. when it's too cool.
 
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There's only one jar of real fermented food here at the moment, and that's fermented sunchokes. I did have some mixed 'sauerkraut', but ate it all.

mixed fermenting vegetables

I do have many little jars of green-tomato-chutney and sweet-and-sour courgette. Of course that's something different. But there's something fermented used in it: apple cider vinegar.
 
Leigh Tate
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Robin Katz wrote:
rye levain for bread (I let this slow ferment in the fridge for a week. It's not very sour, but the flavor is good and it's active)
poolish pre-ferment for bread
cyser (apple juice and honey mead) with raisins. This ends up tasting a little like sherry when done.


These are all new to me. Must research and try!

Robin Katz wrote:We keep our house fairly cool (low to mid 60s F) so the ferments are slow but they still have a great flavor. I ferment the kimchi in the garage that's in the low to mid 50s F this time of year. I've read that before the days of refrigeration and air conditioning, kimchi used to be fermented in crocks buried in the ground because that gave good temperature control like a root cellar, so I thought that the colder temperatures are probably more traditional. I have no idea if this changes the fermentation process other than slowing it down, but the end result is always really good. I've always had more problems with ferments when it's too warm vs. when it's too cool.


And thanks for that Robin. Interesting that actual ferment temperature affects flavor. I hadn't thought of that before, but it seems to me that I have better results in winter than summer; that's probably why.
 
Burra Maluca
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I know this is cheating a bit as I didn't make it myself, but I thought I'd share a photo of what I consider some of the best cheese in the world.

It's a bit awkward, but when I lost my husband last year I had to turn down the maker of this cheese as I had another partner in mind.  Fortunately, after a bit of awkwardness, we all seem to be friends again and after months of being given cheese to the point of me becoming a little embarrassed, he did accept payment for the cheese on the left when I sent the boys around to his dairy. He picked one out just the way he knows I like it, just about soft enough to squish onto a crispbread and a nice bit of flavour without being overwhelming.  And then he threw in a more mature one, just for old times' sake.  And some lemons. The mature one is smaller and harder and with an intense flavour which makes for the most amazing cheese sauce which rather blows your mind. My new partner likes it on rye crispbread but it's a bit too strong for me like that.

Both are good with olives though, especially if served on cabbage-leafy plates.



For years I've wanted to go round and do a photo-shoot of his sheep and cheese-making system but I've kept away for a year as it just felt too awkward, but I think it's time I made myself do it anyway.  
 
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You all are my tribe!

I love all things fermentation. I have two little kids, so I can't experiment as much as I'd like (time-wise), but I am happy that I've given them an early start with the probiotics. My staples are a sourdough (mainly used for big batches of waffles that we eat throughout the week), milk kefir (also goes into the waffles and into smoothies for the kids), water kefir, a neglected kombucha, and a variety of vegetable ferments. When I have time, I try out other things. Currently strewn about the kitchen, pantry, and two fridges: banana peel vinegar, two types of kimchi, fermented cucumbers, fermented muu radish, fermented carrots, sauerkraut, some pretty well-aged dandelion wine, red and golden beet kvass, bread kvass...

Ok, now that I've written it all out, I see I can't really complain. Plenty of fermentation going on, even with the kids.
 
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