Sandor Katz

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since Mar 31, 2013
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Recent posts by Sandor Katz

All the vegetable fermentation businesses that I have visited (quite a few) ferment in larger vessels, then transfer to jars after fermentation and refrigerate once the product is in jars. The limitation on fermenting in jars is the pressure that forms within them. With one or two jars this is easy to deal with (either manually releasing pressure or rigging a pressure-release airlock) but with many jars would be cumbersome. Hope you manifest this vision!
7 years ago
I don't exactly make tortillas, but savory sourdough pancakes are part of my typical repertoire. I start with sourdough starter, add more water and flour and an egg, then get creative: grated raw root vegetables, sauteed onions or other vegetables, leftover grains, grated cheese, sometimes even meat. Then I leave the batter to ferment 12-24 hours, till good and bubbly, then make it into pancakes, which I generally serve with a yogurt-hot sauce blend. Yum!
7 years ago
I have never tried fermenting lichens, but it sounds like a great idea. Have fun experimenting!
7 years ago
Different ferments have different ideal temperatures, and some are quote versatile. A cool zone is great for fermenting vegetables. In temperate climates, this has traditionally been an unheated cellar. A cave could be perfect for this, and caves are among the classic environments for aging cheeses. Some ferments need a warm environment. Yogurt is generally incubated at 43-46 degrees C; tempeh and koji at 30-32 degrees C. Tempeh and koji also need a humid environment. But most ferments can be done in a range of temperature zones, faster in warmer temps, slower in cooler temps. You could certainly design a kitchen with appropriate zones, but you would want an idea of what specifically you were intending to ferment.
7 years ago
I'm not sure what to tell you about your kombucha. The fermentation metabolizes sugars into acids, so I don't see how it can get acid without losing sweetness. Wish I could tell you what the problem was....

On the mushy pickles: perhaps one batch of cukes had more residue of the flower blossoms, which are particularly rich in the enzymes that digest pectins and make pickles crunchy? Or one jar got more grape leaves?

I've heard of mothers forming on pickles, even without kombucha nearby. I think it's a vinegar mother.

Minerals in water can affect ferments in a number of different ways.

Wish I had clear answers for you.
7 years ago
I'm not sure what's up with GEM Cultures, but here ia a source for tempeh starter: http://www.tempeh.info/
7 years ago
In my personal practice, I have only fermented shiitakes with vegetables, and i was very pleased with the results. In Russia, I understand that fermenting mushrooms is quite common, and I included a short section on the topic in The Art of Fermentation. Fungi, like many plants and bacteria, contain antimicrobial compounds. But most of these compounds are either targeted toward specific competitors or not present in enough concentration, and do not inhibit fermentation.
7 years ago
YES! Absolutely. Jerusalem artichokes/sunchokes ferment beautifully, either raw or cooked.
7 years ago
Has your mother grown much thicker? As your mother grows thicker, she can digest the nutrients in your sweet tea faster. This is a good reason to peel away layers periodically.
7 years ago
Adam, these leafy additions to the pickles help make it taste great. No adverse effect on flavor at all.
7 years ago