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Lacto-fermenting stuff

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I have been procrastinating  researching the traditional methods and wasting time on the internet for 3 years. last week I eventually said "stuff it, how hard could it be". So I grabbed some veg out of the fridge, chopped it up and made my first batch of sauerkraut. It has been bubbling away sitting in the kitchen sink and now in the fridge.

 

This morning i was laying in bed, thinking what a waste of money soda water is, stomped down to the kitchen and started a ginger bug/plant/mother for the first time since I was a kid. I have got plenty of rhubarb so when the bug is ready it looks like the first batch will be a sparkling rhubarb, ginger beer and perhaps a lemon/lime one. Those empty PET soda water bottles will come in handy.

 

I have worked my way around a few shops looking for a particular natural swiss style yoghurt that I like the taste of, so I can use it as a starter and put a dent in the pile of milk I have stockpiled in the freezer and make some homemade yoghurt.

 

So its all go! If I have some success I will post some of my stolen recipes.

ande and DaveWick like this

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Had a quick taste of the sauerkraut last night, its nowhere near fermented yet, it has developed a nice crunchiness but the salt taste is still really strong,  the salt is supposed to be 2% of the veg weight. I may have used a little to much and not bruised the veg enough to draw the juices out. The idea is that the salt inhibits all of the nondesirable bacterial growth and the lactobacilli can colonise and do its stuff. I did check to make sure the salt I was using didn't have potassium iodate in it, I think that would stop the bacteria in its tracks. So the jar is back on the kitchen sink for a bit longer. The temperature has really dropped here so it could be out of the fridge for quite a while, if I do too many taste tests I will have to make another batch, its only a little jar! :) This one is red cabbage, cauliflower and carrot, I have heard that cabbage lemon and dill is good so I might try a variation on that for the next attempt.

 

The red cabbage I shredded had some of that white coating on the surface of the leaves which is supposed to be a good source of the lactobacilli (same as the skin of grapes, or chilli stems etc) the downside of using a red vegetable is the colour of the brine, for a few days it was a dark red but the bits that overflowed and got exposed to the air went a dark blue, kinda reminds me of brake fluid, now it is back to a pretty pink in the jar and I can see some bubbles of CO2 working its way to the top.

 

All good so far! Apart from the topic title, I have just realised that it should be fermenting not fermentating :rolleyes:

Edited by yahoo2 (see edit history)

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 Things have been very slow on the fermentation front. Both the sauerkraut test and the ginger bug are not very active, the ginger has been 9 days with no bubbles at all, I have had a extensive search around for a reason, I am not sure about the sauerkraut but according to Dom the ginger plant is a similar growth to water kefir and it grows very slowly in distilled or filtered water and rainwater, it prefers mineral rich water. I slipped a tiny bit of sodium bicarbonate in the jar yesterday  and today we have some action PHEW!

 

Dom Anfiteatro's kefir web site

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Fermentation has stopped again. Looks like I will have to have a dig around in the shed and find a heat pad to get the liquid up to 23 deg C. The temperature in the house has dropped 7 deg C (to 17) in the last 4 days, looks like autumn is over.

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Temperature is important.  I keep my ginger bug near the wood stove during winter to keep it warm enough.  In summer time, sitting on the kitchen counter is sufficient.  It definitely has to be warm enough in order to work.  I just use filtered tap water for mine, and cover with a coffee filter, which seems to be good enough to let in the airborne yeasts, etc. without allowing bugs and dirt in.

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Thanks Dave, I sat the sparkling rhubarb and the ginger bug on the top of my oven last night with some potholders under the containers and a towel over the top and let the warmth seep into them, this morning there is heaps of carbonation in the rhubarb and the ginger is just starting to show a few tiny bubbles.

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Bottled the rhubarb test batch last night, added some sugar for a secondary ferment, there is a few floaties in it, had a quick sample tonight. It needs a little longer to ferment before I refrigerate it, hope its not too long, 4 litres is not going to last if my first taste test is any indication :D

 

post-3002-0-01369800-1429797134_thumb.jp

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Lately, I've been reading a lot about fermentation across a broad spectrum……for food and drink, for livestock feed, for reducing odours in piggeries and dairies, for making fish hydrysolate, plant fertilisers…..you name it.  Useful stuff.

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I add a pinch of rock salt to my water kefir to keep up the mineral levels, my tap water is reasonably hard as well, and I make mine with jaggery so that's got a good dose of minerals too.  

 

My soda stream has been redundant since I started doing water kefir.  Seems crazy now going and buying tubes of CO2!

 

I have read that some people do not like plastics as they think they can interfere with the ferment, though I've not found that - ditto with metal - I use a stainless water bottle for my water kefir 1F, large Grolsch bottle for the 2F.

Edited by mattyoga (see edit history)

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posting a photo of my lacto-fermented wheat for chicken feed. it has been going since 23 June (roughly 10 days) I added a tiny bit of my ginger beer starter on day three just to make it a little acid push things in the LAB's favor.

 

and here it is it is bubbling CO2 and smells like swiss yoghurt. yum! I got lucky with the level of grain in the bucket, it would have swelled over the top if I half filled it.

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when I stir it I get a mass of bubbles on the top that settles to a white-grey scum.

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I split the bucket into two and topped them up with new grain and water yesterday and they are both powering on this morning.

 

Natural Chicken Keeping: Fermented Feed

ande likes this

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