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Info on fermenting?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

i am just getting in to fermenting, and would like to become good at it, really feel like i know what i'm doing.  please share with me, if you would, your best advice, recipes, etc for any kind of ferments!  i'm ordering kefir grains from kefir lady and waiting for some cows to give birth to get raw milk.  i'm starting to plan my garden and want to ferment some veggies that i grow.  i use redmonds real salt so i hope that will work for this!  thanks!

post #2 of 20

Hello, I just ordered kefir (milk and water) grains and a kombucha scoby from the kefir lady. I have had them before, but taking up the pets again smile.gif

 

Here are some books/ resources that have really helped me out as I travel down the live food journey.

 

 

"Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats" Sally Fallon (Author), Mary Enig (Author)

 

Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Foods Sandor Ellix Katz (Author), Sally Fallon (Foreword)

 

Kefir Recipes Cultures for Health 

 

Make Your Own Dairy Products: Working with raw milk Kathie F Nunley 

 

Probiotics - Protection Against Infection: Using Nature's Tiny Warriors To Stem Infection and Fight Disease Casey Adams (Author) This doesn't have any fermenting recipes but it goes with the topic of the probiotics found in fermented foods. 

 

 

How to Make Kombucha Tea: The Complete Handbook Including Continuous Brewing

 

Dom's Kefir In-Site

post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 

Awesome thanks so much!  I placed a hold on Wild Fermentation at a library in the state, I am excited for it to get here!  I am also ordering some organic beets at the end of the month when they are delivered to my area, anyone have a good fermented beets recipe?  I love beets so I thought it would be a good place to start:)

post #4 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1love4ever View Post

Awesome thanks so much!  I placed a hold on Wild Fermentation at a library in the state, I am excited for it to get here!  I am also ordering some organic beets at the end of the month when they are delivered to my area, anyone have a good fermented beets recipe?  I love beets so I thought it would be a good place to start:)


I think both Nourishing Traditions and Wild Fermentation have recipes. I love both of those books so much. Let me know what you think when you get a hold of it!
post #5 of 20

I make my own sauerkraut.  Its really fun and tastes awesome!  I bought a sauerkraut crock online.  It was expensive (for me) but I think its worth it.  You simply chop your cabbage and other veggies, add salt and mix it around until it tastes a little too salty, then put it in the crock, punch it down every 6 to 12 hours until the  veggies are under water (their own water or you can add water if your veggies were a little dried out to start with.  Then in two to three weeks its done!  So easy.

post #6 of 20

I'm also new to fermenting & Nourishing Traditions recommends using some whey with most recipes. I don't do raw milk, but I do buy non-homoginized VAT pasteurized milk. How can I get whey for fermenting? Is it necessary (sounds like maybe not, Margot)? I wanted to start with beets & carrots (separately).

 

post #7 of 20

LOVE LOVE LOVE Wild fermentation. Bought it off amazon for like $8 and it has been well worth it! it's like my fermentation bible :)

 

for beets i slice them thin and then just pickle them in a solution of 4 cups h2o to 3 tbsp salt. throw in  a couple cloves of garlic and some dill...mmmmmm...i usually ferment them for a week, skimming off the frothy stuff daily.

 

post #8 of 20

t2009 that's right, you don't need whey to ferment veggies, just salt and time :)

post #9 of 20

I think using a fermenting crock is better because you don't get a "bloom" on the top since there are weights that keep the veggies under the brine water.

post #10 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Margot Dawson View Post

t2009 that's right, you don't need whey to ferment veggies, just salt and time :)


Thanks, Margot! I sense a weekend project brewing...

post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by t2009 View Post

I'm also new to fermenting & Nourishing Traditions recommends using some whey with most recipes. I don't do raw milk, but I do buy non-homoginized VAT pasteurized milk. How can I get whey for fermenting? Is it necessary (sounds like maybe not, Margot)? I wanted to start with beets & carrots (separately).

 


An easy way to get whey (if you want it) is to strain some plain yogurt in cheesecloth or muslin. The finer the cloth, the better, so you don't get yogurt solids in your whey. Or you can make some cheese like mozzarella and save your whey from that. The yogurt option is the quickest and easiest. Depending on how long you strain the yogurt, you'll end up with whey and yogurt that will be thick like Greek style or, if you let it strain off all or nearly all the whey, it'll be more like cream cheese.
post #12 of 20

That beet recipe sounds delicious!

 

I am also new to fermenting and used this video for the basic technique:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i77hU3zR-fQ

Wild Fermentation is a great book!

 

Two jars of this spicy radish kimchi are in my fridge right now:

http://wanderingchopsticks.blogspot.com/2008/01/ggakdugi-korean-pickled-radish-daikon.html

 

PS I have not used whey - you don't actually need it.

 

post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by jesshrehor View Post


An easy way to get whey (if you want it) is to strain some plain yogurt in cheesecloth or muslin. The finer the cloth, the better, so you don't get yogurt solids in your whey. Or you can make some cheese like mozzarella and save your whey from that. The yogurt option is the quickest and easiest. Depending on how long you strain the yogurt, you'll end up with whey and yogurt that will be thick like Greek style or, if you let it strain off all or nearly all the whey, it'll be more like cream cheese.

I ended up trying this (straining some plain yogurt). I tried the ginger carrot recipe from NT first & it came out well (plus I then had some yummy Greek style yogurt). But I was surprised by how much pressure had built up in my jar! When I unscrewed the band the top popped straight off!! Should I be opening up my ferments every day to release pressure? The carrots are still building up pressure (to a much lesser degree) in the fridge now, but I'm worried about leaving anything for a few days. I've just started a batch of garlic beets (per a PP's suggestion above) -- should I open them up? I don't want exploding jars! Thanks.

post #14 of 20

just wanted to say that i got kefir from the kefir lady in january, and it was a God-send!

 

we have all been so healthy!  we make a big smoothie every morning and really enjoy it.
 

post #15 of 20

Another questions... Thinking ahead to a summer vacation we're planning... If I have to leave my ferments for a week, what do I do? I'm worried I'll have something like my super-gassy ginger carrots & they'll explode even in my fridge? Am I being paranoid? Sorry for the newbie questions on here but I'm new to this so I have a ton of questions!

 

I have been burping my garlic beets & they don't seem to be building up as much pressure as the carrots. So maybe I'll be safe when the time comes to leave my fermenting yummies.

 

TIA!

post #16 of 20
Thread Starter 

I have been doing some fermenting since I posted this, and it NT it says to just cover the top of the jar with a piece of cloth with a rubber securing it around the mouth, which is what I have been doing, and its working great for me.

post #17 of 20

As the pp said, you can cover with a cloth when fermenting at room temperature.

 

I just made dilly beans in a canning jar with the lid on, and I really liked the results.  They did build up quite a bit of gas, though.

 

Once they're in the fridge they should slow way down and you should be able to leave them without a problem, I would think.  I leave my kimchi without touching it for months sometimes.

 

Oh, dilly beans, if you're interested:

I packed clean green beans, dill, and fresh garlic in clean wide mouth canning jars.  Then I added salted water (about 1.5 T of salt for each quart jar and enough water to fill, 2 or 2.5 cups) screwed the lids on gently, and set them on the counter.  They were packed tightly enough that they stayed under the brine without me doing anything.  I made a pint with no garlic, and it is fermenting more slowly, it was leaking at one point, so I put a new lid on and tightened it a bit more.  The quart fermented on the counter for about 4 days and then we started eating them and put them in the fridge.  They won't last long -- the kids just want to eat the whole jar!

post #18 of 20
Thread Starter 

I will certainly be making dilly beans here in a few weeks when my garden over runs me with green beans!!  Thanks so much!!   Why do you choose to leave the lids on tight like that?  I always leave them off and just cover with cloth, I've done a little more fermenting since this post, still working on getting it all right tho :)

 Thanks!

post #19 of 20

Sunnygir1, could you possibly link to a few photos of what it looks like.... am just much better at doing things when I see the different stages as well as reading the list of steps ....many thanks if you can ...

post #20 of 20

1love4ever - I just read around here that it was okay to cap them, and I thought I'd try it.  I don't really like how things tend to get funky at the top when they're exposed to air -- I always wonder how good it is to skim white mold, or whatever it is off the sauerkraut and then eat what's beneath.  I know everyone says that's how to do it, but it kinda grosses me out.  Also, if the lids are on tightly, they don't leak all over the counter as they ferment and expand (until you open them to release gas or check them out!).  I have more going now; cukes and cauliflower with lids, and napa cabbage with carrots (grated) weighted down with a jar of water -- the grated stuff won't stay under the brine, so I weighted it down instead.

 

IsaFrench -- I don't have any photos, but that sounds like a fun project!  Maybe next time I'm starting stuff I'll make a little photo tutorial!

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