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So, my water kefir grains died a long, long time ago, much to my husband's dismay (he was wild about my ginger beer from water kefir grains), and I got to thinking: the primary active ingredient in any of these brews is yeast. For the most part, yeast is yeast.

Starting with plain cider, I added a half a teaspoon to a gallon of cider, loosened the lid, and let it sit out on the counter a few days. The lid blow off a few times, so I knew it was active. After a few days I bottled and refridgerated it for a few days, then had probiotic cider champagne when I "uncorked" the bottle later.

Since then I'm made my own "fermented sodas" from juice and sweetened teas. So long as there's sugar for the bread yeast to eat, it works just fine. I think it does turn out a bit stronger than my water kefir used to be, the flavor is not as complex, and it can be less predictable because this yeast is bred for a very specific purpose that does not include making these drinks. Nevertheless, until you get your hands on your kefir grains, this is a lacto-fermented beverage for you. Call it mock-bu-cha.
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AnnaArcturus
 

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hm...i'm wondering how this would contain probiotics? seems like just using plain bakers yeast would make it ferment, but without all the health benefits. maybe i'm wrong, though.
 

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Do you not have Kombucah?
We put fresh ginger in ours after brewing, while we are bottling, and that stuff tastes better than any ginger beer I have ever had!

And, if you use cranberries and a bit of Cin. stick you have the best Christmas spiced cider. You can even warm it gently.
Paula
 

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Tolovemercy, It won't compare to the complexity of a SCOBY culture, no. For the most part, however, yeast is yeast is yeast, it's the bacteria in your culture that vary. Yeast is decidedly good for you, it is a biotic, and it's chock full of B vitamins. That said, you want the advanced cheat? You can breed your own cultures. If, for example, I took the dregs of my brewed cider I and used it as a starter and so on, I'd soon have a colony bred to specialize in cider. I could also cheat and do the same brewing with whey or even the hootch from my sourdough, it's all just getting yeast in there. The flavors from either of those alternates would probably be superior (or at least more complex) than straight yeast without an entourage of bacteria, but do the generations thing a few times to breed it towards traits you like, and you'll soon have a probiotic tailored to the drink you make: your own regional specialty! We do cider beer and a small mead in these parts.

PaulaJoAnne, Nope, I murdered my kombucha mushroom after a year and a half of letting it go to see what would happen to it. I bred a monster from a bottle of the unpasteurized stuff, just as an experiment. I gave it white tea and raw honey and put it in my culturing cabinet. I'd thought it died and left it six months, only to come back and find I had a three inch thick snowy white mother! Unfortunately, my husband declared he hated kombucha. But, now that you mention brewing ginger beer from it, I think I'll breed myself a new one and do that for his birthday. Thanks!
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AnnaArcturus
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by AnnaArcturus View Post
Tolovemercy, It won't compare to the complexity of a SCOBY culture, no. For the most part, however, yeast is yeast is yeast, it's the bacteria in your culture that vary. Yeast is decidedly good for you, it is a biotic, and it's chock full of B vitamins. That said, you want the advanced cheat? You can breed your own cultures. If, for example, I took the dregs of my brewed cider I and used it as a starter and so on, I'd soon have a colony bred to specialize in cider. I could also cheat and do the same brewing with whey or even the hootch from my sourdough, it's all just getting yeast in there. The flavors from either of those alternates would probably be superior (or at least more complex) than straight yeast without an entourage of bacteria, but do the generations thing a few times to breed it towards traits you like, and you'll soon have a probiotic tailored to the drink you make: your own regional specialty! We do cider beer and a small mead in these parts.

PaulaJoAnne, Nope, I murdered my kombucha mushroom after a year and a half of letting it go to see what would happen to it. I bred a monster from a bottle of the unpasteurized stuff, just as an experiment. I gave it white tea and raw honey and put it in my culturing cabinet. I'd thought it died and left it six months, only to come back and find I had a three inch thick snowy white mother! Unfortunately, my husband declared he hated kombucha. But, now that you mention brewing ginger beer from it, I think I'll breed myself a new one and do that for his birthday. Thanks!
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AnnaArcturus
gotcha--thanks for the explanation!
 
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