Monday, April 21, 2008

Wild Fermentation Update

This is for Robbyn who is homesteading in Florida and has expressed an interest in wild fermentation.
Well we have had some successes and a major failure. 
First the successes. Kefir is very easy to make once you have the grains to start it with. We got ours at the silent auction at the Georgia Organics conference a couple of months ago. We have made kefir from coconut milk and raw cow's milk. Both are really tasty. The cow's milk kefir gets really thick and tastes like feta cheese. We could definitely drain off the whey(?) and have some simple cheese. We keep about 3 cups going all the time.
The collard kraut turned out to be very tasty. We put it in beans, soups, on cheese sandwiches. If you add it to something hot, do it at the last minute so you don't kill the microorganisms in it. They are really good for your digestion and nutritious too. As you can see we've almost eaten it all. Cabbage is on the way.
The brined carrots on the other hand didn't fare very well. It's my fault. I was lazy and didn't tend to them as i should have. The process is an anaerobic (without oxygen) one. Thats why you put something over the top of the vegetables to keep them submerged under the brine. Sometimes molds do form at the surface which you are supposed to skim off regularly. I didn't keep up with the skimming. Also the water evaporated some exposing more of the carrots to air allowing the molds to grow. I became fascinated by what was growing on the surface so let it continue to grow until my Robin made me throw it out. Hence this update.
We'll be having radishes coming out of our ears soon so i think i'll brine some of them. 
And do my skimming too.


Robbyn said...

Oh wow! You're much farther ahead with y our fermentation than we are! I have to confess, I have neglected my Kefir, but the Caspian Sea Yogurt, because it's so simple, is proliferating daily. I can enjoy it in smoothies a lot, but still not by itself yet (but Jack does). Ok, those carrots are a little frightening..heh heh!
I'm going to call the fermentation guru at the supplier's and see if I am now a Kefir murderer, or if it can be revived....

Great post! Thanks for linking to mine :)

Isabel said...

Sandor Katz is coming to AVI in Asheville in July, to do a Wild Ferment class. Check out for more info.