13

votes

How many of you practice traditional fermentation?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created January 13, 2012 at 4:29 PM

I usually purchase kraut and beet kvass from the stores but decided I wanted to give it a try myself. I have had Sally Fallons book Nourishing Traditions for well over 2 years now and have been terrified to give her recipes a try because on the surface they seem complicated and time consuming. However, I've decided to face my fears and ferment for myself. I have several questions:

1) How many of you practice traditional fermentation similar to what is in Nourishing Traditions?

2) What do you ferment?

3) What have you found to be the easiest thing to prepare?

4) What have you found to be the most beneficial, health wise?

5) Do you have a weekly or monthly routine for the preparation?

6) Where the heck do I get fresh whey? I don't have access to raw milk like the book suggests.

Obviously add any additional information you feel would be beneficial to my efforts.

0242b468fe1c97997749db416c92e7ed

(4528)

on February 25, 2013
at 06:51 PM

Labne (aka Greek yogurt) is yummy as a dessert mixed with berries or subbed in any recipe that calls for sour cream.

Medium avatar

(379)

on February 25, 2013
at 05:20 AM

What do you do with the leftover "yogurt cheese" (or labne)?

22212e9ba2a041e6da6c963d4d41615a

(5773)

on January 18, 2012
at 12:31 AM

If I am fermenting without whey, should I leave it out longer?

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on January 14, 2012
at 04:00 AM

Totally agree with Rogue....Got the e-book, basically set it and forget it fermenting. Let nature take its course and eat wild. Love the general paradigm he promotes via ingesting and becoming more in tune with your local environment by allowing those particular microbes to work their magic rather than being a control freak about the whole process.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 14, 2012
at 12:47 AM

@sundownv, I'm getting excited about this! Thanks.

D5d982a898721d3392c85f951d0bf0aa

(2417)

on January 14, 2012
at 12:33 AM

And Nance, you can really play around with it. For example, for just me and my guy, I'll take 2 small heads of savoy cabbage, maybe, an apple or a pear, a cup or more of Korean ground hot pepper, a few splashes of fish sauce or a spoonful of shrimp paste, a handful of chopped garlic, a handful of chopped green onion - smoosh together tightly, no air bubbles, ferment. The cabbage or daikon or whatever base veggie is brined first. Here's a pretty traditional version - and it works fine to make this paste without the rice flour: http://www.maangchi.com/recipe/kimchi-kaktugi

Ed983a42344945b1ff70fd9597a23493

on January 13, 2012
at 10:14 PM

Nice thorough answer...love the pics of your ferments!

83d6a06c93bb3490dbca339cbbb63385

(526)

on January 13, 2012
at 08:41 PM

sauerkraut and biltong

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 13, 2012
at 07:59 PM

@legup, thanks much!

1096aa84d006fe967128ffbd37e8070e

(1002)

on January 13, 2012
at 07:55 PM

here's the link, Nance: http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Make-Kimchi-Kim-Chee/

50e94d7b6b01e6cb87889c6541adc90c

(813)

on January 13, 2012
at 07:37 PM

When I started paleo, my bread pot didn't have any function any more except collecting dust. Last week I started my sauerkraut fermentation: and there is was, the new function of my ceramic super Le Creuset bread pot - All's well that ends well.

50e94d7b6b01e6cb87889c6541adc90c

(813)

on January 13, 2012
at 07:25 PM

I would recommend 0,9-1 % salt only. 2-3 % salt was good for the days of our ancestors with less hygiene, in their days the pickle effect of the higher amount of salt was necessary. Nowadays 1 % salt at max is good. We have a sauerkraut pope here in germany, who runs his sauerkraut museum and that's his statement (he did science on it) !! Good Luck with the Kraut. It's easy. Eat it raw !

1096aa84d006fe967128ffbd37e8070e

(1002)

on January 13, 2012
at 07:15 PM

I agree! kimchee is the best, and I now crave it and just eat it by the small bowl-ful, by itself. It's also amazing on steak, fish, chicken, in soups.... The recipe I use is from Wild Fermentation by Sandor Katz. Awesome.

1096aa84d006fe967128ffbd37e8070e

(1002)

on January 13, 2012
at 07:12 PM

I second that! I also bought that book and made the kimchee first. It was great, and you don't need whey at all.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 13, 2012
at 07:03 PM

Do you have a link for your favorite instructions?

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 13, 2012
at 07:01 PM

Here's a link to a great video about making water kefir: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-t9C7PoBRc

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 13, 2012
at 07:00 PM

It's posted here: http://ancestralcrone.blogspot.com/2011/12/brewing-water-kefir-part-1.html

22212e9ba2a041e6da6c963d4d41615a

(5773)

on January 13, 2012
at 06:35 PM

what is you kefir recipe you use?

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14 Answers

17
0242b468fe1c97997749db416c92e7ed

(4528)

on January 13, 2012
at 07:52 PM

  1. Yes! According to Weston A. Price and the authors of Deep Nutrition, fermented foods are one of the four pillars of World Cuisine - that is, techniques that are common to every traditional culture.

  2. I make a couple of quarts of raw milk yogurt every 2 months or so. I strain the yogurt through cheese cloth to make labne, and the remaining liquid whey fuels my other fermentation projects.
    ??? Lacto-fermented sauerkraut (Nourishing Traditions)
    ??? Lacto-fermented pickles (though I still haven't mastered the art of keeping them crispy if they're not eaten right away - I've heard that a grape leaf will help?)
    ??? Lacto-fermented salsa - this stuff is awesome, and goes well with eggs and salads (I use the Nourishing Traditions recipe with a granny smith apple thrown in for a little sweetness)
    ??? Lacto-fermented blackberry preserves (tastes great on the labne!)
    ??? Lacto-fermented cranberry-orange-apple relish
    ??? Kombucha
    ??? Hindu lemonade
    ??? Hard cider (made by adding champagne yeast to a gallon jug of organic apple juice a la Wild Fermentation)

  3. Thanks to my new continuous brewer, I think the kombucha is the easiest one to maintain, but the Hindu Lemonade is super-easy to make for newbie fermenters. Really, they're all pretty easy, once you get over the fear you're going to somehow screw it up. :)

  4. I'm going to go with the kombucha, since both my husband and I notice a measurable energy boost after drinking some. I think they're all beneficial in their own way, though.

  5. I add fresh tea to the kombucha continuous brew weekly - or anytime the tea level looks like it's getting below 2/3 full. I also tend to make 3 quarts of the hindu lemonade weekly. The rest, I make only as needed.

  6. If you don't have access to raw milk or fresh whey from a farmer's market, you can try buying the best quality organic PLAIN whole milk yogurt you can find at your local health food store. There are a couple of decent brands out there that have nothing else added and come in glass jars. Goat's milk yogurt might be a good option too, if you can find it. Simply line a colander with cheesecloth (or sturdy paper towels will work too) and drain the yogurt until the whey has separated out from the yogurt and you're left with the liquid and the thick yogurt cheese (or labne). This can take several hours and should be done while in the refrigerator.

I've had the most luck using simple airlocks like in the picture below. They're cheap and they virtually guarantee that your ferment won't get contaminated by foreign bacteria. Gas can escape as needed, but air can't get in.

I absolutely think traditional fermentation methods are an art worth learning. It's addicting once you get started. Good luck!

how-many-of-you-practice-traditional-fermentation?

Ed983a42344945b1ff70fd9597a23493

on January 13, 2012
at 10:14 PM

Nice thorough answer...love the pics of your ferments!

22212e9ba2a041e6da6c963d4d41615a

(5773)

on January 18, 2012
at 12:31 AM

If I am fermenting without whey, should I leave it out longer?

Medium avatar

(379)

on February 25, 2013
at 05:20 AM

What do you do with the leftover "yogurt cheese" (or labne)?

0242b468fe1c97997749db416c92e7ed

(4528)

on February 25, 2013
at 06:51 PM

Labne (aka Greek yogurt) is yummy as a dessert mixed with berries or subbed in any recipe that calls for sour cream.

7
Ed983a42344945b1ff70fd9597a23493

on January 13, 2012
at 10:22 PM

I've been experimenting with ferments for many years...I started with Sally Fallon style with added whey, and quickly moved to Sandor Katz style which leaves tons of room to play around, and doesn't use whey at all, generally. People have already given you a lot of good information here, and I just want to add that for the most part, fermentation is actually quite simple. Your sauerkraut, kimchi, or whatever you end up with in your kitchen bubbling away will, for the most part, do its own thing, and you are simply there to conduct. Sandor Katz's website is a nice place to get started, and I would skip Sally Fallon's recipes, at least at first, and especially since you don't have access to raw milk. I just want to give you permission to let go of any intimidation and get ready to play with food! Have fun... http://www.wildfermentation.com/

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on January 14, 2012
at 04:00 AM

Totally agree with Rogue....Got the e-book, basically set it and forget it fermenting. Let nature take its course and eat wild. Love the general paradigm he promotes via ingesting and becoming more in tune with your local environment by allowing those particular microbes to work their magic rather than being a control freak about the whole process.

6
144e1a4e0753f285f3520d1e9ddbd690

on January 13, 2012
at 04:39 PM

Sally Fallon's book is great, but I started with kimchi. Pick up the book "Wild Fermentation" by Sandor Katz (with an intro by Sally!). It's easy to do and you can make it with very inexpensive ingredients. He's got a lot of other wonderful recipes too.

I also brew my own kombucha, which after a small investment in a culture, I have a continuous supply. And it's so much cheaper than buying it at the store and tastes better. You can check out the website "Cultures for Health" for cultures and a lot of very good information on fermentation techniques.

http://www.culturesforhealth.com/

1096aa84d006fe967128ffbd37e8070e

(1002)

on January 13, 2012
at 07:12 PM

I second that! I also bought that book and made the kimchee first. It was great, and you don't need whey at all.

4
7b11ed525ffa23bc7257684e27488a6a

(366)

on January 13, 2012
at 05:03 PM

  1. Yes, except I do not use whey generally, as it makes the ferments mushy. I either ferment wildly or with probiotic culture like body ecology.

  2. All sorts of produce into sauerkraut, kimchi, salsa, chutneys, pickles, etc.

  3. Sauerkraut - just cabbage and sea salt.

  4. Kimchi with lots of garlic and some ginger.

  5. No, I ferment as I run out of things, so it is on an as need basis rather than a schedule.

  6. I don't. It does not make for a superior product, so I don't mess with it ever. Adequate salt, little oxygen and/or culture starter for sweeter ferments that might tend to mold is all you need.

Happy fermenting!

3
96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 13, 2012
at 04:39 PM

Nice question! I love to talk about my food hobbies!

I make water kefir, home-made yogurt (aka a great source of whey :-)) and I'm going to try fermenting potatoes based on yesterday's thread.

By far the best in terms of a) ease of preparation and b) clear health benefits is water kefir. It is flat-out amazing how that stuff has cleared up my gut issues. I couldn't eat yogurt or ice cream but now I have no difficulties and I handle food much better overall. I also noticed when I was still having mild sugar cravings that drinking a bottle of water kefir stopped the cravings.

I like the home-made yogurt because I can make it extra fat by mixing in a little cream and the finished yogurt tastes like dairy rather than thickeners and stabilizers and preservatives. If I'm honest, the yogurt is probably a wash health-wise and if I stopped drinking water kefir I wouldn't be able to tolerate the yogurt.

The water kefir is a daily routine that takes about 10 minutes. I make yogurt every couple days now that my grandson discovered that he loves it (used to swear he wouldn't eat yogurt because he'd only had commercial stuff.) I have write-ups on how to make both if you check my profile for the link.

I'm going to try fermenting potatoes because I can use my yogurt as the activator and if my grandson and I like the result it will be a safe starch with a good shelf life in the fridge.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 13, 2012
at 07:00 PM

It's posted here: http://ancestralcrone.blogspot.com/2011/12/brewing-water-kefir-part-1.html

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 13, 2012
at 07:01 PM

Here's a link to a great video about making water kefir: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-t9C7PoBRc

22212e9ba2a041e6da6c963d4d41615a

(5773)

on January 13, 2012
at 06:35 PM

what is you kefir recipe you use?

2
246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21430)

on January 13, 2012
at 06:53 PM

I've done sauerkraut before. Does making your own beer count? I used to homebrew a decade ago.

2
D5d982a898721d3392c85f951d0bf0aa

(2417)

on January 13, 2012
at 05:41 PM

So far, I've just done milk and water kefirs, lots of vinegar, kombucha, yogurt, and kimchi. The kimchi is spectacular (she said modestly) and so it's what I make the most often. Well worth the trip to get the right kind of Korean ground red pepper.

I vote for starting with a kimchi. It's so ridiculously easy, especially if you're just using a daikon for the base, and you can do it in a mason jar.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 14, 2012
at 12:47 AM

@sundownv, I'm getting excited about this! Thanks.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 13, 2012
at 07:03 PM

Do you have a link for your favorite instructions?

D5d982a898721d3392c85f951d0bf0aa

(2417)

on January 14, 2012
at 12:33 AM

And Nance, you can really play around with it. For example, for just me and my guy, I'll take 2 small heads of savoy cabbage, maybe, an apple or a pear, a cup or more of Korean ground hot pepper, a few splashes of fish sauce or a spoonful of shrimp paste, a handful of chopped garlic, a handful of chopped green onion - smoosh together tightly, no air bubbles, ferment. The cabbage or daikon or whatever base veggie is brined first. Here's a pretty traditional version - and it works fine to make this paste without the rice flour: http://www.maangchi.com/recipe/kimchi-kaktugi

1096aa84d006fe967128ffbd37e8070e

(1002)

on January 13, 2012
at 07:15 PM

I agree! kimchee is the best, and I now crave it and just eat it by the small bowl-ful, by itself. It's also amazing on steak, fish, chicken, in soups.... The recipe I use is from Wild Fermentation by Sandor Katz. Awesome.

1096aa84d006fe967128ffbd37e8070e

(1002)

on January 13, 2012
at 07:55 PM

here's the link, Nance: http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Make-Kimchi-Kim-Chee/

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 13, 2012
at 07:59 PM

@legup, thanks much!

2
F0e558010a2ecb31fa37b7c491596b8e

(3850)

on January 13, 2012
at 04:47 PM

I've made kimchee in the past and it was amazing. It was the first fermented food I'd tried. It has a lot of ingredients but tastes delicious as a result. Right now I'm making pickles which are good, but the current batch has too much garlic and it's making me itchy. (My boyfriend has been eating them like crazy and swears his digestion is like steel as a result) I'll make another batch soon with only peppercorns, mustard seeds, and lots of dill for flavor. Pickles and kimchee both do not need any whey. Pickles just need a saline brine in the correct proportion to keep bad bacteria from growing. They're super easy.

I just bought water kefir grains and I'm really excited to try them out. I was a little confused by the instructions that came with them but I did some more research and think I get it. I do need to buy some bottles to keep it in though. Guess I should hit up the homebrew shop.

Finally, when I first started I had no idea where to get a fermentation vessel. I wound up buying an old ceramic cookie jar at a thrift shop with a latched lid with a rubber seal. It's perfect for fermenting. You can leave the top unlatched while you're fermenting so the gas can escape, but seal it afterwards to keep the food fresh and your refridgerator not smelly.

50e94d7b6b01e6cb87889c6541adc90c

(813)

on January 13, 2012
at 07:37 PM

When I started paleo, my bread pot didn't have any function any more except collecting dust. Last week I started my sauerkraut fermentation: and there is was, the new function of my ceramic super Le Creuset bread pot - All's well that ends well.

1
Bad3a78e228c67a7513c28f17c36b3cf

(1387)

on January 13, 2012
at 09:01 PM

I've experimented with a lot of stuff in Nourishing Traditions and Wild Fermentation. Ginger carrots were good, as were pickled beets. Decided kombucha wasn't for me. For now I have pretty much settled on regular sauerkraut, 5lbs of shredded cabbage to 3 tablespoons sea salt, no whey needed. I bought a Harsch crock, which is expensive, but you can stuff 4 or more cabbages in it, and it works really well. I have not gotten into a regular schedule yet. That's one of my goals this year. My college aged son and some of his friends made the Incan spit beer in Wild Fermentation last summer when he was home. Ha ha, I tasted a little to be polite--yuk!

1
Db4dfe336bd8e47b627818c4e6655117

on January 13, 2012
at 06:24 PM

I make; milk kefir, yogurt, sauerkraut, cultured butter, a fermented whole grain breakfast cereal casserole with a lot of eggs, and until recently, water kefir.

The easiest, as far as process, would be the milk kefir. Put kefir grains in a jar, add milk and wait. Sauerkraut is similar ... grate cabbage, add 2-3% salt, ram it into a jar, cover with water and wait.

50e94d7b6b01e6cb87889c6541adc90c

(813)

on January 13, 2012
at 07:25 PM

I would recommend 0,9-1 % salt only. 2-3 % salt was good for the days of our ancestors with less hygiene, in their days the pickle effect of the higher amount of salt was necessary. Nowadays 1 % salt at max is good. We have a sauerkraut pope here in germany, who runs his sauerkraut museum and that's his statement (he did science on it) !! Good Luck with the Kraut. It's easy. Eat it raw !

1
8949bf87b0e0aefcad10f29975e4fa2b

(8989)

on January 13, 2012
at 04:52 PM

I have tried several things, but have pretty much just settled down into making sauerkraut, and sometimes cucumber or beet pickles. I just make ferments when the veggies are available in season, and I don't use any additional whey additives or starters. Cucumbers are the easiest as long as the temperature can be controlled. Unfortunately, the harvest schedule doesn't coincide with low temperatures, so I don't make many.

0
661fd72c601aa67be69e90c8ecb88b9f

on January 14, 2012
at 04:29 PM

We make sauerkraut and kim chi (I use the kim chi recipe here: http://www.maangchi.com/recipe/easy-kimchi . there's a video which makes the steps very clear!) It has a small amount of rice powder in it, but you can easily omit it.

0
3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on January 14, 2012
at 04:07 AM

In general any lacto-ferment is easy.

Step 1: Make a brine Step 2: Insert veggies and/or some fruit Step 3: Wait 7-14 days keeping them submerged at room temp.

The end. You can mix and match all kind of cool recipes with this general guideline. I got a few varieties going right now. I also do 24hr yogurt ferment for the kids. I tried kefir and just hated the taste...not to mention those damned little buggers will eat you out of house and home if you dont drink a ton of the stuff!

I like the veggie ferments the best obviously. Add a bit to one or every meal of the day if you like PLUS its an awesome way to keep them from spoiling. Superior to canning or freezing IMO. Saves you 30-40 dollars on those probiotic pills too. I've read that the cultures in home ferments are of far higher volume than in those pills anyhow. Like said before, dont be scurred!

0
1096aa84d006fe967128ffbd37e8070e

(1002)

on January 13, 2012
at 07:20 PM

You can get whey by using the cream cheese recipe in Nourishing Trad. Just get your favorite yogurt at the store, and pour it into a strainer that's been lined with cheesecloth or a clean dishtowel, over a bowl. You will end up with cream cheese in the strainer, and whey in the bowl. Then the cheese can be salted, flavored, etc. Whey can be stored in the fridge for a few days, and used in all of those recipes.
Have fun--

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