Welcome All! I'm a dreamer, I hope you are too! A Posse ad Esse, or From possibility to reality, is a general state of mind. I hope you'll share your possibilities with me as I will with you. Namaste~

May 18, 2010

Fermentation Friendly Home(stead)

Yes, I think I can safely say that we are a fermentation friendly home(stead).
We've made home-made lacto-fermented sauerkraut, traditional sour brine pickles and pickled corn,
We've grown Lactobacillus cultures to ferment milk into yogurt,
We've brewed our own beer,
We've kept our sourdough starter as a member of the family for nearly the last three years.
Now... well now it's time to welcome "Mother" home.

I'm talking about a Mother SCOBY for kombucha of course. If you're not familiar with what Kombucha is, it's a fermented tea that many claim has many healthful properties. I cannot speak to that yet, but it is a good tea from what I've had of it... good enough to try making some on my own! My kids really seem to enjoy what we've had of it; we've tried a few different varieties from our local health food store.

The first thing we needed to do was to start a SCOBY of our own. SCOBY is an acronym for Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast. It contains the different bacteria and yeasts that consume the sugars in in the sweetened tea and create the acids and bubbles that are indicative of good kombucha. There are places, I'm told, where one can purchase a Mother SCOBY, but me being me, I had to try to start on on my own.
This is a bowl of tea that I made from Jasmine Flower Green tea and added about a third of a bottle of RAW kombucha that had a small piece of culture starting in it. This little piece was about the size of a quarter and I hoped it would have enough of the live micro-organisms and yeasts to start a new SCOBY.
I left it, covered with a towel, for about ten days on top of my refrigerator and it bloomed very nicely... for lack of a better definition.

Here you can see the new home that I moved it over to this weekend.
It's a two-gallon FOOD GRADE plastic bucket. I brewed a large batch of the same Jasmine Green Tea and sweetened it with about a cup and a half of sugar. To that I added about a cup of the tea from the small batch that I used to grow my new Start and slid the new SCOBY start into it.
And here's the new SCOBY that I have so far. It's darker than most that I've seen, but it's also just started. My hope is that as the new "daughter" SCOBY grows it will form the typical whitish cellulose SCOBY that I've seen before.

So then, I know some of you have made these before, can you tell me if I'm on the right track? How's it looking so far. With any luck, I think that in the next week and a half or so I should be able to drink it!

Are you a fermentation friendly home(stead)? I'm thinking I need to come up with a neat little side bar banner for that? what do you think?
Well, best to you... till next time.


Michelle said...

We are a very fermentation friendly house. We sometimes refer to the kitchen as "The Yeastatorium". ;)
Hubby brews beer and bakes, and I make wine and sauerkraut. It is a festival of yeasts - and interesting smells - in our kitchen. :)

Kate said...

I can't comment on the health of your scoby. We're trying to become a fermentation friendly homestead. I already do a lot of baking. But I generally use dry yeast, and since baking kills all that yeast, I hesitate to call that friendly.

I'm experimenting with lacto-fermentation this year though. I want to make both ketchup and sauerkraut from our homegrown vegetables. The LF ketchup recipe development is already under way (with boughten local greenhouse tomatoes). The sauerkraut is going to have to wait on the cabbages maturing.

Damn The Broccoli said...

I do beer, in fact need to start the one thats upstairs in the store cupboard, and I intend to start making it the traditional way as well.

i am trying to get cheese going which is kind of fermenting but it keeps going wrong.

I also process all my food waste through Bokashi which is fermentation, as is the compost heap technically, so yes we definitely are a Fermentation Friendly Home here at Broccoli Pastures.

Sandy said...

Fermented foods would be a whole new world for me. I tried to do fermented pickles last year but it didn't work out. I think I am going to have to first get over the "ick" factor of what looks like scum to me. :-) I'm sure it is great however!!!

HollyG said...

We've been fermenting tea for about two years now, the only difference is the size of the container, mine is an old glass canister that holds just over a gallon. I use a cup of sugar with the tea (today was hibiscus flower) and cover it with a cotton cloth held with a rubber band to keep the fruit flies out. Yours looks great to me.

We have also made fermented dill pickles, vinegar, yogurt, kefir, sour cream, wine and beer. It's all fun and there is a great book out there called WIld Fermentation that is fabulous.

Good luck with you fermenting and have fun.