Fermented food and drinks

A while back, in the General Discussion forum, we had an awesome thread on fermenting. It's full of great recipes!


So I thought I would create a thread here, where it's easier to find, so people could post up their projects and questions.

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  • Thanks for the thread. I was surprised at how easy t was to make ginger ale. I've been keeping two bottles going at a time. 

    Now to try the kefir drinks.

  • I wasn't thrilled with how my last batch of kefir water (jamaica / hibiscus) turned out, but I didn't want to waste it. I read that you can combine it with flour to make a very fast and easy sourdough starter. So I did.

    It was amazing how fast it started bubbling! I decided to go ahead an use it, after only about 6 hours. I made a sourdough loaf. But it didn't seem to rise. It was, but verrrrrryyyyyyy slooooowwwwwwly. I think I used the starter too soon.

    After about 20 hours, it finally rose a satisfactory amount, though it was less that I had hoped. I baked it for about 45 minutes, and this was the result:



    It was OK. Nice crust, fluffy interior. But it lacked chew, and that lovely sourdough tang.

    I went out and did some yard work, and came back in to find this:


    That morning, the jar was only about 1/4 full. A total of about 12 hours after I started it, it seemed to be at its peak. I hated the let it go to waste, so I took the remaining cup, and made english muffins.

    9774394633_111b28cfbe_b.jpgWhich actually turned out way better than the bread, and were way easier!

    This is the recipe I used.

    My alterations:
    I made a half recipe, used AP flour, and skim milk.
    I also did the extra punch down and rise, recommended for more "nooks and crannies".

    • WOW, Grrlscout - what a great post - I really have to keep this in mind for bread starter.

      Now got a question on the taste.  You noted the bread did not have the 'tang' - did the muffins?

    • It was present in the muffins -- subtle, but it's there!

      BTW for my starter, I used 1 cup kefir water + 1 cup rye flour.

    • Thank you for the tip! :-)

  • Time to ferment those olives!


    • Nice!  How long do you find you need to let them ferment to ready to eat?

    • Last time, I let them go about 8 months. But I think they were probably ready within 3 or 4.

      The active fermentation only takes about a week. When they're done bubbling, and have lost some color, I switch them into a flavored (garlic, rosemary, lemon slices, etc) brine, and let them mellow out some more. 

      I stumbled across this scholarly article about how it works. I don't understand a lot of it, but I get the gist.


      The one takeaway is to keep your salt concentration below 7% if you want to ferment.

    • grrlscout, after the initial week of fermenting do you refrigerate them after switching to the flavored brine?

      Thanks for the great information, I'm still a little nervous about this process. I'd like to try fermenting okra, I've done refrigerator okra pickles in vinegar but really like the idea of more fermented foods.

    • Instructions you find online usually recommend that you do.

      I don't, and haven't had a problem yet. *knock on wood*

      However, since okra is softer, you might want to refrigerate anyway, so they don't get too mushy.

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