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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    • Thank you!

    • Thanks Grrlscout.  That kind of coincides with what Jean Groen said in her class on olives the other day.  I am very leery of lye and if I get the chance I wanted to brine or ferment olives - she noted that with any process other than lye there will be just a bit of the bitter of the 'element' in them.  The article mentions minute amounts.

  • And here is batch #3, which is made primarily from prickly pears. Probably the closest I have come to making colonche. Though, I can't say for sure, having never tried the real thing.

    It turned out quite dry and tart, and a little boozy, with no fizz. I think I may have let it go a little too long. Pretty tasty, but could use a squeeze of simple syrup.

    Yet AGAIN, I forgot to measure the sugar before and after, to gauge the alcohol content. D'oh!


    After that one, I've decided to take a break from prickly pears. Going to back to simple kefir waters instead.

    This time, I made an apricot, clove, and ginger version.


  • Alright, here's batch #2. For this one, I used the simple syrup for the primary ferment. Then I added a small amount of prickly pear syrup, the juice of one orange, and another dash of sugar to the secondary. It bubbled like mad for about 4 days!


    When it seemed to have stopped, I racked it off. 


    This batch is also dry, fizzy, and mildly fruity. But still doesn't seem alcoholic. However I think it will be an excellent starter for batch #3, in which I will use a lot more prickly pear, now that I've finally managed to go pick some.

    I read that, in additional to allowing it to ferment longer, adding more sugar will help to increase the alcohol content. Good to know, for the next batch.


    • They look nice!  Why did you cut them in half?  And how do you process them?

      I'm cleaning mine now and plan to put them through a juicer.

    • I have two methods of processing them. Both start with washing and freezing them. I don't even bother de-spining them. Freezing them helps break down the tissue, so you get more juice, and it's a little easier on your juicer. 

      Method 1 - I put the still frozen or defrosted into a pot with a little water, and simmer them. As they heat up, I mush them with a potato masher.

      This is why I split them. Whole, they burst and splatter everywhere when you mash them, plus I don't feel you get all the juice and flesh out of their tough skins.

      Then I pour the mash through a colander, which gets all the big stuff. Then a mesh strainer. And finally, a grain bag, to get any tiny stuff, like glochids. Though, I find they are usually already destroyed by the freezing and cooking.

      Method 2 - I defrost them, and then run them through the juicer. My juicer has a pretty fine mesh screen, so I'm not worried about glochids. Splitting is not necessary for this method, but it does reduce the splatter factor, and I think it's a little easier on the machine.

      I'm currently using my grain bag to dry some dates, so I will be using method 2 this time. 

    • I like your 'freeze' method Grrlscout.  The glochids are the biggest challenge. I'm going to pass this on to a friend who is gathering and juicing PP now.  Thank you.

    • Thanks for the latest update, Grrlscout.  This gets more intriguing to me as you go through these stages.

    • YW!

      I had a full glass sample of batch #2 last night. I do believe it has moved on to the alcohol stage. It tasted like a young, light wine, and there was pretty much no fizz.

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