Entries in fermentation (4)


apple vinegar

I made apple vinegar.  I am so impressed myself.  I can even see the mother!  This was very exciting.  Apples and water and I have vinegar.  I did not realize it was that simple. 

I pulled some off and the only negative is that it is going to need to settle a bit to make it less funky before I use it.  It is like a bottle of dandelion mead I got years ago, it tasted lovely as long as the sediment was at the bottom.  Getting the apples out of the jar mixed it all up.

I got this crazy idea to make roasted apple bread.  I did not wish to waste the peels and cores.  So I took about a pint of vinegar out of my jar and all the nine month old apples.  The mother broke up a bit but I do not think that will be much of a problem in the long run.

Into the jar went the cores and peels with about a pint of water.  I roasted the apples for the bread.  The bread was obviously a success because I was told it was almost gone this morning and more would be appreciated.  The apple vinegar is bubbling and frothing again so the yeastie beasties are happy. 

More apple bread, tarts, pies, or plain roasted apples to be made and I will add the peels and cores here again.  There is always a need for vinegar in this house and this means less food waste.  There are so many fermentation experiments going on.  I really need to make more mustard but it will not be ready before I need it.  That is my life.


soy sauce, results six months from now

I should not watch cooking documentaries.  The newest Chef's Table season has Korean nun Jeong Kwan as on of the people they feature.  I find that that her relationship with food inspiring.  I was already fermenting many things but when she talked about fermenting soy sauce I was "you can do that?"  I am doing it.  The research is not even hard.  Yeastie Beasties and time.  It is what it takes to make soy sauce.  That is most of my life so it fits.

I started with 12 ounces of wheat and roasted it until golden.  I took out my stone flour mill and ground the berries into a flour


I cooked soybeans so I had a pound of cooked soybeans.  I mashed them into a paste.

I mixed the soybeans and flour together.  

I put the soybean and flour mixture into a ziploc bag with damp paper towels and let it sit on the counter for a week.  I had to bleed off the gases that the fermentation created a couple times.  

After the fermentation had started for a week, I took the soybean flour mixture and put it into a large glass cookie bin.  I added 8 ounces of salt.  I used Real salt. I also added 1 gallon of water.  I mixed well.

I covered the mixture.  Put is on a shelf.  I stir it once a day for the first six weeks.  Then I will stir it once a week.  In six months, I should have soy sauce.  I can let this continue to ferment even after that so I may just take a little as needed and let it go.  It will be like the pu-erh tea I like to drink.  The flavor will change over time.  The fermentation will continue.

Time.  Yeastie Beasties.  A strange and interesting adventure.



I decided I wished to try to make vinegar.  I use just enough that it felt like a positive.  But also, I would rather make something then buy something if I can.  And, no I am not a chef.  I just feed people.  Why does it have to be chefs who like to experiment and not crazy ladies in their own kitchen?  

I bought six organic apples from the grocery store.  For this, bruised was better so I could buy the ones that were not very nice.  I took them home, washed them, and sliced them up.  Into a large jar they went.

I covered the apples with filtered, unchlorinated water.  The lid went on.  This lid actually has a place for a fermentation/brewing airlock so I decided to use it to make sure that there was not an explosion or breakage as the vinegar fermented.

The jar went onto a dark counter.  September first is when it is supposed to be ready and I will see.  I am already thinking about starting another in about three months so I can have an endless supply or able to gift some.  I am also thinking berry fermented vinegars may be interesting.  I just like to experiment.  I think I am going to need more shelves.


leek fermentation for healthy bellies

I promise this is the last vegetable fermentation for awhile.  Yes, the boyos really did ask for krauts and kimchis so they could have healthier bellies.  And because is goes so well with brautwurst and such.  They really like it.  It is not really my cup of tea.  Give me time and I might change my mind.  My favorite fermentation is sourdough.  Oh well. 

That is life with boyos.  But the title of this post was actually said in my house.  I keep thinking that I should write them all down.  All those interesting one liners.  It also has been suggested that a movie be made of the goings on but nobody would truly believe our normal life.  This is from someone who works on films and likes documentaries.  Life is always unexpected.


Note:  Taproot magazine has been my friend for starting fermentations.  I try to stay close to the recipes unless items are hard to find and then I go with what I have in stock or I can buy locally.

6 cups leeks (about 3 pounds), with 2 to 3 inches on the green, washed well and sliced thinly crosswise

2 teaspoons real salt

2 large cloves of garlic, minced

1 tablespoon ginger, finely grated

1 tablespoon sesame seeds

1 teaspoon ancho chile, ground or to taste

1 teaspoon chipolte chile, ground or to taste

In a large bowl, put the leeks.  Cover with salt and toss.  Massage or press with a tamper to start brine development (I used my muddler).  Add the rest of the ingredients.  Mix well.  Let rest covered for 45 minutes with a cloth.

After the rest, brine should have started to develop.  Transfer into a quart jar and tamp down so there are no air pockets.  I did this a bit at a time.

Cover with a quart bag.  I filled with rice but you can use water.  Let the brine come around the sides of the filled bag.  Cover with a cloth and let sit in a cool place for 5 to 10 days.

Make sure the vegetables stay submerged during this time.  I did not have any scum form but if you do scoop it out and put your weight back.  When the color changes from green to a yellow-green and the leek-chi is pungent, remove the weight, cover tightly, and store in the refrigerator. 

Boyos like.