Category Archives: Fermenting

Fermenting Adventures: Honey Garlic & Kombucha Tea

Well… look at my ferments! I’m so happy. I now have three SCOBY’s! I guess I should have posted a picture all of them below, however in the first picture you only see one.

As I mentioned in a prior posts, I want my SCOBY discs a bit thicker and so I’ve added them to another batch of freshly brewed tea using some of the liquid from the first ferment. That liquid, combined with the freshly prepared (and cooled) black tea kept my SCOBY growing.

Fermenting Kombucha and honey garlic

Fermenting Kombucha and honey garlic

With an added bonus that the new SCOBY started forming in one day! I’m unsure if you can see it in the above picture. If you look closely at the jar on the right, you’ll see a thin film at the top of the liquid. That’s my newly formed SCOBY!

 

Fermenting Kombucha 10.22.14

Fermenting Kombucha

In the above picture you see a bottle of my fermented kombucha. These bottles arrived on Tuesday. They didn’t come assembled, but it really didn’t take much effort to put the cork in place.

You know something? I’m a bit afraid to sample it at the moment. I’m unsure if it’ll be the flavor I like, from my readings it can take a few attempts before your brand-new SCOBY produces the type of kombucha that you like and that’s perfectly understandable when trying something new. You can’t expect to get it right the first time, right? I will say for the final brew, I want fizzy like the GT brand.

�fermenting honey garlic

fermenting honey garlic

 

Check out my fermenting honey garlic. Do you see all those bubbles? That’s a good sign. I’ve been shaking this jar daily and banishing it back into a dark cabinet. I can’t wait to sample these in a month or so…

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Recycled photo… My fermented sauerkraut has shrunk a lot more than this picture that was originally posted in August.

 

In other news…

My sauerkraut is doing well. It’s been fermenting for about two months now. I might sample a bit later this week, but plan to let it ferment for at least one more month.

Fermenting Adventures: Look at my SCOBY!

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Kombucha SCOBY

I am so excited that my SCOBY is doing so well. Just look at her! Perhaps I should give her a name, what do you think?

I’m sure some of you might not get why I’m giddy about this blob like disc and others might not even know what a SCOBY is?

A brief refresher for those that don’t know…  SCOBY is an acronym for Symbiotic Colony Of Bacteria and Yeast. This is a healthy bacteria. Our body needs beneficial bacteria to function properly. Yeast and bacteria are present during the fermentation of kombucha.When I fermented my kombucha to make a SCOBY it didn’t start as this round disc. Initially all I noticed were bubbles. A few days later I noticed a clear film forming on top of the kombucha. Since I already knew about this process, I wasn’t concerned since it would not be long before I had grown my own SCOBY at home!

This past weekend, I took all my SCOBYs (three) out of the three  jars, rinsed them off, added a bit of sugar back to the tea mixture and placed them back into the jar. Correction, I placed them into two jars. The Kombucha that I had made with black tea wasn’t as thick as the SCOBY I made from kombucha only, so I thought I’d combine those two together.

Why did I add more sugar when I placed them back into the jars? The SCOBY eats the sugar so when your kombucha is finally finished it should be left with very little sugar. I say *should* because I did taste a store bought kombucha that was oh so nasty. Blech! They sweetened it with stevia and even though it was brewed it was way to sweet and overpowered with stevia.

 

In other news…

I believe my water kefir grains will be arriving some time this week. I’m really looking forward to receiving them. In an earlier post I linked to a video about water kefir, it’s history, benefits, and the process involved. I decided to link to another video that is mainly focused on how to make your own water kefir at home.

Resources

Kombucha, the Balancing Act

Fermenting Adventures: Fermented Honey Garlic

Garlic is a powerful natural antibiotic (thanks to the allicin it contains).

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Fermenting honey garlic

I consume raw garlic throughout the year, but usually increase the amount taken during the cold and flu season. While I don’t mind eating it raw, my daughter really doesn’t like its bite and so I mix hers with other food.

One way she will eat raw is in a fermented honey garlic. After a few months, the garlic loses its bite. It will still smell like garlic but without the sharpness that she dislikes and it will taste like garlic honey. She munches on a few cloves of the fermented garlic honey at night. Why? By morning the garlic smell has left her body.

I made another batch about an hour ago. I put my garlic cloves in a mason jar, and submerge it with honey. I leave about 2″ head space. The cloves won’t stay covered so be sure to shake daily to insure the garlic stays coated. I usually just turn the jar upside down on the next day and continue to rotate until ready. We consume the honey garlic alone and I also drizzle it over stir fry, add a dollop to already prepared soup and I use it in many other ways too.

Fermenting Adventures: Water Kefir

Along with kombucha, I’ve been wanting to try making my own fermented water kefir at home. Similar to many fermented items like kombucha, sauerkraut and kimchi it’s loaded with probiotics and many other nutrients.

Unlike kombucha SCOBY, it doesn’t seem that you can make water kefir grains at home and so I did some searching and found a supplier that I like (based on the reviews.) Kefir has been around for thousands of years and it’s safe to say it’s most likely the worlds first natural soda. The fermentation process adds the delightful bubble and fizz that some like and since it does not have any chemicals it’s a much healthier option than the sodas available on the market today.

Check out this video, it’s one of the most descriptive videos that I’ve seen about water kefir, it’s history and benefits. I will try to ignore the fact that he has his hands all in that brew. That part, I definitely won’t be doing at all.

In other news, my kombucha SCOBY has done so well that I’ve placed it in it’s second ferment. Also, I set some of the batch aside to continue making a natural vinegar. I tasted some of the vinegar brew and I honestly can’t tell the difference between that and the Braggs Apple Cider vinegar that I was purchasing. Sorry Braggs… it looks like I will now be making my own natural vinegar at home.

 

Resources:

Water Kefir 101

 

 

Fermenting Adventures: SCOBY formation

I finally had a chance to take a few pictures of my fermenting brew.

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Fermenting Kombucha – SCOBY formation

See that pinkish film on top? That’s a SCOBY! I could not get a good shot. It’s actually translucent and had bubbles surrounding it. This is a good sign. I must say that I’m thrilled that soon I’ll be making my own fermented Kombucha. This is the batch that is only Kombucha.

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Kombucha – SCOBY Formation

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Three Kombucha’s all in a row patiently forming SCOBY’s

In the above two photos you’ll see the kombucha that I added Black tea and sugar. It’s not growing a SCOBY as quickly as the Kombucha only and I’m perfectly fine with that. I do believe I’ll post on a Kombucha forum that I frequent about the first picture to see if I should let it go a bit longer or start making a batch of Kombucha by doing a second ferment.

I really do love the GT brand, but would much prefer making it myself. With the fizz, it reminds me a of a natural soda, but of course it’s much healthier since it’s chock full of probiotics and has very little sugar. I must say, that I can’t wait to taste and see how I enjoy my homemade kombucha.

 

Fermenting Adventures: Two more batches

Yesterday, I made another batch of my kombucha. Instead of just using the kombucha to coax out a SCOBY I added seven (7) cups of black tea and 1/2 cup of pure cane sugar. It’ll be interesting to see which batch does a better job of making a SCOBY.

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Fermenting kombucha to create a SCOBY

I’ve included a picture of my first kombucha brew. This one is pure kombucha. Lord willing, this weekend, I’ll post a few more pictures and update the progress.

 

 

Fermenting Adventures: How to make kombucha SCOBY

A few weeks ago, I stumbled upon this wonderful video on how to make your own fermented kombucha SCOBY.

I’m finally getting around to making my own tomorrow. I purchased some raw fermented kombucha from my local Target; it cost a little $3.49 per bottle. However I won’t have to purchase any more since I can now make my own fermented kombucha SCOBY from what I purchased.