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Location: Ferndale, MI- Zone 5b
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i used my mom's pickle recipe to make a dozen quarts, but it turns out she never pickled; she brined in vinegar and canned.  i made them and they weren't right.  they were salty and soggy, which is what i remember when i was a kid, but it's not the sour, crisp, bright taste of a good kosher pickle that i learned about in adulthood.  then i did a bit of research and figured out what made a great pickle and i'm off to the races...

i'd be interested in what you do and what equipment you use.  in the short term, i'd like to start with sauer kraut and yogurt.  so, i'm interested in what you use (crock, food-safe plastic, glass) and how you keep temperature (heat box, cold basement corner).  Anybody got any ideas for how to make my own temperature constant yogurt and kefir box?
 
Robert Ray
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I've seen dehydrators and yogurt makers made with an insulated box a light bulb and a water heater thermostat.   The dehydrators usually have a blower/fan attached  in addition to the bulb and thermostat.
Here is a similar one to those I have seen.

http://courtneymeier.artifex.org/dehydrator/Electric_food_dehydrator_plans.pdf
 
                    
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shameless self promotion alert.......I just started a blog all about fermentation.  Check it out, I talk about all kinds of different things.  And on a regular basis. 

http://culturedagedbrewed.com/home

 
Len Ovens
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hobbssamuelj wrote:
i'd be interested in what you do and what equipment you use.  in the short term, i'd like to start with sauer kraut and yogurt.  so, i'm interested in what you use (crock, food-safe plastic, glass) and how you keep temperature (heat box, cold basement corner).  Anybody got any ideas for how to make my own temperature constant yogurt and kefir box?


For yogurt, I have used a food dehydrator, but I figured out it uses a lot of power for just keeping a temperature. (the fan is blowing the warm air out the slots in the front) I found I could set my oven to about 105 to 110F by pointing my dial at the F/C mark on the dial (we are in Canada and so the temp is in F in one colour and C in another so there is a two colour F/C mark between off and 150/76 marks). It seems to me that setting the dila to the bottom arm of the C was just right (after playing around with it and a thermometer). I also have some fire bricks in there (to bake bread on) that keep the element from over heating the yogurt for the very short time it is on. It may be a 3500 watt element, but it is on so little time it doesn't matter.

Kefer and sauer kraut don't care too much... they like room temperature... anywhere from about 16C to about 32C works ok. Since I have set the living area to 12C at night (bedrooms are about 18C at that time) I have started to put my kefer in a cooler with a large coffee can of hot water over night (hot being 115F or so... on balance, I have just fed the kefer with chilled milk from the fridge). The temperature affects the kefer... warmer makes it more sheet like and cooler more cauliflower like and more divided (faster and slower of course).

Yogurt doesn't care about the temperature that much either, but does like higher than other things...The thing to remember is that yogurt is a mono-culture, so a higher temperature makes it work faster. Kefer is a poly-culture and so if too warm or cool over a long time will become unbalanced as the different bacteria and fungi work at different rates at different temperatures and there are around 200 of them.
 
Susanna de Villareal-Quintela
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marina phillips wrote:
shameless self promotion alert.......I just started a blog all about fermentation.  Check it out, I talk about all kinds of different things.  And on a regular basis. 

http://culturedagedbrewed.com/home




Yeah, a little "shameless self-promotion!"  I read your topic of the day.  You have a well written piece and a great voice.  I'm looking forward to reading further.

I am having some fun with sour dough, too.  I'm making "sister starters:" one made with milk and one with water.  So far the results are amazing.  Both are fermenting very happily but the texture is significately different.  The water based starter has that traditional texture of a slightly spongy/stringy consistency.  The milk based starter is very thick, smooth and velvety! 

I am, currently, making loaves of Focaccia out of each to compare how them against each other.  I can't wait for the tasting phase!
 
jacque greenleaf
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If you have a microwave, you can use it for a warm box. They are well insulated for their size, and seal up pretty well.

Put a small bowl of water in the microwave - 1-2 cups - heat to boiling.

Then put in whatever it is you want to keep warm with the now hot bowl of water - the microwave will hold the heat for quite a while.

Reheat the water as many times as necessary - but TAKE OUT the culture you are warming while the microwave is running!!! 

If you don't use a microwave - I scavenged a large styrofoam box that was used to ship frozen meat. Its walls are nearly two inches thick, it will hold a stockpot or dutch oven, and I use it as a hay box. I bet you could line a cardboard box with some hard board insulation and make a very spiffy warm box. Maybe even put a heating pad in it.

Hmmmm. Just thought about one way people make chick incubators. Pet stores sell "warm rock" gadgets for reptiles. Wonder whether they would work to maintain a steady heat without getting too hot in an insulated box?





 
Len Ovens
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Mustang Breeze wrote:
I am having some fun with sour dough, too.  I'm making "sister starters:" one made with milk and one with water.  So far the results are amazing.  Both are fermenting very happily but the texture is significately different.  The water based starter has that traditional texture of a slightly spongy/stringy consistency.  The milk based starter is very thick, smooth and velvety! 

I am, currently, making loaves of Focaccia out of each to compare how them against each other.  I can't wait for the tasting phase!


I was surprised at how little difference there was... I have used both water/flour and straight kefer and have not been able to tell the difference. It may have been the type of bread I made which uses about 20% the normal amount of starter (8oz starter for 4 loaves instead of 36oz for 4 loaves). The difference I did notice though, is that I could get away with using more kefer for a sourer bread, but if I used too much flour/water starter the dough looses structure (it was really sticky and did not rise well).

By the way, it was a no knead bread with a 14 hour primary ferment. And yes the amount of water and flour were adjusted to match the differing amounts/composition of starter.
 
                                          
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Location: Ferndale, MI- Zone 5b
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well, i made two quarts of yogurt the other day and started a small amount of sauerkraut in quart jars.  i'm picking up an old 6 gallon crock on monday morning for more experimentation.

the first two quarts of yogurt were delicious and they didn't look like they would last very long, so i started another two quarts.  whereas before, i just heated the milk, added the tail end of another carton of yogurt and had good results, i decided to get fancy with the next two quarts.  i bought a yogurt starter from a local health food store thinking it would be good to have a polyculture.  i also tried a different heating method and put it in a crock pot on the "keep warm" setting instead of just wrapping the jars of milk in towels and setting it over my stove's gas pilot. 

the second batch was horrible.  it was runny even after 10 hours.  i'm guessing the crock pot heat was too high and it killed the culture.  the other problem may have been the yogurt starter that i bought.  needless to say, i won't bother with that anymore.

the kraut that i started is on day 2.  i'm going to taste it tomorrow and see what's happening.  i thought it would stink up the kitchen, but it's not even noticeable.

marina, i checked out your blog.  it looks like it will be a regular read for me.
 
Leila Rich
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I make a litre of yoghurt at a time using the insulated thermos-thing with a jar inside it, designed for making yoghurt from commercial powders.
I pasteurise my raw milk, which I resisted until I realised the resulting beasty-battle was the reason for my runny yoghurt.
I just leave a bit in the bottom of the jar, whisk in the blood-warm milk, place in the thermos and pour recently-boiled water over and leave overnight.
 
Len Ovens
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marina phillips wrote:
shameless self promotion alert.......I just started a blog all about fermentation.  Check it out, I talk about all kinds of different things.  And on a regular basis. 

http://culturedagedbrewed.com/home

Just tried it... got "data base error".... tried it without the /home and got a "This site is under development" page. You may wish to upload a index.html file even if it just points to the home directory for completeness.
 
                    
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Thanks for the compliments on the blog!  Yeah, when I'm updating the site it goes to the "under maintenance" page no matter what, which is kinda annoying but I don't know if there's much I can do about it.  That's a good idea bout the index page, I'll see what I can do. 

I've also wondered how to go about making yogurt without a machine that keeps it at the right temperature.  Thanks everyone for the ideas and troubleshooting methods.  When our cow freshens I'll start experimenting. 
 
                          
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@ Marina - you have wonderful blog, now I can make a better case for growing turnips. Now what to you know about rutabaga?
 
                                
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Seconds on the thermos idea.  Before I was using putting full jars in a 50-55 Celsius water bath inside a styrofoam cooler wrapped in towels.  It worked fine but too often the hot water leaked out all over my closet   and the whole thing was just too messy. 

I'm planning on selling yogurt soon, so for higher yield I think I will invest in a big plastic cooler. 
 
                    
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Thank you, Eric.    You can subject any not terribly starchy root (so like, except potatoes) to the processes I used on turnips.  I bet rutabagas would be amazing!  That's one of my favorite roots, actually.  I need to get some seeds for those.....

We just harvested a whole bunch of sunchokes and I want to brine some of them, just to see.  They're not supposed to keep very well once out of the ground, but we have a moist room in our cellar and I have a feeling they will last in there.  I don't know if apple gasses affect them in the same way as potatoes....we have lots of apples stored in that same room, guess we'll find out -- if they rot.  We have pretty good ventilation in there, but it still smells very apple-y.  We keep potatoes in the cellar's other, far less-humid, room. 

Before I was using putting full jars in a 50-55 Celsius water bath inside a styrofoam cooler wrapped in towels.  It worked fine but too often the hot water leaked out all over my closet huh  and the whole thing was just too messy. 


hummm.....Sometimes the pressure of warm water/air inside a kinda sealed thing can push water out of the kinda sealed thing.....not sure how to solve that one.  But submerging the jars in hot water overnight worked well?  That was my plan for DIY yogurt making.  Maybe in a bigger cooler you wouldn't have to fill it quite so full of water and leakage will be less of a problem?
 
Jordan Lowery
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sunchokes store well in a big pot or barrel filled with sand or compost(like most root crops). they last only a few days out of the soil and imo are best eaten asap or stored asap.
 
                    
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Don't you think a cool and humid room would provide a similar climate as the sand/compost method you describe, soil?  I don't have access to clean sand.....

We're at a week and counting with the chokes.  I'm curious, we're eating them every day, but I want to see how long they keep.  If/when we get them eaten down to not-that-many I might save some to find out when they actually rot. 

If we left them in the ground the gophers would have eaten a lot more of them than they already did.....I prefer to harvest them as needed, and later in the winter, but there was sooo much gopher activity in the bed we decided to rescue the large ones before they were nibbled on too much more.  We're eating the ones that have bite marks first. 
 
Len Ovens
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marina phillips wrote:
hummm.....Sometimes the pressure of warm water/air inside a kinda sealed thing can push water out of the kinda sealed thing.....not sure how to solve that one.  But submerging the jars in hot water overnight worked well?  That was my plan for DIY yogurt making.  Maybe in a bigger cooler you wouldn't have to fill it quite so full of water and leakage will be less of a problem?


I haven't made yogurt for a while, I have pretty much switched to Kieffer. You can't eat it with a spoon, but it works with granola, as a drink... or even as a sour dough starter (yes there is yeast in it). It is possible to make it thinker by straining... even to the point where a bit of salt makes a nice cheese spread too... actually you can do that with yogurt too.
 
Moody Vaden
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New guy here.  What a find, this site and my new favorite subject, lacto-fermentation.  I've been fermenting ales, wines and meads for over 10 years and then last year my father gave me Wild Fermentation by Sandor Katz. 

I started with a simple kimchi, and have never stopped.



Now, I always have kraut handy, either working or in the fridge.  I have it for breakfast just about every morning with my eggs.  This stuff seems to keep indefinitely in the fridge.  I experimented with a few things this summer, one being, the old style barrel pickles.  That one was a failure, but I know why.  I allowed air to make contact with the cukes and they rotted.  I have it down for next year, though.  I also fermented a batch of fish peppers, and all I can say is wow, the flavors imparted on the tongue are indescribable.

Here is a jar of the fish peppers


Next season, I want to try fermented salsa. http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Cookbook:Salsa_%28fermented%29  and also ginger ale.

I also do kiefer and yogurt too, I just don't seem to have as much fun with it.  Nourishing Traditions by sally fallon has a lot of great ferment recipes too.
 
Susanna de Villareal-Quintela
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MoodyVaden wrote:
New guy here.  What a find, this site and my new favorite subject, lacto-fermentation.  I've been fermenting ales, wines and meads for over 10 years and then last year my father gave me Wild Fermentation by Sandor Katz. 


Welcom MoodyVaden!  I'm, fairly, new here myself.  I'm looking forward to reading your posts because I'm just starting to play with lacto-fermentation and I love accepting wisdom from those who've earned their stripes.   

Joy!
 
                    
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Welcome, MoodyVaden!  You'll find all the nerdy fermentation company you could hope for on this here board.    Awesome lookin jars of yummy stuff! 

I'm not quite clear on fish peppers.  Is that the type of pepper or is it a fish and pepper ferment? 

I made two and a half gallons of brined sweet peppers in October....only one gallon remains and I'm leaving those in the cellar for another month so that we have some of their deliciousness later in the winter.  One of my favorite things to ferment, hands down. 
 
Moody Vaden
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Thanks for the welcome!  If I can help, let me know, I have a few ferments under my belt now, but maybe not a pro yet.

marina phillips, fish peppers are a hot pepper native to my area, mid Atlantic.  Beautiful variegated fruits and leaves.  A wonderful edible and ornamental.
 
Tyler Ludens
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A lot of fermenting or crock storage of food seems to require a lot of salt.  As someone with high blood pressure, I have to avoid too much salt.  Are there methods of crock preservation which do not use salt?

Thanks! 

 
Moody Vaden
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Ludi Ludi wrote:
A lot of fermenting or crock storage of food seems to require a lot of salt.  As someone with high blood pressure, I have to avoid too much salt.  Are there methods of crock preservation which do not use salt?

Thanks! 




I originally thought that as well, but it doesn't necessarily require a lot of salt.  When my father gave me the book, he let me try his latest ferment, kale.  He did it with no salt, just water and kale.  It was very interesting flavor.  My regular crock that I do my kraut in is 2 gallons, and I probably use about 2 tablespoons of sea salt for each batch.

And that brings me to another subject, salt.  Get rid of the refined salt and your blood pressure will go down for sure.  Your body needs lots of salt, but the refining process of the standard iodized table salt removes all the other good stuff that comes with salt, stuff your body needs.  Salt should have a little "dirt" in it.  Now, I use Himalayan crystal salt, and I use it liberally, and have been off the bp meds ever since.  MSG is another one to avoid.
 
Paul Cereghino
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I thought I'd redigest the pickle question..

I have started salt picking my pickles small, and using grape leaves for the tannins to keep them crispier... big improvment in the last batch (started at room temp in a crock, then transfered to glass in the garage.)

I just fininshed eating my first batch of sourkraut... The moisture present during the intial fermet largely soaked back into the leaves in the fridge.  I am thinking I need to beat up the cabbage more during processing... any thoughts?
 
Joel Hollingsworth
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Paul Cereghino wrote:I am thinking I need to beat up the cabbage more during processing... any thoughts?


I happened on an excellent article not long ago, and it addressed that question, but I can't seem to find it now.

On a small scale, you can use a short club, which sort of resembles a rolling pin. Maybe a wine bottle?

On a larger scale, it mentioned a large vat and a clean pair of galoshes.
 
                    
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The milk based starter is very thick, smooth and velvety! 


I've been using a mixture of flour and raw cream for the second feed of sour bread dough.  Velvety is exactly the word for the texture.  And I think it's helped the rising power of the dough.  I'm getting really great results - not dense loaves, even using half rye flour and half whole wheat flour.  Have yet to attempt a 100% rye bread. 


I just fininshed eating my first batch of sourkraut... The moisture present during the intial fermet largely soaked back into the leaves in the fridge.  I am thinking I need to beat up the cabbage more during processing... any thoughts?


Yeah, it's good to really pound the cabbage down into the jar or crock when you're first making the stuff.  Like, don't be afraid to use your strength.  I love the idea of galoshes!  I think crocks hold up better under the abuse than jars.  The lack of a shoulder in a crock means you can really pack the edges down also.  There exist tools called "kraut pounders" which look like a club with a flattened bottom. 

I find that there's a stage where the cabbage absorbs a lot of the moisture it expels during the initial ferment.  If I fill a crock too full, it will overflow with brine at first, and then later the top will be too dry.  These days I try to get it a little more than 3/4 full, to leave room for the brine levels to go up without losing the brine entirely.   

I've been transferring mostly finished kraut into jars to free up the crock so I can start the next batch.  Bringing up a jar at a time from the cellar is more convenient than bringing a bowl to the crock to retrieve the day's kraut, AND there's no risk of contaminating the entire batch with a dirty utensil.  I pack it into quart jars as tightly as I can, with a 1 1/2" diameter wooden dowel, and I have to pour out brine to get the jar totally full of cabbage material.  I end up with several quarts of excess brine, which is wonderful to pickle other things in.  The jarred kraut isn't super wet and drippy, but because it's fully fermented, it doesn't mold or go bad either. 

Seems to be, for cabbage anyway, that the initial stage of ferment is most crucial for keeping everything submerged below liquid.  The cabbage's texture changes when it is fully fermented, which may be several weeks after it TASTES sour.  After it's floppier, kind of translucent, and doesn't squeak in your teeth like raw cabbage, it seems to get drier (absorbing moisture like you said) but I've never found the dryness to cause a problem. 

The first time I made kraut in an arid climate, a lot of the moisture evaporated and that was a problem - there is no initial ferment if there's no brine!  I now stretch one or two plastic bags over the kraut container to prevent evaporation. 
 
Chris Fitt
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I am also new to this forum and love it so far.  For yogurt this is the way that works best for us, but it is site specific and ignores a lot of what I've read that shouldn't be done.  For the past 3 months we have been making  anywhere from 10-30 pints per week, so something is going right.  First we use raw milk and don't heat it up.  I've read that you should heat it to at least 110F, and some places say you should heat to 185F to pasteurize it.  Sometimes we use cold milk but more often than not it is still warm from the cow.  We mix in 1 tablespoon of yogurt (we start with a live yogurt from Austin which uses Bulgarian culture, but then use our previous batch, up to two generations) per pint of milk.  We put them into pint canning jars with the lids screwed on.  We then put it in our gas oven with the pilot lit and the door propped open.  We live in a trailer so it is a small oven, you would have to play around with your own oven to find the right mix.  At this point you could use any of the other methods for temperature control that people have been sharing.  We put a standard instant read kitchen thermometer and keep it between 90 and 100F.  We do this by propping the door with various things dependent on the trailer temperature.  We have used butter knives, teaspoons, wooden spoons, coffee cups. etc.  We usually let it go overnight and in 10 hours or so it is ready.  We have kept it for up to three weeks.  I've never seen it go bad, we just eat or sell it by then.
This has worked well but not without problems.  About two weeks ago the yogurt had separated and the solids became cheese like.  I calibrated the thermometer and that seemed to be the problem.  It was just too hot.  Sometimes it takes longer like 12 or 14 hours.  I have learned to just be patient with it.  I've had the temp as low as 80 and as high as 110 with no ill effects.  I have disturbed them, moved them, tilted the jars, and done everything they say not to do and mostly no problems.  
 
Len Ovens
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misfit wrote:
This has worked well but not without problems.  About two weeks ago the yogurt had separated and the solids became cheese like.

most of the time you can just stir it back in, it depends on taste, but it isn't bad or anything.

 I calibrated the thermometer and that seemed to be the problem.  It was just too hot.  Sometimes it takes longer like 12 or 14 hours.  I have learned to just be patient with it.  I've had the temp as low as 80 and as high as 110 with no ill effects.  I have disturbed them, moved them, tilted the jars, and done everything they say not to do and mostly no problems.  

Life is pretty robust, I agree most fermenting can handle wide ranges. Pasteurizing should not be needed with good milk, I have skipped it most of the time... that step is there so that there is one less variable for the starter manufacturers to worry about.... remember they are run by lawyers.
 
Chris Fitt
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Len wrote:
most of the time you can just stir it back in, it depends on taste, but it isn't bad or anything.


You are absolutely right.  We did use it and eat it ourselves. We sell our yogurt and want a somewhat consistent product.  I feel that our customers are paying for a finished product.  I am happy to see the yogurt as process, but I don't expect everyone else to.  Maybe that is a question for the farm income forum.
 
                                    
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I often have whey on hand from straining the yogurt to get more of a sour cream or cream cheese texture.  Is there some way (yes I see the pun) to use it in fermenting?  Or for anything at all in the kitchen.  I have composted with it, and consider it valuable. 
 
Moody Vaden
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I use whey in making kraut and kvass. Oatmeal too.
 
                                    
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Moody please elaborate.  Kraut I am somewhat familiar with making and I can see using whey to soak oatmeal would be a good idea but I know nothing about kvass.
 
Chris Fitt
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pattimair wrote:
I often have whey on hand from straining the yogurt to get more of a sour cream or cream cheese texture.  Is there some way (yes I see the pun) to use it in fermenting?  Or for anything at all in the kitchen.  I have composted with it, and consider it valuable. 


There are many uses for whey and it is quite valuable.  Adding it to compost is great if nothing else.  If you have pigs or chickens you can give it to them as well.

My partner has made sauerkraut.  She shredded a head into 1/4 inch strips with a knife.  Then packed a wide mouth half gallon jar tamping it down with a wooden tamper, after every pint or so.  She added some salt and covered with whey.  It was then put up in our pantry area for about a week.  She then transferred the kraut to pint canning jars (without processing) and stored it in the fridge.  We ate it all within two months and it held up fine.  She has also made a sparkling juice drink by adding sugar, lemons, berries, and whey.  And a cranberry sauce type thing with sugar, whey, and cranberries.  Both are essentially the same method as the kraut.  You just ferment for a few days at room temp and then move to the fridge.  Everything was delicious.  The kraut and cranberry sauce were both different and similar to store bought products

As for other kitchen uses we have use it in our wheat bread recipe instead of water.  I've read of other people cooking beans and grains in whey to add more nutrition to the meal.  We've haven't tried that yet.  I imagine that you can use it in most recipes that you would normally use water.

For resources concerning fermenting with whey check out sally fallon's Nourishing Traditions for many different recipes.  That was the basis for the fermenting that my partner did.  Also I believe Wild Fermetation by Sandor Ellix Katz has recipes as well. 
 
Len Ovens
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pattimair wrote:
I often have whey on hand from straining the yogurt to get more of a sour cream or cream cheese texture.  Is there some way (yes I see the pun) to use it in fermenting?  Or for anything at all in the kitchen.  I have composted with it, and consider it valuable. 


Works great as a vinegar substitute. Use it to marinate your meat in, flavour your salad.... even add it to your bath water to lower your skin PH. If it is not sour enough, leave it sit out overnight (once you hit 24 hours total ferment time your whey should be as sour as its going to get). Everyone else has already mentioned using it for pickling.
 
                                          
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I make yogart or buttermilk from raw warm fresh goat milk on top of the refrigerator in stirilized jars.  I make sourkraut in 3 gal. crocks on the dinning room floor. with a wieghted dish follower.  I pound it enough to have the liquid cover the shreds.  I use only 1 tbls. each seasalt and kelp with each head of cabbage and it is great.  I cure olives with lye.
I have a sour dough starter that I make english muffins with and french bread and have had for twenty years.  For bread I add a teaspoon of yeast when ready to kneed to get a light rising product.  For english muffins I add some baking soda to get additional levening.  I find that rye and wheat breds need some white flour to avoid being a crumbing mess, but sourdough make them very heavy. 
I make beer and keg it in 5 gal. coke kegs.  It is great for cooking and baking in lieu of water.  I am working now on an evaporative cooler for the keg on tap and one lagering.  I do not bother with wine any more as my oak barrel dried out and fell apart. 
 
Len Ovens
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spiritrancho wrote:
I make sourkraut in 3 gal. crocks on the dinning room floor. with a wieghted dish follower.  I pound it enough to have the liquid cover the shreds.  I use only 1 tbls. each seasalt and kelp with each head of cabbage and it is great. 

I'll have to try that... I may have been using too much salt... tasted ok, but my Yf needs less salt in her diet. Is the kelp fresh or dried?


I have a sour dough starter that I make english muffins with and french bread and have had for twenty years.  For bread I add a teaspoon of yeast when ready to kneed to get a light rising product.  For english muffins I add some baking soda to get additional levening.  I find that rye and wheat breds need some white flour to avoid being a crumbing mess, but sourdough make them very heavy. 


I start a new batch of wild yeast every year, it reminds me that it is a gift... all I do is feed it   but I don't claim to get better starter this way.

I never add yeast to my bread, the starter has yeast better suited to the flour than bakers yeast and the two yeasts fight each other anyway. Both ways work though, spiking the dough does make for less time rising.

I have not had any problems using 100% whole grain flours (wheat or rye)... certainly not crumbly, I aim for 200F internal temp when baking. Whole grains tend not to be as light, but are still very nice. Rye can be over kneaded very easily because it relies on other proteins besides just gluten and they are fragile. Still, nothing beats the taste of 100% rye bread.

Sour dough breads need much more time to rise, try doubling your first rise at least. They can be just as light as a yeasted bread, but need more patience. Don't go by the clock only, go by what the dough does. If it is supposed to double in size, wait till it does even if the recipe says 1 hour and your dough takes 2 hours to do that. I use warm water in my dough... around 110F. This also helps.
 
                                          
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Len:  I have used both granular and flacked kep in the kraut.  Works equally well but the flacks remain visable.
Yes, sourdough can be used alone to make good bread but powdered yeast will speed it up.  I am always pushed for time and needing to finish a project so I can concentrate on three more.  I take my s.d. starter out of the refer the night before and add flour and water and put it on a heating pad(in winter).  The next morning I double the batch with more flour and water and a pinch of citric acid to speed it up.  By noon it has doubled again and I then add 1 tsp yeast and start kneeding.  I then let the dough rise for a couple of hours and bake that evening.  All in a 24 hour period.  Rather than three days.
I mill my rye and wheat as required.  I  find it simpler to store it as whole grain beeries.  Even tho I run it thru the mill three times reducing the gap between the steel blades each run  it is still rather course.  Perthaps this is why my all grain breads crumble when cutting.
 
                                    
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Adding seaweed to kraut is a great idea-it's so very nutritious.  Does it serve a purpose in the kraut making?  And I would deliberately use one that remains visible, that would add interest.
 
Len Ovens
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spiritrancho wrote:
Len:  I have used both granular and flacked kep in the kraut.  Works equally well but the flacks remain visable.

dried then. Makes sense, I don't mind the taste raw, but the texture (stringy) kinda bugs me.

Yes, sourdough can be used alone to make good bread but powdered yeast will speed it up.  I am always pushed for time and needing to finish a project so I can concentrate on three more.  I take my s.d. starter out of the refer the night before and add flour and water and put it on a heating pad(in winter).  The next morning I double the batch with more flour and water and a pinch of citric acid to speed it up.   By noon it has doubled again and I then add 1 tsp yeast and start kneeding.  I then let the dough rise for a couple of hours and bake that evening.  All in a 24 hour period.  Rather than three days.

Mine takes a bit longer. I take my starter out Friday morning before I go to work... split it and double both halves... one goes back in the fridge and the other sits out till I get home in the afternoon. I generally also make a soaker of barley, flax and water on the same morning. In the afternoon I add all the ingredients (starter, soaker, sweetener, warm water, flour and salt) and incorporate it fully. I leave this mess to ferment over night. Saturday morning (630 or 7) I bench it and divide it into 4 balls that I leave sit for 15-20 min while I grease the pans. I then form the loaves and pan them and proof them for about 2 hours... then bake for 45 min. So done by 11am or so. (well, I leave it cool till I can find time in the evening to bag it)


I mill my rye and wheat as required.  I  find it simpler to store it as whole grain beeries.  Even tho I run it thru the mill three times reducing the gap between the steel blades each run  it is still rather course.  Perthaps this is why my all grain breads crumble when cutting.


That is a dream of mine, to mill my own.... but not as yet. I mill my own Barley and flax with a coffee grinder (bur style not weed whacker) and it also ends up coarse, but seems to be ok. pumpernickel bread is made with rye "chops" which is really coarse (they call it 3 bits to a rye berry, but I think that is an exaggeration), it seems soft to me... if dense. I've got one to try that is a 4 to 7 day prep.... you don't add starter, but let the first part of the flour and water turn into one. It is supposed to be "chewy"   I'll have to try it. 100% rye is my favorite taste.... but it is hard to make the size sandwiches I like for lunch, So I use whole wheat for those.... currently it is Durum wheat flour... till I run out as the stuff I can get locally is not whole grain, so I buy a bunch of the good stuff on the few trips we make to the mainland.
 
Moody Vaden
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I started more beet kvass this morning, and snapped a shot.

3-4 medium sized beets cubed up
1/4 cup a whey
1 tbs of sea salt
water

Peel and chop beets up, add beets, whey, and sea salt into a half gallon jar. Fill the rest of the way up with water. Put a lid on it and let sit at room temperature for two days. Transfer to fridge. After liquid is gone, you can refill with water and repeat the process. Second time it is not quite as strong. Won't work a third time, but you can save a bit of juice from the second batch and use as an inoculate for a new batch in place of the whey.

 
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