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What are you fermenting? My First batch of Mead.

 
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I'm really excited about the first batch of Mead.  What a sense of accomplishment..I know that sounds crazy but it's just another step toward learning the endless number of skills you can acquire and practice to be a little more self-sufficient.  

I look forward to using some of the recipes in "Make Mead Like a Viking" and incorporating herbs, fruits and if I'm brave some vegetables.  

What are you fermenting, and what are your favorites?  









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I've homebrewed in the past, but it's been probably five years.  I had a couple really good batches--a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale clone that didn't taste like SNPA but was good nonetheless, and a Scotch ale that I split 5 ways (regular, aged with oak chips, aged with bourbon-soaked oak chips, aged with Scotch-soaked oak chips, and aged with coffee beans)--and a couple of busts.

My biggest hangup is all the sanitizing.  In truth it's never really that big of a deal in practice, but the dread seems to always keep me at bay.  I really want to try some naturally fermented "wild" beers, but they take so long to mature that it's discouraging.  What I really need to do, though, is just start.

The most recent thing I fermented was apple cider.  I bought a gallon of local unpasteurized cider, stuck a rubber bung and an airlock in the top, and let it do its thing.  It was okay.  The apples used for fresh cider are different than the ones used for hard cider, so it came out kind of thin and with the wrong sort of acidity.  It was darn easy, though.

On a side note, I think this thread is in the wrong forum.
 
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I do as much fermenting as time allows. My favorite by far this year was some sauerkraut made from turnips. It stank up the house like nothing else, but tastes fantastic now.

I also eat a large quantity of Kimchi which I keep fermenting on a regular basis on my counter

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kimchi
 
Scott Foster
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Wes Hunter wrote:I've homebrewed in the past, but it's been probably five years.  I had a couple really good batches--a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale clone that didn't taste like SNPA but was good nonetheless, and a Scotch ale that I split 5 ways (regular, aged with oak chips, aged with bourbon-soaked oak chips, aged with Scotch-soaked oak chips, and aged with coffee beans)--and a couple of busts.

My biggest hangup is all the sanitizing.  In truth it's never really that big of a deal in practice, but the dread seems to always keep me at bay.  I really want to try some naturally fermented "wild" beers, but they take so long to mature that it's discouraging.  What I really need to do, though, is just start.

The most recent thing I fermented was apple cider.  I bought a gallon of local unpasteurized cider, stuck a rubber bung and an airlock in the top, and let it do its thing.  It was okay.  The apples used for fresh cider are different than the ones used for hard cider, so it came out kind of thin and with the wrong sort of acidity.  It was darn easy, though.

On a side note, I think this thread is in the wrong forum.



Mead is much different than making beer.  Some of the Mead Makers are just using hot water for cleaning.  I do use the saniclean but you don't need to.  Check out the following video and if you like the idea he has written a book that's awesome "Make Mead like a Viking."  
you can do this or use store-bought yeast.  I just finished a Melomel Mead with Lemon Balm and Mint from the garden and I only used a pound of honey for 4 gallons.  The last one I made is a little strong.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H6i0PdDDsjs
 
Scott Foster
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Daniel Ray wrote:I do as much fermenting as time allows. My favorite by far this year was some sauerkraut made from turnips. It stank up the house like nothing else, but tastes fantastic now.

I also eat a large quantity of Kimchi which I keep fermenting on a regular basis on my counter



I ate quite a bit of Kimchi when I was in the service...sounds like a great idea...extra spicy!   Sauerkraut from turnips sounds good too.
 
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I love fermenting. I would have to say that my two favorite things to ferment are yogurt and dilly carrots. We've been dabbling in ferments for a little over a year. I am very much looking forward to getting started on them again as a weekly practice. We are just getting settled into our new homestead. Our family enjoys dilly carrots fermented much more than regular pickled now. My mom and I can't keep up to all the munching that happens in our homes. I made a little video about how we make them. I'll post it here sometime next week when I finish moving our website over to the new host.

Thanks for sharing and resparking my fermenting bug.  

Cheers,

Jenn
 
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Jenn Wright-Ford wrote:I love fermenting. I would have to say that my two favorite things to ferment are yogurt and dilly carrots. We've been dabbling in ferments for a little over a year. I am very much looking forward to getting started on them again as a weekly practice. We are just getting settled into our new homestead. Our family enjoys dilly carrots fermented much more than regular pickled now. My mom and I can't keep up to all the munching that happens in our homes. I made a little video about how we make them. I'll post it here sometime next week when I finish moving our website over to the new host.

Thanks for sharing and resparking my fermenting bug.  

Cheers,

Jenn



Great idea!  Reminds me I'd like to make the pickled carrots and jalapenos.  I love Jalapenos   Look forward to seeing your video.    

Regards, Scott
 
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Scott Foster wrote:Mead is much different than making beer.  Some of the Mead Makers are just using hot water for cleaning.  I do use the saniclean but you don't need to.



I've toyed with the idea of doing this with beer.  Sanitizing isn't practiced because the finished product will necessarily be bad without it, but because it gives better odds of success.  In other words, it's perfectly possible to brew a great beer with no sanitizing.

It's kind of a catch-22 for me.  I don't want to put in the time and money until I know it will work, but I won't know if it works until I put in the time and money.  I think, really, I should just brew a simple, small, and cheap batch to give it a shot.

Okay, now I'm motivated!
 
Wes Hunter
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By the way, Scott, did you cork 12-oz. bottles?  If so, why opt for that over caps?
 
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I just did a big batch of hot sauce this past month and it couldn't have been any easier.

I had a bunch of serrano chilies, with a few anaheims and pablanos.  All had ripened to the point of being red.  I threw the whole mess -- about 2 gallons worth -- into the food processor with a generous handful of salt and ground it to a rough mash.  I filled a large pickle jar about 2/3rds full with the mash.

It started to ferment within 2 days, and by the 4th day, it had bubbled up and risen to the top of the jar.  I had to take some out.  For future reference, you want to only fill your jar about half-full.  

I let it ferment on the counter for 2 weeks.  After a week, there was a layer of liquid in the bottom of the jar, with the bubbling, fermenting mash above it.  By the end of the second week, that liquid layer had moved up a couple of inches.  The color was beautiful and it smelled fantastic.  I was dipping tortilla chips directly down into the mash and eating it, almost like salsa.  It was insanely hot for that, but it was still good.  I could have fermented it longer, but I was eager to start using it.  Tabasco ferments their pepper mash for 3 years in wood barrels.  I settled for 2 weeks although I still have about half of the mash still unused.  It is still in the jar but its in the back of the fridge now.

I ran about half of that fermented mash back through a blender to break it down further.  The seeds don't really break down, but the pulp of the chilies certainly does.   After I'd pulsed it in the blender for a few minutes, I ran the fermented mash through a fine cone strainer/food press.  About 50% flowed through, while half was seeds and pulp.  I boiled this juice/thin pulp to stop the fermentation.  I diluted it by about a third with apple cider vinegar and added a bit more salt for taste.  The mash/seeds/pulp that didn't go through the strainer went back into the jar to ferment further.  I bought a bunch of bottles on Amazon and poured the finished sauce into the jars.  Its great.

I've still got half the mash still fermenting in the back of the fridge.  I poured about an inch of vinegar on top of the mash, so that'll slow the fermentation down considerably and will keep it from getting moldy.  When I'm ready to process it, it'll be there waiting.

I got online and watched a documentary about how the Tabasco sauce people ferment their chilies.  After 3 years of aging/fermenting in a wood barrel, they mix the mash with vinegar and stir it in steel tanks for a month.  Only then do they strain it.  And even after all that time and all that stirring, the seeds are still pretty much whole.  They separate out the seeds after all that time and they don't look like they've broken down much at all.  

Anyhow, if anyone is interested in making your own fermented hot sauce, its almost foolproof.  
 
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Wes Hunter wrote:By the way, Scott, did you cork 12-oz. bottles?  If so, why opt for that over caps?



I purchased what I thought were standard wine bottles and they were halves.  I sealed the bottles with cork.  They look like beer bottles but they aren't.  Also, I have been saving bottles for a while the blue one with the over cap is a Mead that I purchased and saved the bottle.  A couple of bottles in the back row are wine and mead bottles that I purchased to drink and saved.
 
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Marco, I will be putting hot sauce on the list, sounds like it's a no-brainer.  I always wonder what to do with extra peppers.  We had a huge crop of Jalapenos this year and you can only stir fry so many.    
 
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I used to make meads, wine and beer, even went to brewing school. I don't drink anymore, now I'm fermenting milk and sugar water making kefir. My wife and I also make pickles and hot sauces. I've got some cabbages out in the garden and want to try making kimchi.



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James Freyr wrote:I used to make meads, wine and beer, even went to brewing school. I don't drink anymore, now I'm fermenting milk and sugar water making kefir. My wife and I also make pickles and hot sauces. I've got some cabbages out in the garden and want to try making kimchi.






I will be trying Kimchi and hot sauce next year.  I think I will do pickles too.
 
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Anyone making wine without the airlock? How is it working for you?
 
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