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discussion of 'lacto-fermentation' methods and recipes

 
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John Hutter wrote:Fermenting green tomatoes with chilies is something I've done for 4 years now, with 20 or so pounds of green tomatoes and 10 pounds of chilis, come autumn frosts.  After it ferments for about 8 weeks, I puree it, pour it into 10 or 12 quart jars and put them in the freezer to eat year round.  Remove a jar from the freezer and add some allium, cumin and coriander to taste. It's a little too sour to eat like a salsa with chips I think, but honey or shredded carrot or something can fix that.  I usually cook with it.  Mash it up with avocado and it's like the best guacamole ever.



A great use for green tomatoes but I think I might try first time with fewer chillies as 50 % by weight sounds hotter than my palate can take! Thank you for the recipe!
 
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Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
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I dont have access to whey but I want to try a bean ferment.
Do you think I could just add some store bought miso paste instead?
I always wanted to make my own miso but I couldnt find the koji. I have looked at local Asian stores and online but no luck. I suspect it was probably there, labled in Japanese.
 
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Julie Bernhardt wrote:I dont have access to whey but I want to try a bean ferment.
Do you think I could just add some store bought miso paste instead?
I always wanted to make my own miso but I couldnt find the koji. I have looked at local Asian stores and online but no luck. I suspect it was probably there, labled in Japanese.



I don't know about miso paste as a substitute for whey.

Sally Fallon suggests using the liquid drained from an active plain yogurt though.

I've done this by lining a mesh strainer with clean cloth set over a cup or bowl and then filling with yogurt and setting in the refrigerator to drain for a day or so.  

There will be a few tablespoons of whey depending on the amount of yogurt used.  The drained yogurt can then be used as a spread, so nothing is wasted.
 
steward
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If you're using mason jars, I drain the whey out of my milk ferments to use in making fermented oatmeal by unscrewing off the metal band of the mason jar, and sliding the metal cover of the mason jar up just a little bit, so that only the liquid whey can exit jar.
 
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Is there a separate forum for home brewing? If not those are a couple of my current fermentation, I'm making a dark stout for St. Patricks day and a grape/cherry red wine.
I also have kombucha, herb infused kombucha and wate kefir (but my grains are not replicating).  Usually I have a batch of fire cider fermenting each winter but did not make a batch this year.
For food I usually have a half gallon of saurdough and saurkraut going at most times. Sometimes I ferment other simple root veggies like carrots and ginger or beets and garlic.
On occasion I make real corned beef or salt cured fermented salmon. I also have kefir grains and used to make raw milk kefir but haven't in a while, nor do I make yogurt anymore now that I don't have any dairy animals.
I never make enough to store for more than a week for any veggies or drinks. Does anyone make shelf stable ferments for overwintering without cannin?
 
Dave Burton
steward
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Gail Jardin wrote:Is there a separate forum for home brewing?



We do not yet have a separate forum for homebrewing. If enough threads and posts are made on the topic and people on permies post enough about it, then, a new forum can be made on just homebrewing.
 
Julie Bernhardt
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Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
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Thank you!
I will use yogurt.

Doesnt using canning lids and bands that way cause yours to rust? I have to keep mine bone dry as soon as they are done being used for prosessing or they rust and become very hard to remove ffom my jars.
I do use old bands with a paper coffee filter over ferments, but I dont allow the contents of the jar to come in direct contact with it.

Idk, the black discoloration and rust probably doesn’t contaminate the food but I was never sure about that. I switched over to Tattler lids but still have to be carefull with the bands.
 
Dave Burton
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Julie Bernhardt wrote:
Doesnt using canning lids and bands that way cause yours to rust?



Yes, and that is why I spend a little time everyday, or as close to daily, as I can cleaning up the insides of the bands and sides of the containers. This also makes sure that I am more aware of my fermentation, because they are receiving daily attention. This approach mostly works for me, because they are fairly short ferments, like a week or less. However, I have still noticed a little bit of rust here and there. Currently, this is just what I am working with at college, and the mason jars with bands are things I can buy with my meal-plan.
 
Julie Bernhardt
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I buy plain greek yogurt in the individule cups because DH always contaminates a larger container and I have to throw it out half full and moldy.

I know when I open the lid there is some clear liquid on top, probably a teaspoon.
That is the liquid your refering to, right?
Can I save that in a seperate container a day or 2 till I open more containers and get enough to make the recipe? Or would it die?

Once a recipe (of the bean dip) is made, can I use a bit of the last batch to make another one or do I need to start each batch over with fresh yogurt liquid?
 
Dave Burton
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Julie Bernhardt wrote:I know when I open the lid there is some clear liquid on top, probably a teaspoon.
That is the liquid your refering to, right?



Yes, that is the liquid I am referring to as whey.

I am approaching fermentation from the way Sandor Ellxi Katz advocated- avoiding the cult of expertise and just experimenting and having fun.
I kind of have an idea of what is going on, but I'm not entirely sure. I'm mostly just seeing what happens, as I do it.

My liquid in milk ferments shows up on the bottom, usually, but in some of the iterations of my continuously remade milk ferment, I have seen clear-ish liquid on top.
When this happens, the milk ferment was more of s solidified gel/yoghurt and wasn't really curdled.

In this picture from a milk ferment of mine, the top portion are the curds, and the bottom liquid is the whey:



Julie Bernhardt wrote:
Can I save that in a seperate container a day or 2 till I open more containers and get enough to make the recipe? Or would it die?



I think you can save it. I save mine and reuse the whey to start new cultures of milk ferments, and I also use the whey in oatmeal ferments, too.
If it dies, i don't think that's a big deal. I think it can just be started again with more yoghurt.
 
Judith Browning
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Julie Bernhardt wrote:Thank you!
I will use yogurt.

Doesnt using canning lids and bands that way cause yours to rust? I have to keep mine bone dry as soon as they are done being used for prosessing or they rust and become very hard to remove ffom my jars.
I do use old bands with a paper coffee filter over ferments, but I dont allow the contents of the jar to come in direct contact with it.

Idk, the black discoloration and rust probably doesn’t contaminate the food but I was never sure about that. I switched over to Tattler lids but still have to be carefull with the bands.



If you are making the bean ferment according to Fallon's recipe the lid is closed tightly for the time it takes to ferment.  With no air there won't be any reaction with the metal.  Otherwise I don't use metal lids of any sort with my ferments.  

For saurekraut I use  a yogurt lid on top of the kraut to hold everything under the brine and then a jar of water as a weight.  I need to order some glass or ceramic weights to use as I really don't like using the plastic either.

For storing in the refrigerator I just cut a square of white cloth and put it over the top held on with a rubber band if I want to get in and out of the jar often, otherwise I use string to tie it on.

I would be more careful with the bean dip than a kraut and follow her recipe exactly.  It's delicious but it's beans, not an already acidic vegetable.  
I don't think I would try using a bit of the bean dip as a 'starter' but then I'm not as adventurous as some

Julie Bernhardt wrote:I know when I open the lid there is some clear liquid on top, probably a teaspoon.
That is the liquid your refering to, right?



Yes that is the whey or at least what can be substituted for whey...I'm not sure of it's name when the source is yogurt? When you drain some through a filter it will be slightly clearer.  You'll need four tablespoons for the bean ferment in Fallon's recipe back a page in this thread.

 
Julie Bernhardt
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Thanks😊
 
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I like the idea about the cold closet.

Walnuts are grown in lots of places, but the more likely places (if humans weren't around) are places where the walnuts mature to be viable seed.

And then humans come along and plant walnuts in places where the chance of getting fully ripe walnuts is much reduced.  So, having some way to work with a "green" crop is useful.

As near as I can tell, Italy fell into using green walnuts to make a liquer (nocino), France found a way to improve red plonk with green walnuts; and then there is the English.  And the English fell into this, because they had the problem of too many  nuts not ripening.

The English have a recipe, which starts with brining green walnuts, and then bottling them with vinegar.

I am not crazy about brining, because it leads to many soaks to reduce the salt content later.

I think I could live with the brining recipe, if it was followed by a lactofermentation.

I ran across a hint of a recipe, which talked about piercing the green walnuts with a needle.  This gives the fermentation liquid access to the inside.

If you have access to medium which has the proper lactofermentaiton organisms in it; I would say you soak your green walnuts in everclear for a short while (and soak the needle), and then pierce the nuts multiple times with the needle and place them into a sterile jar, to which you had the fermenting medium.  The piercing being done on walnuts that had the ethanol evaporate off, and the same for the needle.

If you are wanting to use wild yeasts already present on the green walnut (should they exist, I don't know), you could flame sterilize a needle and then pierce the walnut multiple times and place in a sterile container.

The bacteria need sugar, and how much sugar do the green walnuts have?  A quick look on google brought up a page at Pubmed (1990), and it suggests that glucose is the preferred sugar.  This doesn't mean that other sugars are not useful.  Or rather, that particular lactobacillus preferred glucose.

Part of the idea of brining, is that you make a salt solution strong enough to open cell pores that also contains other things of interest (in the case, the sugars the bacteria need).  So, you elevate the level of sugars in the cells, but you also elevate the level of the salts.  You can wash out the salts, but expect a bunch of the sugars to get washed out as well.  If there is too much salt in the cells, the bacteria can't work because the salt concentration might be too high.

Just off the top of my head, in a sterile way, cut your green nuts into pieces (the smaller the better), and drop into a "column" (glass or stainless steel).  There should be a collection volume at the bottom that has a stainless (or ceramic?) mesh/filter to allow liquid to leave the column.  The top of the column gets a "plug" with a similar mesh/filter separator, but also some way to apply pressure to the "packing" (green nuts).  Someone (in this thread?) reported that lactobacilli like temperatures in the mid teens (Celsius).  You are wanting to circulate a liquid containing sugars and your lactobacilli.  If the column is loose, the liquid flows through the gaps between fragments for the most part.  If the column is highly compressed, probably nothing flows.  So, you want to be somewhere in the middle.  And you circulate your sugar water maybe with a peristaltic pump.

Walnuts are about 65% fat (when ripe, unknown at this green stage).  What is lactobacillus going to do with this fat?  It might be best to go looking at lower fat green nuts to begin with.

If you have to cut them too finely, then they probably become a paste, which probably isn't desirable from an eating point of view.

If you have a premade liquid with sugars and a high density of lactobacilli in it, you might not need to run this for long.  But I don't know whether 3 days is anywhere near optimum, or how one would define optimum for this.

Will it still be good with cheddar cheese?  Will it still taste vaguely of Heinz A57 (H57?) sauce?  Can you add other things?

-----

I'll reply to a Tiny Ad I seen for this thread (being facetious).  Something about passwords being at least 14 characters long, and containing a small bird.  Hummingbird is 11 characters long.  Particular kinds of hummingbirds will have even longer names.  Guessing passwords by feeding in all the names of hummingbirds likely won't take long.


 
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