Kombucha & fermenting

Discussion in 'Food - Cooking, Preserving & Fermentation' started by AndrewB, Sep 18, 2018.

  1. AndrewB

    AndrewB Well-Known Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Hi all,

    I decided to put the prize from winning the monthly competition (Thanks again Mark) towards a 9 Liter Kombucha urn & a Fermenting kit. It's something I've been wanting to try for some time, so I'm looking forward to experimenting & sharing the results here.
     
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  2. AndrewB

    AndrewB Well-Known Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Kombucha is up & running & I just finished filling my first jar of a sort of Kimchi.

    I was surprised at how much you can pack in there. I'll need to up my cabbage production I think.

    I based it around a recipe in 'Fermented vegetables', which is a pretty good book on the subject of fermenting. But just used what I had on hand in the garden.

    1 Chinese cabbage
    3 Carrots
    a big chunk of Ginger
    A couple of cloves of garlic
    1 dozen dried red chilies
    2 tablespoons of salt

    It smells fantastic, I had to resist just eating it as it was!

    For the Kombucha, I think I would have been better to just buy another big water filter from bunnings rather than the little urn. They are Australian made, so I wanted to support local, but the quality isn't great. The tap leaked like a sieve. The seals were rock hard & poor quality, so were never going to work. I had to make a trip to bunnings to pick up a new tap, which works great.

    kombucha.jpg
    mix.jpg
    ferment.jpg
     
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  3. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    I love these vegetable mixes for ferments they are really interesting and almost always turn out tasty.

    Did you make a brine first with your two tablespoons of salt or did you add the salt to the veggies and pour in the water?

    I'm interested to know because generally, I use a tad under 1 x tablespoon per cup of water already dissolved in water to make the brine and then pour it over and this usually works out well although in the past I have had some ferments that either go putrid or remain too salty and I think this has a lot to do with the type and how strong the bacteria are at the beginning of the process rather than being a tad under or over salted.

    Anyway, good luck with yours!
     
  4. AndrewB

    AndrewB Well-Known Member Premium Member GOLD

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    The 25 grams/2 teaspoons of salt per cabbage seems to be working well for me. I do not add any water at all, it all comes from the cabbage.

    I salt the cabbage & other ingredients in a giant stainless steel bowl & give it a good mix by hand, then 5 minutes of smashing with a wooden stomper to let the salt start to do its thing. I leave it for 30 minutes, then give it another stir & smash.

    At this point the cabbage should be fairly limp & have plenty of juices in the bottom of the bowl. If so, then its ready to pack into the jar. I pack it in really tight with the stomper, add the juice if required (just enough to cover the vegetables), leaving about 1-2" free space in the top & put the lid on.

    I've been leaving them out for 5-7 days, then putting them in the fridge to eat.
     
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  5. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    That's how I make sauerkraut.

    I bet that fermented juice tastes great then... and would be fantastic for gut health!
     
  6. Letsgokate

    Letsgokate Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Interesting to see how the Kombucha goes. I’ve only bought some from the shops, the look of the Scooby is a bit yucky.
     
  7. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    There's some conjecture on the amount of sugar involved in making it with some saying it's not as healthy as touted... I don't know enough about it to really have an opinion except I have had a go at several commercial varieties such as ginger and galangal infused - tasted pretty good!
     
  8. Letsgokate

    Letsgokate Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Yes you have to wonder when you have to add so much sugar to something to make it palatable grape fruit is like that. Does the sugar get all eaten by the bugs though, like in yoghurt?
     
  9. AndrewB

    AndrewB Well-Known Member Premium Member GOLD

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    The sugar is the food for the Scoby. The people freaking out about the amount of sugar are just following headlines and haven't researched the process.

    The longer you leave it, the lower the sugar content & the more sour the flavor. The commercially available versions have varying sugar content depending on the stage of fermentation it was bottled & if extra sugar was added at bottling to enhance the amount of carbonation.

    Ginger is my favorite flavor so far, fresh mint was quite nice also. I have some apple & blueberry that will finish second fermentation tomorrow, so looking forward to that. I'm making about 5 litres per week now, experimenting with different flavors.

    I'm also attempting to make apple cider vinegar. I use a lot of it & it seems too simple not to try.
     
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  10. Letsgokate

    Letsgokate Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Have a friend who has started making it as well, seems to ferment very quickly in our heat.
     
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