I thought I would throw in a quick post about something I’ve been working on that I’ve decided to add to this blog. There are a few hundred people that seem to look at this blog and follow it, so before I made a change I thought I would warn people.

This blog serves a few purposes for me and one of those purposes is to push me to try new fermentation experiments… not just beer. I’ve been homebrewing for over a decade now and I am still learning. That won’t change at all. Expect a semi-monthly beer post about a batch I brewed from now until I lose my liver. But, I want to expand my scope to include other fermentation projects that will start appearing in this blog in the following months and beyond. There won’t be very many and the makeup of this blog won’t change considerably, view these food fermentation posts as “bonuses”.

So what to expect…well fermented foods. Fermenting vegetables or diary products is similar to fermenting wort into beer. It involves inoculating a product that contains fermentable proteins or sugars and allowing them to be converted to acids or alcohols that in turn inhibit the growth of spoilage organisms. I am a novice at vegetable and milk fermentation so I hope we can all learn together through people commenting on posts and giving me pointers or just seeing how big a mess I make. When possible I will use the optimal organism for each fermentation. I am an avid gardener and have been researching primitive food preservation techniques and have started to ferment some of the products of the garden.

Jalapeño peppers
Jalapeño peppers

Some up-coming projects:

  • Hot Sauce – a mixture of peppers from the garden fermented with Lactobacillus brevis
  • Saurkraut – cabbages from the garden fermented with Leuconostoc mesenteroides
  • Cheddar cheese – milk from a local dairy fermented with Lactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris
  • Other cheeses with appropriate molds or bacteria
  • Sourdough – flour spontaneously fermented with local organisms as well as bottle dregs from lambics
  • Yogurts – milk from a local dairy fermented with Lactobacillus bulgarius and Streptococcus thermophilus
  • Vinegars – left over beer treated with Acetobacterium woodii (or other organisms) – not technically a fermentation
  • Pickles – garden cucumbers fermented with Lactobacillus species (to be determined).

I will exercise an abundance of caution while undertaking these experiments. Eating spoiled milk products can be hazardous to one’s health and I don’t have the luxury of self-poisoning. Of course the consumption of properly fermented foods has the potential to be quite healthy as these organisms are almost all “pro-biotic” and there is some evidence that they might improve health for individuals although the jury is still out on that a little. The first of these posts will be up in about a week…then maybe one a month after that, if I can keep that pace up. I hope some of you find them enjoyable.

 

“To ferment your own food is to lodge a small but eloquent protest – on behalf of the senses and the microbes – against the homogenization of flavors and food experiences now rolling like a great, undifferentiated lawn across the globe” –Michael Pollan

Fermentation Supplies
Fermentation Supplies
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2 thoughts on “Introduction to Food Fermentation

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