Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Probiotic Heaven - Our First Advanced Fermentation Course

Last Saturday marked a first in our fermentation calendar: our advanced fermentation course was held for the first time!

We dragged our feet a bit in developing this course, simply because we didn't have the time to experiment with all the things going on at the farm. As all you fermenters out there will now, you don't just whip up a fermented something overnight. No, you have to wait for days, weeks but mostly MONTHS. THEN you know whether you're on to something good. 

Kimchi-inspired carrots, one of our faster ferments actually
(photo credit: lovely Pernilla Elmblad)
We finally got our act together and boy are we glad we did. We've had loads of joy experimenting with kimchi variations (spicy!) and all types of drinks - both savoury and sweet. Kvass, kombucha and ginger bug. There's been plenty of bubbling, fart-like gasses and fruit flies in our kitchen in the last few months!
My favourite among the probiotic drinks - beetroot kvass

My biggest "fear" was messing up with the kombucha - a fermented tea drink. Which I promptly did. I actually managed to kill off some of the beneficial bacteria and yeast cultures in my first kombucha, that I had gotten from a Facebook group. Yikes! Lucky for me, I got hold of a very lively SCOBY from a reputable "dealer" in no time and was able to get the fermentation going well in time for the course. Phew!

A very lively kombucha culture, happily brewing away in the kitchen
(look closely and you see the "blob" on top of the jar)
For me, the key take-away was how very different our tastebuds are. One of the participants found the rowanberry kvass (rönnbär in Swedish) way too bitter, whereas others preferred it over the sweeter kombucha (me!). One thing we could agree on was that the longer the kimchi ferments, the better.
Ginger and lingonberry kvass (didn't make the cut for the course)
and blueberry kombucha (that one did, on the other hand)

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