All About Milk Kefir

Milk kefir is a fairly unique ferment in that it requires a special culture, known as grains. Despite the name, milk kefir grains are rubbery, irregularly-shaped blobs. They're more similar to a Kombucha SCOBY or mother of vinegar than they are to a grain of rice or wheat. The grains can't, as far as I know, be... Continue Reading →

Fermentation Fail – Moldy Radishes!

Fermentation Fail Every fermenter will at some point experience a fermentation fail. This may be from an abundance of kahm yeast producing off smells, improper submerging of vegetables resulting in a layer of molded solids, or sometimes more mysteriously, a layer of mold that forms on the surface of the brine. It's sad, but it... Continue Reading →

Grow Your Own Kombucha SCOBY from Scratch

Kombucha, a vinegar cousin, is fermented by organisms that build their own house at the surface of the liquid. This SCOBY, or Symbiotic Culture of Yeast and Bacteria, is another cellulose pellicle common to vinegar formers. While vinegar is a secondary fermentation of alcohol, kombucha is a fermentation of sweetened tea. The mechanics of that show... Continue Reading →

Apple Cider Vinegar Hack

Or - what to do when you don't have an apple tree but like making ACV. It's really this easy. Lots of people want to start vinegar from the start, but if you don't have a juicer or want a faster process, making Apple Cider Vinegar can be really, really easy. This is my existing... Continue Reading →

Peasemeal, My New (Old) Favorite Thing

I love old school cooking, and recently started exploring the use of legumes in alcohol fermentation. Theoretically, they should be a good addition, and I found that in fact, beans and peas, malted or not, were used in beer making way back in the past. That led me onto other tangents, and soon I came... Continue Reading →

Wild Starter for Sour Beer

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Because of our incredible honey bounty, Steve and I are talking about putting together a wild starter for some kind of authentic gruit-style beer. The starter itself should be easy to kick off - we'll boil up some grain sugar to sanitize it, let it cool to room temperature, then add a tablespoon of our... Continue Reading →

What is Kahm Yeast, and What Does Kahm Do?

(Updated September 2018 with new bacterial species!) In fermentation, we talk a lot about the dreaded "kahm yeast." This is a surface growth (a "pellicle", for your word geekery) of unwanted organisms that can impart unpleasant aromatics and flavors to our lovingly crafted foods. But anyone who's tried to explore the topic further has quickly learned... Continue Reading →

Brewing Mead

One of the best parts about making alcohol is that it tends to become a social event, and that's especially true when beekeepers are brewing mead. My friend Steve and I threw a bit of a party with the leftovers from our crush and strain honey harvest after he'd bottled most of it. I had... Continue Reading →

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