Please post your questiions about Fermented Foods
1. In the Natural Yeast recipe it says to feed starter immediately after you pour off the brown liquid. How and what do you feed it? I started with 2/3 c. starter yesterday and came home and fed it 2/3 c. water and 2/3 heaping c. white wheat flour. Do I stir in another 2/3 c. water and flour when it is time to feed it?
Put your start in the door of the fridge so you will see it everyday. When you see brown liquid forming on top you want to feed it again. Mine gets brown liquid on it every 3 days. Yours may be a little bit different depending on your fridge temperature and other factors.
When it is ready to be fed, pour off the brown liquid. Pour the start into a measuring cup. If it measures 1 1/4 c. then add 1 1/4c. cup water. Mix it well. Then add a heaping 1 1/4 c. of whole wheat / kamut flour.
If you get more start than you want to feed, just discard some or make something yummy out of it. We usually make crepes, waffles or pancakes out of our extra.
Here is the Amazon link for Melissa’s book The Art of Baking with Natural Yeast: Breads, Pancakes, Waffles, Cinnamon Rolls and Muffins
Here is a link to Melissa’s Facebook Page
& her blog TheBreadGeek.blogspot.com
2. Did you add anything to the cream cheese that we tried yesterday? (It was yummy!) Do you have a recipe for cream cheese or do you just eat it plain after you have collected your whey?
I added org. sugar. I like to add honey, you just have to warm it slightly first. Sometimes we just eat it like we did in class. Sometimes after I have made a bunch we make cheesecake out of it. Just use it as you would cream cheese in any recipe.
3. Can you keep reusing the kefir grains after you have drank the liquid? If so, how long?
Yes, you keep reusing the kefir grains. They will grow more each time. In the summer your kefir grains will almost double every batch. We usually strain our kefir grains and pour the liquid into a pitcher for drinking then immediately start new kefir with the grains. That way we don’t run out. As long as you consistently keep feeding them you can use them indefinitely. If you are leaving town put them in the fridge with some water and sugar in it. You can also dehydrate them for longer term storage.
4. How long do I let my sauerkraut ferment on my counter? In the recipe it says “Timeframe: 1-4 weeks (or more)”. Is this how long I let it sit out before I refrigerate it?
Yes, this is how long you let it sit out before refrigerating it. I suggest you taste it in 1 week. If you like the taste refrigerate it. If you want it more sour, leave it out longer. Sauerkraut is a pretty hardy fermented food. You can actually just leave it out on the counter and eat a little everyday. If it starts to get too sour, just put it in the fridge, but you may never need to.
5. When I am making water kefir do I use tap water or something else?
I recommend some type of pure water – RO, Spring Water, etc. You can try it with tap water and see what happens. We don’t drink tap water because I think it is a health hazard. A reverse osmosis filter is a good investment, cleans adequately and is a lot less expensive than other options out there.
6. Why use Organic sugar in water kefir? Are there better quality sugars out there?
For kombucha and water kefir both you can use organic sugar.
Organic sugar is not the best choice of sugars for regular consumption. My favorite sweetners include: brown rice syrup, raw honey, Rapadura, coconut sugar. As far as “sugar” goes Rapadura is my favorite sugar. It is evaporated cane juice that is really just that. . . sugar cane that is juiced and then dehydrated. There are many brands of evap cane juice on the market. Most of them are not really evap cane juice. Our labeling laws are unfortunate. They give us the illusion that what is on the label is what is in the food. That is often not the case.
Back to Water Kefir . . . for water kefir you can use organic sugar or Rapadura or fruit peelings or fruit or a combination. The reason you can use organic sugar in water kefir even though it may not be the best sugar to normally eat is because the kefir will eat up the sugars. When making organic sugar the manufacturers are not supposed to use chemicals. I don’t use non-organic refined white sugar because chemicals are used in the processing of sugar, so many chemicals that white sugar is not actually a natural substance. I feel like if using white sugar, some of the chemical residue could be left in your kefir.
7. When I add the flour to the Natural Yeast culture start do I stir it? Yes stir it well after adding the flour. It should be thick, like my favorite brownie batter 🙂
8. You guys commented in your class that there was a website where you go to to take herbalist classes online and that they were about 30 dollars per course. Could you send me that link?
His name is Kal Sellers. He has many $30 courses and some that are more. I have found a lot of value in his courses. www.madherbalist.com
9. Also, can you send me the information on the honeyville grain classes regarding the bread starter?
Here is the link to Honeyville Grain’s site. It has their address and class schedule. www.honeyvillegrain.com
10. Lastly, the sauerkraut that we made in class. I have questions. Ours is bubbling and has froth at the top. Some of the liquid from the jar has spilled onto a plate that we put below the jar. Is it okay? How long do we wait before we can close the lid on it and does it need to be in the dark or covered with a cloth?
Froth and bubbles is fine. It is best to have a lid or covering on it right away. Sometimes you have to improvise because of the weight you are using. You don’t want to use an air tight lid. The Ball Wide-Mouth Plastic Storage Caps, 8-Count(if you click that it is an amazon link) are nice. If a lid cannot fit on because of your weight, cover with a cloth and secure with a string or something.