Fermenting Food.

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karstopography
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Re: Fermenting Food.

#81

Post: # 28216Unread post karstopography
Sat Aug 15, 2020 5:01 am

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Mead is a slow food. I Started this back in early July as a fun project to share with my son. He was 17 when we started, he will be 18 before it’s ready to drink.

The fermentation is done and those yeasts did an amazing job. Final Specific gravity of 0.991. Don’t know my original specific gravity, got the hydrometer after the fact. Estimate of Starting Specific Gravity 1.090-1.095. 0.991 is a bone dry finish. Probably around 13%ABV or a touch higher.

Good news is that mead is highly amenable to adulteration. Don’t like is saharan dry, no worries, lots of fixes available. It’s, messing with the mead after fermentation, almost expected and required in Meadom. The ferment finishes and the work begins. Many mead makers ferment to dry and then add back in a variety of sweeteners. Or they drop in toasted oak spirals. Maybe some wine tannins. Stabilizers, fining agents. There’s a list a mile long.

I took a 15ml sample x 2 of mine and decided to see what I could do to improve my thin and dry melomel. One idea was to add in honey. That’s super normal in mead circles. I added in 2 ml of huajillo honey. Flavor and body of mead improved, but not in a wowser way.

Second idea was to add in this tincture of blackberry pulp I had been cultivating for a month in the fridge. When I made my melomel, I took a cup plus of whole berries from the primary after their 9 days in there and put them in a jar and covered in Tito’s vodka. I added juice from about 3 more cups of blackberries, the juice strained into the carboy at that time and the pulp from that went into the vodka jar. So this jar with berry pulp and vodka has been sitting in fridge. Every once in a while, I’d dribble a bit into my sparkling water just to taste. Delicious. I put in some honey, too, more delicious.

So I added 2 ml of that to the 15 ml sample of mead. Wowser! Now we are talking. Transformative on the flavor and mouthfeel and acid sugar balance. I was able to get about 5 ounces of the tincture strained through a fine sieve and cheese cloth and that went into my aging carboy.

Lets see how well that clears and then I will once again taste and decide the next move.
Zone 9a/b, right on the line, in the heart of the Columbia bottomlands. Heat zone 9, Sunset Zone 28, annual rainfall 52”

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Re: Fermenting Food.

#82

Post: # 28217Unread post karstopography
Sat Aug 15, 2020 5:03 am

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Zone 9a/b, right on the line, in the heart of the Columbia bottomlands. Heat zone 9, Sunset Zone 28, annual rainfall 52”

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Re: Fermenting Food.

#83

Post: # 28487Unread post karstopography
Mon Aug 17, 2020 6:48 pm

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Blackberry melomel in the bottles. Feels like an achievement. Now, this needs some aging. Maybe I’ll open one up for Christmas.
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Zone 9a/b, right on the line, in the heart of the Columbia bottomlands. Heat zone 9, Sunset Zone 28, annual rainfall 52”

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Re: Fermenting Food.

#84

Post: # 29258Unread post karstopography
Thu Aug 27, 2020 9:05 pm

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Started another one. American Beautyberries foraged about 50 feet from my house, Central Texas Yaupon Holly honey, Yaupon Tea.
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Zone 9a/b, right on the line, in the heart of the Columbia bottomlands. Heat zone 9, Sunset Zone 28, annual rainfall 52”

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Re: Fermenting Food.

#85

Post: # 29873Unread post karstopography
Fri Sep 04, 2020 5:22 pm

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Thai Red Noodle bean ferment, an experiment.
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Zone 9a/b, right on the line, in the heart of the Columbia bottomlands. Heat zone 9, Sunset Zone 28, annual rainfall 52”

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Re: Fermenting Food.

#86

Post: # 29987Unread post worth1
Sun Sep 06, 2020 7:41 am

[mention]karstopography[/mention]
You simply must try asparagus.
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25 miles southeast of Liverpool.

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Re: Fermenting Food.

#87

Post: # 30519Unread post worth1
Sun Sep 13, 2020 5:07 pm

[mention]karstopography[/mention]
Have you considered getting a small oak barrel to age your wine?
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Re: Fermenting Food.

#88

Post: # 30534Unread post karstopography
Sun Sep 13, 2020 10:39 pm

[mention]worth1[/mention] I’ve been reading a bit about oaking meads. Seems there are oak spirals available, toasted, not toasted, French or American. Oak Cubes, also. Oak Barrels are another option, maybe more expensive than the spirals and cubes at least initially. People toss in these spirals of oak and even other woods and cubes for such and such amount of time looking to improve the balance, mouthfeel and aging potential. Tinctures also get made soaking oak chips in grain neutral spirits.

I thought I might initially go in the direction of a tincture when and if I decide to oak. I’ve added a tincture of fruit seeds and skins with my first mead and other tannin containing materials like tea with my second one to improve the overall balance and structure of the mead instead of going the oaking route, so far anyway. Oaking, especially american oak, tends to put in a vanilla like taste that I’m for this point in time wanting to avoid.

One complaint I hear about mead is that it can be pretty one dimensional. Alcohol and honey flavors dominate without much complexity like what might be found in good wine. What I understand now is that a number of home mead makers add wine tannins, various acids such as tartaric, malic and citric acid and a host of other additions. Some of that is a turn off, the dumping of prepackaged powdered acids and tannins into a mead lacks appeal for me. I’d rather find something from nature I can use and not the refined, concentrated and prepackaged.

Additives and stabilizers like Potassium metabisulfite and Potassium sorbate are routinely used in mead. Clarifiers like bentonite and chitosan are also quite commonly put into mead. Diammonium Phosphate, xylitol, all these things get added for various reasons.

If there is any way to make a decent mead without all the extraneous materials getting thrown in, well, that’s where I am now.

There are quality wines out there that don’t get so worked over with a host of additions so it should be the same for mead.
Zone 9a/b, right on the line, in the heart of the Columbia bottomlands. Heat zone 9, Sunset Zone 28, annual rainfall 52”

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Re: Fermenting Food.

#89

Post: # 30542Unread post worth1
Mon Sep 14, 2020 4:43 am

Oak is such a generic word for a tree that has many varieties. :lol:
I haven't looked at the choices of spirals and I have to assume no one is using red oak for a barrel.
I would also have to think that each one of these oak spirals or barrels from different types of oak would have small difference in flavor.
Most certainly they are using white oak as that is the standard for barrels and ship building, red oak would rot.
But which one, because there are many kinds.
(Much of the USS Constitution was made from live oak.)
Rule of thumb red oak type trees have pointed leaves and white oak round.
Then there are ways to tell after the tree has been turned into lumber.
I wonder if the people that make and or buy these spirals know of this difference in oaks.
Buying prepackaged chemicals seems to take away from the original concept of making your own wines and mead.
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Re: Fermenting Food.

#90

Post: # 34459Unread post worth1
Sun Nov 22, 2020 5:39 pm

After all the other projects going on i managed to make a quart of salted fresh limes.
Sort of fermenting I guess not for sure.
Not even for sure how much salt.
Maybe two Tablespoons or less.
The limes where cut and smashed with my homemade fermenting smasher.
No water was added just the lime juice is covering the limes.
In a few days to a week or so the lime rinds will turn brown from green.
Then the juices and limes will take on the most amazing flavors.
A must do project.
And so safe and simple.
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Re: Fermenting Food.

#91

Post: # 34521Unread post worth1
Tue Nov 24, 2020 6:08 am

Here they are but are yellow now and very active.
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Re: Fermenting Food.

#92

Post: # 34522Unread post worth1
Tue Nov 24, 2020 6:09 am

Next on the agenda is fermented Brussels sprouts.
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Re: Fermenting Food.

#93

Post: # 34686Unread post worth1
Thu Nov 26, 2020 12:04 pm

As promised the limes today and just started the Brussels sprouts.
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Re: Fermenting Food.

#94

Post: # 34710Unread post worth1
Fri Nov 27, 2020 8:21 am

Brussels sprouts activity in about 12 hours.
With luck it will be a good one.
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Re: Fermenting Food.

#95

Post: # 35050Unread post worth1
Thu Dec 03, 2020 6:46 am

Brussels sprouts looking good after a week.
Can't hardly wait another week but I have to.
Temperature in house 62 at night and 65 in the day.
This slows the fermenting considerably but makes for a better product.
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Re: Fermenting Food.

#96

Post: # 36882Unread post karstopography
Fri Dec 25, 2020 4:21 pm

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Pretty good after 4 months in the bottle. Sparkling, like a prosecco, dry, subtle blackberry up front, a little bitter note on the finish. Would do it a touch sweeter and back off a hair on the bitter finish.
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Re: Fermenting Food.

#97

Post: # 36939Unread post worth1
Sun Dec 27, 2020 9:48 am

I have 1/2 gallon of habanero peppers just started to ferment today.
I use stems and all.
The only other thing I do is use my jar tamping tool to pack down the peppers and break them up.
Plus I cut a slit in each one.
Takes about a quart of water to fill the jar.
Used 3 tablespoons of kosher salt.
Weighed 1.5 ounces or 43 grams for y'all that weight your salt.
Whatever is leftover from the brine I add is just tossed out.
I also pack and tamp as the brine is added to get as much brine in and air bubbles out.
There's a huge bag of peppers in the jar.
Forgot to weight them but a little over a pound I suspect.
Just found the ticket 1.4 pounds.
4.99 a pound.
I get them at the Mexican market because they cost less and are better most of the time.
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agee
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Re: Fermenting Food.

#98

Post: # 36942Unread post agee
Sun Dec 27, 2020 10:34 am

I was all set to ferment this year but the motive was to ferment excess peppers that were gathered before the frost hit. Many of the peppers had bad spots that I planned to cut around the bad spots but then I read that the produce should be fresh and flawless and that was not the case with what I was working with.

I am glad beans are on the list. I like eating beans fresh, sauteing and then freezing some for soups and stews, but if I have a good bean year, it is good to know that they can be fermented. Same goes for okra.

There is an Asian grocery store chain but there is not a store close to me but I may try an make a trip because this time of year, daikon radishes, cabbage and other cool season vegetables are pretty cheap, so I may try and do a simplified kimchi.

Two questions I have, do I have to purchase jars and lids or can I repurpose glass jars? Once fermented, do they have to be refrigerated, I see differing information about that.
Last edited by agee on Sun Dec 27, 2020 11:13 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Fermenting Food.

#99

Post: # 36945Unread post worth1
Sun Dec 27, 2020 10:53 am

[mention]agee[/mention]
I use whatever I can get my hands on.
I do use new lids if canning lids and dry everything off.
Then I put some sort of mineral oil or something on the lid rings to keep from rusting.
Ther are better ways but it seems to work for me.
I have fermenting crocks and all manner of airlock and contraptions.
I do it this way to show you don't need anything but a jar and a lid.
As for the refrigerator thing.
Yes if you don't want it to keep fermenting.
No if you heat it up and process it.
But even then the sauce will last longer and look better.
I have non processed sauerkraut in my refrigerator I made a very long time ago that I still eat on.
Down to my last quart and one pint of ghost pepper sauce is the reason for the new batch.
Both look as bright and pretty as the day I made it.
Sealed and refrigerated.
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Re: Fermenting Food.

#100

Post: # 36946Unread post worth1
Sun Dec 27, 2020 11:03 am

This sauce might be three years old can't remember.
I use xanthan gum as a suspender or whatever you call it.
Helps to keep it in suspension.
That's a process all it own.
Too much and you get the blob.
I leave the stems on and don't wash the peppers.
Doing so washes away the natural bacteria.
But do as you wish.
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Worth
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