Fermentation

Sustainable Workshop Series!

Posted by on Mar 12, 2014 in Blog, Fermentation | 0 comments

Sustainable Workshop Series!

Join us in Boulder this spring for a 3-part workshop series! Topics will include how to make homemade sauerkraut, how to brew kombucha at home, and how to make hand-crafted herb infused chocolate truffles! Sign up now!

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5 Minute Mayo: Secrets for Perfect Homemade Mayonnaise

Posted by on Sep 24, 2013 in Blog, Fermentation, Recipes | 23 comments

5 Minute Mayo: Secrets for Perfect Homemade Mayonnaise

Making homemade mayonnaise can be a challenging and frustrating process. Learn how to make perfect homemade mayonnaise every time with these tips, tricks, and secrets!

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Milk Kefir: 8 Reasons Homemade is Better than Store-Bought!

Posted by on Sep 7, 2013 in Blog, Fermentation | 8 comments

Milk Kefir: 8 Reasons Homemade is Better than Store-Bought!

A few weeks ago I caved in and purchased a Milk Kefir Starter Kit from Cultures for Health. Let me say that I am so glad I did! After several months of buying quart after quart of store-bought milk kefir, I started to wonder about the benefits of making it from scratch. While I’m generally biased toward homemade processes anyway, my research into the benefits of homemade milk kefir over store-bought has exceeded my expectations. The list continues to grow, but for now, here are my 8 reasons why homemade milk kefir is better than store-bought: 1. You’ll Save Money! A quart of store-bought milk kefir can cost upwards of $5. By making it from scratch you can reduce you cost by at least 50%! For example: a half gallon of organic, grass-fed milk costs $5 and yields 2 quarts of milk kefir…that’s $2.50 per quart! Use the milk you already have on hand and you’ll be making fresh milk kefir for less than half the price of store-bought! Furthermore, keep in mind that you only have to buy the milk kefir culture one time, since it can be reused over and over (see reason #4)! 2. You’ll Create Less Waste (i.e. Be Green) I hate buying plastic. It is polluting when recycled, takes forever to break down in landfills (when not recycled), and inevitably winds up in the ocean. Bleh! I’m always trying to find ways to reduce my plastic consumption. By making homemade milk kefir I am eliminating all those plastic quart-sized bottles from our recyling bin and from the planet. Try culturing homemade kefir in wide mouth quart-sized mason jars! 3. Eliminate BPA and Plastic Toxins We know by now that plastic leeches into our food and drinks. By culturing and storing homemade milk kefir in glass jars you can avoid unwanted exposure to BPA and other plastic toxins! 4. Buy It Once, Make Milk Kefir for Life! When you buy milk kefir grains (not technically a grain, just what the culture is called) you can make an unlimited supply of milk kefir! By buying a Milk Kefir Starter Kit one time, you can make homemade kefir for the rest of your life! Milk kefir is the ultimate reusable culture. To learn more about the process of making milk kefir, click here! 5. You Can Make as Much or as Little as You Need When you have your own milk kefir grains you can make only as much homemade milk kefir as you anticipate needing. If you want a few cups for a recipe, you can make just that much. If you need a half gallon, no problem. I can make as much milk kefir as I see myself using in a week and then make more fresh kefir when I’m ready for it! 6. Dairy allergies? No problem! Another excellent thing about homemade milk kefir is that you get to decide what milk you use to make it. Milk kefir grains are quite versatile and can be used to culture cow milk (raw or pasteurized), goat milk, soy milk, or coconut milk, giving folks with lactose sensitivities plenty of options! 7. Homemade Kefir is Fresher When your food doesn’t have to take a truck, train, or airplane to arrive in your fridge it is undoubtedly fresher! Make you own homemade milk kefir and you’ll get the freshest product possible. This also means that it’ll to me more rich in probiotics since some yeast and bacteria will die or weaken during the long trek that store-bought milk kefir must take to arrive at your grocery store....

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Hard Apple Cider with Wild Yeast

Posted by on Aug 8, 2013 in Blog, Fermentation, Recipes | 4 comments

Hard Apple Cider with Wild Yeast

My first attempt at homemade hard apple cider with wild yeast has been bottled and is ready for consumption! I started this process several months ago with a gallon of store-bought apple juice in a glass jug. I’m pleased to say that my final product is slightly sweet with a mellow, bubbly finish. Hard cider can be made with either wild yeast or the packaged yeast of your choosing. If you’d like to ensure that your final product is reproducible, go with packaged yeast. I recommend using a champagne yeast like this one! Catching Wild Yeast If you are up for a bit of an adventure, you can make hard cider with wild yeast. The process is quite simple: leave the cider open on the counter, covered lightly with cheesecloth, for several days until some wild yeast finds its way into the bottle. You’ll know that you’re in business because the juice will begin to bubble and fizz. When you can see bubbles rising to the top of the bottle, you know that wild yeast have begun to consume the sugar in your juice and turn it into alcohol. At this point it’s time to cover your bottle with an airlock, which will let the bubbles out, but won’t let anything else in, effectively keeping the brewing environment sterile. ┬áPrimary Fermentation Once your cider is fitted with an airlock, the waiting game begins. You’ll see bubbles release quickly at first and eventually more slowly from the jug. After about 2-4 weeks (depending on the temperature in your home), the bubbles will slow and it’ll be time to rack your cider! Racking Racking is a process whereby the cider is siphoned out of the glass jug and into a new vessel (or back into the same vessel after its been cleaned). The purpose of racking is to get rid of the layer of yeast sediment (lees) that has been deposited at the bottom of your fermentation jug. This sediment can give an off-taste to your cider, so it’s best to leave it behind for the next step. Racking is most easy (and also most sterile) when done with a siphon pump and some tubing but can also but done with just the tubing and your mouth. Regardless of the method you choose, this step can be tricky, so I recommend doing some research first. Here are a couple of links to get you started: The Kitchn: Siphoning Home-Brewed Beer Wikihow: Make a Siphon Making Hard Cider Secondary Fermentation Once the cider is siphoned into a second container with the lees, or dead yeast sediment left behind, it will begin its secondary fermentation. If you’d like a still (uncarbonated), dry cider like I did this process will last longer. For me, it took approximately 4 to 5 months. If you want a fizzy, sweeter cider, you can bottle your cider at any point in the brewing process. Bottling When your cider has stopped releasing carbon dioxide bubbles, signifying the slowing of the fermentation process, it’s ready to be bottled! Use that trusty siphon to, that’s right, siphon the cider into flip-top-style bottles. You can also use a funnel and pour the cider but you run the risk of dredging up all the sediment that will have settled at the bottom of your jug and wondering if you should have caved and bought yourself a siphon. I won’t tell you which way I chose to do this. After its been bottled, store your cider in the fridge and enjoy! Your friends are sure to be impressed, and if they are anything like...

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Probiotic Pickles: A Fermented Year-Round Recipe

Posted by on Jul 28, 2013 in Blog, Fermentation, Recipes | 33 comments

Probiotic Pickles: A Fermented Year-Round Recipe

There’s nothing quite like a lacto-fermented half sour pickle! They are crisp, crunchy, and refreshing with just the right amount of tang! Plus they pack a hefty probiotic punch! It’s a win-win.

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Matsoni: Why Mesophilic Yogurt is the Easiest to Make

Posted by on Jun 2, 2013 in Blog, Fermentation, Recipes | 14 comments

Matsoni: Why Mesophilic Yogurt is the Easiest to Make

Matsoni is one of many heirloom-variety mesophilic yogurt cultures available today. It is valued for its ability to turn milk into yogurt at room temperature without any fancy equipment. Furthermore, you can reuse the same culture for weeks, months, or even years!

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Brewing Dandelion Wine & Eating Dandelions

Posted by on May 22, 2013 in Blog, Fermentation, Recipes | 4 comments

Brewing Dandelion Wine & Eating Dandelions

The dandelion is special in that all of its parts are edible: leaves, flowers, and roots! Full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, the dandelion could easily be considered a super-food! Learn how to brew dandelion wine and several different ways to prepare and eat this nutrient-dense plant!

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Homemade Vanilla Extract & 10 Ways to Use It

Posted by on May 11, 2013 in Blog, Fermentation, Recipes | 16 comments

Homemade Vanilla Extract & 10 Ways to Use It

Making homemade vanilla extract is simple and very cost-effective. Learn about all the delicious ways you can use your homemade extract.

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