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Accentuate the Positive

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halcionne

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I haven't posted because I've had a hell of a time eliminating everything I need to in order to give this experiment a fair shot, primarily chocolate. And Diet Coke. :my_dodgy: 

The good news (I guess) is that I can tell now that those foods make me sick, so I have even more reason to cut them out. The GAPS Diet prescribes lots of fermented foods, so I was hoping to come up with a homemade, fizzy, fermented drink to replace the soda, like fermented lemonade or beet kvass, but I haven't had much luck with that. Here is the Jinger (heehee) bug that I starved to death. 

Spoiler

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And an attempt at an apple cranberry kvass that went moldy on day three, so I refuse to continue with it. Some sources say to remove the mold and keep going, but that's just too squicky for me.

Spoiler

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So I've been eating a lot of homemade chicken soup with sour cream or yogurt stirred in, and I like it. It makes me feel healthy and like I'm taking good care of myself. I got an Instant Pot for Christmas so I plan on trying to make my own yogurt soon.

Has anyone had good results with small batch fermenting at home?

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Bethella

Posted

We typically do a large batch (20 gallon crock) of sauerkraut every other year, but you can adjust the amounts to what you need. Our recipe has been adapted from the family recipe and an old Ball canning cookbook.

Use good, sound heads of mature cabbage, 1/3 cup (rounded) salt per 10 lbs of cabbage. One pound fills 1 pint glass jar. Be sure to thoroughly wash your hands and utensils before you start.

Remove outside green and dirty leaves. Quarter the head and finely shred the cabbage. Put 5 lbs cabbage and 2 ounces of salt (about 3 1/2 tablespoons) into a crock and pack it in (we have a wooden mallet/bat we use for this but you could probably use a potato masher). You want the juices to flow and you should notice the cabbage starting to wilt. Repeat until all the cabbage has been processed. The cabbage should be fully submerged in the juices. You should make sure that there is at least 4 inches (10 cm) of space between the cabbage and the rim of the container.

We typically use a garbage bag full of water to seal our crock, you can search online for other methods if you want. My great-grandmother would just use the large outer cabbage leaves to cover her crock. Place in a cool place, out of direct sunlight. As it ferments the gas produced escapes as "burps" when it is done burping the fermentation is done. For us our area and the amount we do it usually takes 6 weeks, but it can go faster in warmer climates or with smaller batches. It can be eaten as is or canned.

We typically rinse our kraut. After squeezing it dry it is packed in glass quart jars with an additional 3/4 tsp salt (pack 1/3 kraut, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/3 kraut, 1/4 tsp salt, final 1/3 kraut, final 1/4 tsp salt). Leave a 1/2 inch head space. Process in boiling water bath for 15 minutes.

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halcionne

Posted

@Bethella that's really impressive! Do you do a lot of canning, too? I've only tried it once. All of this homemade, do it yourself type stuff is completely foreign to me. :my_confused:

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Bethella

Posted

5 hours ago, halcionne said:

@Bethella that's really impressive! Do you do a lot of canning, too? I've only tried it once. All of this homemade, do it yourself type stuff is completely foreign to me. :my_confused:

We do some but not a ton simply because we don't eat much of it. I tend to make 2 batches of jam a year and alternate which years I do the different types. So one year I'll do blueberry and strawberry,  the next year I'll do peach and something else. I've also done a couple kinds of pickles, my favorite was peach pickles but I've also done watermelon rind and regular cucumber pickles. Three(?) years ago I made a batch of canned pie filling (strawberry rhubarb), we still have 4 jars of it in the basement. 

The big thing we do every year is maple syrup. We tap about 40 trees in our yard, collect the sap and boil it down. We typically get about 6-8 gallons of syrup each year- it's our standard hostess gift.

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