Frequently Asked Questions
You can use starter cultures if you want to, but it's not necessary.
Natural lacto-bacteria found on vegetable skin provides a ready made starter culture. This is called wild fermentation. Magic!
Some fermenters do use a starter culture. Why? Primarily 3 reasons:
1. Some aren't comfortable with wild fermentation.
2. Some feel that using a starter culture provides better, more consistent results.
3. Using a starter culture may speed up the fermentation process by a day or so.
The disadvantage of starter cultures is cost. Why spend $20 if you don't have to? For your 2nd and later batches, you can make your own starter culture. Just add a tablespoon of liquid from a previous ferment to the new one.Last updated:
Well, it's a little complicated.
Pickled foods are foods that have been preserved in an acidic medium.
Fermented foods are those that have been preserved by microorganisms (lactobacilli) that convert sugar into lactic acid.
The two categories, pickled and fermented, overlap.
Pickles and sauerkraut that you buy off the supermarket shelf are produced by soaking vegetables in a vinegar solution under high heat and pressure. Vinegar pickled vegetables don't provide the health and taste benefits of fermented vegetables. They're pickled but not fermented.
Brine fermented vegetables create their own lactic acid as a by-product of fermentation. Lactobacilli convert sugar into lactic acid. The lactic acid pickles the vegetables. They're both fermented and pickled.Last updated:
Kefir is a delicious, often effervescent, probiotic beverage made with a starter culture called kefir grains.
There are basically 2 types of kefirs: 1) milk kefir made with cows milk, goat milk, or coconut milk; 2) water kefir made with sugar water, certain types of juice, or coconut water.
Milk kefir made with cow or goat milk is like a drinkable yogurt. Kefir is actually considered to confer more probiotic benefits than yogurt due to the variety and types of microorganisms in the kefir culture. Even if you're lactose intolerant, you may still be able to enjoy milk kefir because most of the lactose is consumed by the kefir culture. Kefir made with raw milk is especially delectable (and healthful). Milk kefir is great in fruit smoothies.
Water kefir is bland unless flavored with fruit juice, fresh fruit, dried fruit, vanilla, etc. The flavoring can be added before or after fermentation, but if fruit is added before, care must be taken if you want to harvest the grains. Instead of water, you can use sweetened green or black tea to create a unique drink that can be served cold or over ice: Kefir iced tea.Last updated:
Yes, Kraut Source works great for kefir. Kefir should be fermented in an anaerobic environment and produces CO2 that needs to be released.There's no need for the spring press, so it should be removed before starting the kefir.Last updated:
Sea salt is a natural combination of sodium chloride and natural trace minerals. These trace minerals are essential nutrients, though some argue that the concentrations are too low to have any nutritional benefit.
Table salt is an artificial combination of concentrated sodium chloride and anti-caking additives like calcium silicate, sodium ferrocyanide, tricalcium phosphate, and sodium silicoaluminate.
Sea salt tastes better. In taste tests sea salt beats refined salt 10 to 1. After using sea salt for a while, table salt tastes harsh.
Sea salt is healthier. This is controversial, but it makes sense. Which would you rather consume, natural trace minerals or artificial anti-caking additives?
There also are differences in types of sea salt. Artisan produced sea salts show a huge variety of mineral compositions and crystal structures. These variations produce subtle taste differences. Industrially produced sea salts are purer sodium chloride, but at least don't contain anti-caking agents.
Our favorite artisan salt is Celtic Sea Salt. We believe it enhances the flavor of foods and provides a superior source of trace minerals.
Another type is Himalayan pink salt. Himalayan salt contains trace minerals and has no anti-caking agents. It's produced from underground mines rather than evaporated from sea water.Last updated:
All the rewards (that include jars) will be shipped with quart size Mason jars.Last updated:
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