Zymurgy (Fermentation)

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Zymurgy (Fermentation)

Postby Darby on February 16th, 2015, 1:43 am 

Any zymurgists on this site ?

I taught myself fermentation back in 1996, and brewed for several years until I'd mastered most styles of Ale, Mead and Cider.
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Re: Zymurgy (Fermentation)

Postby BioWizard on February 16th, 2015, 10:59 am 

I've thought about it but haven't found the time or space yet. Lately I've been into breeding finches for color mutations. So whatever little extra space (or time) I have is filled with stacks of cages...
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Re: Zymurgy (Fermentation)

Postby mtbturtle on February 16th, 2015, 11:29 am 

I fermented pickles they didn't turn out, too salty. I then bought a fermenting crock and made sauerkraut which was really easy and turned out delicious. I also have a sour dough starter I'm working on.
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Re: Zymurgy (Fermentation)

Postby BioWizard on February 16th, 2015, 11:34 am 

That made me hungry mtb...
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Re: Zymurgy (Fermentation)

Postby Darby on February 16th, 2015, 12:24 pm 

mtbturtle » February 16th, 2015, 10:29 am wrote:I fermented pickles they didn't turn out, too salty. I then bought a fermenting crock and made sauerkraut which was really easy and turned out delicious. I also have a sour dough starter I'm working on.


Easy enough to cut back on salt, if you (like me) prefer "half sours", which can be done easily and quickly in the fridge in summer, and the basement or garage in winter. I can post a recipe for anyone interested for some korean-inspired hot/sour pickle spears - I use fish sauce, vinegar, a little simple syrup, and some hot crushed chili paste.

Sour dough can be a lot of fun if you like to make bread regularly, but you have to keep feeding and maintaining the mother (lest it starve or turn bad), and onlookers contemplating homemade beer/mead/wine are forewarned that sourdough is wholly incompatible (due to airborne cross contamination) with fermenting beverages ... with the sole exception of kombucha.

BTW, an aside on types of pickles, for the benefit of onlookers: A lot of people dont realize there's a difference between "pickled" pickles (aka quick or supermarket pickles) and old world "fermented" pickles (aka slow or natural pickles). The latter (like most old fashioned cabbage products throughout Asia) are slowly fermented and turn sour naturally (as the sugars first ferment, and then the resulting alcohol breaks down into acetic acid), and develop a lot more flavor and complexity (as well as some unpredictability), whereas the former use the convenient shortcut of adding endstage acidity (i.e., vinegar and spices) up front, and simply infusing them. Quick pickles can take a few hours or days, depending on the strength of the brine, the product being pickled, and how you cut the latter, whereas natural pickles can take weeks or months (sometimes years) to reach optimum flavor/texture.
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Re: Zymurgy (Fermentation)

Postby TheVat on February 16th, 2015, 1:18 pm 

Have to give natural pickles a try, then. Don't much like supermarket pickles. Interesting thread - you don't see a zymurgy chat every day.

Re sauerkraut, never had any I found edible, but the concept always sounded good on paper. I like cole slaw, so I'm not anti-cabbage or anything.
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Re: Zymurgy (Fermentation)

Postby mtbturtle on February 16th, 2015, 1:21 pm 

our homemade sauerkraut was milder and sweeter than any store bought I've ever had.
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Re: Zymurgy (Fermentation)

Postby Darby on February 16th, 2015, 1:58 pm 

Braininvat » February 16th, 2015, 12:18 pm wrote:Have to give natural pickles a try, then. Don't much like supermarket pickles. Interesting thread - you don't see a zymurgy chat every day.

Re sauerkraut, never had any I found edible, but the concept always sounded good on paper. I like cole slaw, so I'm not anti-cabbage or anything.


The internet is a fabulous resource ... easy enough now to google for some sites that will step you though natural fermentation of various vegetables, without the need to hit the library or bookstore.

Have at it ! :)
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Re: Zymurgy (Fermentation)

Postby Darby on February 16th, 2015, 2:12 pm 

Quick Korean-style Pickled Hot & Sour Cucumber (yeild: about 1 quart)

Origin: my own recipe
Comment: heat is medium, sweetness is light, acidity is half sour.
Time: 4 hrs.

1/2 - 3/4 cup Rice Vinegar (alt: cider or white wine)
1/2 - 3/4 cup Cold Water
1 fl oz Sambal Oelek (hoy fong brand crushed fresh red chili paste)
1-2 fl oz of Simple Syrup (alt: mirin or diluted honey/agave syrup will do in a pinch)
2 tsp Kosher Salt
1-2 tsp Thai Fish Sauce (I like 3 Crabs brand).
----------
Enough of your favorite type of cucumber, cut lengthwise into spears, to fill a 1 qt jar (I like persian and english for this). Even better than cucumber is watermelon rind (my personal favorite) ... cut away the red flesh, and peel off the tough green outer rind, leaving just the crisp & juicy pale green-white inner rind. Jicima, cabbage, bok choy, the peeled inner cores of broccoli, and sweet onions probably all work fine too.

Directions: mix the brine and shake in a small jar, cut the spears and pack into the desired jar, top off with the brine, and refrigerate for a minimum of 2-4 hours before serving. Consume within a few days, or the pickles will over soften. If you plan to keep the pickles longer, leave them whole (uncut), so that they pickle much more slowly, and stay crisp longer.

The spent brine can be shaken with a little dark sesame oil and a spritz of mustard and used to dress bean sprouts.
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Re: Zymurgy (Fermentation)

Postby Darby on February 19th, 2015, 2:57 am 

Here's an old photo from my homebrewing days, from Oct 3rd, 1998. I'm the alpha male, 3rd from the left.

Image

If I recall, I'd talked a few friends in my old homebrewing club into splitting a quarter ton of muscat grapes that we'd bought on the spot market. Two of my friends did a straight still wine with their share of the pressed juice, whereas I and another friend (1st on the left) upped the specific gravity with some local basswood honey to make the must for a semi-dry still pyment, which we split equally between us. After fermentation, my finished up at 13.5% alcohol and 6 brix residual sweetness.

The pyment won awards in both of the two contests we'd entered it in. It won the mead category (out of 400 entries) in the 1999 Best of Brooklyn homebrew competition (held at the Brooklyn Brewing Company). It also placed third place in mead in the first round of the 1999 AHA Nationals for the North East region.

Good times.
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