HOMEMADE FERMENTED BEVERAGES

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INTRODUCTION

Homemade fermented beverages are my favored way to quench my thirst. Although pure water can be very refreshing, there is nothing like drinking a cool sparkling homemade fermented beverage.

Actually the variety is almost unlimited. Fortunately, most of the commercial brands ferment to have minimal (5%) or no alcohol at all for people with sensitivities.

MY FERMENTED DRINK PROJECT

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From rebeccasnaturalfood.com, The Magic of Fermented Foods and Beverages
KOMBUCHA
My homemade fermented beverages project originated with my love of kombucha. Over the years, I’ve consequently spent a great deal of time learning about fermented drinks in general. Then I discovered on my own how to make delicious flavors.
Although there are many delicious commercial brands of kombucha on the market, making it at home can be lots of fun even if it is time consuming.
Making Homemade Kombucha
Sometimes we don’t have the luxury of fermenting of our kombucha. In that case, commercial kombucha will do nicely. But if time does allow, I think it is worth it to experience homemade fermented beverages.
‘1F’ Kombucha
As I mentioned, fermentation, either ‘1F’ and/or ‘2F’ does take considerable time. Let’s begin. The ‘1F’ process includes boiling and cooling (black or green) tea. Then place it in a glass jar without the tea. Next add the fermenting agent known as a SCOBY.

Cover the glass jar with cheesecloth or a coffee filter secured with a rubber band or string. Once the liquid ferments, remove the SCOBY from the tea. Fermentation can take from a few days to over a week even. The result is a drinkable ‘1F’ Kombucha.
Keep SCOBY Mixture Warm During Fermentation
It is crucial to keep the designated fermenting area and bottle(s) warm. To accomplish this, be sure to cover the container with a heavy material like a sock or even a heating belt specifically designed for this purpose.
2F Kombucha
Once the 1F process is fermented, it is ready is make the kombucha more flavorful. But first be sure to remove the SCOBY from the 1F liquid. Next place the SCOBY in a small amount of the original ‘1F’ liquid in its own jar. Refrigerate it and leave it to rest ready to start another ‘1F’ kombucha. To make the ‘2F’ kombucha with one or more additional flavors, add either juice or tea to the jar that contains the bulk of’1F’ liquid. That may takes days, as well.
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Kombucha SCOBY from blissedmama.com website
Recipes
There are so many great recipes for Kombucha available on the Internet. For example, here is one of those recipes. How to Make Kombucha at Home Using a SCOBY.
The ‘Sources & Resources’ section below has a terrific recipe. Many other recipes are on the Internet.

FERMENTED LEMONADE/LIMEADE

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Homemade Fermented limeade with only two ingredients
This thirst quenching homemade fermented beverage is probably the easiest to make. It only requires two ingredients consisting of whey and ‘Simply Lemonade or Limeade’. First make whey with a cheesecloth by straining store bought, full fat probiotic plain yogurt.
Fermenting with Whey
Add about 1/4 cup whey to a bottle of Simply Lemonade or Limeade. Since it is about as pure as squeezing my own juice, it saves me a huge step of not having to squeeze my own citrus. Combine the two ingredients, 1/4 cup whey into a full bottle of juice. Make sure the bottle cover is on tight for fermenting.
Let this two step process sit on the counter maintaining a room temperature of between a minimum of 70 degrees but best closer to 80 degrees for a few days until it gets fermented and fizzy. Then refrigerate it and enjoy. Hint: In colder weather cover bottle in a heavy sock to maintain warm temperature for proper fermenting.

GINGER ALE

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Ginger bug recipe from thespruceeats.com
Ginger ale involves another two step process similar to the ‘2F’ fermentation process used for making flavored kombucha. In this case, start by making a ginger bug.
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Ginger ale recipe from thespruceeats.com
Combine bug and Liquid Then add it to a liquid specifically prepared for making homemade ginger ale. There is a great photo subtitle link that provides an excellent recipe for both a bug and ginger ale.
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Beet Kvass from threestonehearth.com

BEET KVASS

Red Beet Kvass Recipes for beet kvass vary depending on your preferred fermenting technique as well as taste (sweet or salty). Here is a recipe that uses salt as its fermenting agent
Sally Fallon Morell highly recommends beet kvass as an excellent nourishing beverage.
To quote her from the website threestonehearth.com, ‘Beets are sliced and cultured in water with yogurt whey and Celtic sea salt to make this traditional tonic drink.’
Valuable Medicinal Qualities
Sally Fallon Morell describes this drink as being “valuable for its medicinal qualities and as a digestive aid. Beets are just loaded with nutrients. One 4-ounce glass, morning and night, is an excellent blood tonic, promotes regularity, aids digestion, alkalizes the blood, cleanses the liver and is a good treatment for kidney stones and other ailments…”
GOLDEN BEET KVASS
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Sparkling Golden Beet Kvass Made the Traditional Way
from the CulturedGuru.com

Golden beet kvass involves a more complicated recipe, possibly with more powerful results. I have not made this kvass yet. But I will as soon as I purchase some golden beets and fermented rye bread.

SOURCES & RESOURCES

a.The Magic of Fermented Foods and Beverages
b.Salty Beet kvass
c.Sweet Beet Kvass
d.Kvass and Kombucha: Gifts From Russia
e.Golden Beet & Turmeric Kvass: A Fermented Home Brew Recipe for a Healthy Probiotic Drink

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Traditional Fermented Ginger Ale: Introduction

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FERMENTING AGENTS

Traditional fermented ginger ale is the only drink I make that is in a similar category to Homemade Organic Fermented Lemonade or Limeade. These drinks are kissing cousins because they can use the same fermenting agent, whey. But for ginger ale, a ‘ginger bug’ is my preferred fermenting agent.
Whey
Using whey in making ginger ale does make it ferment faster. But I prefer not to add it and let the ginger ale ‘slow brew’. In addition, for people who are sensitive to dairy or are vegan, whey needs to be avoided since it comes from dairy.
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Store-bought and home-made whey for fermented lemon and limeade
Ginger Bug, No Whey
So we won’t be going into detail about the use of whey as our fermenting agent today. Instead, our focus will be on making a ‘ginger bug’.

 


Be Persistent More Than Consistent
Keep in mind that my first effort failed. So don’t give up. Over time, I have used various recipes as my template for guidance. It is amazing how recipes can vary. That is because fermenting is as much an art as it is a science. There is no exclusive way to make this. The only one that matters is the one that works. And based on all kinds of environmental and other input, the same recipe may not work consistently.
Ginger
Let’s start with the ginger itself. I only use fresh ginger. If it is organic, I just rinse it. If it is not organic, I peel it. Either way, the ginger should be nice and plump, not wrinkled or moldy. Ginger is available in Asian food stores, in health food markets and often in supermarkets.
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Grated ginger and whole pieces of ginger root and turmeric root
Recipe One
There are two recipes that I used at the start. The first is from Wellnessmama.com calling for a small amount of ginger, sugar and water added daily.

 

 


Recipe Two
The second is from Nourished Traditions and is fairly similar to the wellnessmama.com recipe.
Ginger Bug Care
I am not sure if I found a recipe for this or if I started doing it on my own. I am admittedly overwhelmed sometimes with caring for all my fermented beverages and food. Daily attention to my ‘ginger bug’ become difficult. So I started weekly feeding of my continuous culture, you never use it up but always save some to start the next one.
Varieties of Sugar
It worked. And what works even better is using muscovado sugar. It is very dark because it has a substantial amount of molasses left in it. It tastes almost taste more like ginger beer than ginger ale. My original bug is made with a lighter sugar called demerara with less molasses so it is not as potent.
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Ginger bugs fermenting comfortably
Ginger Wort
The next step in making traditional fermented ginger ale is preparing a ginger wort’. The recipe for that will appear in the next blog post, Traditional Fermented Ginger Ale: ‘Ginger Wort’. Following steps will appear on additional blog posts throughout the coming week.

SOURCES & RESOURCES

Ginger Bug Recipe from Wellness Mama

Ginger Bug from Nourished Kitchen

This blog post details information discussed by Alison D. Gilbert, Healthy Living Consultant, on A.M. News on Renegade 101.3 FM. If you wish to share it, please give credit where credit is due. Photography is by the author unless otherwise indicated by scanning your mouse over the image. Thank you.


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