Lacto-fermentation

Discussion in 'General chat' started by mischief, Jan 16, 2010.

  1. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    I have been learning about the different ways people preserve thier foods.
    When someone first told me about this method I thought it was nuts, not being able toget past -lacto equals lactose equals milk sugar equals that sounds just not nice and didnt pay much attention to it.

    Till I came across references to sauerkraut which I had eaten and like a few years ago.

    My pickled vegetables have to date been made with vinegar as the key preservative and I thought that was the be all and end all to the subject.
    I was quite shocked and fasinated to learn that I was wrong and just what a long history there is in using whey and/or salt to preserve.

    It occurred to me that I hadnt seen any mention of it here and that perhaps it did belong in a permaculture forum.

    The two main types I have come across so far are Sauerkraut from Europe and KimChi from Korea.
    It seems that the Europeans got the idea from Asia when Ghengis Khans hordes arrived with their cabbage fermented with salt.

    I think it is a subject that permies would be interested in because.
    1.It is a low tech way to preserve not just cabbages in such a way that they keep for ages but also maintain and purported to increase nutrient availability.
    2.The amount of salt used is vey little.
    Did the low salt/ no salt in the diet brigade aid mass consummerism and lose us valuable knowledge.
    3.Whey is/can be used to preserve. So for those who have dairy animals this is another use for what some may consider is a waste product.
    4.You dont have to burn fuel to cook anything except maybe boil the water iniatially and sterilze containers.
    5.Cabbage is reasonable easy to grow but not nessessarily easy to cook with to make interesting.the reason I never bothered much with it.
    6.Alot of different vegetables can be done in the same or similar way.
    7.Most of the spices and flavourings can be grown in most micro climates.
    8.There must be potters out there who are PC. the crocks that are used are worthwhile to make and use and can be used from this point on for generations.More worthwhile work, a product that has current and continuing value.

    So what do you think so far?
     
  2. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

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    Definitely. Bill Mollison wrote a whole book on ferments. I don't like cabbage so have never tried making sauerkraut. I should really try with some other veges though.
     
  3. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    I didnt know that!
    I think I need to add "library" to my budget list.
    Looking things up on the net is great but there are times when you really want to sit down (under a tree) with a good book.

    I did another experiment today.

    Chinese style preserved eggs in brine.

    Need:
    clean jar,eggs, boiled water with as much salt as it will take and allowed to cool.

    Put eggs in the jar.
    Pour over the now cool saline solution.
    Put lid on
    Put out of the way ( but where you wont forget it)
    Wait a month til checking

    I'll come back in 31 days and tell you all about it.
     
  4. Grahame

    Grahame Senior Member

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    I recommend the local library, there have been times when I have ordered books that I couldn't find in the catalogue and they get them in for me. Such a great resource.
     
  5. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

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    I love libraries too :)

    Is that boiled eggs mischief?
     
  6. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    NO!!! Its not its raw eggs.
    Thats what I found so fasinating about it.
    I have been doing pickled boiled eggs but this year 2 out of 3 went funny.
     
  7. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    I have for years pickled hard boiled eggs in flavoured vinegar with no probs but this year I had 2 go wrong.
    Havent worked out what I have done differently.it has been along gap since I have done these but I am still using the same recipe.
    The only differneces that I can see is that where Iwas using very large tall jars I have been using squat smaller ones.
    I do have a jar in the fridge that I snack out on so I know I can still do it, just not all the time.

    Anyway when I saw this new method of doing eggs I thought I would give that a go too.
    The eggs are supposed tostay reasonble fresh and are cooked when you take them out of the brine, there is supposed to be some change like, when you boil the egg the white sets but the yolk stays alittle gooey.
    These are supposed to last for at least 6 months.
    I really only need them to last for as long as the hens go off the lay.
     
  8. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

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    So it's a way of preserving eggs then, rather than fermenting them? That's good, I'd only seen ways of doing that that were complicated.
     
  9. Bird

    Bird Junior Member

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    you can preseve eggs by coating in wax, or even vasaleen, has something to do with stopping air getting through the pourous shell. try google preserving eggs for more info
     
  10. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    I have another experiment going with larded eggs.
    I will be checking out 2 evry 2 months.
    First set on the first of march.

    On the brined eggs....I should have said you cook them on taking them out.
    The reason I like the idea of this method is it should give more variation on what I can do with them.

    I'm not too keen on the vasaleen in case it soaks into the eggs but the wax one I might try too.
    I suppose any old wax would do wouldnt it?
     
  11. kimbo.parker

    kimbo.parker Junior Member

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    on topic...fermentation

    hello,

    i am interested in using whey as a preserving liquid,,,i have mollys book "Fermentation and Human Nutrition" which i thought i'd 'mined' over the years...but i'll be going back to it again.
    I'm in favour of buying the book (2nd hand amazon?), because just like i am having to do now, in light of the whey revelation, you go back to it over and over.

    i had not connected the lacto-fermentation with actually adding a milk product; but now that i think of it,,,is it that the whey is in effect just the 'inoculate', and not the preserving liquid.
    there would be no preserving liquid in the case with sourkraut (?)

    in a pickle with vinegar it is just the acid content of the preserving liquid that protects the immersed and infiltrated goods, rather than a ferment that results in a preserved product...
    this is my understanding,,,and a tenuous understanding it is.

    i had to throw my entire crop of carrots out when the preserved baby carrots fermented in spectacular and inedible style.
    i discovered this in front of family, as i was boasting about my food reserves,,,when taking a jar and opening, it ,,, performed like an excited coke can.....shame.
    this happened too, with my entire crop of baby beets...

    i don't get it,,,,evidently.
    ps did you know that whey glows an eerie green....it is quite spectacularly ......like a jar of 'glow-stick liquid'
    milk plasma.....indeed a special product.....but you do have to make the hard cheese first,,,,to get a good return in whey.
    regards,
    kimbo
     
  12. purplepear

    purplepear Junior Member

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    I am facinated by the concept of using whey as a preserver.
    We get a fair amount of whey at the moment and sometimes I make Ricotta and sometimes I soak chook food in it and sometimes we give some to the dogs and sometime we use it on the garden - please tell us more Kimbo.
     
  13. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    Hi Kimbo, this is a completely new subject for me.On the Lacto= milk that was my misunderstanding an unknown subject.
    I tend to get excited about things and sometimes my mouth runs ahead of me and I either dont put out the whole of the info or have not fully understood some part of it so if you spot that please let me know.

    As I understand it its Lactic acid fermentation created by lactic acid bacteria, which are the good guys.

    Sorry to here about your lose thats really annoying.
    I have read that beets can be hard to do and perhaps should be done with cabbage as cabbage has a higher .....thingy.(still learning here)

    Please let me know what you have been doing, the good the bad the ugly and the downright fantastic!!!

    On the sauerkraut,the fresher it is the better with more moisture content and the finer you can shred it the better.
    Seems it only needs alittle salt to draw out the moisture and the lactic bacteria get to work in that.You need to keep the cabbage under the liquid tho and best if sealed from the air while letting out the gases it releases.
    Thats why I went to the expense of getting 'proper' crocks that have the water gutter at the lid and fine shredder.
    (from Golden Fields, in NZ.)
    Theres propbably someone in Aus that sells the same sort of thing.
    Or if you know a potter they would be able to make the type you prefer. Mine looks like a barrel some are straight sided.

    I find my fingers are itching to lift the lid and peak at my sauerkraut but the instructions say do not do this.I will have to wait for another week and two days!!
     
  14. Bird

    Bird Junior Member

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    Fairly sure its just candle wax

    at many books .com are many free e-books on preserving methods some of these are 100 yr old plus, when you preserved or starved, worth a cruise through on a quiet evening also old gardening and farming books-- gee i love old books
     
  15. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

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    Kimbo, yes the whey is the innocculant. You use a small amount as starter, to introduce the right bacteria. But I think you can ferment without it, you just use the natural bugs in the air (like sour dough). I think the salt is there to keep harmful or annoying bacteria etc in check while the useful ones get established.

    You might enjoy this beet kvass recipe: https://editor.nourishedmagazine.com.au/articles/beet-kvass

    You don't need to make cheese to get whey. Just let some milk sit on at room temperature until the whey separates out.

    Sandor Katz is another great resource for fermentation. He's taken alot of traditional techniques and expanded them and tried lots of different stuff. Including but not limited to lacto ferments.

    https://www.wildfermentation.com/
     
  16. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    Thanks for the links pebble, I've bookmarked them so I can study them later.
     
  17. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

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  18. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    purplepear look, use for whey!

    Purplepear,
    I made sour dough this week but instead of using water (which I have Not had good results with) I used the liquid leftover from straining my yogurt.
    I assume that is a form of whey too.
    Anyway for the first 2 days nothing happened so I put it in the porch with just a teatowel over it.
    2 days later it started to bubble.
    I made some pancakes with it and refilled with flour and water(boiled and cold out of the kettle)
    I still have bubbles and a sour yeasty smell.

    So... if you want to try it, there is another use for your whey.
    Cheese whey should work in the same way shouldnt it?
     
  19. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    My sauerkraut is fantastic but my sourdough sux.
    I think I'll try alittle less salt next time in the sauerkraut, its not too salty but tastes alittle better with some of the juice squeezed out.
    I gave some to my mum too and she really likes it. Likes that its supposed to be good for balancing out the intestinal tract as well.

    My sour dough started off looking really good but when I made the first loaf of bread it was like hard tack.
    Now its been thrown out cos it got some nasty infection and went funny colours.
    I think I'll just stick to bought yeast for now.

    Kimbo??? Are you still doing your thing with this? Did you find that book you were talking about??
    ......Interested!!!
     
  20. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    I think Kimbo is busy in Area 3 keeping the rock by the door....
     

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