Fermenting Frenzy!

Fermenting Frenzy!
October 20, 2012 Colleen Emery

So I have been told that I am a bit of Fermenting Fanatic, a title I wear proudly. My love of the ferment began back when I was a kid. Mondays meant after school curling league but it also meant Seven Person Sausage and Pierogi night, just like clock work. This meant sauerkraut, lovely heaps of sauerkraut. Fast forward to my own kitchen twenty some years later to find various jars and crocks of various bubbling ‘science’ projects underway. I love to ferment food. Fermented foods are super nutritious and so helpful for our wellness in so many ways.

Lately I have been simply obsessed with Tibicos sometimes known as champagne grains or water kefir.

Water Kefirs are electrolytic, enzyme-rich, effervescent, fermented beverages filled with active live cultures to help balance your body’s inner-ecosystem.  They replace your coffee, tea, soda-pop, gatorade and kombucha.  Home-made Kefirs are brewed using a culture of Kefir Grains.  The original grains were discovered by shepherds living in the caucasus mountains thousands of years ago.  The shepherds used this medicine to increase longevity with centurion tribesman consuming kefir daily.

Making Tibicos is super simple and one of fastest ferments I have done yet. Within 2 days you have a basic fermented ‘water’ which you can then take and ferment further with various juices and/or herbal teas. This is where its gotten really interesting for me. I have been combining all kinds of medicinal herbs with the Tibicos water to create various healing beverages. I even test run some of my creations at Thanksgiving dinner with a couple of kids that have particular palettes to great success.

Rhodiola, Licorice, Echinacea Combo otherwise known as Super Soda

Rhodiola, Licorice, Echinacea Combo otherwise known as Super Soda

Here are the first steps to making your Tibicos Water. I don’t cap the first brew, opting to top the jar with cheesecloth and an elastic band. From this you take 1 part of the water brew to 1 part of your strained and cooled herbal decoction in a bottle that you can firmly cap. Be sure to not use any metal within this process. Keep this bottle, capped firmly, on the counter for 2 full days and then voila! your brew is ready.

Today I am at Pickle-Palooza demonstrating this technique as well as pounding down some Kraut as well. Come on out and enjoy the fun for the first annual Pickle-Palooza, a Valley Permaculture Guild kick off.

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