Disclaimer: Please note that these are my personal recipes and that they presuppose that you have a science background and some expertise in brewing lacto fermented beverages with a wild culture such as home made ginger beer, and beverages cultured with wild kefir, or a proprietary culture such as Grainfields from AGM Foods. As with all fermented products there are a number of potential health risks and the onus is on you to educate yourself on what they are.
Warning: Do not ferment beverages in sealed containers as there is the risk of explosion and implosion which could cause serious injury. For more information on how to brew antioxidant rich beverages cultured with EM, I strongly suggest that you do an Internet search for Vinny Pinto and read some of his articles and books.
Lacto-fermented foods require you to educate yourself on the biological processes that are involved. Under certain circumstances lacto-fermented foods may go off and could make you ill, so it is important that you gain an understanding of how this could happen and what to do about it.
Traditional groups passed the knowledge of food preparation from adult to child but since the rise in factory processing and food franchises many people have little idea of how to fry an egg, let alone understand the complex processes involved as microflora predigest a ferment.
Some lacto-fermented recipes seem to work best in the range of 15-25C, though some work better at higher temperatures. . If your kitchen/brewing room gets over 30C for any length of time then you may find that some recipes ferment too quickly and that undesirable organisms may have an opportunity to proliferate. During a hot summer you may find that rejuvelac can ferment within 24 hours and that it can go bad if you leave it longer than 48 hours. Likewise if you brew ginger beer in a bowl, then after a few days you could get fungal colonies floating on the top of the brew. I have also had sourdough bread starters go bad in the middle of summer.
You should also learn about the importance of the acidity of your fermented product. "Most regulatory agencies consider a pH of 4.4 or 4.5 to be the cutoff point for safety of lactic acid fermented foods: if a food has a final equilibrium pH below 4.4, then it is considered to be in a very safe category of foods." Source: From an article at www.antioxbrew.com Technical information: Science, Background and Antioxidative Tests. Generally lacto fermented beverages have a pH around pH 3.7, but you need to ensure that the pH drops as rapidly as possible to prevent the growth of undesirable microorganisms during the first days of fermentation.
As the weather conditions change you will need to modify the procedures that you use. In an Australian Gold Coast summer, where day temperatures move between 30-38C with a high humidity, and night temperatures may only drop 5-8C below the midday maximum, the indoor temperature may stay around 30C for long periods of time, so I store my sourdough starters in the refrigerator when not in use; sauerkraut is fermented for 2-3 days at room temperature then goes straight into the refrigerator; rejuvelac is discarded after 36 hours, and I use the quick and easy ginger beer recipe rather than fermenting the brew in a bowl.
Fermenting should also teach you something about your own body. In hot weather the microflora in your gut will also breed at a different rate, favouring different organisms than in cooler months. So the occasional loose stools that you may get in summer are not necessarily caused by an ingestion of pathogenic organisms, but may be caused by a change in your internal microflora as a consequence of the change in weather.
1 teaspoon = 5 ml / 5 gm. 1 tablespoon = 15 ml / 15 gm. 15 tablespoons = 1 cup / 225 ml. 1 cup = 8 fluid oz / 225 ml. 1 US gallon = 3.6 litres. 1 lb = 16 oz / 454 gm. Temperature 20C = 68F. Conversion from Fahrenheit to Celsius: C = (F - 32) / 1.8. Conversion from Celsius to Fahrenheit: F = C x 1.8 + 32
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