Fermentation Cycles 2014.03

Welcome to the next installment of my Fermentation Cycles series! I’ve committed to documenting some of my ferments every month for the rest of 2014, to give you all a peek at what goes on in the Killer Pickles Kitchen. Oh, and I’m making these ferments during my menses to disprove the notion that women emit “menotoxins” which can ruin a ferment. πŸ˜‰Β (Read more about that here.)

First of all you would probably like to see how the ferments from last month turned out:


My Sour Beet Tonic fermented for about 4 weeks. The flavor is tangy, rich, and earthy. This is excellent mixed with a bit of pickle brine or sauerkraut juice. Not for everybody, but I love it!


The parsnips also fermented for about 4 weeks. They have a nice nutty flavor, good crunch, and are perfectly tangy. I like the flavor of the chipotle and spices. Unfortunately, fermentation didn’t make them less woody. These were quite large parsnips. Next time I will try slicing them in thin rounds or matchsticks.


Fermentation Cycle 2014.03

Here’s a look at my calendar for March. It was a busy week, so I put together most of the ferments on the first day of my menses.



Since it’s winter, I let the Tibicos ferment for 3 days. Nice and bubbly and tart! The Tibicos grains are big and plump and popcorny. πŸ™‚


I bottled it with a bit of apple cider to make a soda. There was so much carbonation I had to be very careful opening it!



I started a batch of kombucha with oolong tea. It will need 2-3 weeks to ferment.



I also started a little baby kombucha SCOBY. Sometimes I make little ones to mail out to friends. To do this, I put 1 cup of sweetened tea in a jar and add Β½ cup very tart kombucha. A new little SCOBY will grow on the top in about 3 weeks. Perfect for starting a new batch!



A friend shared her heirloom Matsoni yogurt culture with me. Matsoni can be cultured at room temperature – no need to incubate. This is the second time I’ve tried this particular yogurt, and I don’t think I’m a big fan. The flavor is kind of cheesy and it doesn’t get as thick as a traditional yogurt. It does make a nice sour cream though.



My last project is my most likely to fail, but if it does I don’t think you can blame my lady toxins. This is my 4th attempt at making a white wine vinegar. All my previous white wine vinegars have developed a real funky flavor and odor. I posted my dilemma in the Wild Fermentation group on Facebook, and got some advice. S. McCoy, who is an experienced wine and vinegar maker, explained that white wines are often treated with sodium benzoate, which does not react well with acetic acid bacteria. She recommend purchasing a very dry white wine for making vinegar. I bought a Brut Champagne, diluted it with water to about 6% alcohol by volume, and added some raw apple cider vinegar to get it started. Fingers crossed!



So far everything is looking good, and the only ferment I’m worried about is the vinegar. Be sure to check back in next month to see how things turn out. Click the “+Follow” button at the bottom of the page to get a notification of each new blog post. πŸ™‚

Happy Fermenting!
Sarah M.


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2 Responses

  1. Annie says:

    Fun to see!

    You are busy as a Mason Bee!


  2. Kristin says:

    What lovely ferments and results! I had a persistent batch of kahm yeast spread to all of my ferments so I’m holding off… maybe until I can get fresher fruit from the farmer’s markets? Ha, I know my cycle isn’t to blame, but this post makes me antsy to make something!

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