28 January 2007

The Joy of Fermentation

Microbiology was my favorite non-nursing class in nursing school...

A couple of weeks ago I got 3 kombucha mothers from Freecycle. I gave one away, put one in a big jar of pu-erh tea and another in lung ching green tea. The green tea one is growing some suspicious looking mold on top. I think I need to toss it. The mother in the pu-erh is a stellar success. Both Ingrid and Bea liked it. I'm hoping to have some left to share on Wednesday, but I can't stop drinking it. It's lightly fizzy, a little sweet, and mmm mmm tasty! It also grew a baby quicker than any kombucha I've ever seen. I'll make another batch this week.

I also started making kefir again. The first batch came out pretty good, considering the grains were still recovering from transit. It tasted delicious in my leftover curry. I would like to get more grains, and use the ones I have for grape juice. I prefer the clumpy grains for kefir making, and these aren't very clumpy. I'm going to wait and see if they grow clumpier, though. The second batch came out a bit more tart, but still good.

I started making kombucha and kefir when I was pregnant with Ingrid. My first kombucha met a tragic end neglected atop my fridge. It became a breeding ground for fruit flies. Not cool. I won't let that happen again. I just tossed the kefir because I couldn't eat dairy and I didn't like soy kefir. No one wanted them, so they languished in my fridge and turned all manners of colors. Not pretty at all. But I missed them. Strange as it may seem, the kefir grains and kombucha mothers grew on me (no pun intended) and were a bit like pets. Lesson learned. I will take good care of my pet bacteria (and yeast) from now on.
Photo credit: http://www.uni-kassel.de/fb19/microbiology/

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