Fermenting frenzy in my fridge


I just ordered The Art of Fermentation by Sandor Katz. I can't wait to flip through the tome, mouth watering or nose wrinkling at the various fermented creations to be found within. I admit I'm taking the whole fermenting thing slow. I've experimented with quite a few recipes in Katz' primer, Wild Fermentation, and have jars of yogurt, kimchi, kraut, kombucha, and pickles in my stash. I figure I'll perfect my skills with the basics before moving to stuff like Chicha (read the recipe- I dare you) and whatever else might be awaiting in Katz' new book. But I love my kombucha. Making it yourself is not only much cheaper but you can create the flavors and sweetness that appeal to you! Besides, who can resist the science-experiment-like draw of this mushroom/yeast bevvie? Here's how I make my kombucha (based on the recipe in Wild Fermentation) (I usually double or quadruple the recipe I drink so much!):

Grab a 1 quart mason jar. Steep 2 black tea bags in 1 quart of hot water for at least 20 minutes. Remove tea bags. Add 1/4 cup sugar and stir until dissolved. Let cool to the point where you can stick your hand in without it hurting. (Very scientific) About 100 degrees. Add a kombucha mother (get one from a friend or buy at a place like OB People's Co-op), translucent side down, along with some of the kombucha the mother was stored in (or apple cider vinegar in a pinch). Cover mouth of jar with cheesecloth and store in a warm spot (70-85 degrees). Let it hang out for about a week, longer if you want it less sweet, more acidic. Once it tastes good to you, store it covered in the fridge. Start a new batch and add one of the mothers (the mother you used will grow another "skin." Peel this off and use either one.) Enjoy!

If you want to meet Sandor Katz in person and attend a bunch of cool workshops, check out this festival happening up north on September 16th: http://www.farmtofermentation.com/

Also, go to the San Diego Fermenters Club Facebook page and like 'em to hear about local meetings and events: http://www.facebook.com/fermenters