For those of you who were interested in my daughter and I’s presentation on Fermentation for KidzMash and wanted more information, we put this post together for you.
- Sugar (Refined white sugar ferments faster than organic and less quickly minimally refined sugar)
- Organic Tea
- SCOBY (optional)
- Distilled Water
- Clean Jar
- Coffee Filter
Note: We prepared organic sweet tea ahead of time for this demonstration. To make it at home, brew the tea and add about 1 cup of sugar per gallon of tea while still hot. Allow to cool COMPLETELY. Kombucha SCOBY is sensitive to heat and putting the SCOBY in while the tea is hot can damage or kill it.
- Gather your necessary materials (Jar, Coffee Filter, Rubber Band, Tea, SCOBY)
- Pour the tea into your jar.
- Put the SCOBY into your jar.
- Place the lid onto your jar
- When you get home replace the lid with the rubber band and coffee filter and let ferment for 7-14 days.
Taking Care of you Ferment at Home
- Find a place for your ferment to live.
Whether it be on the kitchen counter or in the pantry, your ferment needs a home that is away from direct sunlight. A ferment’s ideal home is in a warm, dark and dry environment, however your ferment can adapt to living on the kitchen counter just fine as long as it gets a little bit more love and attention.
- Switch your ferments lid with a coffee filter and rubber band.
Your ferment is an aerobic organism and needs oxygen to survive.
- Check on Your Ferment
Check on your ferment regularly to see if it needs an extra sugar.
If you are starting a ferment without a SCOBY stirring is usually necessary.
- Determine if Your Ferment is Done
Determine if your ferment is done by taste testing along the way. Once your ferment is to your desired taste you are ready to bottle or jar it for “long term” storage.
Bottling and Finishing your Finished Ferment
If your ferment is kimchi or another vegetable ferment simply store the ferment in the fridge for up to 3 months.
If your ferment is a vinegar, kombucha, or any other liquid based ferment then follow the following steps below:
- Filter your Ferment
Filter out your SCOBY (and save it to make a new ferment), any chunks of fruit, herbs or anything else you might have used to flavor your ferment by pouring it through a strainer.
- Transfer your Ferment to its Desired Container
Whether it be a fancy bottle or back in to the jar you used to ferment your culture, you are going to need to give you finalized ferment a home. If you are flavoring it be sure to leave space to add the materials to flavor.
- Start a Secondary Ferment (Optional)
To flavor your Kombucha (or add an extra something to vinegar) you will need to decide how to flavor it. I recommend mint leaves or ginger but you can also add in organic fruit juice. Once you have decided, add the required ingredients to your culture and let it ferment for 24 hours out of the fridge or 2-3 days in the fridge with the lid on.
- Put a lid on your ferment and store in fridge (for up to 3 months)
If you notice mold on your ferment, throw it out and try again.
If you notice your SCOBY has turned BLACK it has died and you’ll need to wild ferment to create a new one or ask your parent’s to help you find someone in your town who can give you a mother (Kombucha makers love to share).
This is a modified version from here, modified to emphasize necessary steps for successful ferment, there are additional options listed at the website above.
Cutting board, knife
Large bowl, large plate that can cover it and can of vegetables or paper weight
Food safe gloves (non powdered)
Clean swing top/flip top lid jar
Bowl or plate to place under jar
1 organic cabbage
1/4 cup sea salt – MUST have only ingredient as salt (no iodine, anticaking or preservative ingredients – will inhibit probiotic growth)
grated organic garlic to taste
grated organic ginger to taste
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt (for sauce)
2 to 3 tablespoons seafood flavor – kelp powder, fish sauce from an international market with no preservatives, shrimp paste with only salt in it – CHECK INGREDIENTS for preservatives
1 to 5 tablespoons Korean red pepper flakes – you can find at an international market
(optional) Daikon radish cut into small pieces – you can find at an international market
- Slice the cabbage into 2-inch-wide strips.
- Salt the cabbage: Place the cabbage and salt (sea salt without anti-caking or preservative ingredients) in a large bowl. Using your hands, massage the salt into the cabbage until it starts to soften a bit, then add distilled water to cover the cabbage. Put a plate on top and weigh it down with something heavy, like a jar or can of beans. Let stand for 1 to 2 hours.
- Rinse and drain the cabbage: Rinse the cabbage under cold water (from the tap) 3 times and drain in a colander for 15 to 20 minutes. Rinse and dry the bowl you used for salting, and set it aside to use in step 5.
- Make the paste: Meanwhile, combine the garlic, ginger, sugar, and seafood flavor (or 3 tablespoons water) in a small bowl and mix to form a smooth paste. Mix in the Korean red pepper, using 1 tablespoon for mild and up to 5 tablespoons for spicy.
- Combine the vegetables and paste: Gently squeeze any remaining water from the cabbage and return it to the bowl along with the radish, scallions, and seasoning paste.
- Mix thoroughly: Using your hands, gloves recommended, gently work the paste into the vegetables until they are thoroughly coated.
- Pack the kimchi into the jar: Pack the kimchi into the jar, pressing down on it until the brine rises to cover the vegetables. Leave at least 1 inch of headspace.
- Add water if needed so that vegetables are submerged.
- Seal the jar with the lid.
- Let it ferment: Let the jar stand at room temperature for 1 to 5 days. You may see bubbles inside the jar and brine may seep out of the lid; place a bowl or plate under the jar to help catch any overflow.
- Check it daily and refrigerate when ready: Check the kimchi once a day, pressing down on the vegetables with a clean finger or spoon to keep them submerged under the brine. (This also releases gases produced during fermentation.) Taste a little at this point, too! When the kimchi tastes ripe enough for your liking, transfer the jar to the refrigerator. You may eat it right away, but it’s best after another week or two.
Attached are the presentation materials created by Tayler.
Yes It’s Alive Presentation (currently unavailable)
Yes Its Alive Take Home (currently unavailable)
For more information: