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Starter Recipes

Click a recipe and it will expand to show the process.

Ginger-Bug

Ginger-Bug:

This is a very simple culture to start.  Add about 1 Tbsp of sugar and 1 Tbsp of freshly grated ginger (non-irradiated- irradiated ginger will not work) to one cup of water, stir, and cover with a breathable cloth. Continue to feed the culture at least once daily with 1 tsp of freshly grated ginger and 1 tsp of sugar.  Within a couple of days you should see bubbles actively forming on the surface, this means you have successful started your own ginger culture and you are ready to ferment!

Add a couple tablespoons of ginger-bug to any natural juice or ferment in the “Food Fermentation Kit” to give it some extra zip.

Whey Starter

Whey:

You can extract whey from milk. To do this simply set out raw milk in a closed container until milk separates into curds and whey. Once the milk separates prepare a cheesecloth over a colander, and place the colander in a glass clean bowl.  Carefully pout the curds and whey mixture in, so that the cheesecloth catches the curds and the whey passes through into the bowl. Lift the cheesecloth and gently squeeze out and remaining whey.  Pour whey in jar. Date, label, and refrigerate. Whey should stay active for up to 6 months

Can’t Get Raw Milk? No Problem, Lets Use Whole Plain Yogurt to Make Whey!

Simply go to your local grocery store and buy a tub of whole milk plain yogurt. To extract the whey from the yogurt all you need is a wide mouth mason jar and a cheese cloth. Simply place the cheese cloth over a wide mouth mason jar and push it in to create about a 3 inch deep ‘bowl’, then screw on your wide mouth ring over the cheese cloth to hold the cloth in place. Once the cheese cloth is secure, pour enough yogurt into the cloth until its full. Within a few moments you should notice that clear milky liquid dripping out and into the jar (that’s the whey). Allow the yogurt to drip out thoroughly to harvest all the whey, about 1 hour.  You can scoop the yogurt out and repeat the process for more. Save the yogurt and eat for later because you just made Greek yogurt in the process – whoopie! Now pat yourself on the back.

Kombucha Starter

Kombucha SCOBY:

                The kombucha SCOBY, is a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast that naturally grows and ferments black sweet tea. Active kombucha tea can also be added to any ferment.  If you have a friend who brews kombucha, get a culture from  them and make a batch of sweet black tea. You can also take bottled kombucha from the store and pour it over a fresh batch of sweet black tea, a new mother should form in a couple of days.

MISO Starter

Miso:

                Live miso paste can be found at your local farmers market or grocery store. Or make your own from koji rice and chick peas. Use live miso paste as a “mother” to add to any ferment.

Milk Kefir

Milk Kefir:

                Milk Kefir is a culture that can be added to cow’s milk, goat’s milk and even coconut milk to ferment. Within a couple of days the milk becomes effervescent like a champagne, and can be used as a mother in another ferment.  If you don’t have a friend who has one to share with you, you can buy the kefir online, many store bought milk kefir drinks are not authentic, so buyer beware.

Water Kefir

Water Kefir:

Water kefir can be added to ferment any sugary beverage. If you do not have a friend who can share their culture, you can find water kefir cultures to buy online.  To prepare simply mix the water kefir grains with chlorine/fluoride free water in the “Food Fermentation Kit”. Fill the jar, leaving only two inches of space from the top.  Add a 1/4 to a 1/2 cup of sugar and mix until dissolved. Place the airlock cap on and allow to ferment for 24 to 48 hours.  After fermenting you want to strain the grains from the water and make a new solution of sugar water in the “Food Fermentation Kit”; place the grains in the new batch of sugar water.

Use the already fermented water and infuse it with fruits, herbs, spices, or mushrooms to make delicious fermented beverages. For Water Kefir recipes check our Beverage page.

Used Brine

Used Brine:

Simple as it sounds. Use an old batch of brine from some tasty veggies you fermented to add into a newly made batch!

Yeast Starter

Yeast:

There are many yeasts available out there to ferment with. Folks like to add yeast to a honey wine, sourdough, or other ferment.  You can simply do this by buying some at a home-brew or grocery store, or allowing it to naturally occur in your ferment.