Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Busy day at the fermentation station

Two quarts of fine yogurt cooking away inside a cooler used as an incubation station. It works pretty well, but now that I have a really good instant-read thermometer, I'm discovering that the water is only around 107 rather than the desired 110. However, I remind myself that yogurt has been produced for centuries without thermometers of any kind, and the stuff is setting up, so I'm not going to worry about it.

These two quarts will last a little over a week, as I use a cup of it in my smoothie daily. Now that it's affordable, that is. When I had to pay $4 and up for a good quality local yogurt I used it far more sparingly and supplemented with protein powder. Now, I buy a good quality local milk for about $1.25 per quart -- around $2.50 per week as opposed to $8+ per week (depending upon where I bought it) for the local product. That's a savings I can get into!

Since I was on a roll, and since I had the kitchen to myself with plenty of time, I opted to move the sauerkraut out of the crock it's been fermenting in for these last two weeks, and into a mason jar to finish up.

It's a good thing I did, I think. The cabbage was packed so tight that when I fluffed it up in the crock to transfer, I noticed areas where the cabbage was still white, so apparently the brine was not even reaching them. Something to remember for next time.

I tasted it during the transfer -- actually had a little too much to fit this jar so ate a little of the leftover. It's starting to taste like good kraut! I'll give it another week or more to keep fermenting, then store it in the refrigerator. I still have some of the purchased kraut to eat in the meantime.

The new thermometer really makes the yogurt process much easier, I have to say. It's accurate, and really 'instant'.  What will really make the whole thing easier is when I have a kitchen of my own, where I can leave things on the counter to ferment or culture, rather than moving them up and down the stairs. I really look forward to that day!  In the meantime, it gets done here, and the stairs are good for me.  She says.

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