I’ve been reading Katz’ book The Art of Fermentation, and today finally got to start my first experiment. Looking forward to testing out my hand at a lot of new things. Kimchi, sauerkraut (hmmm…), yogurt maybe, cheese possibly, pickles… makes me excited just to think about the possibilities. But we will start with honey (mead), which seems to be just about one of the easiest things to ferment, given fresh/raw ingredients rather than processed stuff.
I’m making a very small batch to experiment with at this point because I have no idea how my water will do. I boiled it for 5 minutes, to boil off chlorine if present. I tried to contact our water provider earlier today, but they did not return my call. No biggie. If they use chloramines, which won’t evaporate or boil off like chlorine, I haven’t wasted much honey.
I’m using the author’s suggestion of a 1:4 parts honey to water ratio – which amounts to about 3/5 cup honey and 2 2/5 cup water to mostly fill my recycled S. Pellegrino bottle. Nothing else. It’s raw honey – no pasteurization, and I am expecting the honey itself to provide the yeast to kick off fermentation (i.e. no starter). We’ll wait and see now – about a week or a little more.
I’m going to keep it upstairs rather than my office in the basement, which stays a little colder than most of the house. That would probably affect the ferment time negatively. Hopefully it won’t gross Kim out too much. The thought of having things fermenting in the kitchen doesn’t thrill her…