I had some success with my first fermented drinks. I even drank some of them (but in small quantities – as during the course I was warned that natural bacteria in naturally fermented drinks can cause some stomach upsets if you’re not used to it, so introduce it gradually).
The water kefir was the most successful so far, so I decided to have another attempt, this time with ginger (because who doesn’t like a fizzy ginger drink?) And the ginger might counteract those fermenting-in-my-tummy feelings.
The fruit kvass finally started fermenting so I was able to bottle it. It needed a few days in the bottle to gain some carbonation from the ferment before it was chilled for drinking. The flavour of pineapple worked really well in this so I think I will try this again, maybe with a fresh pineapple, because then I can use the skins to make tepache (a fermented Mexican drink) and the fruit to make kvass.
We decided to try some of the water kefir made with the frozen mango and papaya. As the bottles had a high level of sediment, I had been turning them over in the fridge. I didn’t realise that this was possibly agitating the CO2 levels in the drink. So when I tried to open it, I felt like one of those people who just won a Forumula 1.
Well the drink exploded out of the bottle with a degree of force I was not expecting. It sprayed all over the table, and all over the floor as I ran the bottle to the kitchen sink. We lost maybe 1/3 of the bottle this way, but the liquid that remained was tasty and refreshing. (Although it still gave me low level fermenting-in-my-tummy feelings.)
After two weeks, the ginger bug did not showing any proper bubbling signs of fermentation at all. I was really annoyed at it but decided to brew up the rest of the fresh ginger to make a syrup and mix with the bug and put away to ferment as ginger beer. The ginger beer took two weeks to ferment in the bottle before I put it into the fridge to chill. I have two litres of the stuff and it looks like it’s well carbonated so I just hope that it’s tasty.