Adventures in fermenting #4

It looks like the frozen and half-half pineapple kvas were the most successful – or at least the most bubbly. Maybe it’s something that happens to the pineapple during the canning process that kills of bacteria or makes it less ‘alive’ than frozen fruit.

We’ve tried the half-half bottle of pineapple kvas and it was mildly sour, very sharp and zingy (it’s pineapple after all) and quite gassy. The frozen pineapple kvas was more pineapple in flavour, but still quite zingy.

I decided to rebrew the leftover pineapple from the kvas with kefir water. This meant waking up the kefir grains I had put to sleep in the back of the fridge. I’ve fed these ones with a date, as I was told this helps keep them strong. I’m out of organic sugar so have been using demerara sugar instead to feed the various things I have fermenting as it’s less processed and therefore may have more ‘life’ in it.

Compared to kvas, which takes a week, the kefir brew is much faster and it shows bubbles of fermentation / carbonation within a day or so. We tried the first bottle of pineapple kefir – it was pleasantly fizzy, not super pineapply but also kind of beery. Not unpleasant and very refreshing.

We have tried another kvas brew – pear this time. I bought some pears from the local corner store, they looked nice, but it’s so hard to tell if they are ripe or not. We cut one open to eat and… ugh! It really wasn’t ripe. So we cut it into tiny pieces and put it in to steep. It looked like it was fermenting well after a week, so we have that in chill now, and have done the same thing of brewing the leftover fruit twice more with kefir water.

The packet ginger beer didn’t take at all. After a week there was absolutely no sign of any fermentation so the yeast must have been completely dead. We poured this one away with a reminder that when we get things like this we should really use them sooner and not six (!) years after they have expired.

On the bright side, I saw on one of our walks recently that we have a local organic shop that’s selling ginger so I could make another start of ginger bug again. The only problem is we have just six 500ml bottles and they are all full now, so we need to drink more before we brew more.

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