Fractals Fermentation Room

I first started brewing beer back when I was in college and could not afford to buy my beer. I made mostly British kits with added sugar. Boy did those taste bad but the more sugar I added the more drunk I got.

After I graduated and could afford something better, I advanced to pure extract brewing where I controlled the hop level and sweetness. I find most American craft brews to be seriously over hopped. Hopps are a preservative to keep the beer from spoiling on long ocean trips. My beer doesn't need that much preservative as it rarely lasts very long. So, I cut down on the hopps and increase the malted barly. But, I digress.


I recently ran into a news article on the benefits of probiotics. Building up the natural critters in your gut is supposed to be better for you than drinking that daily glass of fiber. Going through the list of good probiotic foods was "bletch", "retch", "uggh" until I found pickles and then kimchi. Sauerkraut is also on the list and I tried encorporating it in my diet once but it never stuck.


I recently realized that I like Kimchi.

I had previously considered it something "you eat at oriental restaurants". But, it is tasty so I figured I would try encorporating it in my diet. I was talking to the shopkeeper at the local market where I was buying another jar of Cosmos Kimchi along with some Gochujang for some Kimchi fried rice with shrimp and she suggested adding it to ramen. I survived my college years on Raman so I gave it a go and am so glad I did. Boil the ramen for 2 minutes, add the kimchi, chopped or not, cook another minute and voila. Food of the gods. Toss in some Gochujang or a squirt of Sriracha to kick it up a bit if you like.

I try different brands of Kimchi but the Cosmos Napa Cabbage Kimchi tastes the best of the broadly available commercial brands to me. Cosmos is what they have at all the oriental markets and tastes better than the brands found at the normal supermarket. Trader Joe carried Kimchi for a while but they discontinued it due to "quality issues." That was over a year ago and they are still searching for a replacement, or so they tell me.


I decided I like kimchi so much so that I figured I would make some. But, the instructions called for ingredients I did not have so I decided to try something simpler. So let's try Sauerkraut instead. What could be simpler than cabage, salt and water. It has the same basic ingredients and procedure but fewer exotic ingredients. So I try the instructions on The Kitchn. My first attempt in 80 degree weather was, well, not very good. Soft, mushy and not edible. The geek in me figures it was too hot.

Pickles, pickes and more pickles

There is no place for vinegar in naturally fermented pikles. Let's see if we can figure out how to make the little buggers.

Temperature controlled fermentation

I will now document my adventures in Kimchi complete with a temperature controlled fermentation chamber.

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