Fermented Food & Drink: Recipes, science, opinions and discussion

Thought it would be fun to have a discussion on fermented edible stuff. Recipes, the science of how things work, what adjustments make it go this way or that etc. Fermented food is an easy thing to do without a proper kitchen, so most of us can enjoy the hobby! Added a poll just for fun, so lets dive deep into it!

For me personally, i quite dislike the smell of mant ferementations, especially sour ones! As it is Friday, the last day of work before Lunar new year kicks off i am fermenting everything in the kitchen before i leave to visit the family in the west of the country. Let the house be super funky while i am not inside it! Cause i cringe and hurl at some fermented smells. A problem with my body/psychology, not the food.

So lets discuss some yummy recipes haha.

Tonight i am making a korean kimchi and a pineapple wine.

Pineapple wine:

Have made this every year in winter before the heat comes. Quite nice but very (!!!) dry as i hate sweet. Can back sweeten if people want it sweet, or use in cocktails.

I usually just use pineapple. But with heavy rains this week tomato farms are fugged so i am trying a new recipe to include tomato (use whats available). Hopefully the tomato flavor wont ruin it. After cooking it seems too much haha

Pineapple 2,750g (cut and mashed then frozen for a few days to aid cell destruction)

Tomato 400g (sweet…red…cherry tomatoes allowed to ripen to the max)

Water 6,120g

Bring to a low boil and and let sit 5 mins.

Sugar 1,230g (can add more depending on your yeast tolerance to alcohol i suppose)

Stir in well.

Let cool to under 30 degrees.

Add yeast (i use this one for cider with most acidic fruit wines).

I ferment long and allow to finish eating up every last sugar molecule. Then separate the yeast gunk at the bottom and rack. Normally i like to separate the juice and the yeasts poop every month because im not adding chemicals to clear the wine.

It usually becomes nice after 6 to 10 months (depends on climate control) and really nice after a year if you like dry wines.

Real brewers, dont hate my lack of refined skill and etiquette :slight_smile:

6 month ferment, still cloudy (pineapple only ferment)

Korean Kimchi
I hate super hot, so i avoided this for years. My first try with korean chili.

Nappa cabbage about 4.5kg before cleaning and discarding the stem. I didnt weigh it after as it was wet while trying to wash off the AG chemicals.

Daikon 700g quarter lengthwise then sliced into 2cm thickness.

1 whole onion (i would of used 2 but ran out)

12 cloves (medium) garlic (about a normal bulb)

100g chili flakes (see pic)

20 flattened teaspoons salt (no iodine)

1 small~medium red apple (sweet)

Rubbed the salt and pepper thoroughly into the vegetables then mixed all together. As water pours out of the cells, turn over everything for the first 24h. Once a decent water brine is formed i used a water bag to weigh down the solids to avoid mold while it sits. Will start checking in 7 days.

Looking forward to reading you guys’ recipes, tricks etc for fermented food. With much of the country smelling of controlled rot this week, tis the season!

For fun whats your opinion on fermented food and drink? Lets just all agree alcholol is unhealthy and bad for use. But otherwise, how do you feel about fermentation?

  • I love everything (edible) fermented
  • I hate everything (edible) fermented
  • Generally like some, skip some
  • I have legitimate medical concerns with various ferment food/drink (outside of alcohol)
  • I like fermented foods, but not drinks
  • I like fermented drinks, but not food
  • I mainly worry about sanitary conditions.
  • Smells rank, but tastes good.
  • Tastes horrible, but smells great

0 voters


If you play by the rules.

Indeed th is does seem to be a pretty important part of the process. That said different cultures have different rules. And i cant help but notice that each culture has their own set of biota wihin their body that sets the bounds for such rules.

The kimchi is finished. Its really nice and the salt mellowed by yesterday. Its great in soup, rice and noodles so far. Even made a couple pizzas. But on its own, as a side dish, its a bit salty for me.

My question to ou food scientists and kithen gurus. Is there a formula for salt vs. Dry matter vs. Water weight that can be applied for preservation of things. We have a basic database of various plants water/dry weight ratios easy to dry out these ingredients and get the number. But I bit unknown about what salinity we are aimin for to prevent the bad guys from setting up shop.


Kind of related, my mate is knocking up some biltong on his balcony. We’ll see how it pans out.

If I stop posting, well…

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I remember a post here that some of us were discussing biltong. I gave it a go with some muntjac…but it started smelling off . Like not right off, so i tossed it. If your friends works out, share the process if they are open about it :slight_smile:

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One of the favourites in our family is homemade ginger ale/beer. There is plenty of recipes online and you just need a couple of those flip-top beer bottles for storage. The process involves making the ‘ginger bug’ first which takes around five days to a week, after this you can store the ginger bug in the fridge and brew ale whenever you need, topping up the bug now and again.

For the brew you can get creative with the recipes using ginger syrup, lemon, green tea or whatever takes your fancy. It takes around 4 days to brew in the Taiwan summer- you have to release the pressure on the bottles every day as the fizz builds up quickly, and once you get a healthy ‘pop’ when you release, it’s ready to go to the fridge. Adjusting the sugar content of the syrup and when you refrigerate gives different levels of dryness. Perfect for a hot day. Not sure of the ABV, but a rough estimate shows it should be under 1% for a typical recipe of 6tbs sugar per liter.

I just started a new bug at the weekend. I’ll keep you posted.


You think adding acider yeast would affect flavor in comparison to whatever is floating around?

Thanks for posting, i like ginger ale a lot. Going to make a batch this week. Cheers!

Any tricks on how o get the co2 right? When i hvae made beer this is the part i always get wrong…sometimes its borderline dangerous.

This is a bug using using only chopped ginger (3tbsp), sugar (3tbsp) and water (2 cups), so the yeasts are all natural from the ginger (skin included). I’m not sure how it would affect by adding additional yeast, but I like the idea of the natural brew.

For the co2 levels, I just experiment with the amount of sugar when making the syrup and when to put in the fridge. I will pop the bottle open every day to avoid too much pressure build-up and decide when to refrigerate based on the sound and vigor of the pop. I once left a bottle sitting in the store cupboard for a week, and when I popped had a jet of ginger ale hit the ceiling- you are right, it could get dangerous.

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How about this

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Few things are worse than the soupy stunky tofu. Natto is one such thing! While we briefly lived in Japan the family we stayed with had it EVERY breakfast :face_vomiting:

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I would eat natto any day of the millennium over stinky tofu. That just makes me retch :nauseated_face:

Tempeh, anyone?


Home made?

Yes, common breakfast food

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That makes taiwanese breakfast chains look like Michelin star level joints. Props taiwan, we beat japan!

We buy tempeh every couple of days. At USD 0.25/piece it’s hardly worth the hassle to culture and incubate.

Often we fry it in a spiced batter or cook it in curries and other Indonesian recipes.

The plate of tempeh goreng in the photo is made from 1 piece.

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Nice. But prices in USD, assumes you are not in Taiwan? Just curious as climates and biota play a massive role in food production. Price is less important than quality, safety and taste i feel.

If you do make it, or know their recipe, would be cool to discuss :slight_smile:

I’m in Indonesia and am lucky to be able to buy fresh product from a nearby maker. (I used USD to simplify things)

This is the basic process;


haha, its a food I enjoy since childhood