Malted Grains, Koji and Rhizopus. Amazing tasty foods and brews. #Zymes2020:

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Yeast starters and starter cultures that contain yeast – like the original koji for which the Chinese Kanji (麹) was created – sometimes also contain lactic acid or other types of bacteria, fungus and even other yeasts.

Take, for example, sourdough starter. It’s easy to turn that into vinegar because there are already some bacteria and yeasts in there just like kombucha. Eventually, often with the help of wild yeasts and bacteria, both of these will eventually become alcohol.

Vinegar is made from alcohol, either fermented fruits like apples or peaches, or from grains. But controlling how much yeast, and especially what kinds of yeast get into a specific starter is how most alcoholic and non-alcoholic fermentations are successfully made.

And it’s essential that any ingredient you use is properly prepared, and things are as clean as they can be. Always oil off as many wild strains that may be lurking before starting or proceeding.

Soaking tree nuts or beans, for example, helps to remove undesirable substances that can ruin fermentations or mess up your digestive system. Some yeasts work remarkably well at protecting crops from diseases, and they are protect by benign and helpful yeasts. But sometimes these microbes in large amounts actually cause allergies and what are sometimes mistaken as intolerance to a specific grain or nuts.

So soak your nuts, seeds, grains, and legumes.

Soaking ingredients, along with treatment with enzymes produced by sprouted grains or microbes such as Aspergillus strains or lactobacteria can greatly assist in making successful food and beverage preparations such as breads, misos, and soy or amino sauces more nutritious, digestible, and free from potential residues.

It’s usually about how much salt or other microbes are around that determines the outcome of your fermentation. Some yeasts can take can take up to a 7% sodium content, so controlling the entire microbiome of the things that you are making is crucial. And, typically pretty easy if you are always clean.

Heavily toasted sourdough bread and koji cured carrots were combined with a yeast starter to make a deep carrot and caramel toast flavored Kvass. Kvass typically is made with dark breads that contain rye, wheat, barley and often dried fruits, but you ca. just heavily toast any bread and it will taste great.

Come and ask questions of two extremely skilled fermenters and cutting edge brewers, Chris Cuzme and Mary Izett, that create their brews at Fifth Hammer Brewing Company. Plus, we’ll answer any question that you have about anything fermented.

It would be great if you had any more hard core science related questions if you either posted them here, or sent them to [masked] beforehand so we could have a concise answer for you.

You’ll also get to try some things that we made using enzymes, and yeasts starters.

We revised the agenda based on specific requests from people about yeast starters that are useful when making a wide array of things such as beer, miso, soy sauce, meat or fish sauce, sourdough bread, vinegar, sake or kvass.

For example, someone really wanted to know about using a yeast starter for making beer. Although someone knew what sourdough bread kvass was, they asked if a yeast starter could improve it.

We think kvass made with fresh or old sourdough bread, heavily toasted for flavor and color, can be improved by a yeast starter, and can be flavored not only with wild herbs and roots and dried fruits but also with hops like beer.