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Fermenting For Dummies
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Table of Contents

Introduction 1 About This Book 2 Foolish Assumptions 2 Icons Used in This Book 3 Beyond the Book 3 Where to Go from Here 4 Part 1: Getting Started with Fermenting 5 Chapter 1: In the Beginning: Fermenting Roots 7 Getting Familiar with Fermentation 8 Fermentation throughout History 8 Mesoamerica: Calling all chocolate lovers! 9 Africa: Turning toxins into edible tubers 9 Asia: Thirst-quenching and candied culture 9 Eastern Europe and Russia: Bubbly fruit kvass 10 Japan: The sensational soybean 10 North Africa and Morocco: When life gives you lemons 11 How Can Something Rotten Be Good for Me? 11 Fermenting Essentials 12 Pickling (and How it Differs from Fermenting) 13 A Quick and Easy Intro to Fermenting: Making Sauerkraut 14 Chapter 2: The 4-1-1 on Fermenting 17 Why Ferment? 17 Getting Acquainted with the Good and Bad Guys 18 Mold 18 Yeast 19 Bacteria 19 Enzymes 19 The Mechanics of Fermenting 20 Salt curing and drying versus fermenting 20 Vinegar and acids versus fermenting 21 Canning versus fermenting 22 Refrigerating fermented food 22 Freezing fermented food 23 Fermenting foods and drinks 23 Avoiding spoilage 24 Chapter 3: The Benefits of Fermenting 25 The Lowdown on Lacto-Fermentation and How it Helps Your Body 25 Boosting your health with vitamins and minerals 26 Loading up on enzymes 26 Aiding pre-digestion 27 Activating your foods 28 Promoting probiotics 29 Strengthening your immunity 29 How Fermentation Can Make You a Better Cook 30 Keeping it simple and easy 30 Following the seasons 30 Figuring Out How Much and How Often 31 Chapter 4: Getting it All Together 33 Assembling Your Equipment and Tools 33 Basic containers 34 Essential tools and utensils 35 Special equipment for meat fermenting 38 Special brewing equipment and tools 39 Keeping Everything Clean 41 Cleaning, sanitizing, and sterilizing: Three different and important procedures 42 Developing a cleaning work flow 43 Getting Familiar with Common Ingredients 43 Water 44 Salt 45 Sweeteners 45 Sourcing the Best Foods for Fermentation 46 Whole, organic, and local 46 Considerations for meat and dairy 46 Part 2: Vegetables, Fruits, Condiments, and Salsas 49 Chapter 5: Vegetables 51 Picking Produce for Fermenting 52 Identifying ideal veggie choices 52 Finding your garden delights 52 Sourcing the healthiest produce 53 Selecting Starters for Vegetable Ferments 54 Mastering the Basics 55 Preparing your vegetables 55 Salting 55 Packing the jars 56 Waiting and tasting (and waiting some more!) 56 Chapter 6: Fun with Fruits 69 Fermenting Fruit for Long-Term Storage 69 Selecting Ideal Fruits 70 Nondairy Starters for Fruit Fermentation 72 To Add Sugar or Not to Add Sugar? That is the Question 73 White sugar versus alternative sugars 73 How do I know what amount of sugar to replace? 73 Chapter 7: Spreads, Dips, Condiments, and Salsas 83 Reaping the Health Benefits of Homemade Condiments 84 Experimenting with Flavor 84 Exploring Vinegars 85 The process 85 It's all about your mother 86 Part 3: Grains, Seeds, Nuts, and Beans 95 Chapter 8: Grains 97 Getting to Know Your Grains 97 Ancient grains 98 Pseudo-grains (seeds) 99 Soaking and Sprouting Grains 101 Infamous Sourdough and Its Starter 102 Feeding your sourdough starter with tender loving care 102 Choosing the type of sourdough starter to use 103 Chapter 9: Beans 117 Beans, Beans, the Musical Fruit 117 Buying and storing beans 118 Preparing beans 118 Cooking beans 118 Sprouting beans 119 Fermenting beans 120 Soy and Fermented Soy Foods 120 Comparing tofu and tempeh 121 Making the most of miso 122 Chapter 10: Nuts, Seeds, Coconuts, and Tubers 135 Nuts and Seeds: Great Nutrition in Small Packages 135 Selecting seeds 136 Getting nutty 136 Sprouting Nuts and Seeds 137 Learning how to sprout 138 Drying or storing your sprouts 139 Using sprouted nuts and seeds 139 Making Nondairy Ferments 139 Making yogurt without the moo 140 Culturing nondairy cheese 140 Cracking into Coconuts 140 Fermenting Potatoes and Other Roots 141 Preparing cassava 142 Talking about taro 142 Part 4: Meat, Dairy, and Eggs 151 Chapter 11: Got Milk? 153 The Basics of Fermenting Milk 154 Making lactose tolerable by fermenting 154 Choosing pasteurized or raw milk 155 Separating milk 156 Sourcing Your Starter Cultures 157 Serving and Storing Fermented Dairy Products 158 Chapter 12: Making Cheese 169 Understanding Cheese Making Ingredients and Techniques 170 Choosing milk 170 All about rennet 170 Turning milk to cheese 170 Fermenting 171 Colorings 171 Salting 172 Ripening 172 Storage 172 Making Soft and Semisoft Cheeses 173 Making Hard Cheeses 173 Serving Cheese 174 Chapter 13: Meat, Fish, and Eggs 185 Choosing Meat and Ingredients for Fermentation 186 Selecting spices, herbs, and flavorings 186 Selecting starters 187 Nitrates or not? 188 Choosing Casings 188 Natural casings 189 Artificial casings 189 Meat Fermentation Techniques 189 Grinding and mixing meat 190 Stuffing sausages 192 Brining 192 Curing 192 Smoking 193 Making Food Safety a Priority 193 Choosing a Spot to Ferment Meat 194 Determining space needs 194 Controlling the environment 194 Storing Fermented Meats 195 Part 5: Beer, Wine, and Other Beverages 205 Chapter 14: Healing Beverages 207 Choosing Starters 208 Finding starter cultures 208 Using starter cultures 209 Understanding the differences between alcoholic and nonalcoholic brews 209 Making Natural Carbonated Drinks 210 Ginger soda 211 Lacto-lemonade 211 Beet, apple, and ginger kvass 211 Root beer 211 Kefir 211 Amasake 212 Kombucha 212 Chapter 15: Making Wine from Water and Fruit 229 Getting Yourself Ready to Make Wine 230 Getting supplies 231 Choosing grapes 231 Understanding Wine Fermentation 233 Primary fermentation: From juice to wine 233 Knowing when it's done and what to do then 234 Post fermentation: Completing the process 235 Storing and Aging Your Wine 235 Finishing and Bottling 237 Tasting and Talking about Wine 238 Chapter 16: Brewing Basics 243 Gathering Your Ingredients 243 Malt: Going with grain 244 Hops heaven 244 Yeast: The key to fermentation 245 Don't forget the water 246 Cleaning Up Your Act: Sanitation 246 Practicing safe sanitation 248 Bottle cleanliness is a virtue 249 Ready, Set, Brew: Beginners 249 Assembling your tools 249 Brewing your first batch 250 Taking hydrometer readings 253 A Primer on Priming 254 Getting ready to prime 255 Making primer decisions 255 Bottling Your Brew 256 Picking out bottles 256 Preparing to bottle 256 Pouring a cold one: Getting your beer into bottles 259 Intermediate Homebrewing 262 Using better ingredients 262 Conditioning for better beer with secondary fermentation 262 Chapter 17: Brewing Beer 265 Looking at Beer Types 265 Ales 265 Lagers 266 Mixed beers 266 Exploring Specific Types of Ales, Lagers, and More 267 Irish red ale 267 American pale ale 268 Brown porter 268 Stout 269 English India pale ale 269 American premium lager 269 Marzen/Oktoberfest 270 Traditional bock 270 Herb, spice, and vegetable beer 271 Christmas/winter/spiced beer 272 Trying a Few Beer Recipes 272 Part 6: The Part of Tens 283 Chapter 18: More Than Ten Troubleshooting Tips for Fermented Creations 285 My Fermented Food is Too Salty What Do I Do? 286 Why is the Fermentation Taking So Long? 286 Why are My Fermented Creations Different throughout the Year? 286 Why is My Ferment Too Soft or Mushy? 287 Why Isn't My Ferment Working? 287 Why is My Fermented Creation Too Dry? 288 What Do I Do about Yeast or Mold on the Surface of the Ferment? 288 What Should I Do about a Ferment Jar That's Bulging? 288 Why Did the Color Change? 289 Why is My Ferment Leaking or Overflowing? 289 Why Does it Stink? 290 Chapter 19: Top Ten Benefits of Eating Fermented Foods 291 A Much-Needed Nutritional Boost 291 Digestion, Enzymes, and Probiotics 291 Immunity Boost 292 Unique Flavor 292 Money Savings 292 Time Savings 292 Ecological Impact 293 Slow Food Movement 293 Control over Your Food 293 The Satisfaction of Doing Something Good for Yourself 293 Chapter 20: More Than Ten Food and Equipment Resources 295 Cultures for Health 295 Yolife 296 Water Kefir Grains 296 Wildwood Foods 296 Miso Master 296 Leeners 297 Homesteader's Supply 297 The Sausage Maker 297 New England Cheesemaking Supply 298 The Sausage Source 298 Adventures in Homebrewing 298 Chapter 21: More Than Ten Tips for a Long and Healthy Life 299 Food is Medicine, So Eat to Enhance Your Health 299 Use Alternative Sugar 300 Reduce Plastic Use and Go BPA-Free 300 Choose Organic 300 Get to Know Your Farmer 300 Be Conscious about Your Condiments 301 Eat Whole Grains 301 Choose GMO-Free Foods 302 Get Protein from Plants 302 Find Vegan Milk, Butter, and Dairy Options 302 Learn to Love Water 302 Index 303

About the Author

Marni Wasserman is passionate about real food. She inspires people to eat well and live well everyday. She shares many of her recipes and tips at www.marniwasserman.com. Amy Jeanroy is passionate about healthy, homemade foods and has been making and eating fermented food for 20 years. She shares daily recipes on her site, www.thefarmingwife.com.

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