Posts Tagged ‘Wild Fermentation’

I am very excited because the legendary Sandor Katz is to visit Ireland and the UK later this month. The New York Times has called Sandor ‘one of the unlikely rock stars of the American food scene‘. He is the world’s expert on everything to do with fermentation, whether it’s vegetables, fruits, grains, milk, beans, meats or more…

Sandor Katz

Photo: Sean Minteh

He has inspired countless thousands to rediscover the ancient art of fermentation, and with his award-winning, bestselling book The Art of Fermentation he offers the most comprehensive and definitive guide to do-it-yourself home fermentation ever published.

The Art of Fermentation by Sandor Ellix Katz

Sandor presents the history, concepts, and processes behind fermentation in ways simple enough to guide a reader through their first experience making sauerkraut or yogurt, yet in-depth enough to provide greater understanding and insight for experienced fermentos.

Readers will find detailed information on fermenting vegetables; sugars into alcohol (meads, wines, and ciders); sour tonic beverages; milk; grains and starchy tubers; beers (and other grain-based alcoholic beverages); beans; seeds; fish; meat; and eggs, as well as growing mould cultures, and using fermentation in agriculture, art, energy production and commerce.

If you can catch him at one of these events you will be in for a treat; I can’t wait!

Sandor Ellix Katz UK and Ireland events May 2014

Fri 16-Sun 18 May Ballymaloe LitFest, Ballymaloe Cookery School, Shanagarry, Co. Cork, Ireland 00 353 21 4646785 @ballymaloeLit

Wed 21 May Books for Cooks talk and signing 6-8pm. In association with Slow Food UK Books for Cooks, 4 Blenheim Crescent, London Q11 1NN 020 7221 1992 @booksforcooks or 020 7099 1132 @slowfooduk

Thurs 22 May Weston A Price full day workshop 10am-4.30pm £110 The Bagnall Centre for Integrated Healthcare, Chesham, Bucks, HP5 1PE 07580 141191 @WAPFLondon

Fri 23 May Weston A Price Tasting 6-9pm £25 University of Westminster l Cayley Lecture Theatre, 35 Marylebone Rd, London NW1 5LS 07580 141191 @WAPFLondon

Sun 25 May River Cottage Annual Food Festival talk/demo/signing River Cottage HQ, Park Farm, Trinity Hill Rd, Musbury, Axminster, Devon, EX13 8TB 01297 630322 @rivercottage

Mon 26-Fri 30 May Schumacher College to give course ‘Exploring the Microcosmos – New Paradigms from Microbial Communities’ with Eva Bakkeslett and Stephan Harding The Old Postern, Dartington, Totnes, TQ9 6EA 01803 865934 @schumacherColl

Wed 28 May Schumacher College public event ‘Earth Talk’ The Old Postern, Dartington, Totnes, TQ9 6EA 01803 865934 @schumacherColl

Sat 31 May Embercombe. Sandor giving a one-day fermentation workshop 10am-5pm Embercombe, Higher Ashton, Exeter, EX6 7QQ 01647 252983/5 @embercombe

Mon 2 June Concord institute http://www.concordinstitute.com/

The Art of Fermentation

Wild Fermentation by Sandor Ellix KatzThe Art of Fermentation (RRP £28.99)by Sandor Ellix Katz is a James Beard award winner and was a New York Times bestseller. Wild Fermentation (RRP £17.99) was his first book. They are both available through all good high street and online book retailers.

For more information about Sandor Katz’s visit to the UK and Ireland, contact Susie Hallam


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Recipe: Ginger Beer

Ginger is a spice perfect for autumn weather. Its fragrance can perk up everything from chai tea to apple pie. This humble root can also add a gentle kick of heat to stir-fries or soups.

The natural yeasts in the root can also be used to kick start a bubbly ginger beer. Give it a try!

The following recipe is from Wild Fermentation: The Flavour, Nutrition and Craft of Live-Culture Foods by Sandor Katz. Published by Chelsea Green, the book is available through all good high street and online retailers, RRP £17.99



This Caribbean-style soft drink uses a “ginger bug” to start the fermentation. I got this idea from Sally Fallon’s Nourishing Traditions. The ginger bug is simply water, sugar and grated ginger, which starts actively fermenting within a couple of days. This easy starter can be used as yeast in any alcohol ferment, or to start a sourdough.

This ginger beer is a soft drink, fermented just enough to create carbonation but not enough to contribute any appreciable level of alcohol. If the ginger is mild, kids love it.

TIMEFRAME: 2 to 3 weeks

INGREDIENTS (for 4 litres):

  • 8 cm or more fresh root ginger
  • 400 gm sugar
  • 2 lemons
  • Water


1. Start the “ginger bug”: Add 2 teaspoons (10 ml) grated ginger (skin and all) and 2 teaspoons (10 ml) sugar to 250 ml of water. Stir well and leave in a warm place, covered with cheesecloth to allow free circulation of air while keeping flies out. Add this amount of ginger and sugar every day or two and stir, until the bug starts bubbling, in 2 days to about a week.

2. Make the ginger beer any time after the bug becomes active. (If you wait more than a couple of days, keep feeding the bug fresh ginger and sugar every 2 days.) Boil 2 litres of water. Add about 5 cm of root ginger, grated, for a mild ginger flavour (up to 15 cm for an intense ginger flavour) and 375 ml sugar. Boil this mixture for about 15 minutes. Cool.

3. Once the ginger-sugar-water mixture has cooled, strain the ginger out and add the juice of the lemons and the strained ginger bug. (If you intend to make this process an ongoing rhythm, reserve a few tablespoons of the active bug as a starter and replenish it with additional water, grated ginger and sugar.) Add enough water to make 4 litres.

     4.  Bottle in sealable bottles: Recycle plastic soda bottles with screw tops; rubber gasket “bail-top” bottles that some premium beers use; sealable juice jugs; or capped beer bottles. Leave bottles to ferment in a warm place for about 2 weeks.

5. Cool before opening. When you open your ginger beer, be prepared with a glass, since carbonation can be strong and force liquid to rush out of the bottle!

Chelsea Green Publishing

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