grain fermentation experiments

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grain fermentation experiments

Postby cawl on Thu May 19, 2016 8:13 am


I've been experimenting with grain ferments so I thought I'd let you all know how I'm getting on.

Fermented Oats
I started with fermenting oats. I used rolled oats. I understand that there's no phytase in these due to heat treatment but buying whole raw oat groats then grinding them is impossible for me. I experemented with adding the rolled oats to water and keeping them in a warm place. I kept backsopping 2 cups of the soaking liquid into the next batch. This didn't work so well. The oats climbed to above the water level during fermentation and developed a smell of old socks. So I tried adding a tbs of whole buckwheat groats. This worked, the oats stayed submerged and were bubbling away after 24hrs. The flavour was more sour and less old smelly footware, always a bonus! Especially if you live with other people with a good sense of smell. I have read online that Buckwheat is high in phytase so my thinking was that this would aid in the breakdown of phytic acid. No doubt something else is going on beyond my understanding.

Next I'm going to try adding the soaking water from fermenting buckwheat to the oats to see if that has the same effect.

Fermented polenta
This is quite simple. I added 1 part coarse cornmeal (labelled polenta) to 3 parts water for a firm polenta that can be chilled, sliced and fried. I let this ferment for 3 days. The first time I tried this I got lots of bubbles throughout the 3 days. The second time I got lots of bubbles on the second day but then nothing on the third. Not sure what was going on here. Maybe a difference in the quality of the water. I then cooked it up. It makes a polenta with a delicious lemony tang.

Fermented Rice
I submerge in wholegrain rice in water (de-chlorinated) then incubate for a 24hrs. It gets a bit bubbly. The taste is a bit mellower compared to unfermented rice. I backslop the majority of the fermenting water: I save it in the refrigerator for the next time I make rice. (Anyone know if this makes sense in terms of maintining culture and enzymes? Will keeping this water at room temperature lead to it spoiling?)

Fermented Buckwheat
I submerge whole buckwheat groats in water and incubate for 24hrs. I backslop in the same way as for rice. Lots of bubbles and a foam develops on the top of the water after 24hrs. The taste is a bit mellower and fresher compared to unfermented buckwheat. The soaking water goes very viscous. (Anyone know what's going on here?)

For the incubation I used a cardboard box with an air filled cushion in the bottom (for insulation). I then put a 4-season sleeping bag in the cardboard box, and put a hot water bottle wrapped in an insulated vest in the bottom of the sleeping bag. I put my jars of ferments on top of the water bottle then tuck the whole lot in tightly so the jars don't tip over. This keeps warm for 12 hrs. So I refill the hot water bottle morning and night, and use the water on the garden.

I'd really appreciate any feedback and answers to my question.
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