Tuesday, March 27, 2012

FERMENTATION: big word. 

Did you know that fermentation can take place in four different ways and that fermentation does not always mean alcohol or wine? 

Guess what... *sssshhhh....don't tell the neighbors** I FERMENT my food and drinks!!!!

AAAAHHHH!!! I'm an alcoholic!!!! HAHAHAHA.....not so:-) If you thought THAT then you must also THINK that Jesus created alcoholic wine for the wedding in Canaan;-)  N.O.T!!!! **side note...if He did than HE IS NOT GOD. God did not create alcohol. Man took the individual ingredients that were created by God and combined them in specific amounts in a controlled environment to produce something that causes them to sin. God is not the Creator of sin. So to say that God created sin and then handed it out to the guests at the wedding for them to drink and get drunk with, is to say that God is NOT God!** Just my thoughts:-)
Fermentation of vegetables, fruit, and milk products is actually very very good for you! Now, I broke it down into four categories to better help you understand each, AND here they are!!!

  In a general sense, fermentation is the conversion of a carbohydrate such as sugar into an acid or an alcohol. More specifically, fermentation can refer to the use of yeast to change sugar into alcohol or the use of bacteria to create lactic acid in certain foods. Fermentation occurs naturally in many different foods given the right conditions, and humans have intentionally made use of it for many thousands of years.

The earliest uses of fermentation were most likely to create alcoholic beverages such as mead, wine, and beer. These beverages may have been created as far back as 7,000 BCE in parts of the Middle East. The fermentation of foods such as milk and various vegetables probably happened sometime a few thousand years later, in both the Middle East and China. While the general principle of fermentation is the same across all of these drinks and foods, the precise methods of achieving it, and the end results, differ.

1. Beer is made by taking a grain, such as barley, wheat, or rye, germinating and drying it, and pulping it into a mash. This mash is then mixed with hot water, and some fermentation begins. After being further treated, the liquid is transferred to a fermentation vessel, where yeast is added to the mixture. This yeast “eats” the sugar present in the mash and converts it into carbon dioxide and alcohol. After a few weeks of fermentation and a further period of conditioning, the beer is ready to be filtered and consumed.

2. Wine is created using a similar method that also involves fermentation. Grapes are crushed to release the sugar-rich juices, which are then either transferred quickly away from the skins or left to rest for a time to absorb some of the flavor, tannins, and color of the skins. This explains why you have white wine and red wine. Yeast is then added, **this is very very important to understanding the making of alcoholic wine. A Processed yeast MUST be added to the grapes along with a specific amount of sugar in order for there to be a intoxicating beverage. Grapes on their own will NOT turn to alcohol. They will turn to vinegar. I know because I've done it. It doesn't take a few hours, it takes a few weeks...3 to 4 to be exact. They get sour just like apple cider vinegar!!! **and the grape juice is allowed to ferment for a number of weeks (not 6 hours), at which point it is moved to different containers and fermented at a slower rate, and eventually aged or bottled.

3. Pickling foods, such as cucumbers, may be accomplished by submerging the vegetable one wants to pickle in a salty water solution with vinegar added. Over time, bacteria create the lactic acid that gives the food its distinctive flavor and helps to preserve it. Other foods can be pickled simply by packing them in dry salt and allowing a natural fermentation process to occur. I've done this as well! The lactic acid provides lactobacillius to preserve and break down the hard-to-digest parts of fruits and vegetables, making them digestable and preservable without compromising on the nutritional aspect.

4. Milk can also be cultured, and people have been using fermentation with dairy products for nearly 5,000 years. It is speculated that early fermented dairy, such as yogurt, was the result of a natural process of fermentation that occurred when the milk was cultured by bacteria that dwelt in skin sacks used to store dairy. Yogurt these days is made by adding a number of special bacteria, such as L. acidophilus and L. bulgaricus to milk and keeping it at the proper temperature. The bacteria begin converting the sugar in the dairy to lactic acid, eventually creating what we know as yogurt.

Did you know that when you make homemade bread and you combine the milk, yeast, and sugar, and then add it to the flour that you are creating the same atmosphere that wine and beer are made in? If you let that bread dough sit out for over 24 hours, OH MAN, the stink of alcohol would make you quite faint:-) It stinks!! I know, because I've accidentally done this too!!! As a mom, you don't always get everything done like you should and you FORGET to finish things you start:-) 
Alcohol fermentation does not produce anything beneficial to the body. It produces ROT. It is the smell of decay! For a good homeschool experiment you could mix equal parts of yeast, sugar, and crushed fruit in a bowl, cover, let it sit for 1 week, uncover and see what you have!! Why in the world do you think it has to be flavored and sugared to the point of insanity? If you didn't, the smell alone would kill you:-) Lacto or Lactic fermentation produces beneficial bacterias, minerals, and acids that are necessary for the function of the body and the consumption of it does not induce one to become intoxicated.

Hope this helps you understand a little better the processes of fermentation and how when ingredients are combined they either produce alcohol, vinegar, or lacto fermented food like yogurt!

Now I need to go check on my raw kombucha... :-)


  1. Thank you for a FANTASTIC post as always! Could you shoot me an email? I need your email address. Thanks! :) nickelnotes@gmail.com

  2. 'NUFF SAID! GREAT EXPLAINATION (only your dad might have said it better! The apple doesn't fall very far from the tree :-) )!

  3. Lauren LockhartMarch 30, 2012

    I need to make a clarification on the "6 hours" term. This is a term often used by many Christians seeking to claim that the water that Christ turned to wine (fermented grape juice) would have turned to alcoholic wine because of the fullness of the people at the wedding. They would not be drinking liquids as fast so the wine would have had time to sit and ferment. This is a term I did quite a bit of study on and kept coming to this same conclusion. I took for granted that that term would be understood. I would like to point out that fermentation of any kind with grapes cannot take place without any leaves, stems, and seeds. The juice that Christ made was made in it's finished state, meaning it was done and ready to be served. It was perfect. He who commands and mandates the laws of nature would not have set aside His Holiness and His control over nature to allow His creation to take on the form of something sinful. Even if this scenario were possible, which it is scientifically not, do you not think that the God of the Universe would have overruled the natural laws of nature?? Of course He would! He wouldn't be God if He didn't. I apologize for not having made that term clear and I hope I didn't cause any confusion! Thanks!


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