Fermenting Superstitions

So I called up my Mom and we were talking about fermenting and the Asian traditions. I was telling her about how I’ve started my current veggie ferments and that my kombucha is on its way. Apparently, these stuff has some superstitions to it. Or like what Singaporeans say, ‘Pantang’.

I’m not too sure where these ideas originated, but she told me I cannot start a new batch when I am having my period. It will spoil the brew and I will have to throw it away. Its said that when you start a batch, as you mix the ingredients, you have to be clear and pure. It seems that many Asian cultures believe that when a woman is at that time of the month, she is ‘dirty’ or not pure. For eg, women are not supposed to enter places of worship during their periods, because the blood flowing out is dirty and she is suppose to let her body cleanse herself before she can enter the sacred places.

She also told me that the elderly women do better ferments because they are going into their menopause. I always knew the older folks do better ferments, but I always thought it was due to experience and knowledge in whatever they were doing!

Personally, I believe in happy & positive thoughts when brewing, creates a good booch. The law of attraction, right?  Talking and encouraging your cultures, may sometimes help too. I’m guilty of both! And I don’t think I’m the only one. I don’t think anybody would understand it unless they are fermenters themselves. Our cultures are like our pets. We look after them, we feed them, they grow, and return us with good health. We give them pet names, buy them good ‘homes’,  lovely glass jars & crockpots and watch them grow.

Fermenters! If you are reading this… Do you know of any other superstitions with regards to fermenting? What are some of the things you do that are considered ‘superstitious’ when you are starting a new batch? I’d love to know, please drop me a message or comment below.

Stay happy & keep brewing!

Sauerkraut updates

Some updates on my sauerkraut experiment.

On day 2

It started bubbling and the sauerkraut heaved (rised) to the top of the jar, I had to use a clean spoon and pressed everything down back to under the brine again.

Back into the cabinet again.

On day 3:

Again, there’s bubbles forming in the sauerkraut and it went all the way up to the top of the jar.

Pressed it down with a clean spoon and back into the cabinet.

On day 4:

Again, I needed to press it down.

But when I opened the bottle, and took a sniff of it, it had kind of a strong odor.

I got a little worried and decided to do a taste test.

Oh my, that fizz, that tangy bite.

It tasted like a sour-ish coleslaw and I decided to fridge it at that point.

I’m guessing  that the heat in Singapore may have helped them ferment quicker than how it would in other countries.

Slightly lower temperatures are always preferred but I don’t quite have a choice in Singapore being warm all the time.

I’ll have to see how it goes in the year end when its supposed to be cooler.

It does continue fermenting in the fridge at a very slow pace. So it may get a wee bit more sour over time.

I have been taking a heaping tablespoon (sometimes 2!) of sauerkraut every meal with my rice, noodles and such. Its almost like a side dish or like pickles that you would eat with your japanese/korean meals. I can’t believe how something so beneficial can taste so good! Be warned though, the smell can be kind of put you off in the beginning. Just go for it, trust me. Had it not been for my friend, Ginger, encouraging me all the way, I would have chickened out again this time. I threw away my first batch for the same reason.

Not anymore. And I’m probably going to do up new variations now.

Loving it! Click here to get the recipe.

Have you done sauerkraut before? Did you like it?


IMG_7152 My 2nd attempt. The first attempt months back, did not go too well. I avoided it since. However, if you’re like me, going through an probiotic drought, and missing out on the goodness from fermented foods, this is probably the best way to start again. I had an active kitchen back in the States. By active, I meant cultures of sorts all over the kitchen. I had starters, scoby hotels, and all that goodies brewing in all corners & all counters of available space. I was consuming them, my health was getting better each day. My friends said I was running on batteries. I was full of energy and my mind was clear as day. Coming back to Singapore, my work consumed me. I had a cultured disaster. Or call it a culture apocalypse.  Mold took over my counters and I had to throw out every living bacteria I had in the kitchen. With nothing left and waiting for someone to send me new starters, my health didn’t get too well either. No, I’m not sick. Its just the energy levels felt low, and I go through a brain fog, once in awhile. A friend from my online fermenting groups suggested that I tried Sauerkraut. ( Thanks Ginger! ) Made from cabbages & salt, and given a little time, this lacto-fermented vegetables has proven to bring many health benefits, including:

  • Fiber from vegetables
  • loaded with Vitamin C & K
  • energy booster
  • strengthens immune system
  • live probiotics

The benefits of live probiotics is endless. There has been so much buzz in the natural/alternative health communities about taking the these products and enjoying the health benefits of it. I will share more on my research and experimentation on  that later on. But for beginners to the world of natural health, please try this with me. You need nothing more than a jar, salt, and cabbages. Simple & Nutritious. Exactly what I need in my life now. I’ll update here as the days goes so you can see the process with me. After 24 hours: Lots of bubbles. Cabbages rose abit to the surface and I pushed it down again. We want to keep them under the water level.

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