Ferment Pittsburgh’s Justin Lubecki, together with his brother Nick, began a farming project in Spring 2017 an hour north of Pittsburgh to explore what it meant to feed themselves throughout the year. Experimenting with crops and traditional farming techniques the challenge then carries over to the kitchen to process, preserve, and eat them naturally.
During those rough stretches of winter when the temperature gets to 0 and below and everyone doubles down inside their homes, we have a rare opportunity where I live in Pennsylvania to not only do a little pond ice skating but to let nature concentrate my brews through freeze distillation. Freeze distilling is in line with all of my favorite methods of “natural technology” where you really don’t have do anything. All the work is in making your alcoholic beverage of choice as you usually do.
Here I’ll describe how I doubled the alcohol of my cider by simply leaving it outside.
Lye has many important uses known well to soap-makers and also to plumbers for its corrosive properties in clearing clogged drain pipes. However counter-intuitive it might seem at first lye has an essential part in the production of food products like pretzels and bagels, creating their infamous color, texture, and flavor. Here we’ll discuss using both wood ash and store bought granules.
Being a part of a generation who largely had traditions that go as far back as a Betty Crocker cookbook, how do we rebirth something that might be already lost? I gave it my best shot- by making the oldest living relative I had one of his favorite foods (kielbasa) and making changes every year until I came on a recipe he liked.
Inspired by the sparse intervention of the natural winemakers, here is a method to make sake doing the very bare minimum method and to have ready to drink sake in ready about 3 weeks.
Having a good grasp on incubation is very helpful when making mold type ferments like tempeh and koji, or for reproducing your own spores for future use. And in the end the “art” of incubation doesn’t require much more than what you probably already have lying around the house.
I’ve always admired the meticulously detailed approach wine making takes with their ingredient. Conversely I love the simplicity of sauerkraut’s process which takes no special knowledge or skill. Here we might just have found a meeting of both worlds- a flavor enhancing method that begs for our laziness.
It was our second harvest of wheat this year. In addition to emmer and einkorn we grew an Italian durum, a French Red called Rouge Bordeoux, a specially bred Ukrainian called Banatka, and our flagship wheat which is also Ukranian called Halychanka.