What Have You Learned from Home Fermentation?

If you've ever pickled, made your own sauerkraut, or experimented with growing your own sourdough starter, you've probably read Sandor Katz's book, Wild Fermentation, or been helped by someone who did. Now the granddaddy of today's DIY fermentation craze (and one of our inaugural CHOW 13 food trend influencers) is penning a follow-up. Katz, who lives in an intentional community in the hills of Tennessee, is collecting anecdotes and info for his new book, and would love to hear from fermentation hobbyists and pros. He sent out this questionnaire this morning. You can email him with your responses at sandorkraut at wildfermentation dot com.

QUESTIONS FOR FERMENTERS

1. Can you think of any practical tips you wish you had had when you
embarked upon a fermentation project?

2. Are there any common misunderstandings or fears that you have
encountered talking to people about your fermentation projects?

3. Can you describe any unusual flavor, ingredient, or process
variations that you have tried and especially liked?

4. Can you articulate any important life lessons you have learned
from your fermentation practice?

QUESTIONS ABOUT COMMERCIAL FERMENTATION

1. Please describe your fermentation business: type of products,
scale of business, geographic location.

2. Can you describe any special scrutiny or hurdles you faced in
commercial licensing because you are producing fermented products?

3. When you scaled up to commercial production, were there any
specific challenges related to fermenting at a larger scale, or
maintaining consistency? Could you articulate some of what you
learned from that?

4. What do you use for fermentation vessels? Please describe your
physical set-up.

4. What advice or reflections would you offer to someone thinking
about starting a fermentation venture?

Thanks, and happy fermenting!