A Day of Shattered Glass
November 17, 2012, 8:38 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Well, it’s finally happened. I don’t have a picture because my first thought upon discovering the mess was to clean it up, not photograph it, but I had my first bottle explode this evening.

I used to religiously make tester bottles of each batch of ginger beer, pouring some into a plastic bottle and feeling it occasionally to see how much pressure was building up. But I don’t have any plastic bottles around the house now, and so I’ve made a few batches of kombucha, ginger beer, and now water kefir without that safeguard. Oops.

I fell asleep on the couch this evening while attempting a little self-hypnosis. Since I wasn’t trying to hypnotize myself into falling asleep, I think it wasn’t really successful. 😉 I woke halfway to the sudden tinkling explosion of broken glass, but took a while to climb all the way out of sleep and get up to look around.

By the time I made it to the doorway into the kitchen, it was like a crime scene. There were a few large chunks of broken glass in the dining room and a spreading pool of red liquid and broken glass all over the kitchen floor around the fridge.

As I mentioned last time, the winter home of the fermentation station has been the top of the fridge. Included in the station were three thick glass bail-top bottles of water kefir finished with its initial fermentation, with cherry juice and elderberry syrup added and bottled for secondary fermentation. And how.

One of the three bottles holding the flavored water kefir, not a green Grolsch bottle but a clear German square-bottomed bail-top bottle that I bought locally, burst and sent its contents and its container everywhere.

The first thing I did was to transfer the remaining two bottles into the fridge. After I cleaned up the juice and glass on and down the sides of the fridge, down the walls and doors, and puddling on the floor, I pulled one of the remaining bottles out of the fridge and carefully opened it in the sink, with my face averted. It was anti-climactic. The bail top flipped open with a little pop, and I poured a fizzy but well-behaved and delicious red beverage into a pint glass.

Well, then. Chalk one up to: Lesson learned. Plastic tester bottles, here I come. Obviously that won’t prevent every incident, since each bottle clearly carbonates at a slightly different rate, but hopefully it will help.

In other news, the beet kvass/rassol is also in secondary fermentation, and the ginger bug is bubbling madly, ready to be made into another batch. I’ve been drinking the first batch, and I think it could actually have gone for a longer fermentation, as it’s still quite sweet. And this time I’ll add more ginger — I like it spicy.

The water kefir, previously described as delicious, is that, but also slightly odd-tasting, as I remember it being the last time I incorporated it into my fermentation practice. I wonder if the taste will change over time with frequent fermentation. The grains Jack gave me are obviously well cared for and frequently fed, so it’s not that they’ve developed off flavors due to neglect. Could I change the flavor by using different carbohydrates, like maybe diluted maple syrup?

Put that one in the experiments yet to be performed column.


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