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Sometimes, despite our best efforts, things don't turn out well.

Yogurt Blooper #1: Check and Double-check Starter Ingredients

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November 22, 2009:

A friend told me how much she liked the yogurt she made using a certain brand of commercial yogurt as the starter. She described the yogurt as being mild and creamy. Since I am always striving for a mild-flavored yogurt, I grabbed a little six ounce container of this brand and saved it for my starter. I'd like to say that I read the ingredients, but clearly I didn't.

Read more: Yogurt Blooper #1: Check and Double-check Starter Ingredients

 

Yogurt Blooper #2: Feeding the Pigs

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I have been making yogurt for a little over a year now, and I have to say, I still make mistakes.  The wonderful part of having more experience is that now I have more ideas about how to fix my mistakes and when to start over.

I recently made my largest batch of yogurt:  five gallons.  Unfortunately, I burned the bottom of the pot of 3 1/2 gallons of milk that was heating!  Desperate to move forward, I transferred the milk out of the burnt-bottom pot and continued to heat it in clean pots.  I tasted the milk before I cultured it and kept going.

Read more: Yogurt Blooper #2: Feeding the Pigs

   

Yogurt Blooper #3: Sometimes There's a Fix!

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Yogurt is a wonderful teacher.

I can't get mad at my yogurt.  It won't sulk or yell at me or stomp out of the room.  Yogurt just is, and it reminds me to put some effort into just being as well.

While practicing just being with myself and my yogurt, I sometimes want to rip my hair out!  Of course, I'd really like my yogurt to be delicious and thick every time I make it.  This perfection is not the way of the world, and our best learning really does come from our mistakes.

Read more: Yogurt Blooper #3: Sometimes There's a Fix!

   

Kombucha Blooper #1: No Mother, No Cry

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I love kombucha.  Its tart fizziness feels wonderful in my mouth and on my tongue.  The microbes send signals of health and happiness to my cells.

I was breaking the bank, buying kombucha by the bottle, and when I tried buying it on tap the kombucha went flat and got acidic quickly.  Making my own seemed like an economically intelligent decision, and I am never one to pass up a fermentation adventure when it falls in my lap.  Unfortunately, I didn't have easy access to a kombucha mother, so I decided to try to make my own.

Read more: Kombucha Blooper #1: No Mother, No Cry

   

Kombucha Blooper #2: Learning to Walk

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Batch/Blooper #1 taught me about temperature control/moderation.  Batch #2 headed in the right direction with a kombucha mother from my kombucha soul mate and life-long friend, Julia. Yet the end product was only okay.  Batch #2 was an important step on my journey to kombucha nirvana, and I hope that reading about this new learning will help you on your way.

Read more: Kombucha Blooper #2: Learning to Walk