Yogis drinking: Goji Beer

2 Aug

The yogi who drinks goji beer:  if you were questioning whether or not I am a certified hippie, you may have found your answer in this post…. anyway, the following youtube is a homage, if you can call it that, to yogis and goji berries.  The drink I’ve made is nearly identical to my cherry soda recipe.

Combine in a glass jar:

4 c water

1 generous handful of goji berries

1/4 c sucanot or rapadura. 

1/4c tibicos (water kefir) grains

Mix. Cover your jar with a towel so the culture can breathe, but so flies can’t get in.  Let it sit for about two days, stirring a couple times a day if you think of it.   Warmer temps will make it ferment faster.  The brew will bubble vigorously when you stir.  When you suspect it is ready, maybe even after day 1, taste it.  If it’s too sweet, let it go longer.  If it tastes good to you, bottle it in an airtight bottle.  Leave the bottle at room temperature for a day or so: less if it’s really hot in your fermentation place, like it is in my kitchen!  Bottling will allow the brew to build up bubbles.

Goji beer consumer

Goji Beer fanatic.  Feel the fizz!

If too many bubbles build, you will have a big explosion when you open it, and you will lose most of your brew, not to mention creating a grand mess in your kitchen.  At the talk I went to on Tuesday, Sandor Katz had a great suggestion:  if you bottle it in plastic, you can tell when the brew is ready because the bottle will be firm.  My only qualm is that the paranoid health fanatic in me likes to err away from plastics:  especially when I’m working with reactive fermentations.  Kefir will do a number on metal, so why wouldn’t there be plastic chemicals leaking into my drink…?  The plastic bottling is a good call to start with if you feel unsure how long to let the bottles sit, and certainly if you start to make larger batches, you could put a little bit into a plastic bottle and the rest into glass.

Beer?  So, is it alcoholic?

It can be alcoholic.  I’ve made some unexpectedly boozy kefirs lately.  According to Katz (Yeah, him again.  Keep in mind that talk was just two days ago.), if you let it ferment without exposure to air, like once you’ve bottled the stuff, then it will go into an anaerobic fermentation, which creates alcohol.  If the culture can breathe a lot, it should be less alcoholic.  Based on his premise, perhaps stirring more could help create a less boozy brew.  I’ve been pretty lazy about stirring.  I have a feeling that the high heats in my un-airconditioned apartment cause a more rapid fermentation process which might also lend to the alcoholic content of my stuff lately: I’ve only been bottling it for an afternoon and, whew!   I can feel the fizz.

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One Response to “Yogis drinking: Goji Beer”

  1. Ethan October 28, 2012 at 12:24 am #

    The goji beer/berries picture looks great. It might inspire me to buy some burdock next month.

    Hugs from San Francisco!

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