(Foods that form significant alcohol when lacto-fermented.)
If a fermented food or drink is tingly or fizzy on your tongue, or if it has an alcohol “burn”, then it is UNSAFE for children, pregnant women, individuals on medications that conflict with alcohol, recovering alcoholics, people who are reactive to alcohols, and those who practice health codes that prohibit alcohol consumption.
The legal definition of “alcoholic” is any food or drink containing higher than .5% alcohol. This is right at the point where significant carbonation is detectible in liquid beverages (milk beverages fizz at a slightly lower level), and this is the level at which the government has determined that an individual MAY become intoxicated with sufficient consumption (and where it is a danger to children – and hence, to pregnant women). In other words, liquid fermentations will begin to “fizz” or “tingle” right about the point where they become unsafe for children, and where the US government classifies them as a potential intoxicant. This is why modern sodas are carbonated by pressure methods, and not by fermentation.
All of the following foods or beverages form significant alcohol. The sugars in the foods and drinks create alcohol during the fermentation process. If a food contains carbohydrate based sugars, IT WILL FORM SIGNIFICANT ALCOHOL. Basic rules of fermentation – sugar converts to alcohol.
Scientific studies on kombucha, fermented sodas (root beer, ginger ale, and others), and beet kvass, show the alcohol content to be between .5 and 13% alcohol. Beet kvass is usually on the high side.
In 2010, the US government recalled most of the kombucha being sold in the US (that without added carbonation). Believing the lie that it was insignificantly low in alcohol, hundreds of companies brewed and sold kombucha without testing alcohol levels. Testing revealed the levels to average about 3% alcohol content – enough to intoxicate an adult who sips it all day as an alternative to soda, and MORE than enough to intoxicate a child.
There have been anecdotal (believable) reports of children having a blood alcohol level that was over the legal limit, when all they had consumed that day was water kefir. (Presented to the ER for illness.)
The information regarding alcohol content has changed in the last few years online. When I did the initial research for this and other articles on this topic, a few years ago, I could easily find the content for root beer and ginger ale, and for kombucha and beet kvass. It is harder to find now, and there are numerous articles for HARD root beer (just home brewed root beer), and HARD lemonade (which is EXACTLY the same thing as “fermented soda”). So the internet now calls them what they really ARE, but people making them thinking they are “healthy” won’t look for them in those terms, and won’t realize THEY ARE THE SAME THING.
ANYTHING with equivalent SUGAR, and equivalent fermentation times, will form the same levels of alcohol. In water kefir, it is the sugars which enable fermentation – water, by itself, cannot ferment, it has to have something to work on, and when sugar is all that is added, you are producing an alcoholic beverage.
- Fermented Soda
- Water Kefir
- Fermented Ginger Ale
- Fermented Root Beer
- Beet Kvass (higher than sodas)
- Herbal Kombucha
- Fruit Juice
- Sugared drinks
- Over-fermented milk Kefir (very fizzy – carbonation suspends in milk sooner than in thinner liquids, so only very fizzy milk kefir is significantly high in alcohol)
- Tomatoes (including tomato salsa or sauce)
- Carrots (generally ok in vegetable blends)
- Sweet Potatoes
- Other Starchy Vegetables
- Flower blossoms
Foods sweetened with any of the following
- Raw Sugar
- Fruit Syrups
- Sugar alcohols (xylitol, erithorbitol, sorbitol, etc)
- Other carbohydrate based sweeteners
Get Rid of the Alcohol
- Add the sugar (or the fruits or starchy vegetables) after fermenting non-starchy vegetables, to prevent it forming (for sweet pickles or fermented condiments). Let it meld for three days under refrigeration to blend the flavors and let the sugars permeate the fermented foods.
- Vinegarize it (open ferment it until the alcohol converts to acid). Ferment two weeks in a closed fermentation (to slightly reduce alcohol formation), and then open ferment until the alcohol is fully converted to acid.
- Evaporate it (let it sit in a shallow dish until the alcohol evaporates). This can take several days in the fridge.
- Cook it out (fast evaporation – heat it and stir it until alcohol evaporates). This takes between 10 and 20 minutes to boil out the alcohol, depending on total volume. This also destroys the helpful microbes.
The ORIGINAL one-way valve fermenting airlock! Imitation IS the sincerest form of flattery, and we have noticed that our product has been copied by other sellers of fermenting products. Remember, if you see someone else selling a one-way valve airlock for fermenting, THEY copied US, not the other way around! Fermenta Lock is still the only original invention, handmade in the US. If it isn't orange, it isn't the original!
We invented Fermenta Lock, Fermenta Free, and the valve used for Fermenta Fido and other Fermenta Airlock products. We invented Fermenta Dunk Extender. Patents are prohibitively expensive, and designed by the government not to protect the rights of individuals, but to provide another source of revenue and control for the government and lawyers. We are good at what we do. We have endless ideas and endless creativity, and competition does not scare us. Impatient thieves do not scare us - they are too busy taking shortcuts to make a success of it anyway, and they won't want to take the effort to actually MAKE a product and fill orders.
So if you want to copy our idea, go right ahead. If you want to market and sell a competing product, you are welcome to do so, as long as you do not patent our idea - we had it first, and our posts on FaceBook announcing the invention and launch of it will prove that. This idea is officially in the public domain, placed there by us. We will NOT release supply sources, or part names unless you want to buy them - we'll be happy to sell you an instruction kit. If you buy our product, or look at the images and figure it out for yourself, good on you. Compete with us if you like, just don't screw us, and we'll get along just fine. Big companies who might want to screw us may have more money, and more lawyers than we do, but we have more to gain by suing the pants off a big company, and believe me, we will be well motivated to do so if anyone patents our idea and claims it as their own - this is a free idea. Everybody now owns it.
Published June 23, 2012
Wholesale, Export, and Manufacture of this product by other companies is an option. International distributorships are available for those wishing to export. Please email us to inquire about access to our wholesale website, or in regards to manufacturing any of our products.
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