When people are purposefully taking a probiotic, they do so knowing that the good flora is either missing from their intestines (likely due to antibiotics), or that their flora is incredibly outnumbered by non-beneficial pathogens like candida, yeast, etc... and they want to restore their intestinal flora balance.
The conclusions I have drawn after watching all of the structured silver videos are:
I believe structured silver would be an essential companion, for anybody trying to repopulate their flora, by helping to ensure that the probiotic they take will win the intestinal turf war against anything that has already already established itself there.
I will be testing this logic next week when my structured silver stock arrives. I guess I could say that I am anticipating / hoping for (as a form of proof to myself) the Herxheimer Reaction effects:
The Herxheimer Reaction - Feeling worse before feeling better
The Herxheimer Reaction is a short-term (from days to a few weeks) detoxification reaction in the body. As the body detoxifies, it is not uncommon to experience flu-like symptoms including headache, joint and muscle pain, body aches, sore throat, general malaise, sweating, chills, nausea or other symptoms.
This is a normal — and even healthy — reaction that indicates that parasites, fungus, viruses, bacteria or other pathogens are being effectively killed off. The biggest problem with the Herxheimer reaction is that people stop taking the supplement or medication that is causing the reaction, and thus discontinue the very treatment that is helping to make them better. Although the experience may not make you feel particularly good, the Herxheimer Reaction is actually a sign that healing is taking place.
What Is The Herxheimer Reaction?
The Herxheimer Reaction is an immune system reaction to the toxins (endotoxins) that are released when large amounts of pathogens are being killed off, and the body does not eliminate the toxins quickly enough. Simply stated, it is a reaction that occurs when the body is detoxifying and the released toxins either exacerbate the symptoms being treated or create their own symptoms. The important thing to note is that worsening symptoms do not indicate failure of the treatment in question; in fact, usually just the opposite.
I will be stocking enough structured silver to make it available for others as well, so feel free to contact me for more information.
Three days into batch three (Mar 19th), my kefir was bubbling like crazy, and I could already tell the grains were still growing. What I obviously needed to learn quickly was how to only make as many batches as I could drink; which would also mean figuring out how to keep/store the grains that I didn't need to use for fermenting.
The first answer/lesson was, simply, use the fridge. The basic premise being that you still need to feed the grains, so you start a new batch (make the grains food) but put the jar in the fridge to slow the grains down. So I put my three day ferments in the fridge so they could continue to ferment more slowly. As I got close to emptying each jar of liquid over the next few days, I poured the grains into the next jar, delaying the need to start any new batches.
The second answer, equally simple, was to entertain the idea of making them available to others like Kijiji/Jody had done for me. If you live in/around Winnipeg and are looking for a happy water kefir culture, let's make a trade for a freshly made batch.
Four days in (having a nice sharp taste, just before vinegary) and I'm just noticing that the kefir grains have tripled! The grains are definitely happy, healthy, and multiplying. I think they agreed with me on switching maple syrup for cane sugar.
I never would have imagined that I'd be starting batch three with making twelve jars... incredible!
Five days of fermenting on the counter has lead to a rather vinegary batch. I must admit that I've left it out too long for my taste.
I strained out the kefir grains and started batch number two. This time using cane sugar over maple syrup, and keeping the molasses.
Sorry about forgetting to take a picture of this batch, but batch two really doesn't look any different when compared to the picture I took back on Mar 7; other than realizing I only used half the water the first time... so the jars are more full.
Two days in and I can already see that my first batch is more active (more bubbly) than the starter batch I was given. In fact, it almost looks like they've grown too.
I know I used a different sugar, but I predict that adding molasses was the big difference; they just love the added minerals!
Of course both these things also have changed the taste significantly. I think the molasses is a keeper, but maple syrup reminds me too much of pancakes. Going to leave this batch on the counter to continue fermenting and see how the flavour changes over time before I decide for sure though.
Over the last few days, we've been slowly drinking the starter kefir batch I'd acquired, as it continued to ferment on our counter. The kefir seemed to get thicker and more sharp as the days went by... so I was certainly exposed to a wide range of flavours as it fermented.
Having consumed the last of the water, I followed the guidance and recipe found on growyouthful.com to put together my first brew of water kefir. For my first batch, I decided to use 100% maple syrup as my sugar. That and the molasses explains the dark rich colour.
I've been making sauerkraut for quite some time now, but I can honestly say that I don't eat it as often as I could. Usually due to bad timing/planning... where I eat through the jars before thinking of starting the next batch; and I like to let it ferment for up to eight weeks. So, too many gaps have been creeping in, which usually leads to a bit of procrastination.
My solution was to start a new ferment that doesn't need weeks to mature, and the answer was water kefir.
I contacted Jody, a local Winnipeger, through Kijiji and picked up my initial batch of water kefir grains! She had just prepared the brew this morning, so it will need to ferment over the next couple days before I can try it out.
Watch out "leaky gut", there's a new probiotic sheriff in town!
I picked up a dozen cabbages yesterday and washed out the new 20L crock in preparation for large scale fermenting. Since I had so many cabbages to go through, I decided to make use of the Kitchenaid with the shredding attachment. It powered through the cabbage like a champ and threw a bonus my way by slightly bruising the cabbage; making it easier to work in the sea salt. I wondered why the instructions mentioned to only fill the crock 80%, and figured out why as I was putting the weights in... you need the space to work them in. So the real max capacity of the crock (with weights) is closer to 16L.
The idea now is to not disturb the crock for at least two weeks. The water in the crock channel has the unit nicely sealed, so I don't fear anything going amiss behind the lid. The greater plan is to only take out a few litres at a time, letting some of the sauerkraut get to 4 weeks if I can stretch it out that long. I'd like to try let the cabbage fully acidify if I can to see and taste it at it's peak.
Yes, that's a 4L pickle jar sitting beside my new 20L fermenting crock pot! The instructions say to not fill it more than 80% so, (going by my previous experience of 1 cabbage making 1L) my next trip to the grocery store will include about 15 cabbage heads! The greater plan is that I will always have a months supply of sauerkraut on hand, which will mean I am finally going to have enough underway to let it sit for a full four weeks. Two weeks is the longest my sauerkraut has "aged" before moving it to the fridge, so it will be nice to finally experience the three week, four week, and maybe longer flavours!
I ordered the crock from Harvest Essentials. Originally I was going to order one from TSM (The Sausage Makers), but it wasn't available until June. Looking around for the same pot lead us to Harvest Essentials who had a better price (but unfortunately the same June ETA). Looking at all of their 20L crocks revealed the one I eventually ordered... on sale from $299.99 to $205.99 (after an additional $10 coupon).
I was a little leery at first from ordering @ Harvest Essentials since they do not have user account handling setup on their site. I like a site with an ordering account where I can see my history and track my orders. Instead they use a yahoo storefront to order from, which after using it does the trick. I asked questions about shipping and breakage which they answered very quickly, so I feel I received really good customer service. I was also pleasantly surprised at how well packed and protected the crock was during shipping; top marks!
I found a 4L Costco pickle jar I was saving (with no purpose in mind) and thought I would try using it to make a batch of sauerkraut. I found working with this large jar to be much easier then working with multiple 1L wide-mouth mason jars; I could get my hand into it to press down the kraut instead of relying on "tappers".
The other new idea I tried was half-filling a zip-lock bag with water a as weight. Wasn't quite as heavy as it needed to be, but it definitely helped to keep the kraut submerged in the brine at all times.
Definitely a successful experiment!