Mistakes are the growing pains of wisdom — William George Jordan
Last week we had quite a scare. For those of you following the blog, you may know that I’ve been brewing kombucha for many, many years now. It’s a habit now and is almost always available to drink in the refrigerator. I personally like to “double ferment”, adding herbal or fruit syrup to the “second fermentation.” The “second round of fermentation” sort of – uh – backfired on Friday. And by the grace of God, something that was really scary and could have been horribly dangerous was only a sticky mess to clean up in the kitchen.
So the brief story is this: I usually store the “double fermenting” kombucha in one of our kitchen cabinets but didn’t have the room so place them on the counter to work their fermentation magic. We were settling down in the living room for a end-of-week family night of ice cream with homemade fudge sauce, sliced homegrown strawberries and a few old TV shows like Andy Griffith. Suddenly, halfway through the first episode, a loud explosion in the kitchen had quite a few family members diving to the floor.
It so happened that we had a drive by shooting at the neighbor’s house the other night, so it was a natural thought that it could have been another gang attack. Well, the culprit turned out to be the kombucha. One of the glass jars on the kitchen counter exploded, sending glass and grapefruit kombucha everywhere and all over the walls, ceiling and floor. Glass shards were as far away as the next room. I felt sick. Just minutes before, a few of us were in the kitchen dolling out the ice cream or hanging out in the kitchen doing the last of the day’s chores. Flying glass would have caused some serious damage to anyone in the room. I didn’t want to think about it, and yet… I was thankful for small mercies.
Since there were still five glass bottles filled with kombucha on the counter, I had to “suit” up (goggles, shoes, gloves, heavy jacket, a rubbermaid as an impromptu face shield) and go in and put them immediately on ice (to stop the fermentation) just to be safe. In all my years of brewing, I’ve never had anything like that explode on me. Perhaps the glass had weakened over the years, or maybe was even a little cracked and couldn’t stand the pressure anymore. Thankfully, no one was hurt and I had a frightful night’s sleep, thinking how close to disaster we had been and yet how lucky we were!
From now on, I have more respect for this bubbly brew and now vow, if I can’t find room in the cabinets, I will store the “double fermenting” glass in a Rubbermaid container with a lid – just in case.
What “mistakes” have you learned from recently, care to share?
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