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I may have mentioned before that WILD FERMENTATION by Sandor Ellix Katz is a must have if you are a fermenter.  One of his recipes I tried and REALLY liked is Ethiopian Honey Wine or T'ej.

It's super simple to make.  It Requires a bit of patience. But thats about it.

You will need:

1 Qt. Honey

4 Qt. Spring or filtered water

Glass Gallon Jar

Butter cloth, Muslin, or coffee filter.

Rubber band

Couple oz. fresh Ginger

Small jar or crock

Sugar (turbinado is fine)

Optional:  Herbs, spices, fermentation lock

You need to start a ginger bug.  Ginger has an affinity for yeasts.  It kickstarts their growth and replication.  Basically the giunger bug provides a happy, healthy home for you to culture your local yeasts.  There is a great article for it over at Nourished Kitchen.  I suggest you check it out and use their directions:  The pithy version below:

Into a small jar:

2 Heaping Tbsp. ground (grated) Ginger.

2 Tbsp Turbinado sugar (white is ok if thats all you have)

2 Tbsp. Filtered or spring water.  Do not use chlorinated tap water.

Repeat every day for five or 6 days.  You will know when its ready it will be foamy and bubbly!


Pour the Honey into the gallon jug.  Add the water until the container is almost full (1.5" head space).  Stir until the honey/water is combined well.  Add about two tablespoons of the Ginger bug juice.  Stir well.  Cover.  Put in an out of the way, out of direct sunlight place.

Thats it.  Its take a few weeks to ferment in colder temps even longer.  You do not get "active fermentation" or at least I never have.  Just a subtle bubbling along the edges of the mixture is visible.  Typically I let it ferment in to open jar for about 3 weeks then transfer it to a slightly larger glass jug that I can fit with a fermentation lock and let it go another three weeks.

Drink and enjoy.  Its sweet can be slightly effervescent and packs a wallop so be careful.

Traditional T'ej is made mostly the same but they use a local ingredient called Gesho which is their version of HOPS...Check out the ton of useful information at the University of Pittsburgh

Weigh in:  Anyone every try this?

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Replies to This Discussion

Now I know what I'm doing this weekend. Thanks, Joe! One question: In the part on ginger-bug prep, you say, "Repeat ever day for five or 6 days." Repeat what? (Also, for more basic info on starting a ginger bug, check out Bruce's great video.)

Sorry, let me clarify.  Repeat adding those three ingredients to your ginger bug jar..  Stir briskly!  Also, use some of your water to clean out the honey jar to get all the good sweetness!

Thanks for that!




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