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  1. #1

    Question uMqombothi and yeast


    I've had a good look at recipes for uMqombothi and I notice that they all start with an introduction that says yeast is used as one of the ingredients, but then the recipe doesn't mention any of it, but instead the stuff is boiled DURING fermentation. This is a good example: https://www.jacarandafm.com/shows/th...ct-umqombothi/. First you mix maize meal, maize malt and wheat malt with water (but no yeast), cover and let stand to ferment overnight. (Not sure how that's going to work without yeast in a covered bucket.) The next day you cook it to make a porridge (thus sterilizing it and killing whatever yeast may have ended up in there through magic, rips in the space/time continuum or teleportation) AND boiling off whatever alcohol might have formed during this supposed overnight fermentation! Uh-huh.

    The next day wheat malt is added and the mixture is once again left to "ferment". Uh-huh. On the morning of day 4, "the contents of the pot should have the appearance of umqombothi - a thick, rich foamy layer flowing out of the container." [Scratches head at this point]

    So how is this really supposed to work? Fermentation without yeast, boiling after fermentation has supposedly started... WTF? Any thoughts here?

    // FvW

  2. #2
    Sounds like something to avoid actually, probably just a sour type of mash? There must be some post boil fermentation happening, but I don't care enough to find out.

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  3. #3
    There is a definate 'leave it to sour' step... But I would find a few different sources for recipes before you settle on any recipe. I think it typically uses very basic anchor type Brewers yeast, but definately uses yeast
    Cheers,
    Lang
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    "Dudddde...Hold my beer!".... ; "I wonder what will happen if I ...."
    www.ginormity.com

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by groenspookasem View Post
    Sounds like something to avoid actually
    I didn't say I was planning to drink the stuff. I'm trying to learn more about traditional brewing in response to questions I've been getting from customers.

    // FvW

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Langchop View Post
    There is a definate 'leave it to sour' step... But I would find a few different sources for recipes before you settle on any recipe. I think it typically uses very basic anchor type Brewers yeast, but definately uses yeast
    I've seen several recipes like this, Lang. They all omit the yeast and the process is such that I can't see wild yeast being a factor. Hence my confusion.

  6. #6
    The raw wheat might have something to do with it.

    Sent from my SM-G935F using Tapatalk

  7. #7
    This piqued my interest because a regular umqombothi brewer told me the method which included anchor yeast.... Seems it is traditionally based on wild yeast from grains as well as sometimes 'root yeast' from 'moerwortel' plant. Less traditional methods will include yeast. Not something I plan to brew ever.
    Cheers,
    Lang
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    "Dudddde...Hold my beer!".... ; "I wonder what will happen if I ...."
    www.ginormity.com

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by groenspookasem View Post
    The raw wheat might have something to do with it.
    Not sure how that would work. The raw wheat conceivably might contain a wild yeast but that is far from certain, and the raw wheat is only added later in the process.... [Still scratching head]

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Langchop View Post
    This piqued my interest because a regular umqombothi brewer told me the method which included anchor yeast....
    That would seem more probable to me. Adding a packet of baker's yeast would get your fermentation started quickly and reliably. But so far none of the recipes I've seen mention it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Langchop View Post
    Seems it is traditionally based on wild yeast from grains as well as sometimes 'root yeast' from 'moerwortel' plant. Less traditional methods will include yeast.
    Interesting. I had not heard of moerwortel but I found a description of the plant. It doesn't say how it relates to fermentation but presumably a yeast lives in or on the root.

    Quote Originally Posted by Langchop View Post
    Not something I plan to brew ever.
    I'm with you, brother! As I said I've been looking into this in response to questions I've been getting and trying to make sense of it. Room-temperature fermented porridge is not high on my bucket list of things to drink...

  10. #10

    Yeah nah, room fermented sour porridge does not sound appetizing over any hop... Wild yeast is a thing, but not one I'm keen on experimenting with. I prefer reliability over chance, especially the time and effort it takes to make a good tipple. I have had uqombothi before, many years ago at an event and can recall that even then the taste wasn't one I would want to replicate.

    Sent from my SM-G935F using Tapatalk

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