Introduction to Dynamic Fermentation
‘Dynamic Fermentation’ is an experimental way of producing high-quality vegan yogurt, using a length of narrow tube as the fermentation chamber.
Image 1‘ shows a small practical Dynamic Fermenter (with added houseplants); in this set-up the tube is held rigidly in place inside a medium size drinks dispenser. Once all stages of construction and priming are completed, fermentation begins without delay after the first batch of milk has been added to the tube.
Later sections of the website replace the word ‘tube’ with ‘gallery’; strictly speaking this refers to that part of the tube where fermentation takes place, ie the whole of the tube up to the liquid surface, just below the top of the tube.
Dynamic Fermentation is designed to produce yogurt from non-dairy milk without:
- stirring, heating, or electricity
- starter cultures
- a complicated routine
So how is any of this possible? The following section gives a brief overview of each point in turn
(a fuller account is available in FAQs under the same headings).
How can you culture yogurt without heating, stirring or electricity?
Yogurt-forming bacteria still ferment milk even without being warmed, just not so quickly. In order to make yogurt the traditional way, the starter culture must be stirred into the milk to make sure it is thoroughly mixed in. Unfortunately, this causes further problems, mainly arising from the fact that stirring also adds more air/oxygen and air-borne bacteria; Dynamic Fermentation achieves the same effect as stirring without the negative outcomes . With no need for either heating or stirring there is no need for electricity.
How is it possible to make yogurt without starter culture?
In Dynamic Fermentation, a resident bacterial culture of yogurt-forming bacteria is already present in the gallery (and air is excluded); when milk is poured into the gallery the bacteria are stimulated to multiply rapidly, colonising the milk. In this way, fermentation starts straight away without any need for a stater.
Is it safe to consume yogurt produced by Dynamic Fermentation?
A 12 month trial in which the author consumed yogurt produced by Dynamic Fermentation on a daily basis concluded in July 2018; the result was positive with no evidence of risk to personal health and well-being. However, anyone suffering from soya-intolerance or a precarious state of health should follow medical advice.
Why is there no sterilisation of equipment in Dynamic Fementation
The formation of conditions in the gallery too acid for other bacteria to survive, restrictions on the kind of milk and the exclusion of air eliminates problems that arise with traditional fermentation. In such a situation, sterilisation of equipment is not only unnecessary, it would undermine the existing precautions.
How reliable is the process of Dynamic Fermentation?
Experience gained using the ‘In Vitro’ model (see below) over a year and more has clearly demonstrated the unfailing high quality and never-failing output closely associated with Dynamic Fermentation.
SUMMARY: Commercial production of yogurt is based on the principle of creating maximum profit, which in turn depends on homogeneity and maximum output or yield. By re-selecting priorities to promote quality, reliability and simplicity in place of profit, Dynamic Fermentation –
- produces premium quality, live yogurt with a significantly improved taste
- employs simple equipment and routines to ‘design out’ problems connected with contamination
- includes design features that promote the natural growth pattern of the bacteria
to which may be added that the resident culture on which Dynamic Fermentation depends appears very stable. This is one fermentation that – providing some simple rules regarding hygiene and diet are met – won’t throw a sulk or suddenly stop for no evident reason!
Experimental Dynamic Fermenters from the archive:
Image 2 – The Birdcage
Image 3 – In Vitro
Image 4 – The Night Garden (Plants/lighting are for decorative effect only)
However, the design in each of the three examples is the same – as the diagram shows this is simplicity itself:
Diagram 1 – Parts of the ‘In Vitro’ Dynamic Fermenter
Harvesting yogurt from the gallery and re-filling happen at the same time, one as a consequence of the other. Milk is added to the gallery using a kitchen funnel (which replaces the wine bottle stopper). However, the milk stays in the funnel until the spigot is opened; the effect of this is to release the fermented gallery contents into a tub placed beneath the spigot as the new batch rushes in to take its place.
Key to the design are the following:
- No changes in the diameter of the pathway taken by milk through the equipment
- A firm support and anchor to prevent movement at either end of the gallery
- entry and exit levels for the milk at different levels such that each addition flushes the previous batch of milk from the gallery.
- A leak-free join at both ends of the tube (ie between the funnel and the tube at the top and the tube and spigot at the lower end).