KYF #040: Listener Questions (pickles, drying seeds, GAPS, nut butter, Fido jars, kefir, and more)

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In this episode of Know Your Food with Wardee, I’m taking listener questions, including:

  • how to scale up a pickle recipe
  • how to dry soaked hemp seeds without a dehydrator
  • an update on where we are with GAPS
  • how long to soak grains
  • whether to make nut butter with soaked but not dried nuts
  • online nutrition course options
  • does soaking beans with an acid make them alkaline-forming in the body
  • can Fido jar wire bails be tightened up
  • issues with dairy kefir


  • You’re invited to check out recent blog posts
  • You’re invited to join me for Voices, our new series
  • Tip of the Week: Cook outdoors to beat the heat!

Voices -- share your story!


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Listener Questions

Here are the questions I answered in this episode, in the order they’re answered (in case you want to skip around). The podcast contains my answers, plus if I mentioned any additional resources, they are linked here along with the question.


Elizabeth asked: I have your Lacto-Fermentation eBook and some pickling cucumbers. I would like to make Garlic-Dill Pickles. I have a crock that holds about a gallon. When you say that the recipe is even better for 1/2 gallon at a time — are you supposed to double the other ingredients (tea, garlic and dill)? And if you are supposed to double them for that — I suppose I would use 4X’s the amount for a gallon? Then cover with brine?

Marilyn asked: Wardee, Although I’ve enrolled in your Dehydrating eCourse, I haven’t started the “class” yet because I’ve had to delay purchasing the Dehydrator. My question is about soaking raw, hulled hemp seeds. How long should it take, and can they just be air dried without the dehydrator?

Erica asked: Hi Wardee, I’ve been following you blog for a few years, and did an e-course a couple of times in the past. You have a great resource here, a real gem on the web! Just wondering if there is a post about why your family stopped/finished the GAPS diet? I couldn’t find a post about the end of your GAPS journey in the archives. Just starting GAPS with my own homeschooling family and was thinking about your family’s experience. Thanks!

Inna asked: Hi Wardee, I have definitely enjoyed my first 5 free videos [sign up for those here]. I am new to the whole Nourishing Traditions concept and it’s scientific reasoning. I just had a baby in May and someone gave me the Super Nutrition for Babies book, which I couldn’t put down until I read it cover to cover. And then I started to further research the subject and came across the GAPS diet by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride. It’s time for me to get off the convenience food wagon and get back to my Russian heritage. Anyway, my comment for your tutorials is about grain soaking. On web site it’s talking about soaking grains for 2 to 3 days once you get off the diet as opposed to the 7 to 12 hours that you describe. What are your thoughts? How long does it actually take to predigest the grains and get rid of anti-nutrients?

Mary asked (via voicemail): I want to ask a very quick question on soaking macadamia nuts. I wanted to know if it is necessary to dehydrate the nut after soaking it if I were making a nut butter with a food processor.

Muller: Your menu plan is great. I’m just totally busy with your fermentation book, got through Amazon before yesterday. I live in Europe in Hungary. I’m on GAPS diet now, in the second month. I really feel good. I am considering becominge a Nutritionist, but here in Hungary the curriculum of the education is not useful and I don’t want to learn unnessesary things for four years. My dilemma is that I would like to study really useful staff, but I also need a document (from accredited school) that I can work officially in this field. As I see your amazing webpage, I think, you are very well informed, that’s why I ask your help. Can you recommend any good nutritionist course in USA or UK which is avaliable online? Sorry for my poor english. I learn a lot from your book (have to translate) and from your great videos as well.

  • Look into the Nutritional Therapy Association to see what they’ve got in terms of distance learning or recommendations. Can any readers suggest a solution for Muller?

Nadine asked: I have a couple of questions. First is about using something acidic (for me it would be the apple cider vinegar or lemon juice. maybe water kefir since I am vegan) when soaking whole grains or beans. I know the grains are slightly acid forming (the beans too?), so does the addition of these acids (which are alkaline-forming during digestion, right?) make the grains more alkaline? If the water is poured off after soaking, won’t some of the nutrients be lost in the water? I have #10 cans of various beans in my home storage.  The cooking instructions on the cans say to add the water for soaking to the washed beans, bring to a boil for 2 minutes.  Remove from the heat and soak for an hour.  Drain the water and rinse well.  Then add the cooking water (if 8 cups soaking water per 1 lb of beans was used, for cooking use 6 cups water) and simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.  For me this has, without fail, worked to perfection.  I will, in the future, try the vinegar or lemon juice, but I have never needed the baking soda. Thank you for the free video lessons[sign up for those here]!

Sue asked: Hi Wardee, I follow your blog and really enjoy it. Thank you. If you have any ideas on a problem I am having, I would really appreciate it. I am relatively new to lacto-fermentation of foods. My husband and I are just now eating my first batches of kimchee and sauerkraut that I made last winter. Wow, it’s really good. I also fermented a large jar of dilled garlic cloves, awhile back. It turned ourt wonderful, but with a very strong garlic smell. I first tried refrigerator storage in mason jar with canning lid and jar ring and got a lot of garlic odor in the refrig. I was starting to buy Fido jars when I saw them at the thrift shops and so I tried one of those, with the rubber ring for a good seal, but still getting garlic odor in refrig. When I put the metal clamp done, it doesn’t seem very tight. Can those be adjusted to fit tighter? Are there any other jars that you have found helpful to contain odor? I know it is important to keep oxygen out of the ferment too and if the seal is very tight, that it should be burped once in awhile. I like the smell of garlic, but not filling the whole room, every time we open the fridge. I certainly don’t want to throw it away, as I worked too hard and waited too long to get the great finished product. I read that the Fido jars are really good and I was thrilled at my thrift finds at a cheap price. Then I thought, “maybe they were in the thrift shop because they weren’t working well,” and that started me wondering about maybe being able to adjust the wire bail? I don’t see how though. Currently I don’t have a lot of refrig space to store many ferments and a second refrig is not an option at this time.

Kim asked: I am having all sorts of trouble with my kefir. First it gelled (thanks for praying) then I accidentally added palm sugar to the grains soaking in a jar of milk mistaking it for strained kefir and it to took me till today to get it to gel. I have some questions (I am culturing 2 tablespoons of kefir grains to 2 cups of raw milk). Hubby hates the taste and smell he says it smells and tastes too yeasty like beer — is that normal or does it get better? I read on Dom’s kefir website that the yeasty overgrowth in kefir might take a couple of months to settle — is that right? In the meantime is it safe to drink? It doesn’t smell off but tastes yucky to us anyway.  I don’t mind sour but carbonated and yeasty like alcoholicky is a bit much to consume! Should I use less grains to make it less yeasty? The kefir within 12 to 18 hours forms a nice thick creamy layer at the top with the grains floating in this layer about half an inch but underneath is still quite liquid milk. Is this ready for straining or do I wait till the whole lot gels? I have tried separating the grains at this 12hour stage and left the strained kefir to gel at room temp and it is a little less yeasty but still not very nice but at least more palatable. My question is what happens to the grains if I don’t want to make the kefir every 12 hours? Can I store them in milk till the next day to make kefir? If yes, then how much milk for storage and can I drink the storing milk or do I add the right amount of milk to the grains I would normally use to make kefir but store it in the fridge and then take it out to ferment at room temp the next day? Dom’s kefir site was saying constant refrigeration between kefir making kills the yeast in the grains — have you found this to be so? Incidentally I have kept the grainless kefir that I had going as it is such an easy room temp yoghurt to make ie 2 tablespoons of the gelled kefir to raw milk and it gels thick and creamy every time with no yeasty alcoholic taste like the one with the grains.  But interestingly I noticed since I started making the kefir with grains the grainless kefir is starting to taste more like the grained kefir even though I don’t mix them.

What’s Coming Up!

Next week I’m taking more listener questions! So get them in using the directions below.

Got Questions or Comments?

I’d love to answer your questions or share your comments on the air in future episodes. Here are the guidelines:

  1. Share your name and where you live.
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  4. Keep each question brief — like 30 seconds or less, if you can.

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If the button doesn’t work for you, visit this page to leave a voicemail. Or, want to use the telephone instead? Call 1-541-236-2330 to leave a voicemail with your question or comment. Or, you can contact me.


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This post may contain affiliate links. We only recommend products and services we wholeheartedly endorse. Thank you for supporting Traditional Cooking School by GNOWFGLINS with your purchases. Our family thanks you!


  1. Kim says

    Hi Wardeh
    Thanks heaps for the answers to my kefir questions. I didn’t hear from you since my email and did not know you were answering them in the podcast so I kept plodding on. On hubby’s suggestion we doubled the diameter of the jar the grains were in as despite stirring the milk with the kefir gel on top it still would not gel. I think that there is insufficient sideways movement for the kefir grains if the diameter of the jar is too small so despite stirring the grains would keep gelling the milk all around and lock itself above the liquid milk. Voila! Gelled perfectly then on to the taste. I then reduced the grains to 1 tbs grains to 2 cups milk and the taste got better and has got better till as of listening to the podcast it is perfect to my taste and the kids too who were still drinking kefir clabber as they could not stand the real kefir. I have now stopped the kefir clabber as the taste was so altered by the kefir it was not nice anymore. Beside, the kefir has now adapted well to the family’s taste and gels perfect and creamy every time so there is no need to have 2 cultures going with my limited bench space. Thanks heaps again. :)

  2. Rhonda says

    Your new online course sounds great! I am looking forward to the info! Any idea of when your last class’s info will be in E book form? I am looking forward to that too!!

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