MORTIER PILON FAQ
What is fermentation exactly?
There are a few different kinds of fermentation, but Mortier Pilon recipes generally feature lacto-fermentation (think kimchi, sauerkraut, dill pickles, and yogurt), which is a process that turns the natural sugars found in food into a special type of acid that is rich in healthy probiotics. This type of fermentation uses salt and an anaerobic environment to kill off any harmful bacteria, as well as acid to help preserve the food. Interestingly, the types of bacteria that can be harmful to us are very vulnerable to salt, while healthy bacteria, like the type found in greek yogurt, thrive in a salty environment. You might be surprised to learn that Mortier Pilon’s recipes rarely include an acid for preservation -that’s because the lacto-fermentation process actually creates acid from natural sugars found in food!
Which vegetables can be fermented?
Almost every vegetable can be fermented.
Why do I have to keep my ingredients immersed under the brine?
When fermenting vegetables, a rule of thumb is to keep all ingredients submerged under brine. Use your ceramic weight to keep them below the level of the liquid. To prepare the brine, dissolve 60 ml (4 tablespoons) of salt in 4 cups (one liter) of hot water. Let cool before pouring the brine into your fermentation jar.
This brine is especially important because it keeps your ingredients in an oxygen-free environment during the fermentation period. Reducing the exposure to oxygen decreases the risk of mold formation.
How full does my crock need to be?
It is important to leave 1 inch of headspace at the top of the crock, between your preparation and the rim of the jar. This allows the mix to gain volume and for gas to be released. Not leaving enough headspace may cause the mix to overflow and leak.
Should you experience leakage, you can open the crock and remove the excess brine and food with the help of a sterilized instrument. Then, simply close the lid and let the fermentation process continue.
You can also choose to leave the crock partially filled, while always placing the Mortier Pilon ceramic weight on top of the preparation. However, too big of a headspace is not desirable since contact between air and the ingredients encourages the formation of bad bacteria. This is why we recommend leaving no more and no less than 1 inch of headspace.
Why do I need to add water to the channel around the lid when using my fermentation jar?
This water ring serves as a barrier to prevent any dust or other from coming into contact with fermented foods. But, this step is not necessarily obligatory for a successful fermentation.
How long do I have to let my ingredients ferment?
The fermentation process may last several days up to weeks. This time depends on your ingredients and the recipe you are making. For an accurate estimate of the fermentation time, please refer to the instruction & recipes booklet included with your Mortier Pilon jar, our Youtube channel or contact us.
How to store my fermented food?
Fermented food does not have to be stored in the refrigerator. In fact, fermentation was actually born as a food preservation method in the absence of refrigeration! A cool place is all that is required when storing your fermented goods. This could be a basement, a cellar, or a cold pantry. Cold storage will slow down the fermentation process, though your food will still continue to ferment but at a much slower rate than at room temperature.
What is the difference between your fermentation jar and your kombucha jar? Can I use a fermentation jar to make kombucha or vice versa?
The main difference between these two jars lies in the fact that the Kombucha jar has a faucet, which makes it much more convenient to serve the liquid once ready. Another difference is the fermentation system. Our fermentation jar has an air filtration system that uses water while our Kombucha jar has an air filtration system without water.
Although it may be less convenient than using our Kombucha jar, you can totally use your fermentation jar to make a batch of Kombucha. You simply need to use a clean cloth (which will act as an air filter) to cover the jar. It is indeed better to remove all the white part at the top of the jar. However, making fermented foods in the Kombucha jar would be disadvised by the fact that the air will have to escape while preventing it from re-entering or an exchange of air.
I tried to make your lacofermented garlic recipe but the cloves of my garlic became blue-green, is this dangerous?
This blue or green color can be caused by iron, tin or aluminum in the water that reacts to garlic pigments, or by soil minerals that become more prominent during fermentation. This effect is linked to the same phenomenon that gives garlic its unique smell and taste.
The presence of color does not affect the taste of the garlic and isn’t dangerous (unless you see other signs of tampering).
What is kombucha?
Kombucha is a fermented black tea drink. It is achieved through the combination of tea and sugar solution and a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast (also called SCOBY). Slightly alcoholic and effervescent, this drink became popular thanks to its health benefits, especially its high concentration of vitamins, most of all, B vitamins.
During a fermentation process lasting several weeks, the SCOBY turns the sugar and tea components into a naturally carbonated drink with a slightly tart flavor.
During a second fermentation, many Kombucha lovers often add aromas such as ginger, lemon, fruit juice or herbs to give this drink a unique taste.
What ingredients do I need to make my kombucha?
A Mortier Pilon brewing jar, filtered water, organic black (oolong or green tea), sugar (white), a SCOBY (abbreviation for Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeasts), white vinegar and, if you feel like it, some fruit, juice and / or spices to personalize your drink!
How can I make my own kombucha?
Here are some basic steps to start the brewing of your Kombucha:
- Clean your Mortier Pilon Kombucha jar to avoid any risk of contaminating the SCOBY. Wash it in warm water with vinegar. Let it drain on a clean, dry cloth. Avoid any contact of the laundry with the inside of the container.
Warning: Be sure to pour only liquids at room temperature into your Mortier Pilon Kombucha jar. DO NOT use boiling or very hot water. DO NOT put in the dishwasher.
- Acclimate your SCOBY to its new environment: Heat 1 L (4 cups) of filtered water. Add three bags of organic tea (preferably black or oolong). Add ½ cup (125 mL) white sugar (avoid brown sugar and honey). Let cool (your SCOBY does not support heat!). Pour the sweetened tea at room temperature into your Mortier Pilon jar. Add 125 ml (½ cup) distilled white vinegar. Place your SCOBY in the jar taking care to include all the juice in the bag and let it sit for two to three days.
- FIRST FERMENTATION: To brew your first large amount of Kombucha, add the following to your initial preparation: Heat 4 L (16 cups) of filtered water and add 8 bags of organic tea. Add 1 cup (250 mL) white sugar. Let cool. Pour the sweetened tea at room temperature into your Mortier Pilon jar. Let sit for a week, then taste. To obtain a less sweet drink, let it ferment for a few more days or up to two more weeks.
- SECOND FERMENTATION AND ADDING FLAVORS: During this second fermentation, the Kombucha will become more effervescent and you can incorporate new flavors. In order to do so: Transfer the Kombucha into one or more Mortier Pilon swing-top bottles. Add approximately 7.5 ml (½ tbsp) of sugar per bottle. Add fruit, juice, fresh herbs or spices. (Optional). Close the bottle well. Let stand for four to five days. The longer this last stage lasts, the more sparkling will be your Kombucha. Filter, then enjoy!
Can I use my SCOBY several times?
Once the SCOBY is acclimated to its environment, it can continue to grow healthy, and especially to get a Kombucha as nutritious as good to taste! So you can use your SCOBY for several loads of Kombucha; this is called continuous brewing. Just make sure you never completely empty your jar; this way you will maintain an optimal growth environment for your SCOBY. After transferring about two-thirds of the contents of your jar into your swing-top bottles, use the rest of your non-effervescent Kombucha as a growing base for your next brew. You will only have to repeat the first fermentation cycle explained above with a new sweet tea. Your SCOBY will continue to grow thanks to the sugar supply, and you will enjoy a new batch of Kombucha every two weeks!
Do your SCOBYs contain gluten, dairy products and/or animal ingredients?
No, our SCOBYs do not contain gluten, dairy products and animal ingredients.
How can I tell if my SCOBY is healthy?
If you have followed the brewing instructions (especially mentioned above), if you have prepared a sweet tea blend and added about half a cup of white vinegar OR if you are brewing continuously using a previous load of Kombucha, it is very unlikely that mold will appear and / or that your Kombucha load will go bad.
However, once the Kombucha fermentation begins, your SCOBY will most likely change its appearance. They tend to have bumps, holes, spread out, etc. In short, they can sometimes look surprising. It's quite normal, a healthy and active SCOBY is not necessarily a beautiful SCOBY.
A moldy or dead SCOBY would be quite distinctive: it would be white (or colored, it depends), blurry and dry. The mold may appear as spots or completely cover the SCOBY. And a dead SCOBY would be black.
How long should I ferment my kombucha?
In general, the longer the Kombucha ferments, the more the sweet taste of Kombucha disappears to become more tangy and sparkling.
In this sense, the Kombucha must at least ferment for 7 days, but (depending on your tastes and preferences in terms of acidity), fermentation can last up to 30 days. The length of the fermentation period may, however, vary depending on the temperature of your environment: if you can, position your bottles in a place where the temperature is equal to or even greater than 20-22 degrees. Indeed, if the Kombucha does not tolerate too high heat, it also does not tolerate freshness.
My SCOBY has arrived but I am not yet ready to start brewing my kombucha. How can I store it before using it?
You can place your SCOBY in a clean, airtight container (either a glass jar or a clean plastic bag). To keep it healthy, pour a little tea and sugar mixture (3 bags of organic tea for about 125 ml of filtered water) or some Kombucha residue (bought or prepared previously) so that it submerges the SCOBY. You'll still be able to add nutrients to it later, all he needs is enough food to survive. You can put your SCOBY in the refrigerator to prevent it from deteriorating. The low temperature will stop the fermentation process, so that the growth of your SCOBY will be suspended. Just avoid leaving your SCOBY in the fridge for more than a few months.
I would like to clean my kombucha jar, is it possible to remove the white part to facilitate cleaning?
Yes of course! To remove the white part at the bottom of the jar, simply unscrew the tap.
Warning: Be sure to pour only liquids at room temperature into your Mortier Pilon fermentation jar. DO NOT use boiling or very hot water. DO NOT put in the dishwasher.
The lid of my kombucha jar does not screw on, it just "sits" on top of the jar. Is this normal?
In fact, the jar does not have a screwing or sealing system, because the gas produced by the SCOBY must escape from the jar. That's why we built it that way. Therefore, the lid is simply "put" on the jar.
What is the difference between a produce bag and a snack bag?
Our Zero Waste produce bags have been designed to make traditional grocery shopping trips easier. You can place fruits, vegetables, herbs, nuts and many other dry foods inside. These bags have two distinctive faces, one colored with a polka dot pattern and one transparent, allowing your grocery store clerks to easily see the food you want to buy.
Our snack bags are designed to store and transport small quantities of food, snacks as their name suggests. Their material, similar to that used for reusable diapers, allows them to be waterproof.
These two types of bags were created to replace small or large plastic bags, plastic lunch boxes and other types of single-use containers.
How can I maintain my Mortier Pilon produce bags and snack bags? What is their life span?
- Produce bags: Wash on cold cycle or by hand. Let air-dry. Do not put in the dishwasher or in the dryer.
- Snack bags: Wash with cold water with eco-friendly mild soap. Let air-dry. Do not put in the dishwasher or in the dryer.
If the bags are well and regularly maintained, their life span can be indefinite. These bags do not tolerate ingredients that are too hot and cannot be put in the microwave or oven. They are not made for cooking food, but only for storage.
How can I maintain my Mortier Pilon bamboo straws? What is their life span?
Our straws are made of bamboo, a particularly interesting renewable resource because it grows very fast and requires little energy. They are actually made from cut bamboo wood that have been dried. Our straws replace single-use plastic straws, they are reusable and washable. Each of our straw sets contains a cleaning brush. This brush will help you clean your straws with ease, just add a little water and soap and you're done! These straws are not suitable for the dishwasher. For more longevity, avoid soaking your straw in any liquid.
If they are well and regularly maintained, the Mortier Pilon bamboo straws can last up to almost six months. They are then biodegradable and compostable.
What are your straws not identical?
As mentioned before, our straws are made from natural materials, bamboo wood. Even though their size is uniform because they were cut mechanically, we cannot, however, ensure a uniform width for each of our straws because obviously we do not control the size of the bamboo rods.
What are your beeswax food wraps for?
Our Zero Waste food wraps have been designed to replace all types of single-use food wraps (such as aluminum, for example). They can also replace and avoid the use of closed plastic containers. They are of course washable and reusable. Before using them, scrunch the films in your hands to facilitate their adhesion on your dishes and containers.
How can I maintain my Mortier Pilon beeswax wraps? What is their life span?
Our food wraps are washed by hand, in cold water with a mild detergent and preferably ecological. Do not put them in the dishwasher, in the microwave and in the oven. Avoid using them with raw meats and for long-term freezing. If they are well and regularly maintained, these food wraps can last almost a year. They are then biodegradable and compostable.
BLEND'UP NUT MILK
Are the ingredients of the Blend'Up certified organic?
All ingredients in our Blend'Up are complaint with Canadian organic standards, USDA organic standards and European organic standards.
Do your Blend'Ups contains gluten, dairy products or artificial flavours?
Our Blend'Up do not contain gluten, dairy products (they are plant milks!), food additives and artificial flavors. They are naturally delicious!
How long can I store my Blend'Up?
Unopened, Blend'Up can be kept for several years, more than 2 years. Once opened, they can be kept for about 3 months.
What do I need to make my own vegetable milk blend with my Blend'Up?
1 Blend’Up, 1L of water and a blender!
How can I clean my reusable glass bottles?
All four of our cleanest soap glass bottles should be washed by hand with liquid soap and a sponge and dried in the open air. We do not recommend the use of harsh chemicals or scrubbing pads. Remove the silicone sleeve to wash the bottles. Do not use hot or boiling water. Do not put in the dishwasher.
What should I do in case of eye contact or ingestion?
The liquid inside pods and the concentrated powder are harmful if swallowed, put in mouth or in eyes. In case of contact with eyes, rinse immediately with water for at least 15 minutes and seek medical attention. If swallowed, drink plenty of water, do not induce vomiting and call your local poison control center.
Should vinegar come into contact with the eyes, flush with water for 10 to 15 minutes. Avoid mixing vinegar with bleach or it will create toxic chlorine gas, which can be deadly.
How to start using Mortier Pilon hand soap and dish soap?
Getting a healthy and effective dish soap and hand soap has never been easier!
To start using your dish soap, measure 7.5 ml (1.5 tsp) of grapefruit concentrated powder and put it in the glass bottle provided. Fill the bottle with lukewarm tap water, let the concentrate dissolve and your dish soap is ready!
To start using your hand soap, put an orange water-soluble pod in the glass bottle, fill the bottle with lukewarm tap water and let the capsule dissolve. Your soap is now ready!
Do not use water that is too hot or boiling. Please note that concentrated soap and water-soluble capsules may take a few minutes to completely dissolve.
How long can hand soap capsules and dish soap concentrates last?
Each hand soap pod and dish soap concentrates have been designed for approximately one month of use. However, this obviously depends on the number of people who will use them, and the frequency of use
How long can I keep the pods and powdered concentrate before using them?
Soap pods and powdered concentrate are not perishable. Both types of soaps can be stored for a long time as long as they are protected from heat and humidity, the only disadvantage is that they may dry out slightly and take longer to dissolve. It is recommended to leave them in their original packaging for better preservation.
Are your soaps safe for children and/or animals?
Please note that it is still highly recommended not to leave soaps or other household products within reach of children and pets.
Mortier Pilon’s hand soap pods have a bright color which can be particularly attractive for some children and animals. Aware of this effect, we have created water-soluble capsules with a thin, very bitter-tasting cover. Their taste is so nauseating that your children and pets will certainly not dare to taste them!
Are there any surfaces or materials with which it is not recommended to use the dish soap?
There are no specific contraindications regarding the use of dish soap on certain surfaces and materials. However, it is recommended to test the surface to be cleaned to ensure its tolerance to the product. Similarly, for efficiency reasons, it is preferable not to use soap to clean fabrics and window panes.
Are Mortier Pilon soaps biodegradable?
Yes! The ingredients and the film used for the pods are fully biodegradable! The film is made of Polyvinyl Alcohol (PVA), which is a water soluble biodegradable film.
Are the soaps antibacterial?
No, our soaps are not antibacterial by choice, as to avoid health risks and the use of harsh chemical products. We recommend this read from the FDA regarding the lack of efficiency of antibacterial hand washes.
How to start using Mortier Pilon's All Purpose Cleaner and Reusable Cleaning Wipes?
Just add water, vinegar and provided essential oil into the reusable glass bottle and there you have eco-friendly house cleaners!
To start using your all purpose cleaning spray:
Mix 1⁄2 cup white vinegar, 1 cup water and 3 drops essential oil.Spray on any hard surface and wipe (no rinsing required).
To start using your reusable wipes:
Mix 3 tbsp white vinegar, 1⁄3 cup water and 2 drops essential oil into glass bottle.Let wipes soak and use to clean any hard surface.
In both cases, do not use water that is too hot or boiling.
Why use white vinegar as an all purpose cleaner?
Cleaning Properties: Vinegar’s acidity is what makes it such a good cleaner. Due to a pH of 2.0 and the acetic acid content, vinegar is an inhospitable environment for many microorganisms, so it is the perfect cleaner for your home! It can dissolve away soap scum, brines left by hard water, and glue left behind by stickers. Vinegar is great for giving windows and mirrors, no-wax floors, and wood paneling or cabinets an extra-clean shine.
Eco-Friendly & Safe for kids and pets: Because vinegar is edible and all-natural, it is easily biodegradable and environmentally friendly.
There really isn't a better household cleaner than vinegar!
Can I use vinegar to clean all surfaces?
Vinegar can be virtually used anywhere in the home from cleaning wood floors to windows to wastebaskets, but it is not recommended for use on natural stones such as marble or granite since the acid content can scratch the surface. We recommend doing some research and using judgment before using on luxurious items.
What is the best way to wash your reusable wipes?
The wipes are made of microfiber. We recommend washing them in the washing machine in cold water, on normal or gentle cycle, with soft detergent. Feel free to use a stain remover as needed. To dry, throw it in the dryer on low or hang to dry. Microfiber textile dries very fast and doesn't need heat.
We definitely recommend washing the cloths in the same laundry loads as similar products, for example rags and towels.
Can the wipes stay in the liquid? And how frequently do I need to change the liquid in the reusable wipes bottle?
The cloths can stay in the liquid, just like throwable wipes. We recommend using all the wipes, washing them as you go, before refilling the bottle with new liquid and putting your clean wipes back into the bottle. There should be enough liquid for all 12 wipes.