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?
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:
- 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.
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 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!
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.
How do you make hot sauce?
Follow the recipes included in our kit and add some water, vinegar and spices to the provided peppers. For a less spicy sauce, add more water and/or vinegar to our cooking directions.
What sauces can be made with our hot sauce kit?
We suggest you make 3 different recipes with our chillies: a mango sauce, a smoked red sauce and a tomatillo salsa.
What to eat our hot sauces with?
Our hot sauces will enhance meat dishes (beef, chicken...) as well as vegetable dishes. Surprisingly, the hot sauce also goes very well with chocolate.
Should I use a food processor or a blender?
A blender will help make your hot sauce smooth and creamy (if you wish). Be sure to check your blender's manual, to see if it can handle hot liquids or if you need to let the liquid cool down before blending. Also, keep in mind that blending your sauce could change the color of your blender to a shade of orange. If you only have a food processor you will get the same result. You can also use a fine strainer, if you want your sauce to be even smoother.
What is the best way to store hot sauce?
There are two ways to store your homemade hot sauce. You can freeze it or keep it in the refrigerator.
How long can I keep my sauces?
Our sauces can be stored for 3 to 4 weeks in the refrigerator and can also be frozen.
How should I store chillies?
Chillies should be kept at room temperature. There is no expiration date or special requirements. If peppers are kept too long, the only risk is that they will lose their strength.
What makes chili peppers hot?
Capsaicin is the oily chemical which makes the chili peppers hot. It is colorless and odorless.
What peppers are offered in our kit and their strength levels?
Our kit contains the following peppers: Morita, Chipotle, Guajillo, Arbol and Carolina Reaper. The strength of peppers is often measured on the Scoville Scale. At Mortier Pilon, we have simplified this scale: Guajillo: 2; Morita: 2; Chipotle: 3; Arbol: 4. If we put the Carolina Reaper on this scale, its score would be 1000 times stronger... The Carolina Reaper is considered the strongest pepper in the world!
What precautions should I take with chillies?
When handling raw chilies, it is best to wear disposable gloves. Do not put your hands in contact with your eyes or mucous membranes as this can cause painful irritation. It is advisable to wash your hands well, even with dry chillies.
After handling, rub hands briefly with oil, as capsaicin is fat-soluble, then simply wash off the oil with soap and water.
What precautions should I take with the Carolina Reaper?
The Carolina Reaper is dangerously spicy and should be handled with gloves. It is the hottest pepper in the world, measuring over 1.5 million on the Scoville scale. Use it sparingly in your recipes for hot sauces.
What to do when you've ingested too much hot sauce?
Good question, just in case your hot sauce is too spicy! You can soothe the burning area with milk, yogurt, sour cream, cream or ice cream. Olive or vegetable oil can be used to help dissolve the chili oils from your skin with a cotton ball or towel. Gently wipe or soak your skin directly in it.
TEA IT YOURSELF
Where do your teas come from?
Our teas and ingredients come from all over the world: China (for our sencha green tea, white peony tea, Keemun tea, etc.), United States (lemon rind, burdock root, etc.), India (ginger root, Assam tea), etc.), and Bulgaria, Ecuador etc.
Are all your teas certified organic?
We strive to select the best teas and ingredients for you, focusing only on organic and natural selections.
All teas, herbal teas, infusions and Tea It Yourself ingredients are complaint with Canadian organic standards, USDA organic standards and European organic standards. So you can be sure that you are drinking 100% organic tea.
Do your teas contain gluten? And traces of dairy products?
All Tea It Yourself kits are gluten-free except for those containing chocolate - Chai Latte and Choco Mint. However, we cannot guarantee that certain ingredients have not been in contact with gluten or that there are traces of it. In the same way, TIY kits contain no trace of dairy products except the two kits with chocolate mentioned above.
Do your teas contain added sugar?
All Tea It Yourself teas and ingredients do not contain added sugars. They also do not contain preservatives, artificial flavors, additives, and genetically modified organisms. Our teas are pure and healthy for you and for the environment!
Do your teas contain caffeine?
All our kits except our No Stress kit contain caffeine because caffeine is naturally present in tea plants (Camellia sinensis).
For how long and how can I keep my Tea It Yourself kits?
Each of our teas and ingredients is individually wrapped in an airtight tube and will stay fresh until 18 months after opening the tube. The teas must always be kept in a dark, cool and dry place, and tightly closed to preserve their freshness. In general, tea does not really expire, it just loses its flavor over time.
How to create the perfect tea blend?
The duration as well as the brewing temperature depends on each type of tea and ingredients. Here are our infusion temperature recommendations according to the tea chosen:
Black teas (assam tea, keemun, ceylon tea, and lapsang souchong) ...... 96ºC / 205ºF
Pu'erh teas ................................................................................................................... 96ºC / 205ºF
Herbal teas (such as chamomile, lemon balm, mint tea, and more!) ........ 90ºC / 194ºF
Green teas (such as Japanese sencha) ............................................................... 80ºC / 176ºF
White teas (Bai mu dan and others) ..................................................................... 80ºC / 176ºF
In addition to the temperature, we recommend, if possible, to use filtered water or spring water to prepare your infusions. Tap water sometimes gives off a slightly chlorinated odor that may influence the scent of your tea. If you do not have a kettle or thermometer, bring your water to a boil in a clean pan.
Let your boiling water rest for about 6 minutes before using. After 6 minutes of rest, you should have water at plus or minus 80 degrees Celsius, ideal for brewing green tea. For a black tea, let your water rest for 4 to 5 minutes.
You will find specific instructions on the product sheet of each kit as well as in the booklets supplied with each of our kits.
What is a Gaiwan and how can I use it?
The Gaiwan (literally "lid and bowl") is a traditional Chinese tea cup made of three parts: a lid, a bowl and a saucer. It became particularly popular during the Ming Dynasty when leaf teas became more popular. Now, Gaiwan is often the preferred container for tea lovers for its ability to raise the aromas and flavors of scented teas.
Here are some recommendations for using your Gaiwan appropriately:
Before brewing your tea, heat your Gaiwan with a little hot water to avoid sudden changes in temperature. Then measure each of your ingredients according to the desired recipe. If not, be sure not to put more than a teaspoon of your custom mix into your Gaiwan. Infuse your tea while controlling the temperature of your water in order to have the best possible infusion. There are many programmable kettles that allow you to get exactly the temperature you want. Change the temperature of your water according to the variety of tea used. The brewing time varies depending on the recipe or tea blend used. However, be sure to lengthen the rest time between the first and second infusions to always get a consistent flavor and rich aromas. Serve the tea! Hold the edge of the Gaiwan Bowl with your thumb and middle finger and use your index finger to hold the lid to create a small opening through which to pour the tea. Make sure you do not let tea leaves from your Gaiwan escape. Infuse again: add hot water to your Gaiwan to brew your tea two or three times.
Here are some indications as to the number of infusions that can be made according to the types of tea:
Black teas - 1 to 2 times.
Pu'erh Tea - Up to 5 or 6 times, depending on the variety.
Herbal teas - There are so many different varieties of herbal teas that you can not suggest a specific number of infusions. On the other hand, herbal teas with strong spices, such as ginger, can be infused several times. Light herbal teas, such as those with chamomile, lemon balm or lavender, can not be infused repeatedly.
Green teas - 2 times.
White teas - 1 to 2 times.
* The Gaiwan is only included in the following kits: No Stress, Wake Up and Detox.
Where can I find your recipes?
Each of our kits includes a complete and detailed instruction booklet with various easy-to-make recipes. You can also find multiple recipes on our eBook, our social media and our YouTube channel. But… Have fun! Explore the different flavors of your tea set! Nothing prevents you to slightly modify the recipes suggested to adapt them to your taste. Dare to adventure and create your own mix! Let your creativity guide you and develop a preparation ritual that suits you! Good tasting!