Workshop Presenter: Adam Elabd, Yes Folk Tonics

Welcome to the festival Adam Elabd of Yesfolk Tonics! He's going to be teaching our "Fermenting in Natural Materials" workshop and makes some mean tonics!

Adam is lead brewer and co-owner of Yesfolk Tonics in Upstate NY.  Yesfolk is a microbrewery that specializes in probiotic, craft fermented beverages such as kombucha, water kefir and ginger beer.

He is also an educator in the fields of fermentation, natural healing and nutrition and the author of a full length recipe book on fermentation: Fermenting Food Step-by-Step.  His style and technique are informed by his Egyptian descent, childhood in Saudi Arabia and background as an herbalist.





Workshop Presenter: Karen Rzepecki


Karen is the Founder of Mason Jars Company, makers of reCAP. Karen started fermenting 3 years ago after customers raved about using reCAP for fermentation. She has since created kits and instructions for fermenting vegetables and kefir showing how easy it is for anyone to participate in creating healthy food. She will be teaching the Kefir Workshop at the festival and we suggest you buy some of her caps in the process!

Check out this amazing recipe for Kefir Dill Dip from Karen!



1 cup dairy Kefir (or curds from over-fermented kefir)

1 Tablespoon chopped fresh dill

1 tsp chopped fresh parsley

1 tsp onion powder

1 clove minced garlic

1/2 tsp sugar

1 tsp sea salt

Put all ingredients into a blender and blend on medium until smooth. This goes great with vegetables or crackers.


Kombucha Happy Hour with Pilot Kombucha & Contraband Ferments

Mocktails anyone?

Join Alex Ingalls of Pilot Kombucha and Cheryl Paswater of Contraband Ferments for a Kombucha Happy Hour! Come test out some of their Kombucha Mocktails and get inspired to make your own concoctions at home. Don't forget to pop by the Culture Swaping Table to snag up a Kombucha SCOBY while you are at it! 

As a former chef and major foodie, Alex knows that you don't want to sacrifice indulgences in order to feel healthy and energized. She started brewing kombucha to aid her digestion after hedonistic meals and nights out partying. After converting her staunchly anti-kombucha head chef, she knew she could win over the rest of the city.

We're happy to have her teaming up with Cheryl Paswater, of Contraband Ferments who be the other half of this fermented Happy Hour. Cheryl will be mixing up some concoctions including Peppered Elderberry Shrub to help make this Kombucha Happy Hour one for the books!



Workshop Presenter: Michael Harlan Turkell

If you haven't read Acid Trip by Michael Harlan Turkell we suggest you do! He'll be teaching the Vinegar workshop at the festival next week and also you'll have a chance to snag his book! In the meantime, here's a taster from Michael for his recipe on Pickled Herring Battera with Acme Smoked Fish.

If you’re an American returning home from Japan, you’re either desperate for the taste of pizza or you’re desperately craving more sunomono. Personally, I fell in the latter category. Luckily, it’s not difficult to locate havens for Japanese cuisine in America. One of my favorite noodle joints in New York City is Ivan Ramen. The owner, Ivan Orkin, is a self-proclaimed half-sour (pickle) guy, whose favorite sandwich in the whole world is corned beef, pastrami, and tongue on rye with coleslaw and Russian dressing.

Born to a Jewish family on Long Island, Orkin’s current status as a highly respected chef in the contemporary Japanese food movement in America would seem unlikely on paper, to say the least. However, Orkin reflects fondly and often on his decades living in Tokyo, where he established the first of his many Ivan Ramen shops. He told me he misses the ripening plums in April and the Japanese supermarkets, with their shelves of rock sugar and where barrels abound for home brewing umeshu, or umesu.

The recipe that follows is a perfect amalgamation of Orkin’s Jewish roots and his passion for Japanese cuisine. It calls for the fish and brine from Acme Smoked Fish, a New York City institution in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, that specializes in appetizing seafood, and which on Friday mornings is open to the public. Note: A battera is a sushi box, named after the Portuguese word for “little boat.”

And a bit more about sushi in general:

Edomaezushi. During the Edo period in Japan, which lasted until the mid-1800s, raw fish was a luxury. Edo, the old name for Tokyo, was fast paced and growing exponentially, and many food vendors, from izakaya (gastropubs) to yatai (street carts), had little to no refrigeration. Ice was expensive, and spoilage was a serious concern, so much of the fish was cured. Some was simmered in broth; some employed the zuke method of immersing fish in soy to retain texture; and fattier fish, like mackerel (saba), spent time in a vinegar-and-salt solution, which its stronger flavors could withstand, in order to prolong its lifespan. This vinegar practice began even earlier, in the Muromachi period, which lasted from the mid 1300s to the late 1500s.

It wasn’t until the late 1800s that a fast-food chain in Tokyo capitalized on modern industrialization and transportation to begin propagating the raw version of sushi we know now. At the time it was called Edomae, meaning “from Tokyo Bay,” where most of the fish was caught, but today, this type of sushi is more commonly known as nigirizushi, or hand-pressed sushi.


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Feature: Bob Slanzi on Mead

We're excited to have Bob Slanzi as part of the festival again this year! He's an outstanding mead maker and will on the mead panel as well as helping to run the mini-mead festival on the day of the fest! If you've ever met Bob you'll love to hear about his love of bees and mead and we are excited to post this recipe for Kitchen Mead that Bob shared with us!


Køkken Mjød

Køkken Mjød Kitchen Mead is an old home style mead made with simple ingredients and modern techniques. I made variations of this back in my early mead making days. The lemons and oranges provide aromatics and acidity while the raisins provide some extra flavor, sugars, and add a vinous taste. Adding Earl Grey tea provides tannin and aromatics. You will need: 15 lbs. Wildflower Honey 1 lb. golden raisins (Can also use dark raisins. Be sure they don’t have sulfites.) 2 oranges zest and juice 2 lemons zest and juice 5 Earl Grey tea bags made into tea. Water to make 5 gallons 5 grams Fermaid K yeast nutrients added at yeast pitch 5 grams Fermaid K added at to 3 Brix drop 1.105 2 grams Fermaid K added at 1/3 sugar break 1.080 15 grams dry ale or wine yeast such as Coopers Ale or Cote des Blancs (I’ve even made this with Saison yeast) re-hydrated with 18.75 grams Go-Ferm rehydration nutrients. Directions for mixing up the Go-Ferm and yeast: Mix Go-Ferm in 20 times (12.6 oz) its weight in clean 110°F (43°C) water. Let cool to 104 degree F (40°C) then add the 15 grams active dried yeast. Let stand for 20 minutes. Slowly (over 5 minutes) add equal amounts of must (juice) to be fermented to the yeast slurry. Watch the temperature difference. Do not allow more than 18°F (10°C) difference between the must (juice) and the yeast slurry. Directions for making the mead: Make sure all of your fermentation equipment is clean and sanitized. Mix honey, orange zest & juice, raisins, prepared tea, and water into the bucket (no boiling the honey). Stir well to make sure the honey is all dissolved thoroughly. Re-hydrate the yeast with Go-Ferm in warm water per directions. Aerate the honey mixture and pitch in the re-hydrated wine or ale yeast. Add the nutrients as needed and ferment 3 to 4 weeks at 64 to 68°F before racking into a glass carboy for secondary fermentation and aging. Rack as necessary. When clear and stable the mead can be bottled. Cheers!
OG: 1.115 to 1.120 FG: 1.005 to 1.020 (depending on yeast used.) Recipe by: Jon Talkington


Workshop lineup for 2018!

The Second Annual NYC Fermentation Festival is right around the corner and with that come WORKSHOPS!! We are so pleased to announce each of our workshop presenters! Keep check back to our blog as we feature various presenters and vendors complete with recipes and fun tips and tricks to up your fermenting game!

This years presenters are....

  • Fermenting in Natural Materials w Adam Elabd
  • Cacao Fermentation and Flavor Development w/ Sophie Berman
  • Hops: Everyone's Favorite Flower w John LaPolla
  • Kombucha, Kefir, and Beyond w Alex Lewin
  • Why You Don't Drink Mead, A Primer? A True History. w/ Raphael Lyon
  • Everything You Wanted to Know About Kimchi but Were Afraid to Ask -part 2    w/ Kheedim Oh
  • Mission Miso... w Cheryl Paswater
  • How to make Vinegar w Michael Harlan Turkell
  • Mead Making Panel with Bob Slanzi, Vicki Rowe, Sergio Moutela

Stay tuned for more on workshops times and don't forget you can snag some wonderful books by many of these presenters and more at our Pop Up Bookstore with Greenlight Books at the fest!

The 2018 NYC Fermentation Festival is HERE!!!

We're so happy to be back putting on our Second NYC Fermentation Festival!!

A call for vendors, volunteers, and more!

If you are interested in any of the above please email us at or click on the vendor and/or volunteer links on our homepage to sign up!

Last year we had over 800 amazing people in attendance with 8 workshops. This year we will be adding even more workshops and hoping for an even higher attendance! So spread the word, invite your grandma, your neighbors, and all your cool friends and join us for this amazing day!

February 24th . 10:30am-4:00pm at the Brooklyn Expo Center

See you there!

Team FermFest 2018