A Wine from fermented Milk?
Yes – you can make wine from milk, at least an alcoholic beverage with 2-3%Vol.
In central Asia and mongolia milk is traditionally fermented to preserve it. Kumis as it is called in Russia, Kazakhstan and Turkey can also be freeze distilled or distilled into spirits (Arkhi). And in a very safe way because milk doesn’t contain methanol.
The milk is mostly used from horses/mares but cow/yak, goat and sheep milk can also be fermented. There are a lot of different names like Kumis, Airag (mongolian horse/mare milk), choormog (yak’s milk) etc. These Beverages were made by steppe nomads of central asia for centuries. The yeasts and bacteria made this a safe drink instead of river water and it was healthy too because the Vitamin B content increased with fermentation and it was probiotic. And it’s a substitute for fresh fruit and vegetables in winter because of the Vitamin C content.
We know Kefir which is made with cow, goat or sheep’s milk and inoculated with yeast and bacteria, kefir grains. The yeast that is used can ferment lactose into ethanol and carbondioxide in the late stage of fermentation while bacteria transforms lactose into lactic acid. Kefir has a consistency of a thin yoghurt and only 1-2%Vol.
The modern production process uses only short frementation time the kefir does rarely consist ethanol. Kefir is high in minerals, nutrients, vitamins (A, B1,B2,B3,B6, B9, B12, C, D, E) and essential amino acids. Nowadays other kinds of „milk“ like soy milk, rice milk and coconut milk and different kinds of fruit juices can be fermented with Kefir grains. Somehow this is similar to Kombucha which is made of tea and other microorganisms but the result is always an acidic drink with low ethanol and increased Vitamin B content.
German Youtube Film about Mare Milk and Kumis
Want to know more? Read my Series „With Hindberry Fruchtwein around the World“
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