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 10 Years of Organic Growth! 

The Pantry celebrates 10 years in business with a new special or action each month. To start,  10% of January's net sales will go to charity: Half to the Ancient Forest Alliance and half to Our Place Society here in Victoria. Thank you!

How To Make Grape EM

I have been drinking about 1 tablespoon of EM everyday for over a year now, to keep my digestive system stocked up with all of these beneficial microbes. It's a lot like eating yogurt and sauerkraut, but with a mixture of microbes that is absolutely optimal.

I consider this habit to be part of the reason - along with other health choices - that I never get sick and always seem to have plenty of energy. More than just my own use, I have the advantage - from selling EM - of getting feedback from customers that is consistently positive and often unbelievable.

I have heard tales of healing wounds that were going to require amputation, to the more common relief of digestive problems such as IBS and general digestive discomfort. I have friends who were feeling quite ill who began to feel better almost instantly after taking EM.

I don't relay these stories to sell more EM. I'm just totally fascinated with the power of these fermenting microbes.

I often mix my EM in a smoothie, although it tastes just fine on its own. Most people agree. But recently, I've started making a grape EM that actually tastes quite nice and I'm going to share my recipe with you here. For background, I'll refer you to my basic instructions for making EM here: Making Activated EM and my video here: Video Of Activating EM

This kind of EM is best kept warm to ferment for at least 3 months, and if you're patient, you could make a batch and leave it at room temperature (after the initial warm period) for more like 6-12 months. Microbial activity will decrease a little bit, but antioxidants will jump through the roof, flavour will improve, and a very low alcohol content will evolve. It truly is quite a delicious drink if left for even 6 months.

When it's done, you can decant it to wine or other glass bottles and it can easily store for at least 2 years if stored properly.

Although I've listed ingredients per 1L container, I recommend doing this in a bigger container, at least 4L or even 20L, due to the long wait time. Just multiply the ingredients accordingly. Be sure to read the full instructions, as there is an important step after 2 weeks.

Ingredients (per 1L):

1.5 parts EM Mother Culture (60ml)
1 part Organic Blackstrap Molasses (40ml)
1/2 part 100% Grape Juice (20ml)
18 parts water, not distilled or reverse osmosis (720ml)
Clean, airtight bottle, generally plastic with screw-on lid (not glass)
Additional 1/2 part EM Mother Culture (20ml)
Additional 1.5 parts 100% Grape Juice (60ml)

Optional - from health food store
1/2 tsp sea minerals from me or good quality sea salt
1/2 tsp granulated kelp
1 tsp bran

Directions:

1. Put hot water into container until 1/2 full at 115-125F (that's quite hot).
2. Pour water into your bottle and dissolve the molasses.
3. Mix in the initial grape juice and any of the optional ingredients.
4. Mix in the initial EM.
5. Add the remaining warm water and stir and/or shake very well.
6. There should be an airspace equivalent to about 20% of the bottle on top.
7. Tighten lid and keep warm* (95-110F is optimal) for at least 3 months.
8. After the first few days, the container needs to be burped every day or two, as gases are formed that will expand the bottle. The mixture should be stirred and/or shaken daily for the first 3 weeks, too.
9. After 2 weeks, add the additional EM and Grape Juice. This is not done at the beginning because it's too much sugar for the microbes all at once.

After a month, it should already begin to have a sweet, grape smell, but it's best to leave it for at least 3 months in your warm place. It's good to let it sit for at least 1 month, if not several, after that.

*Can be kept warm in an oven with the oven light on (put a note on the oven), in a cooler with a terrarium heater or some other heat source, or many other ways. The whole process can be done at 70F, but it will take 6-8 weeks, and the odds of failure are higher. Even keeping it warm for the first few days is helpful.

Hope you enjoy this delicious and nutritious beverage!