Fermented Figs Timelapse

Nothing beats combining two things that are interesting together. I’ve been into fermenting foods and beverages since the late 1990’s and have been experimenting with timelapse photography since late in 2013 ( One of the first projects I set up and Ubuntu Server for ). Combining them together has been an interesting experience lately.

Recently I bought a 50.5 Ounce glass container with a gasketed lid. I got the idea from reading The Art of Fermentation by Sandor Ellix Katz, a must have if you are considering getting serious about fermentation, it covers a lot of territory on the fermentation landscape. This jar is ideal for some fermentation experiments as any pressure built up in the container would vent via the gasketed lid.  A lot of times, I don’t worry about pressure build up, because I am close to home and can vent it manually. But this time I was going to be away so this jar would be good to use. I decided to try to ferment some figs in it and create a time lapse video by taking photos every 4 minutes. I ran it for a week, almost 2400 frames.

The Ferment Mixture

The figs were a bit on the hard side so they were not getting used up to much and I decided that they would be good candidates for a fermentation experiment. The fermentation was started by cutting up the figs into small bits and added some sugar water and a pinch of bread yeast. Normally I would have let them ferment naturally based on what wild yeasts are present on the fruit, but I wanted a vigorous fermentation that got going quickly in order to capture the action for the timelapse video.

Timelapse Video Setup

The setup for the timelapse video was a laptop running Ubuntu with Apache and a webcam. The program used to take the frames for the timelapse video is fswebcam ( which I cover in the post on Bread Dough Rising Timelapse GIF ). The frames were taken every four minutes and saved into a folder underneath my home directory. Additionally a frame was copied to the /var/www directory to allow it to be seen on the web. Plus, I have a symbolic link from /var/www to a directory called fswebcam under my home directory. This directory holds the scripts to run fswebcam, under this is a directory called timelapse which collects all of the frames. This allows me to flip through these from the web as well, so I can keep track of the fermentation progress.

I went away for a few days while I was running the timelapse frame capture and it was nice to be able to view it to check on the progress. To get it online, I basically added a virtual server on the router for port 80, pointing to the internal IP address of the laptop, which was hooked to the router via WiFi. This worked flawless and I was able to periodically check in on the fermentation while on the road.

Fig Fermentation Timelapse Photography Setup
Fig Fermentation Timelapse Photography Setup


Timelapse Video AVI

Fermenting Figs 1 frame every 4 minutes for 31s of video




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