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Ferment. Any of several types of liquid or semi-liquid broths or brews used to initiate yeast fermentation (q.v.) in a medium that contains carbohydrates (q.v.) in the form of flour or sugar, yeast food (q.v.), salt and, usually, a buffer agent (q.v.) to control the pH (q.v.). The use of flour is optional but, when added, may reach a level as high as 70% based on the liquid in the batch, while still maintaining the ferment's fluid character. Fermentation time will range from 1 to 3 hours or until an adequate level of flavor compounds is attained.