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Canning After Fermenting?  RSS feed

 
Kim Bozarth
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Location: Nevada
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I've recently moved into a little straw bale house I built myself and am living without refrigeration for at least a few months. So I've been making kimchee as a friend taught me how and I have a question. If after it has fermented in the crock I'd like to then put it into jars so I can make a new, different batch in the crock, do I need to do a hot water bath, etc.? Or can I just put it in jars and seal them up and they'll be ok without refrigeration?

Kim
 
Brenda Groth
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strawboss ..how do you make your kimchee, recipe??
 
Kim Bozarth
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I chop up a head of napa cabbage (into 1/8s lengthwise and then into bite sized pieces) and put it to soak in a bucket of water, cube some daikon radish, green onions, a large white onion, and cucumber; which I peel and seed before chopping into chunks. I use a whole head of garlic, a big chunk of ginger; grated, a little fish sauce (1/4 cup), and about a cup of korean red pepper. I put the ginger, garlic, fish sauce and red pepper into a mortar/pestle and make it into a thick sauce. I mix all that together and press into a crock - I have found that stoneware crocks designed for holding cooking utensils work well and are inexpensive. I press it all down tightly, macerating the cabbage a bit in the process as I use my big stone pestle for the packing. Then I pour a brine solution of one quart of water and 2 tablespoons of good sea salt over it, weight it down and cover it. Good, good stuff. I mix the veggies up a bit, too; sometimes adding carrots, beets, turnips. I just always make sure to have cabbage and cucumber as I understand they are the ones that have the necessary bacteria. When it is time for the next batch I use some of the liquid left as a "starter" for the next batch. I also throw in a probiotic tablet sometimes for good measure, not sure if it matters or not!
 
Jami McBride
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If you 'can' after fermenting you will kill off all the good bacteria, as well as any little bit of bad.
You might want to can with very little of the ferment's finished juices, then when opening a can to eat add back 'live' UN-heated juice in order to get the beneficial bacteria.
This wouldn't be as good as totally raw, I imagine, but it might be a compromise you can live with until you get a cold storage place developed. Whatcha think Wardeh, would this work?

I'll let the expert ~Wardeh answer about storage options and proper temps.
 
Beth Yeoman
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You could probably improvise a root cellar with a few bales and/or a hole in the earth. Wardeh could tell you optimum temps you need to get it down to. I have lactofermented foods in my frig for a year that are still wholesome (though no longer crispy).
 
Wardeh Harmon
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I would not advise canning fermented foods. Not only because of the loss of probiotics and enzymes, but because the vegetables will get all mushy and yucky in that heat.

Without refrigeration you would need some kind of cold storage cellar. Even a hole in the ground deep enough to hold the temperature between 32 and 50 degrees would work. Lacking that, though, I'm sorry to say you can't expect your kimchi to keep at room temperature.

I'd suggest the book "Preserving Food without Freezing or Canning" -- good suggestions in there for makeshift cellars.
 
Kim Bozarth
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Thanks for the responses. For now I'll just make small batches, keep it in my ice chest and eat fast!

Kim
 
John Kindziuk
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Kim,

Vegetables are classified as low-acid foods and should be processed at 240 F in a pressure canner, however, fermented sauerkraut or kimchi devwlops acidity during fermentation and can be classified as acidic low-acid food. What it means is that it can be safely processed in a water bath canner at 212 F. Bacterial spores which are usually killed at 240 F will not germinate in acidic environment and will not produce toxin. They will still be there, but in a dormant stage like seeds in a soil that wait for the right conditions to germinate.
As mentioned before, heat treatment will kill beneficial lactic bacteria, nutrients and most of vitamins that live sauerkraut/kimchi contains.
 
S Carreg
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I haven't canned kimchi but I have canned sauerkraut when I just had too much to keep in the fridge. I am trying to sort out a root cellar/closet for this winter to increase storage space. I also plan to experiment with the canning and then re-culturing approach. In my experience canned sauerkraut (canned water-bath method) was not as crunchy as raw but still acceptable and not mushy.
 
Adam Klaus
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Dont can fermented foods! Fermented foods are a preserved food, through the combination of favorable microbiology and acidity. Fermented foods have worked for humanity for milennia, dont believe the fear mongers that want us to sterilize everything we eat, at great detriment to our health.

Right now, I am eating both saurkraut and cucumber pickles that were fermented a full year ago. The saurkraut is still delicious. The pickles are mushy in texture but excellent in flavor. Both are nutritionally packed and tangily tasty. Fermented foods are one of the cornerstone elements of nutritional healthy and self sufficiency. Believe in that!
 
Rebecca Norman
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With 50 people in our school, we eat large enough batches of kimchi and Ladakhi pickle that it is worth it to dig a root cellar hole each autumn. We just dig a hole 4 feet deep in the shade of a tree in the garden, lay some plastic underneath and fold it over the tops of the 2 to 4 gallon sized containers, and cover it back over again with dirt. Our sandy sandy soil makes it easy. One year we buried some in October and I feared the soil wasn't cold enough, so I watered over the top to cool it. Big mistake. We couldn't dig it out between December and February, though it was still perfect when we took it out in March.
 
Luke Burkholder
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Trying to heat sterilize your naturally fermented foods IMHO is a waste of energy. Your intuition to ferment in a large crock and then transfer to small jars is probably the best idea. At the beginning of fermentation, the bacteria that dominate are called "heterofermentative" i.e. they make many things, including lots of CO2 gas. You want this gas-producing part of the process to happen in the crock under a weight so the CO2 can just bubble out. Once the ferment is pretty well acidified, then the "homofermentative" bacteria have taken over and they just make more lactic acid and very little gas. Then you can put it in a jar, smash it in good, fill it really full, and put a lid on it. The saltiness, acid, and live bacteria keep the baddies from taking over, and your jars shouldn't blow up. When I walk past mine in the unheated basement (not in the fridge) I tap on the lids, and if they seem bulge-y, I just vent them a little. Some people claim that the glass jars with the wire closure and rubber rings are sort of self-venting, but I don't know.

It helps if you like pretty "mature" ferments.
 
Steven Feil
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Adam Klaus wrote:Right now, I am eating both saurkraut and cucumber pickles that were fermented a full year ago.
How were the stored?

Luke Burkholder wrote:Then you can put it in a jar, smash it in good, fill it really full, and put a lid on it.
Do you include any of the liquid? If so, how much?
 
Adam Klaus
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Steven Feil wrote:How were the stored?


Sealed half gallon glass canning jars in the underground root cellar. The texture isnt as crisp as when they are first fermented, but the flavor and nutrition is still excellent.
 
Steven Feil
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Adam Klaus wrote:
Steven Feil wrote:How were the stored?


Sealed half gallon glass canning jars in the underground root cellar. The texture isnt as crisp as when they are first fermented, but the flavor and nutrition is still excellent.
Forgot to include the question about the liquid. The reason I ask is I have some Kale I fermented (wow, it was good) and the bottom 25% is REALLY salty tasting. I kept the liquid with it once it was done and in the frig. Trying to figure out, bases on some comments in this tread, if that was the reason.
 
Adam Klaus
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Jars remained full of their original fermenting brine. Liquid full to the top. I didnt add any extra liquid or anything for storage. I have never noticed any increase in saltiness at the bottom of the jar, that's odd, but not entired inexplicable.
 
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