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discussion of 'lacto-fermentation' methods and recipes  RSS feed

 
Judith Browning
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I wanted to start with the definition of 'lacto-fermentation' so we could all be discussing the same thing.....

lacto fermentation
Web definitions
" Lactic acid fermentation is a biological process by which glucose, fructose, and sucrose are converted into cellular energy and the metabolite lactate. It is an ANAEROBIC fermentation reaction that occurs in some bacteria and animal cells, such as muscle cells. ...

Lactic acid fermentation is used in many areas of the world to produce foods that cannot be produced through other methods.[4][5] The most commercially important genus of lactic acid-fermenting bacteria is Lactobacillus, though other bacteria and even yeast are sometimes used.[4] Two of the most common applications of lactic acid fermentation are in the production of yogurt and sauerkraut."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lacto-fermentation

here is a link to WHAT ARE LACTIC ACID BACTERIA?

there is so much information out there....please add anything related to anaerobic lacto-fermentations.

....and I wonder if anyone is using air-lock jar lids?

For us (and friends and family that we share with), this method of fermentation has been the most reliable and best tasting of those vegetable and fruit ferments that I have tried. It is also the quickest...two to three days in warm weather.

I thought it might be fun to share recipes and results and site sources...mine are all from the first edition of "Nourishing Traditions" by sally fallon...I know she has a second edition out recently.


This is a lacto-fermentated pickle that we love and it keeps refrigerated for months, if you can keep from eating them all.
The recipe is from Sally Fallon's "Nourishing Traditions"

I make these every few days when the cucumbers are producing........
They are made in wide mouth quart jars. First I go to the garden and cut some dill flowers and leaves then three or four suyo long cucumbers. Chop the dill into the jar add a couple peeled smashed cloves of garlic then slice the cucumbers into the jar about quarter inch slices. press down ligntly fill just below one inch from top of jar.
in another glass container mix 1 Tablespoon sea salt, 4 Tablespoons good whey ( I have a friend who makes goat cheese ...if you can't get whey you need to use 2 Tablespoons sea salt) and one cup filtered water. mix until the salt dissolves and pour over cucumber slices to cover to one inch below top of the jar. add more filtered water if you need to.
The lid I use is one of the plastic widemouth lids sold with canning stuff and I line it with a real canning tip and screw it on really tight .
I tighten well enough to be able to invert the jar for a few hours if it later looks like something is floating. Dont open it for two days. I write the day and the time on each jar...leaving it too long will ruin them.
The flavor is amazing and I used to make brined whole dills (these are better and so much easier). I would really try to use whey...active not pasterized...the extra salt works but not as reliably for me and they are saltier of course.

with whey use one Tbs sea salt/ four Tbs whey/one cup filtered water
no whey...use two Tbs sea salt/one cup filtered water

my house is slightly cooler than outdoors (pretty warm). I know they take longer at cooler temperatures but I have not had that experience. I cover them with a dark cloth to keep out the light.
and open the jar after two days and taste them...I keep a gallon lidded jar in the refrigerator to pour them into.

I use the same recipe for green tomato wedges and for sweet peppers...the book has a red pepper ferment that I havent tried and a red tomato relish that is really good.

 
Judith Browning
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here is another recipe from 'Nourishing Traditions' by Sally Fallon.
'fermented bean paste'

3 cups cooked and drained beans
1 onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1tablespoon sea salt
4 tablespoons whey

place onion and garlic in food processor and process until well chopped.
Add remaining ingredients and process untill smooth.
place in a quart-sized, wide-mouth mason jar, leaving 1 inch of space between the top of the beans and the top of the jar.
cover tightly and leave at room temperature for about 3 days before transferring to the refrigerator.
serve as a dip.

I made this for the first time this week. I ended up mixing twice this recipe....and ended up with some unfermented mix left over...but just the one recipe didn't fill the jar full enough. It is really good I think....still salty but if you don't add other salt to your meal it isn't too much. I didn't have an onion...I used a lot of garlic and cayenne and thought it would be good with added fresh tomato and onion after the ferment.

EDIT...next time I made this I had onion and the one batch filled the jar nicely.







lacto-fermentated-bean-paste-002.jpg
[Thumbnail for lacto-fermentated-bean-paste-002.jpg]
 
Dave Burton
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Cultures for Health has a nice basic information page about fermentation and how it works.

Here is a playlist by dieteasily on how to make sauerkraut and ferment vegetables:


Here are some recipes:
Kefir Soda Pop
Probiotic Fruit Candy
Probiotic Lemonade
Ginger Bug Soda


 
Dawn Hoff
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Hi Jennifer
I'm just marking this thread for follow-up when I have WiFi and electricity later.

/Dawn

Edit: Sorry Judith, thought you were Jennifer for some reason
 
Steven Feil
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Here is a picture of the one batch of sauerkraut that I made last year. I plan on making lots more. It was a simple cram it in the jar and add a little salt every couple of inches recipe.

Best darn kraut I have EVER eaten and got lots of compliments at Thanksgiving.
Saurkraut.jpg
[Thumbnail for Saurkraut.jpg]
 
Judith Browning
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Dave, thanks for your information...especially the 'cultures for health' site....I like that it has a clear explanation of the difference in using salt or salt and whey or whey on it's own.
Have you tried any of the recipes?

I am interested in the different methods for providing an anaerobic environment for the lacto-fermentation process...I guess that was happening with the plastic covered crock in the sauerkraut video although she uncovered it the next day to check on it.....not sure it would still be anaerobic then?

 
Judith Browning
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Steven Feil wrote:Here is a picture of the one batch of sauerkraut that I made last year. I plan on making lots more. It was a simple cram it in the jar and add a little salt every couple of inches recipe.

Best darn kraut I have EVER eaten and got lots of compliments at Thanksgiving.


Thanks, Steven...the kraut looks wonderful.... I have been wanting to get an air lock for my jars.
...would you mind sharing total amount of salt and how long you ferment? I think anaerobic ferments,like yours, are much more reliable than a brine that needs skimming...have you found this so?

edit....to remove some of my excess questions
 
Steven Feil
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I have been wanting to do a docuthread for this. Just have not gotten around to it. I will at least get some pics on how I set up the lid and post them. I have also come up with a unique way to hold the product under the water that I will include as well.

I am not sure what you mean by a brine ferment.

That was my first ever ferment. I used 1 tablespoon of salt distributed. I let it go about 5 days.

Later in the year I made a kale ferment. Same amount of salt. WAY too much, especially towards the bottom of the jar. I used about 1/2 the salt on the chard ferment I started yesterday.

Don't worry about questions. I like answering them.
 
Dawn Hoff
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I don't use whey - primarily because my son is allergic to casein (used to be on a trace level - but isn't any more YAY!), but as I searched for recipies without whey I found many very clever ladies explaining me why using salt only is better (this is one of them: http://www.picklemetoo.com/2012/07/26/no-whey-no-way/). It totally resonated with me, and I personally think it tastes a lot better. I do know that some of the people from Weston A. Price foundation (Sally Fallon included I think) warns against wild ferment because of the risk of candida overgrowth... I don't know if I agree, I like my wild ferments

Now using whey is easier, and pretty fool proof, and faster so you need to go about it very carefully when you don't - I have a tendency to add too much salt for my family's liking - but not to my own. You can always water the brine down later - once you have the bacteria you need to keep the baddies away. I am usually a very intuitive cook - so I add a dash of this and a pinch of that... but when messing with biochemistry I like to be pretty accurate - tossing 10L of organic veggies is such a pain... One of the problems I have had is that the air-lock on my fermenting pot dries up (tips to avoid that would be great) - which means that it is no longer anaerobic environment in the pot, which can give rise to nasty fungi. I need to check it every day (because the evaporation here in Spain is so high) - which is a bit of a pain - and I am slightly ADD and forget, so I use more salt...

I have two fermenting pots - like these: http://www.ms-steinzeug.com/ - one 10L and one 20L (or something) - the big one is BIG and the small one not small enough to just make small batches of whatever I find on the market. So on my wish list are the ones with the wine-type air-lock also shown in this thread. Since I don't have a cellar it makes storage of the finished product a little hard - it all has to go in the fridge (I haven't tried to store it at room temperature in the summer heat here in Spain... ).

As my son is allergic to milk, we try to find as many different ferments that he can eat - to try to heal his gut - so we eat/drink, on a regular basis: Water kefir, fermented ketchup (I just make ketchup and add kefir grains), juice fermented with waterkefir grains, saurdough-bread (have had some bad luck with that and my starter died, have to make a new one), fermented veggetables, and (store bought) biodynamic apple cider vinegar - any additional ideas towards dairy free ferments are very welcome. Oh yes and loads and loads of cured Iberian pork The rest of the family eats cheese, yoghurt etc on a daily basis (not home-made right now).

What I do: I buy organic veggies - and I did that even before I became a convinced permie, because the bacteria on them helps the ferment. I make carrot-stics, grean-beans, saurkraut (I actually made my German husband who hates kraut eat it and like it). Prepare the veggies - shred, cut or nip the ends off, put in the jar, add spices (I like garlic, chili, and cummin) - and add salt brine (or just salt when we are doing kraut - here's the ratio). I cover the veggies with a scolded cheesecloth or similar cloth - to make absolutely sure that every last piece of vegetable is under the surface of the brine - this is esp. hard with saurkraut and esp. important if you forget to refill the air-lock like I do... The pot needs to be fairly full, because otherwise it will take too long for the gasses to push out the oxygen - and this makes it not anaerobic. Add the stone to hold the veggies under brine and lid and water to the air-lock and wait 2-3 weeks and enjoy. As I said I transfer it to glass jars into the fridge after that time, which takes up a lot of space... I would love to have a root cellar (we are in the process of building it) and one of those machines that can seal mason jars with out using heat (on my whish-list).

I would love to make pickled garlic, because my kids eats a lot of them - but they turn blue? I have no idea why... But I do have a little trick for "quick ferments": We buy pickled garlic at the market, and they are in a salt brine thing (it is not pure salt brine, but I've assessed that it was alright): When the glass is half full, I sometimes take left-over veggies from my kid's monkey-platters and just throw in there: Carrot-sticks, cucumber, broccoli, cauliflower etc. just take it all and throw it in there. The kids love it, I have less waste - win win. Also if I don't have a glass of garlic I just take a pinch of sea-salt and add to eg. cucumber and throw in a small container and in the fridge - that way the cucumber can last for a week in the fridge and we eat it like a small salad with almost anything.
 
Dawn Hoff
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Mmmmm the ginger bug sounds delicious!
 
Judith Browning
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Thank you, Dawn....that is wonderful information!
i may try some side by side jars of cucumbers and see what differences I notice if one is done with whey and salt and the other just salt....now that the cucumbers are beginning to grow quickly. I haven't tried garlic on it's own just with other things...
We have a tiny refrigerator so i have to make just enough to eat and a bit to store or take to the grandkids
 
Dawn Hoff
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Right now we have a huge refrigorator (future freezer) - but in the future we plan on not having more than a tiny one. But the root cellar is half built (or a quarter built?) and I plan on making a cooling cabinet on the north side of our house. I love the big batches - I can buy huge amounts of veggies at the market (or once the kitchen garden is producing just harvest) and pickle at once. We had friends visiting from Denmark - she is originally from Monte Negro and she said they used the big blue food grade quality drums to make kraut when she was a kid... Wonder where they stored it during the summer? Must ask her. I do try to avoid plastic in my kitchen so that would not be an option for me though. I think my big fermenting pot will be used for olives.
 
Judith Browning
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I am not sure what you mean by a brine ferment.


Steven, maybe what i am talking about is called 'brined' not 'fermented' at any rate they were cured in a way that made them last.. In the past I have 'brined' whole cucumbers and placed a weight in the jar to hold them below the liquid...then skim the white funky stuff off the top of the brine every few days...you also top the brine with fresh if needed. This was my favorite pickle...like the whole ones they used to sell in the movie theaters....until I tried the anaerobic method of lacto-fermentation...it is so much easier and even better tasting, I think.

thanks for the descriptions of your ferments....I haven't tried greens yet.
 
Dawn Hoff
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Judith Browning wrote:
I am not sure what you mean by a brine ferment.


Steven, maybe what i am talking about is called 'brined' not 'fermented' at any rate they were cured in a way that made them last.. In the past I have 'brined' whole cucumbers and placed a weight in the jar to hold them below the liquid...then skim the white funky stuff off the top of the brine every few days...you also top the brine with fresh if needed. This was my favorite pickle...like the whole ones they used to sell in the movie theaters....until I tried the anaerobic method of lacto-fermentation...it is so much easier and even better tasting, I think.

thanks for the descriptions of your ferments....I haven't tried greens yet.

I would call that fermented, but there is a high risk of fungal growth as it is not anaerobic. As long as the fungus growing on top is white, there isn't a problem, it's yeast and not unhealthy, but if it becomes green it is penicillin and yuck and everything has to be thrown out. With cucumbers the risk of penicillin growth is not so big, because they are big enough that you can keep them submerged in the brine - but if you add spices like dill or cumin etc. it might float on top, and penicillin fungus will have a growth medium, and then you have the trouble.
 
Leila Rich
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I eat fermented stuff basically daily -at the moment I cycle between Myron's Mexican pickle, kimchi and sauerkraut.
I don't get carried away about hygiene, and I haven't had any ferments go wrong for a while...
I think things get dodgier if you try to reduce salt, allowing bacteria to grow that wouldn't usually survive.
I don't use whey.
I start bigger ferments off in an old ceramic slow-cooker insert thingy
with a plastic bag on the ferment surface/overhanging the vessel's sides and a weighted plate on top.
When it's 'done', I usually transfer into large plastic-lidded jars,
leaving one out to start eating immediately, and keeping the rest in the fridge.
Small batches go straight into the quart jars they'll stay in.


 
Judith Browning
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This is helping me loosen up my thoughts on anaerobic fermentation....I'm still a little reluctant to loosen my jar lids though as Myron suggests in the "mexican pickle' recipe that Leila posted.......do you do as he says and leave the lid loose, tighten to shake and then reloosen? Some of the first batches I ever made were kind of bubbly....I think if I shook them they might have spewed all over the kitchen.

I love the fermented bean paste....When we lived off grid we were always having a leftover bit of beans go off in a reallly bad direction so fermenting beans on purpose went against the grain for awhile...........now I am beginning to run out of storage space.
 
Leila Rich
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Judith Browning wrote:I'm still a little reluctant to (...) leave the lid loose, tighten to shake and then reloosen? Some of the first batches I ever made were kind of bubbly....I think if I shook them they might have spewed all over the kitchen
I don't shake anything; I sometimes invert the jars, but I've really noticed no difference as long as the liquid's topped up.
I always leave the lids loose-I can't imagine where all that co2 would go in a sealed jar, but it sounds scary!
At my place if they don't overflow and stink up the joint a bit, it's a 'could do better'
When my ferments are...fermenting...
I put the jars on high-sided trays (think kitty litter) and rinse the trays/jars every few days.
I usually put something under jars when they go in the fridge for a day or so until they stop bubbling.


I think many ferments are best done in the cooler months to increase storage, reduce stink and so on.
Handily, many of my favourite fermenting things are ready then, so we're all happy!

 
Judith Browning
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Maybe the difference is the length of time in the jar....Sally Fallon's recipes are all pretty quick ferments...only two to three days at the longest. I guess there's not enough time for co2 to build up? I do know that when I did some and the lid was not on tightly they got bubbly.........this is all still a mystery to me. if I get a bumper crop of something I might do some experimenting
 
Joanne McCartney
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Hi everyone. I'm new here and was wondering about the 3 day ferments. Does that happen only when adding whey? I would like to try some veggies with just salt but I thought that took a lot longer, like weeks. No?

I was thinking maybe of carrots, cauliflower, onions, garlic and dill and covering with brine. Do you think those things would work together? Would adding a little cabbage help it to get started?
 
John Saltveit
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Hello Judith,
I agree that sauerkraut is an anaerobic fermentation, because it is required to be under the water, so no air can get to it.

Kombucha is not made that way. It has access to the air, just filtered by the cloth on top. Soaked oats is also aerobic, yet fermented by using controlled use of microbiology in order to change the food into a different type of food.

I think fermenting is so valuable to your health that I like to eat fermented vegies at least all year long. I agree that shorter fermentation times in summer require that not as much is made, so it doesn't get too fermented (slimy and smelly) too quickly. Then make another smaller one.
John S
PDX OR
 
Dawn Hoff
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The quick ferments require a starter culture - you simply bypass some of the steps (exclusion of o2 and lowering pH). You can use other starters - a salt brine from another fermentation or some kefir grain.

Edit: I think the veggies you mention sound great toghether - since you have cauliflower I can't see why cabbage should do anything to add to the process (except if you like it).

John - do you experience that the brine gets slimey if you don't use a starter? Because I don't. But in the summer I simply transfer to the fridge faster - as I recon that the bacteria growth is faster too, and so everything else must be faster - a bit like putting a petridish in an incubator one could do a pH test to see - but I have never experienced that the veggies that I transferred to the fridge went bad, so the pH must be low enough for it not to require anaerobic conditions anymore.
 
John Saltveit
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Dawn,
I don't put it into the fridge ever because our fridge is so completely full everyday. We have children and make all of our own meals. The starter has nothing to do with sliminess in my experience. It will make it ferment more quickly, but it also steers it in the right direction. I think sliminess is because it has fermented too long. Sandor Katz agrees. I just make a smaller batch in summer so I finish it before it gets slimy.
John S
PDX OR
 
Dawn Hoff
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I just experience that mine gets slimy if I use a starter, and I've also heard that from others. As I said earlier I like it better without (except that my garlic turn blue?)
 
Judith Browning
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no slimy pickles here...at least not for a long time..........I just began three more quarts of cucumber slices with whey in the mix and tightly sealed lids........so far all of my batches are coming out pretty crispy. I think fermenting is just one of those things where our own personal experience makes all of the difference along with bits and pieces of advice from others....maybe house temperature, other ferments going on, humidity, how we grow our food and it's age.............all of those variables affect our own experience. For me if I let these quarts of cucumbers go even a couple hours past 24 they are beginning to get soft and a little more time and they are slimy and inedible....and then if it is one of our 100 plus degree summers and the house is at ninety, I don't let them go the full time. Those summers were perfect for making tempeh though......wonderful every time.
and I think I am addicted to the bean dip recipe...........my husband isn't as taken with it so it is all for me
 
Judith Browning
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thanks,John
I wonder how long your ferments last at room temperature? i haven't tried but I may have to soon as our tiny refrigerator is too full at the moment. I guess when I loosen the lid they slow down a bit but not stop the process..i think Leila said she keeps some out also....we try to eat something fermented with every meal over the summer and then run out into the winter. This time i am going to try more 'bean dip' for winter ferments.

I think fermenting is so valuable to your health that I like to eat fermented vegies at least all year long. I agree that shorter fermentation times in summer require that not as much is made, so it doesn't get too fermented (slimy and smelly) too quickly. Then make another smaller one.
John S
PDX OR
 
Joanne McCartney
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Do you all think that the quick ferments have the same amount of probiotic activity as the longer ferments?
 
John Saltveit
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Sandor Katz says that the quick ferments, Kim chi for example,
have an equally valuable but slightly different form of Lacillus bacteria than
sauerkraut, which is typically fermented for a longer period of time. I think they're both equally valuable.
I am happy to eat homemade sauerkraut as soon as it has fermented in flavor and get more of the "early" form,
and continue eating it later as it gradually converts to the other "later" form of lacillus bacteria. They have the same amount of bacillus, just a different form. The later kinds will probably have more kalm yeast, the white film, which is a different probiotic.
john S
PDX OR
 
Joanne McCartney
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Thanks for your reply, John. I'm happy to hear that because my sauerkraut is on Day 5 and already starting to taste acidic. I have about 9-1/2 lbs in a crock in the pantry. The warm weather is probably making it go faster than I expected. I think we will have sauerkraut coming out of our ears soon and it's only my husband, my sister and myself. My sister is convinced it is unsafe to eat. Hopefully when I'm still alive after eating it she'll change her mind!

I hope I'll be able to leave it in the crock for a while because we don't have a whole lot of frig space. Perhaps time to clean the frig.
 
Dawn Hoff
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As John say - the same amount but different bacteria. But the thing for me is - when I use a starter from something I'm already eating, like cheese, I don't get as much variety as I would have if I made it with salt only.

I also have a gut feeling saying that the slower ferments add something more to the process - I can't say what it would be, it's just a gut feeling.

But when you add fish sauce to a kimchi that is also a stater - but since I'm not really in the habit of eating fermented fish, except in fish sauce (which is very very rarely used in my house), then I am not just repeating what I'm already eating in abundance.

The advantage of the quick ferments is that they are so easy and fast - it gets you going on the ferment route. It's like making cottage cheese or cream cheese - it get you started on the cheese making route. And it is certainly super super healthy. And it contains thousands more of the good bacteria than any probiotic pill or store bought yoghurt. So what I'm aming at is just that I personally think that the slower ferment are a little cooler, ads a little more variety - plus I love to experiment and try new flavirs and techniques in the kitchen.
 
Leila Rich
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Dawn Hoff wrote:my garlic turn blue

According to HAROLD McGEE garlic can go green-blue when it's old
(as in the last bulbs from last year's season) or in some acids.
He should know since he's the food science overlord!
My fermented garlic has never gone blue-maybe your garlic is older?
Judith Browning wrote: i think Leila said she keeps some out also....
I generally make a smaller jar to leave out
but I made too much at once this time and things started getting a bit strong.
My fridge has lots of space at the moment, so I put most of the finished ferments in there.

Not all go in the fridge though...
I went to a talk by Sandor Katz and he explained that fermented food, like wine, goes through lots of stages
and something that starts off tasting...funny...can end up great.
I've got some tomato/chillie sauce that's been in the pantry since January.
It started out really fizzy, separated and tasting pretty iffy.
It's now homogenous, sitting quietly and tasting pretty good. I think it will get a lot better though.

There's also a jar of mega hot birdseye chillies that I started
then added more chillies after about a week when I pulled the last of my plants.
I generally don't add things once a ferment's underway, but the chillies taste great.
Birdseye chillies and garlic cloves are so robust and potent that they can sit at room temperature for years .
I just finished some chillies from 2011 that I found lurking in the pantry
 
Dawn Hoff
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I'll just have to try it when I get fresh garlic in the spring
 
Joanne McCartney
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Leila, you ferment the garlic with just salt brine?
 
Leila Rich
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Joanne McCartney wrote:Leila, you ferment the garlic with just salt brine?

Just brine, star anise and whole chillies, or totally plain's great too.
My garlic has always tayed crisp, but lost its raw 'burn'
I haven't used whey in any ferments for ages.
 
Leila Rich
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An example of how forgiving lacto-fermentation can be:
I undersalted my last batch of kraut and the cut edges oxidised to an unappetising off-brown
I mixed in more salt, and the kraut is crunchy and its 'proper' pale yellowy-green colour.

I might make kraut with red cabbage next time-it's so robust it sounds perfect.
Experiences?
I'm seeing venison, potatoes and red kraut with juniper berries...
 
dan long
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You guys are really over complicating it. Lacto fermentation is simple.

Air locks? Starters? refrigeration? Don't bother! Making some pickles or kraut is easier than fixing a bowl of Top Ramen!

You don't need an airlock so long as the vegetables are submerged. The water is the anaerobic environment. Not the jar. The jar is just for holding the water.

You don't need a starter because all the bacteria you need is already on the skin of the vegetable.

You don't need to refrigerate until you start in on a new batch (hence why I use relatively small jars. The salt, anaerobic environment and acidity makes it inhospitable for baddies. Why do you think our ancestors fermented their foods anyways? Its a method of preservation!

Don't over complicate it. Get a regular-ol glass jar, pack it with regular-ol vegetables and pour in some regular-ol salt. You can cheat and put in less salt if you use some brine from the last batch.

In fact, you can do it WITHOUT salt. I would recommend you use the leftover brine from a previous batch if your going this route but its not necessary. Our ancestors would ferment their vegetables without access to salt and the vegetables would be preserved simply from the selective environment (anaerobic+acidic). That is the same selective environment used in canning but oh so much simpler!

There you go. So easy, my dog could do it! (with extensive training, conditioning and assistance with the knife work).
 
Leila Rich
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dan long wrote:Lacto fermentation is simple

It certainly is. I fit into the 'stuff it in a jar with salt and water' camp;
but it's always interesting to see how other people do things, and read about their experiences
 
Joanne McCartney
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Dan, thank you for your post. As someone who's new to all this, it's great to hear that it isn't all that complicated. My biggest fear was introducing bad bacteria and killing us all off. . But it sounds like if something went wrong it would be pretty evident from the smell.
 
Judith Browning
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Yes, very easy...I think it takes a while to find the method or variation on method that works for each of us and go with it. Even an air lock is 'easy'....the hard part, I think, is finding the storage space when you can't stop fermenting everything in sight
I doubt I give up using whey....It's the creme cheese I am absolutely in love with........ we buy fresh raw nubian goat milk and let it clabbor naturally (no starter) in a widemouth gallon jar at room temperature..........it takes two to four days...the earlier creme cheese is almost sweet and the four day nicely tart. Like fermenting anything, the air temp makes a huge difference. We use creme cheese on everything and the whey that I don't use to ferment goes in breads, soups and all kinds of things including the cat. Creme cheese will keep a month and the whey much much longer...although I've never tested storage for either one....just keep them moving.

I just made a batch of some of my best cucumber slices ever and a batch of my worst.....I have been playing with spices until my dill matures and what I think ruined the one batch was adding turmeric....other than that it was mustard seed, a bit of cumin, cayenne and garlic....they tasted fine but the texture turned to mush. the batch without turmeric was the crunchiest ever............

and I just opened two quarts of tomato ferment.....a mix of tomato varieties, onion, cayenne, garlic, sweet pepper....all from the garden..........one of our favorites...now time for more bean dip.
I have to think small and have gone to quart wide mouth jars. They work great for me but i am wondering if anyone has used wide mouth pints? if there is a limit to how small a batch will work well?
 
Leila Rich
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Judith Browning wrote:a limit to how small a batch will work well?

I've made what must be about .25 of a quart of kraut in its own jar when I had more than I could squish in the crock, and it was fine.
I suppose the conditions, ratios etc are basically the same no matter the quantity/size.
Judith Browning wrote: I think ruined the one batch was adding turmeric
I'm pretty heavy-handed with spices, but turmeric is probably the thing (aside from cloves maybe)
that I treat with the most caution.
 
Joanne McCartney
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All those spices sound great in the cucumbers. I see you are using some quart jars too. After buying a pack of a dozen, I have 6 left to play with. And the crock is now ready to go again because I packed up the sauerkraut for the frig last night.

What do you use to keep the vegetables submerged in wide mouth quart Mason jars? I have a smaller jar filled with water, but it kind of leaks over the top because it's a little smaller. I don't think I could put the caps on without worrying about the pressure, right?

I would love to fill that crock up with cauliflower and maybe carrots and peppers but if they ferment as quickly as the sauerkraut, I am running out of refrigerator space. Did anyone try broccoli? I love it steamed but don't know what it would taste like fermented,
 
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