The ferment that I did in the 2 gallon crock of cauleflower, carrots, celery and red peppers went about a week in a brine without and starters. It's warm here, and it was pretty sour in a little over a week. But the surface felt a little slimy so I decided to refrigerate and put it in jars. When pouring some of the brine into jars, the liquid seemed a little viscous, and slightly slimy. It was also cloudy. The vegetables tasted and smelled ok and eating a few each day hasn't made me sick or anything.
I washed the crock well and made up another sliced cabbage pack for sauerkraut. (The first crock is just about gone. I did it on Saturday and put a glass plate on top like before with a heavy bowl on top to keep it submerged. Today the liquid on the top has a slightly slimy feel to it, just like the cauleflower did. I washed the plate on top and pressed it back down. It still smells ok. So my question is, has anyone else had the problem? I didn't notice it with the first batch of sauerkraut. Is there anything I can do? Could I sprinkle a little salt on top or would that screw things up? I used 2 teaspoons of salt per pound of sauerkraut when preparing and no water.
Joanne, I'm extremely 'relaxed' about this stuff compared to many Americans who have a mighty fear of botulism.
Understandable for low-acid 'canning', but if your ferment tastes tangy, then as far as I know it's too acidic for botulism.
My only test is: does it taste good?
If not, compost it! It's unlikely to make you sick, but trust your tastebuds
Thank you for your reply, Leila. The sauerkraut seems to be a little better today, I'm not noticing the slime. Day 3 and there is already some sour taste to it. And it still has the fizziness. It will probably be just fine. I don't worry about botulism but I wonder if there are other bad things out there. I've been eating the cauleflower mix after rinsing it and it seems ok. I should have let it go longer, it would have been better If it had fermented more. But I was running out of sauerkraut and wanted to get that started again too. I think I need another 2 gallon crock!
Mine can get slimy and ferment really quickly in the summer. Sandor Katz says that more salt will make it ferment more slowly, but I am 50 and a lot of my friends have had gall stones, kidney stones, etc, so I don't want a lot of salt. What I think I am slowly learning is that I will need to make small batches in the summer and turn them over more quickly.
Thank you for your reply, John. The sauerkraut seems to be doing well now and I'm not noticing any slime. I'm not sure why it was there that one day and then seemed to go away. Maybe just part of the fermenting process. Today is the 5th day and it's coming along nicely. Unite a bit of acidity already and it smells like sauerkraut. I'm debating whether to get a second crock. It's hard to find space for it but it would be nice to have 2 big batches going at the same time. I want to let this one go longer than 9 days and see how it tastes.
Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,