Location: North Idaho at 975m elevation on steep western slope, 60cm annual precipitation, zone 4
posted 4 years ago
I have just started to ferment vegetables and my family is finally (after a couple not so great experiments) very pleased with the results. How do I get my fermentation to stop when it is at the 'level of fermentation' that we enjoy? Everyone talkes about how fermentation is a very low energy food saver option, but if my ferments end up in the fridge anyhow, is that really saving me much energy? Thanks for your advice!
During this part of year (Thanksgiving) in my climate (Portland, OR) my food ferments very slowly. I think you always want to be thinking about where you are in its cycle. The size of the batch depends on how fast it ferments. I don't know where you live, but that is a huge factor. In the summer I make small batches, use them up and start over again. Many people will put the ferment in the fridge where it ferments very very slowly. I guess it depends on how fast your family eats it.
I had the same issue, I have two refrigerators and two freezers and filling them up with all my ferments wasn't an option, I have gallons of pickles I did in the summer on the basement floor, slows things down a bit at least. A chest cooler might keep them from freezing outdoors if it isn't too cold. In summer there isn't much you can do besides basement floor root cellar or fridge.
Salt slows down fermentation. If you're on a low sodium or low salt diet, you don't have as many options. You need some to start, but you could add some later, or just plan it out so it doesn't ferment as quickly. I notice that beets stay crisp for a long time. Adding oak or grape leaves also help with crispness.