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Noelle Sredlich
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Hi there! I'm fairly new to fermentation. I've made a few batches of kombucha and just got a batch of kimchi going. I followed a recipe I found online, and when I packed it in the gallon jar, there wasn't much brine at the top. It was more of a paste than a brine. I capped it with an airlock lid. Will this be okay if it's not completely submerged under liquid? Should I make some brine to pour on top? Thanks!
 
Dave Friday
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Give it a day and press it down again, there may be more brine formation overnight from the salt. If you have it airlocked it shouldn't be an issue but I tend to want everything covered when I ferment veggies.
 
John Saltveit
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I agree with Dave. Underwater is best.
John S
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S Usvy
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Thanks for asking this question and thanks for all the answers. I've made my second ever batch of kimchi last week, and freaked out about the lack of brine. Added some pre-mixed brine on top (+ the weight, of course). Now there's WAY too much brine and the whole thing is just a little too soggy. Will go with salt only next time...
 
Pia Jensen
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Noelle Sredlich wrote:Hi there! I'm fairly new to fermentation. I've made a few batches of kombucha and just got a batch of kimchi going. I followed a recipe I found online, and when I packed it in the gallon jar, there wasn't much brine at the top. It was more of a paste than a brine. I capped it with an airlock lid. Will this be okay if it's not completely submerged under liquid? Should I make some brine to pour on top? Thanks!


did the recipe call for letting the cabbage leaves soften up some in the sun after washing? that helps kickstart the leaf to liquid process.
 
Roy Hinkley
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When I make kraut I sprinkle salt on the cabbage and then mush it up with my hands before packing to bruise the cabbage, this gets the liquid process going much quicker and uses far less salt.
In general, any veggies exposed to air is a bad thing but if your recipe has onions I find this helps to inhibit any bad stuff growing.
 
Pia Jensen
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Roy Hinkley wrote:When I make kraut I sprinkle salt on the cabbage and then mush it up with my hands before packing to bruise the cabbage, this gets the liquid process going much quicker and uses far less salt.
In general, any veggies exposed to air is a bad thing but if your recipe has onions I find this helps to inhibit any bad stuff growing.


There's a mustard greens recipe (ferment) I've used that calls for letting the greens rest (soften up/breakdown) in the sun before processing. I've done the salt with cabbage leaves before also. Both effective.
 
Berns Fernand
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What to do with the left over brine? I usually have a large amount of brine left over with the precious Himalayan sea salt I use and hate wasting it... can it be stored for the next batch?

PS... Im new at ferments... and this forum.

Thanks
 
S Usvy
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You could drink a spoonful or two a day as a probiotic, add some to a new batch of ferments, or use it to flavoures soups or stews, like you would with broth, just take into account the saltiness
 
Berns Fernand
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Ok that sounds good! My question is, I opened the air tight jars I stored the brine in last night and it smelled kind of funky... And there was a white film at the bottom. Does that disqualify this brine from the category of edibility?
 
S Usvy
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The white film may be ok - sometimes it's just the salt settling down. Happens with my pickles a lot. Looks weird, but not more than that. However, things should NOT smell funky. If things don't smell appealing, I personally would eat them.
 
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