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Reclaiming Sea Salt from Bad Sauerkraut?  RSS feed

 
Joshua Myrvaagnes
pollinator
Posts: 563
Location: Massachusetts, 6b, urban, nearish coast, 39'x60' minus the house, mostly shady north side, + lead.
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Let's suppose, subjectively speaking at least, there were sauerkraut that had gone bad.  In other words, the humans I live with are unwilling to eat it and will not designate it as food.  And I don't want to eat it either, because for some reason my system doesn't want a lot of sauerkraut these days, and frankly I'm not sure what bacteria have gotten going on it.  I know, I know, Katz says there's no such thing as a bad veggie bacterium, but there sure as hell are some that smell foul.

So, if I were going to dispose of this in the compost I would want to soak it first and get all the salt out of it so it's not salting up the compost.

Then, what if I put the water out to dry in the sun till it became salt again? everything's dead and sterilized at that point, yes?  so it could be used again...to make more bad sauerkraut! 

I think this is an excellent idea.  But I'm probably too lazy to try actually doing it soon, so if anyone else wants to take the idea and run with it and report back that would be awesome.

 
wayne fajkus
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I can assume you don't have chickens?

But, yeah. It should work. You have a headstart on us as you already have the bad kraut. I'd be behind if I did it. Lol

 
Joshua Myrvaagnes
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Location: Massachusetts, 6b, urban, nearish coast, 39'x60' minus the house, mostly shady north side, + lead.
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No chickens yet, housemates aren't comfortable with that yet.  We're going to do worms, and if we can take care of the worms and--ooh, nuthatch outside my window!--then we'll go to chickens next.  They are legal in Somerville, woohoo!

I doubt the worms would be happy eating as much salt as the chickens, but I shouldn't assume...we should be getting them pretty soon.  Red wigglers wrigglers whatever the name is, the kind that does some serious eating.  Of course we have a fair number of earthworms around, but not in the quantities that would do for really eating foods vs. the microbes doing the majority of the eating.
 
Joshua Myrvaagnes
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Posts: 563
Location: Massachusetts, 6b, urban, nearish coast, 39'x60' minus the house, mostly shady north side, + lead.
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Here's my quesiton--rather than waiting until the water I've soaked the badkraut in is completely dry, what if I just sterilize it? Then I could use the salty water (in cooking obviously, but also in making new ferment, in situations where you're going to add water anyway) and save a lot of time.  How much does the sun sterilize, to what depth do UV rays penetrate in water?  I've heard that sun UV can sterilize water, but of course i've also heard that you can count on standing water to have pathogens in it, certainly it's teeming with micro friends.  I'll try grandmother google.


:

ABSTRACT. Benthic photosynthetic microorganisms are widespread in shallow-water sediments, microenvironments that are commonly assumed to be virtually opaque to ultraviolet radiation (UVR). We used a newly developed optical microprobe to measure the submillimeter penetration of solar UVR into a variety of these microenvironments. UVR trapping due to strong scattering occurred at the sur- face of some sedirnents, resulting in a surface maximum of scalar irradiance (E,) that could be signifi- cantly larger that the Incident radiation. In the subsurface, E,, was typically extingu~shedin a quasi- exponential manner, with attenuation coefficients (310 nm) ranging from 4 to 21 mm-', depending on sediment type. Ultrav~oletB (at 310 nm) was extingu~shedto 1"h of the incident between 1.25 and 0 23 mm from the surface W~thinthe euphotic zones of these sediments, however, the space-averaged UVBscalarirradiancewasveryh~yh,between15and33'!,,oftheincident Innaturalwaters,for example, the same parameter varies between 3 and g',of the incident. Thus, in fact, photosynthesis in these environments must develop under strong UV stress, and it must be regarded as potentially labile to the effects of ozone depletion.



--
Not quite comprehensible to me.


a bit easier:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC348911/

short version--UVA is mainly what kills bacteria (not sure about big things like giardia are also killed? aren't they larger than bacteria?)  UVA penetrates much deeper (shorter wavelength--<400nanometers--so attenuation is about 5% per meter!).  So the issue is keeping the whole of the water in the sunlight.  Angle is an issue.  A pond will have enough shady bits that micro friends can always find a place to survive.  Sort of like that depressing TV show where they live in the space station after the apocalypse and constantly disappoint and betray one another and have messy relationships.  But there must be areas of a pond that are pretty much sterile when the sun is at high noon in an equatorial region--if there's a pond still there at all, which there may well not be.

Another factor--at some point the salt is concentrated enough that it's sterile from that, or only the lactobacillus kinds of things could be living in that environment.

 
wayne fajkus
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If you are cooking with it, the heat from cooking will kill the bad stuff. The uv stuff is above my pay grade. I have no idea.

You have interesting questions though.
 
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