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Pros vs Cons of Dry Salting Method for Fermenting Vegetables and Fruit (High Salt)  RSS feed

 
Anne Miller
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I am a fermenting beginner, but I am interested in Dry Salting.   The two basic methods for dry salting are low salt concentration and high salt concentration.  Now many people are concerned about the amount of salt they use in their daily lives and may not even consider this method.

"Yet, among all the foods preserved with salt, mixed vegetables are perhaps the most appealing: no salt need be removed; they do not cause you to eat too much salt; and they make instant stock for soup."

http://www.chelseagreen.com/blogs/summer-green-beans-4-ways-to-preserve-using-salt/

Here is an article that describes both methods of Dry Salting:

http://www.homepreservingbible.com/39-dry-salting-as-a-method-to-preserve-vegetables/

"Low salt conentration (2½% to 5% weight of salt per weight of vegetables) is know as promotes the growth of several types of lactic acid bacteria (LAB), the same basic types of bacteria that are found in yogurt."

"High salt concentration (20% to 25% salt) prevents the growth of all bacteria and preserve the vegetables in their fresh state; but of course, they are very salty. However, many people consider salted vegetables such as green beans to be far superior in taste and texture to canned or frozen beans. For 20% to 25% salt concentration, you want to use 1 to 1¼ pound salt for every 5 pounds of prepared vegetables."

There has been a lot of discussions on the "Low Salt" method but what I am interested in is the "High Salt"  method. 

So what vegetables/fruit have you used the "High Salt" method for?  Why do you prefer the high salt method or what don't you like about it?

 
John Saltveit
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I have never used the high salt method.  I like the low salt method.
John S
PDX OR
 
Anne Miller
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Dry salting is a method where you would toss your vegetables with salt and allowing the salt to draw liquid from the vegetables.  For this, the typical amount of salt to be used would be approximately 1 TBS for every 1 1/2 lbs of vegetables.  This method is commonly used for sauerkraut, kimchi, and curtido.  I would also think that any shredded or grated vegetable would use this method.

"The amount of salt you used in your sauerkraut or fermented vegetables will affect fermentation time. Too little salt will speed up fermentation, but may cause it to become slimy and develop mold. Too much salt can slow down fermentation significantly."

"The Importance of getting the salt right: I can’t stress enough how super important it is to get the salt amount right. Too little salt can cause the sauerkraut to get mushy or moldy and too much will slow the fermentation down significantly. Always start with the least amount of salt required and add more if needed. This will ensure you will get perfectly salted sauerkraut each time."

3-simple-steps-to-make-perfectly-salted-sauerkraut-every-time/

How I got into researching the High salt method was because I saw where a fruit/vegetable would be salted whole then fermented with an end result of the skin, seeds, membrane and all would ferment down to a paste that could be used in mayo and other recipes.  It sounded so easy and effortless.  And maybe foolproof because of the amount of salt used.

I thought this would be a great way to ferment jalapenos.  Just put in a jar with salt, let it ferment and get a nice paste to flavor soup, stews, mayo, etc.  Maybe use tomatoes for tomato paste. But I have not been able to find a recipe. And what percentage might make the product shelf stable?

But what about salt concentrations between these?  "Low salt conentration (2½% to 5% weight of salt per weight of vegetables") and "High salt concentration (20% to 25% salt) prevents the growth of all bacteria and preserve the vegetables in their fresh state; but of course, they are very salty"  I found a recommendaion for 10% for pepper mash?  So maybe what I am looking for is not "High Salt" but "Medium salt"?  And does this 10% brine still have probiotics?

Pros:  quick and easy, foolproof maybe, maybe shelf stable

Cons:  not probiotic, hard to find recipes or info,

 
David Hernick
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1:20 is the standard ratio for salt brines, so 5%.  Dry salting works great, it requires a little patience but it is fermentation so you need patience.

Regarding the concern about salt I have made salt free fermented vegetables.  I did this for a curative diet called the Body Ecology diet.  The way to keep this fermentation safe is by using a starter or using acid (i.e. lemon juice or citric acid) to kick off the ferment.  I often do both.  The fementation quickly acidifieds and beceomes safe.  Here is a receipe:
http://bodyecology.com/recipes/another_cultured_veggies.php

I like the salt free fermented vegetables but it is not the same.  Maybe I could get the salt flavor naturally from Atriplex/saltbush or celery.
I have had kimchee that is low in salt and tastes great.  I definitely think you can ferment with low salt.  Especially if you are controlling the environment by keeping out air i.e. using a air lock.
 
Anne Miller
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"The following is an excerpt from Preserving Food Without Freezing or Canning: Traditional Techniques Using Salt, Oil, Sugar, Alcohol, Vinegar, Drying, Cold Storage, and Lactic Fermentation by the Gardeners & Farmers of Terre Vivante.

Above a certain concentration of salt in food, microorganisms cannot develop and thus the preservation of food is assured."

" Among vegetables, we sometimes salt green beans, herbs, and vegetable mixtures for soup stock.

There are two main disadvantages to preserving food with salt:
    The salt must be removed from most foods before consuming them, which usually requires lengthy soaking and repeated rinsing that also eliminate some of the nutrients;
    If the salt is not completely removed, we risk consuming more than is considered healthy these days.
However, for preserving foods that we eat in small quantities, or that don’t need much soaking and rinsing, salt has its place."

http://www.chelseagreen.com/blogs/summer-green-beans-4-ways-to-preserve-using-salt/

As you can see from the title of this book, no canning or freezing is required to preserve the green beans.  One recipe says that the green beans will last three years.

From the Home Preserving Bible website [above link]: "Dry salting is an old-fashioned method for preserving vegetables, meat, and fish. It was popular in the early twentieth century, especially during the first and second World Wars. Salting was promoted as an alternative to canning in order to conserve glass, metal, and fuel. There are two basic methods for dry salting, one uses low salt concentration and the other uses high salt."

"You want to avoid salt concentrations between 5% and 20%, because in this range you may promote the growth of spoilage bacteria. This will likely produce a stinky, rotten-smelling product that is inedible.
Cabbage is still commonly preserved by dry salting, as sauerkraut or kimchi, both of which use low salt concentration. Sauerkraut is made by layering raw shredded cabbage with salt. Kimchi is made by layering cabbage with salt and other seasonings such as ground dried red chili peppers. You can use the sauerkraut method with other cruciferous vegetables, such as turnips, rutabagas, and kohlrabies. In fact, you can preserve many other vegetables by dry salting. These include cauliflower florets, leafy greens (such as spinach, kale, and chard), shelled peas, and string beans. For best results with this last group, steam blanch the vegetables before layering, rather than leaving the vegetables raw."

"Salting peas
Salting vegetables is an old-fashioned method that you may want to try. Use only young, very fresh peas. Prepare shelled peas or pea pods and then weigh peas before blanching to determine amount of salt to use. For every pound of prepared peas, measure 3.2 ounces (1⁄3 cup) pickling salt. Blanch and drain peas; then pat dry. In a large bowl, toss peas and pickling salt until evenly mixed. Pack 1 pound peas with salt into a sterilized 1-quart glass jar (or 5 pounds into a gallon crock), leaving 1 to 2 inches headspace. Press peas without crushing to extract liquid to cover vegetables. Weight the peas to keep them submerged, and cover the container. Set aside in a cool, dark place. In 24 hours, if the liquid does not cover the food completely, prepare a 20 percent brine using 7.7 ounces (3⁄4 cup) pickling salt per quart of water. Add enough brine to cover the peas generously. Cover and weight again to keep submerged. Cure (pickle) the vegetables 2 to 4 weeks, and then store in a cold cellar or refrigerator up to 6 months. If white scum appears on the surface, remove it. If peas become moldy, soft, or develop a disagreeable odor, they have spoiled and must be discarded."

http://www.homepreservingbible.com/1825-best-food-preservation-methods-for-green-peas-snow-peas-and-snap-peas/

"Brined (salted) zucchini. Choose small, ripe, sound zucchini (free from blemishes). Wash careful and place in a sterilized crock or canning jar and cover with strong (10 percent) brine, leaving at least 1 inch headspace. To make 10 percent brine, stir 3.7 ounces. (6 tablespoons canning/pickling salt or 3/4 cup Diamond Kosher) salt into 1 quart water until dissolved completely. Use a small plate or brine filled bag to weight the vegetables and keep them submerged. Place the salting container on a tray to catch any spill over during curing. Store container at 64°F to 72°F and allow to cure for 2 to 4 weeks. Cover container and store in a cool (40°F to 50°F) location (or a refrigerator). Open the container at least once a week and check for a white scum floating on the surface of the brine. Remove it immediately, if it appears–it isn’t harmful but can create off-flavors if not removed. Keep the vegetables completely submerged in brine at all times during storage. Mold, soft vegetables, or rotten odors indicate spoilage; discard these vegetables without tasting. Under ideal conditions, most salted vegetables can be stored up to 6 months. To use brined vegetables, soak in fresh, cold water for 12 hours, and then prepare in any recipe calling for fresh."

http://www.homepreservingbible.com/1809-food-preservation-methods-for-zucchini-courgette/

"Pickle or ferment vegetables with dry salt. Easy, practical, and inexpensive, you can use dry salt either to pickle or ferment a wide variety of vegetables. High salt concentration prevents fermentation to preserve vegetables in a near-fresh state. Use this method for cauliflower, cooking greens (spinach, kale, chard), shelled peas, and string beans. People familiar with this method consider dry-salted vegetables to be far superior in taste and texture to canned or frozen ones. In contrast, using a low salt concentration causes the vegetables to ferment and make products like sauerkraut or kimchi from cabbage. The sauerkraut method also works on turnips, rutabagas, and kohlrabies, for delicious wintertime sandwich and burger toppings or garnish for charcuterie."

http://www.homepreservingbible.com/608-5-ways-to-preserve-fruits-or-vegetables-other-than-canning-freezing-or-drying/

"Ferment fruits or vegetables into wine or vinegar. When you have a bumper crop of fruits or vegetables, that’s the time to make wine or vinegar. Ferment almost any type of fresh or dried fruit to make a delicious “country” wine. Popular fruit choices include pears, peaches, or plums, and vegetables with a sweet nature, such as beets, carrots, corn, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, or winter squash. Reclaim fruit and vegetable peels before you discard them in the compost bin and use them to make vinegar. Exploit apple peelings left over after making applesauce, as well as orange peels, pineapple peels, and potato peels. Wine or vinegar making is also a good method to make use of culls, seconds, overripe, or fallen fruit. Just make sure that any of the produce you use is free of any mold, trimmed of any bruises, and thoroughly washed."

In conclusion, after a week or more of searching without success, I decided to just try the High salt method on some cherry tomatoes.  Here is the link to the original post that led me on this quest:

Julia Winter's Fermented Lemons

Pros: "However, for preserving foods that we eat in small quantities, or that don’t need much soaking and rinsing, salt has its place."
no canning or freezing is required to preserve the green beans.  One recipe says that the green beans will last three years.

Cons:  "You want to avoid salt concentrations between 5% and 20%, because in this range you may promote the growth of spoilage bacteria. This will likely produce a stinky, rotten-smelling product that is inedible.








 
Anne Miller
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I have had my lemons fermenting on the counter for a little over a week now.  I tighten the lid and shake them several times a day.  They smell wonderful.

I am getting ready to start a chow chow ferment in a few days as a tomato plant got torn up in a storm and I have lots of green tomatoes.  I am finding that I really like fermenting.

Here is a post that is relevant to the Dry Salt method.

https://permies.com/t/36845/kitchen/Preserving-Olives-curing-olives
 
Matu Collins
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A note about dietary salt- for people with high blood pressure or kidney trouble too much salt is unhealthy. For some folks like myself with low blood pressure, a high salt diet is desirable.

 
Rebecca Norman
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I posted the details of how to process capers with dry salting in this post about growing capers, a good plant for arid climates
 
Ben Allan
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We have seen that a balance of all microbes coming into the ferment via airborne and probiotic pill seems to be beneficial, although taste and quality will differ. Though giving the ferment a head start using a probiotic makes a big difference in quality and taste. Our ferments without added probiotics via a pill do not taste as good, probably due to the lack of salt we add to our ferments, thus encouraging too much microbial diversity with less of the lactobacillus that create the quality taste. Providing sugar and a probiotic pill to a ferment gives those beneficials a head start and almost ensures the ferment is successful.

We recommend looking into Dr Robert Cassars ferments on YouTube.
 
Anne Miller
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Anne Miller wrote:I have had my lemons fermenting on the counter for a little over a week now.  I tighten the lid and shake them several times a day.  They smell wonderful.


So I am guessing that as of today 11/27/2016 the lemons have been sitting on the counter for two months as I started them on 9/25/2016. The recipe called for way more salt than was needed as there is a lot just sitting on the bottom of the jar. My plan was to use them to make mayo and some other things but we have just been too busy.  We have been processing deer for the last two weeks.  We canned 20 pints of venison and yesterday we used the grinder, bagged and put in the freezer about 30 lbs. of ground meat.

Here is a discussion on the "Role of Lemon Juice in Fermentation?"

http://www.wildfermentationforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=1326
 
Rebecca Norman
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Anne Miller wrote:I have had my lemons fermenting on the counter for a little over a week now.  I tighten the lid and shake them several times a day.  They smell wonderful.


Inspired by you and because I'd read about those salted Moroccan lemons before, I tried it. In north India, the "lemons" we get in the market are little spherical limes with thin skins. I loved my first batch so much a week in, that I quick made two more small jars while we've still got fresh non-local fruit and veg available in the market, before our main roads to the outside world close for winter. I didn't measure the salt, I just used really quite a lot.

I have been pulling out a quarter or two and mincing it fine, and either just eating it on buttered whole wheat toast or using it as most of the acid and salt in peanut sauce. Happy so far! Thank you Anne!
 
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