Fermented foods tips for a newbie?
I'm trying my hand at fermenting foods, but I could use a few pointers if anyone could help.
I tried fermenting 3 jars of carrot sticks, one jar of parsnip sticks and carrot sticks, one jar of shredded carrots, and a jar of green beans. Can you tell I bought too many carrots? Lol
First question - any suggestions for how to keep everything under the brine? I wedged in the carrot sticks and green beans pretty well hoping they'd stay down without any help, but as they've fermented some of the veggies are not staying under the brine. The green beans have all floated up, and few carrot sticks have popped up. For the shredded carrots, I ended up stacking spinach leaves on top and weighting it down with a chunk of carrot - not ideal and it's not working very well.
Second question - for the carrot jars, the amount of gas in the jars has been insane. I got this started yesterday afternoon and have burped the jars several times (I probably should have bought better jars, but for this batch I'm stuck with the canning type) but they'll be fizzy next time I open them too. The fumes are kinda strong so I can't stand over the open jars as the gas escapes. I'm assuming this is good?
Third question - assuming lots of gas is a good thing, any ideas why my green beans are not having the same amount of reaction? The brine in that jar is pretty still when I open it, except for an occasional bubble. Does that jar probably just need a lot more time to ferment?
Yes continually burping is key if you don't have an airlock on your bottle. Go to let the built up air out.
Use a cabbage leaf to cover the tip of veg then use a rock or Baggie filled with water to keep the veg down. Naturally they all want to float.
Grow beard, carry water.
Thanks, I put some cabbage leaves in and everything seems to be mostly staying down now. I don't know about the shredded carrots though - I'm not sure a cabbage leaf can keep them down.
Hi. I use one of these
TheProbioticJar | Fermentation | Pickling Recipes - The Probiotic Jar
and it is pretty foolproof. Lots of advice, recipes etc on the site too.
This is worth reading - lots of info
Bustiní the Myth of the 3-Day Kraut (p.s. donít refrigerate it, either!) | Nourishing Treasures
and this is a good site
There are loads more - let me know if you want more links!
Thanks breadsauce, those links are super helpful! The probiotic jar looks way better for fermenting shredded things, I may have to order a couple of those.
A plastic bag with salt water brine will work. I've used a french press coffee maker to ferment as you can just push the plunger down to keep things under. I've never had the kind of ferment that you are talking about, that is so active that it needs constant burping. Me thinks maybe you didn't use enough salt in the brine or I used too much. LOL
My airlock broke so the last batch (grated kraut) I used the cabbage leaves and a small plastic jar on too to hold everything down. Didn't really want to have plastic in there but it worked.
I've started using Bragg's kelp spice mix in my veggies (fav these days in cabbage, carrots and ginger) and it's delicious
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I probably did not use enough salt. I was just kind of winging it? I dissolved some sea salt in a pot of water and it ended up being spread between more jars than I was expecting, which was a side effect of not measuring and food displacement. Should I add more salt or just leave it be?
Originally Posted by eats.meats.west
I have a cold brew coffee maker that is just a larger French press, though it's made out of plastic. Not sure I want to do this in a plastic container though, so maybe I'll hold out for a better jar
I started making my own fermented vegetables after reading Wild Fermentation by Sandor Katz. It is a great book and i would recommend it but you can find a lot of the same info online.
Wild Fermentation | Fermentation makes foods more nutritious, as well as delicious! :: Wild Fermentation
Another good source for all things fermented: How to Naturally Culture Vegetables | Basic Instructions for Fermenting Vegetables
Your salt ratios are important because they keep the bad bacteria from forming. Different vegetables do better with slightly different ratios.
I've done similar - a weighted plate to keep the food below the surface of the brine. And a coffee press. But since I started using an anaerobic fermentation with an airlock the results have been way better and totally consistent.
Originally Posted by eats.meats.west