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    mr.ben's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Maximizing Probiotic Fermentation

    Hey everybody, what are your thoughts on maximizing lactic acid fermentation (or other probiotics)?

    I ferment fruits and vegetables in a fermentation crock. I have found fruits higher in glucose ferment better than fruits lower in glucose, and especially better than vegetables.

    It seems lactic acid bacteria use glucose in the fermentation process. In terms of getting way more bang for your buck, could you simply add lots of water and pure glucose to the crock along with the fruit? What about plain sucrose? Invert sugar?? So many questions. Will be experimenting and posting back if anyone sees this.

    Any thoughts?

    ben

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    I don't know about fermenting fruits or most veggies yet (though I plan to do some experimenting of my own in the near future), but I do know from making kombucha that a new batch is GREATLY helped when I add about 1/5 of 'starter kombucha' (kombucha that is completely fermented from an older batch). Have you tried using some of the liquid from a previous batch of fermented fruits/veggies to jumpstart a new batch? I'd bet this would speed things up, but since I haven't done it myself, it's pure conjecture.

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    yeah, sugar will increase fermentation. the bugs feed on the sugar!! they digest it nicely.

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    BestBetter - you are most certainly correct! I suppose I should have included that info. I always use some of the last batch to start off the new one unless I have eaten it all. I find that for my ferments, it speeds the process up by about 2 days.

    jakey - yeah that's what I thought. Any thoughts on which sugar is best? So you think sucrose will do the job?

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    Also, kombucha ferments lightning fast if I keep it really warm, and I'm assuming lactic acid fermentation is the same. At night, I put my kombucha on my stove, because the pilot light keeps it pretty warm. The top of the fridge is another good warm nighttime place. Do you put your ferments someplace warm?

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    No, but it's a good idea. A while back I found a study that said 37 degrees was the optimal temperature for some lactic acid bacteria strains. It also said 30 grams of glucose/litre. Interesting IMO. Anyways, I would put it somewhere warm, but the crock is huge. Holds 10 Litres. I usually have it in the basement out of the way . I even thought about buying a little space heater and trying to heat it that way, but the energy requirement is way too expensive.

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    Yeah, those heavy containers are not fun to be moving around, so if you don't have a warm spot where they can hang out for the duration, I guess it won't help. Just as an experiment, it might be cool to take some of your current ferment-in-progress and put it in a smaller container so that you could more easily stick it in a warm place, and then compare the results to the huge batch that's in a cooler temp.

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    Yeah it weighs 30 some odd pounds without the fruit and water haha, so like maybe 40 or more pounds in total. Back when I didn't have my crock I would just use jars, and yeah I did the basement vs bedroom experiment - higher temperatures definitely did help. I just have no way of increasing the temperature with the crock. But I assume fermenting for a longer time at lower temperatures yields the same result. I'm gonna go check on my batch of honey dew melon. It's been fermenting for 5 days. I have fermented honey dew melon before for 5 days with great results everytime. The only difference this time is that I added a lot of water and sucrose. Will report back soon. It will be a lot easier to tell tomorrow how well it went. For some reason after it sits in the fridge for a day THEN I can really taste the probiotic content easier.

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    So yeah I'm pretty sure that adding water and sugar works! I can now make 10 litres of probiotics at a time, even if I have about 2 litres of fruit. Yayy. I'll know for sure tomorrow after it's been in the fridge for a day.

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    Do you leave the rind on the fruit? I've read that you're supposed to, but since I peel all the fruit/veggies I eat (to keep fiber low for my IBS) I can't see peeling everything AFTER it's fermented. I've read that the yeasts on the skins are what get everything fermenting, so I'm worried that I'll end up with a big failure if I eliminate the peels before starting.

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