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Fermenting Vegetables

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ehanner's picture
ehanner

Fermenting Vegetables

I'm just wondering if anyone has any experience with using a Sourdough Starter to inoculate a batch of cabbage or other vegetables? The creature population of the starter could easily contain many of the best pro-biotic strains touted for good digestive health. Just like with flour, cabbage has lots of LB's on them to get a culture going but it would speed up the process but change the outcome slightly by adding a flour based starter to the mix. The people who sell starter cultures for veggies say you should use a fresh batch of starter each time. That seems like it would be unnecessary from all I know about SD cultures. I'm new to making my own fermented veggies and they are delicious!

I'm hoping we have some members from around the globe that currently make their own sauerkraut that will comment on this off topic request. I recall David posted on pickles once.??

Eric

SteveB's picture
SteveB

Eric,

I routinely make my own sauerkraut and kimchi in a Harsch fermentation crock.  No starter culture is necessary... just the microbes naturally present on the cabbage.

 

SteveB

www.breadcetera.com

 

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Thanks Steve. I found the thread David posted about his Mothers pickles. There is lots of good info there also.  The flavor of home made sauerkraut is wonderful.

Eric

sharonk's picture
sharonk

I'm with SteveB on this. No starter culture necessary when using really fresh vegetables including cabbage. I used to use a Harsch crock, had some mold problems with the weight-stones. Now I only use quart and 1/2 gallon mason jars. Rarely lose a batch.

 

sharonk

www.glutenfreesourdough.com

clazar123's picture
clazar123

http://www.wildfermentation.com/

This site has been helpful and I have really enjoyed the book "The Joy of Pickling" by Linda Ziedrich.

I'm not great on pickles but I can make a pretty good pickle from anything sliced. My favorite is a pretty mixed chunky vegetable with lots of garlic and no heat but plenty of sweet red pepper-a mild Kimchee variation. It was born when I went on vacation with a lot of leftover veggies in the refrig. Not being wasteful, I chopped them up,salted and left on vacation for 10 days. Best batch ever.The biggest issue I currently have is trying to get the salt level down and still maintain a safe fermentation environment. That will be my 2012 goal-to finesse the salt level.

My pickling jar is any jar 1 quart or larger with a wide mouth.The fermentation crocks are lovely but costly and you never see them used. I love the cannister type jars that have a rubber ring and bail. I don't use the top for the fermentation time but it works quite well to ferment in the jar and then just put the jar in  the refirgerator  with the top sealed when it is done fermenting. While it is fermenting, I just rubberband a coffee filter over the top and put it in a bowl in case it overflows.I save a few of the nice big cabbage outer leaves to fold over and insert into the top .It can be removed if it gets moldy and another one put into place.Holds the veggies down nicely Fruit flies LOVE fermenting veggies so you have to keep it covered.

I have used kefir whey on several occasions but I don't see why you couldn't use a little sourdough starter dissolved in water/juice. Or some juice from the last batch. Or fruit water yeast or yogurt.....really anything with some lactos in it. It will get it started and create a good environment for the lactos on the veggies to get going.The fresher the cabbage, the faster the ferment.

Let me know if you want some kefir grains. Once you start the fermenting thing....it is as addictive as sourdough! :) I've also noticed that not much spoils in this house any more-it ferments in place: a sealed jug of milk,veggie puree,cooked veggies and fruit,leftover rice. Not surprising-I ferment starches (sourdough),veggies(lactofermentation), dairy (kefir) and fruit (water kefir). Does that make me a sourpuss?

Have fun! I think I live not too far from you (Menomonee Falls). Email me if you need any "cultures". I'm on a medical leave for this week so I could get some grains to you, if you want any.

ehanner's picture
ehanner

I have the book and it looks great. The sauerkraut I have fermenting came from that book. It does look like people ferment all kinds of things. I saw a recipe for blueberries and onions on that link from Savuer above. How wild would that be. 

I recently read a suggestion that if you want to cut down on the salt, use celery juice instead of the salt and some of the additional water. Celery has a lot of sodium that you don't taste much but the effect is the same for these purposes.

Yep the Falls is just North of us about 40 minutes from Big Bend/Mukwonago area.  I was keeping Kefir for a while but lately I have been keeping a low profile on dairy products. I might take you up on that in a couple Months.

If you wanted to ferment broccoli or onions for example. Could you just add the brine and submerge the flower and proceed as with cabbage? Or would you need to use a cabbage brine as a starter? I can see how this could be addictive:>)

Eric

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

(And once made a disastrous bread with it.)

I've never have to innoculate it. Like SteveB's, it just ferments from whatever's in the ingredients–keeping something at room temperature for three weeks, I guess, would have that effect.

Favorite book on this, by far, is Preserved. (Covers everything from drying to salting to smoking to sauerkraut etc.)

 (I want to get into Chinese pickled vegetables, but haven't found a good source. I love the pickles some Chinese restaurants serve as an appetizer. They're light and vibrant, sweet and sour, but nowhere near as acidic or potent as other pickles (or as fiery as kimchi!). Chinese and Japanese pickled broccoli, daikon, cauliflower, and cabbage are the best.

Lots of neat (if expensive/involved recipes here): http://www.saveur.com/solrSearchResults.jsp?q=pickle

ehanner's picture
ehanner

That link to Saveur is fantastic! Thanks for adding it.

Eric

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

You can change that link to any foodie term and it turns up a recipe that'll empty your wallet and consume your weekend.

Change it to Morocco or Moroccan:

It's just Saveur's search query. Search box is on the homepage: http://www.saveur.com/

And one more pickle:

The sweet pickle to end all sweet pickles (Alton Brown): http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/abs-b-and-bs-recipe/index.html

Makes good relish too.

(Will never understand why the grocery aisles are packed with sour pickles, but nary a sweet one to be found).

ehanner's picture
ehanner

We have sweet B&B pickles here in Milwaukee in the stores. I've always liked them but my family didn't share my enthusiasm. There is a brand that makes "Wickles" that is really good. They are wicked hot and sweet at the same time. The better stores around here all carry them. My teenage daughter likes blue cheese on a burger stacked with hot peppers or Wickles. Really weird combo but delicious.

Eric

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/pickled-beets-recipe/index.html

This one is really something, but it's more time consuming that other pickles. You have to roast the beets just so (and spend time trying to find medium-sized ones in the market (because the ginormous ones they sell these days are not so great)). Too long and they're mush; too short and they're too firm for pickeling.

If white wine vinegar didn't cost as much as it does, I'd make these by the gallon. I tried making them with cider vinegar. Not so great, but passable.

-

Will look for Wickles.

I need to figure out why they're called Bread & Butter Pickles. The idea of a sweet pickle on a slice of buttered bread doesn't sound terribly appetizing. I'll check Senor Google for an answer, but I wager it'll just give me 10^infinity recipes.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Meaning probably can be eaten every day like bread and butter.  Or so a basic recipe to hold on to when your garden cucumbers turn over-productive.

I don't know where pickled beets would be without horseradish, caraway and onions.  Those are my favorite flavours to dress up pickled beets.   

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Mini,
Are you talking about horseradish root, sliced thin for a flavoring?

Eric

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I haven't added root to the jar of pickles but added fresh grated (or from a jar) to the beets before serving.  If you pickle your beets without caraway, then add just a pinch of ground caraway too.   Ground caraway is a little harder to find than whole.  I was always curious about planting and using fresh green caraway.  Got to research it first.  I thought it interesting that most pickled beets in the states are sliced.  

My neighbor steams his dirt free beets in a large contraption once a week, reminds me of my Grandma's copper steamer (with doors on the front), and does large batches at a time piercing them with a fork to check for doneness.  Then they are sold skins and all at the farmer's market.  At home I remove the soft skins and any bad/rough spots and then grate them like pizza cheese or cut them up and reheat with butter.  They seldom make it into a jar.  I take the grated beets and treat them like a salad adding vinegar and oil, and the rest and serve them up right away or use up in the next few days storing in the fridge.   In fact I make a salad so often of the beets...  just the other day I purchased vacuum packed plain cooked beets, removed rough spots, cubed and heated them with unsalted butter.  Hubby  couldn't remember the last time we had them just buttered warm... and so good!   I did notice that when I shook a little salt over them, it brought out an earthy taste.   Better not to salt.  I think the vinegar in the pickling or salad covers that up.  

With sauerkraut, you can also make a milder salad by pressing out the juice and using a little fresh diluted vinegar and oil before serving.  Don't ever throw out sauerkraut juice!  It has a multitude of uses!  

Mini

ehanner's picture
ehanner

When I hear stories like this, it makes me want to live in your part of the world. I don't think it would occur to anyone here to sell steamed Beets at the market. It sounds so delicious and natural. The whole fermented vegetable concept is mostly foreign to the US  consumer. What a shame.

My son left yesterday for his preparation band practice in Seattle and then they all fly to Greece to meet the ship for 4 Months in the Mediterranean. While he was home I tried to peak his interest in finding local fermented foods that would be good for him in the various ports they visit. What a great opportunity to discover the unique foods of the world.

Eric

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

boiled (shelled) eggs into the juice to color them up before making deviled eggs or served on the "half shell."  The egg white absorbs the color pretty quickly so for the most dramatic effect, take them out of the purple just before serving so they stay bright.  Tasty too!  I'd say 20 minutes is long enough to make eyes pop!  They look delicious!  Great "ooo aah" effect.  

Still pretty cool here up in the Cantabrian mountains, a few snow flakes came down while I was walking Dolly.  Wish I was closer to the Mediterranean sea.  Ah!  the sun just came out, fantastic! 

Mini

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

Purple eggs and crabs, coming to an expensive restaurant near you!

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/47158113/ns/technology_and_science-science/#.T5bc6MX9GY0

 

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

Add Jan Hedh's beetroot bread to round out the meal.

I don't know if that bread is supposed to look like this:

Or like this:

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Don't think my beet colored eggs can claim that kind of fame.  

freedomteejay's picture
freedomteejay

poor poor Crab, what a beautifull Baby and he will be murdered for humane palate, i hope humans wake up b4 is too late, also for their own health:
http://youtu.be/KNCGkprGW_o

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

I should have known: Advertising!

It finds me everywhere in my quest against El buy-me.

I shall have my windmills yet!

Truly,

El ingenioso hidalgo don Quijote de la Mancha

ehanner's picture
ehanner

I've had my eye on that recipe for a while. That one calls for Tarragon Vinegar but only a cup. I just packed my sauerkraut into quart bottles after bulk fermenting for 4 days. It just keeps getting better. I started with 2 heads of cabbage and after sampling a little a few times, I could barely fill 2 Qt jars. The juice is heaven in a glass!

Eric

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

Oops. I thought it was white wine vinegar. I think I used white wine vinegar (with sprigs of tarragon) because I couldn't source 'real' tarragon vinegar.

(Yeah, that's it: I remember now the acidity turned the tarragon sprigs brown.)

Here's the sandwich to make when it's ready in 6 weeks or so: http://chubbyhubby.net/blog/?p=555

 

clazar123's picture
clazar123

My "Favorites" is crammed with recipe sites and a few more are now added. The links in David Snyder's pickle post is wonderful as is his mom's recipe. It is now on my official list for this summer.

MangoChutney's picture
MangoChutney

I tried to make some sauerkraut with the biologically active whey from my kefir cheese as innoculant.  Unfortunately the recipe book that I got the recipe from was evidentally more concerned about lawsuits from food-poisoning than about providing recipes for fermentation.  What I ended up with was some very nice salt-preserved shredded cabbage with carrots, onions, bay leaves, and juniper berries.  It made a dandy addition to beef stew, but there was no way it was ever going to ferment.

freedomteejay's picture
freedomteejay
Wild-Yeast's picture
Wild-Yeast

Great to see homemade sauerkraut on the menu Eric.  

Either we grow the cabbage [Dutch Flat] or wait till the market price reaches a low point in the fall season buying 40 lbs. - enough for a 5 gallon bucket or crock.  Sometimes we make Kim Chi for a flavor diversion.

I've also gotten into "half sours" - a naturally fermented pickle that becomes more and more sour the longer the LAB is allowed to act.  They're great with melted cheese sandwiches [on sourdough naturally].  It's usually placed in the refrigerator after 3-5 days after the pickles fall.

One important note is to never let the temperature go above 85 dF or the crispness will be lost [most any vegetable]. As regards pickling spices I make my own finding that there are as many taste preferences as there are cheeses in France and wursts in Germany.

Wild-Yeast

 

P.S. There was an historic farm restaurant [forgot the name] just outside of CIA HQs in Langley, Virginia  that served bread and butter pickle chips along with a house made dark rye bread as an apetizer - often it became the meal...,

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

Hi,

I'm curious to know if lactofermented vegetables can pose a health risk. Can they bring botox spores or mold? Molds are visible, but not so for botox spores. How to proceed to be completely safe?

Thanks,

  Nico

G-man's picture
G-man

Hey Nico,

The same forces at work protecting your sourdough starter from those things are what keep lactofermented vegetables safe. You also generally have another tool in the arsenal that isn't present in most sourdough starters: salt. Botulism is not a fan of salt, and it will hold it back for just long enough to let the beneficial bacteria grow and produce an environment acidic enough that it kills off any botulism that try to move in. That's the general idea, anyway.

Where you see botulism (in fact, nearly always) is with improperly canned foods, which is to say foods that aren't fermented and don't have high enough acidity when they're put up to keep botulism from growing. Canned goods are, ideally, anaerobic, since part of the goal of canning is to keep out all such bugs, and only some of them thrive in anaerobic environments.

Here's a video I found by the guy who wrote Wild Fermentation, which is an excellent book about home fermenting.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9QdhSFfaoz0

As something of an aside, consider this: It's considered terribly dangerous to keep food between 40 and 140 degrees F, or 5 and 60C. Yet salumi, which is one of the most widely accepted and even sought-after forms of food preservation, is kept at a temperature of between 55 and 60 F (12-15C), right in the danger zone, for weeks, months, or even years ON PURPOSE. Now why would people do that? Bacteria in the meat produce acids that discourage the spread of botulism and other dangerous stuff. It also makes the food taste good.

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Great post G-man. The safety issue should be understood by all but I don't think it would be easy to fall into a dangerous condition if the base is cabbage in some form. Just make sure it is submerged below the surface during the fermenting period.

All of these delicious veggies are great with a good loaf of sourdough bread and some aged cheese.

Eric

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Nico,

There seems to be mountains of history for this being a safe procedure. Especially if you apply a weight to keep the fermenting food below the surface of the liquid which is becoming acidic as it ferments. If you search Youtube for sauerkraut or fermented vegetables there are many informative and some fun videos that repeat the same theme for process. This is a natural and healthy way to eat the things our ancestors ate that will make your immune system stronger and help guard against all kinds of modern maladies.

Eric

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

Thanks for reassuring me on the subject. I'm very fond of fermented food, but so far I didn't try to prepare them at home because I thought that industrial procedures were necessary.

It's a very fascinating world to explore!

ehanner's picture
ehanner

That's sort of funny isn't it how we want to believe that trusting in the food industry would be safe? Once you taste home fermented Nico, you won't ever eat factory processed again. Just like home baked breads.

Eric

flourgirl51's picture
flourgirl51

Eric, I have used  home made whey in place of buttermilk in recipes. You don't need a starter to make fermented veggies. I have also added pickle juice to breads with good results.

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Rhonda, you must know all about this subject up there on the Northern Plains. What's the situation with the Health Department and selling fermented foods? I know the rules for canned goods are strict.

Eric

flourgirl51's picture
flourgirl51

Hi Eric

 I know all about them.. In Minnesota you can't sell fermented foods at a farmers' market unless the pH is 4.6 or lower and they have to be processed and sealed - which sort of defeats the purpose. All canned pickles and salsas also have to have the same ph even if they are processed and sealed and they can't be tested with paper as you have to use a ph meter. This seems to deter many people as the ph meters are costly and kind of a pain to calibrate. 

ehanner's picture
ehanner

I'll have to test the batch I have going now. I bought a meter a few years ago when I first was trying to get a feel for sourdough. Yea if you have to heat seal the jars, that pretty much kills the good bacteria.

Eric

flourgirl51's picture
flourgirl51

Eric, I make my sauerkraut right in the jars  using Sally Fallon's recipe from Nourishing Traditions. I add caraway to each jar before the fermentation takes place. It is great stuff. I want to add some to my rye bread one of these days to see how that turns out. 

leostrog's picture
leostrog

I tryed to paste a link to very useful site but system recognized it as spam.

If you type in Google-Making Kimchi with our Mesophilic culture"

you will go directly to this useful blog ( mainly about cheesemaking)

 

ehanner's picture
ehanner

The one thing I have learned over the years of making sourdough breads is that the results are affected by how I prepare the starter. The population of the culture can be influenced to produce strong lactic acids or acetic acids. Or it can be refreshed more frequently to make a mild sour according to your tastes. Some of us like a bread that has a strong sour which is made popular in SF.  They way you feed the starter has an impact on the various kinds or types of bacteria and encourages those you desire. Controlling the temperature also has an impact on pH and sour.

What I don't understand is this idea that you need an inoculation in fermenting vegetables. Apparently there are abundant lacto bacilli spores on cabbage that will spring to life and multiply over time. Adding an inoculate might speed up the process. I have purchased a few dried SD cultures from Woods in the past and tried my hand with the Gold Rush starter. All of these were finicky to get started and had to be watched closely as they came back to life and viability. Can someone tell me why this is any different? The top of this thread was a question about using my SD starter culture as an inoculate for vegetables. Even if using just a small amount of active starter, I KNOW the culture is active and loaded with many strains of beneficial creatures. Also, would the flavor change from batch to batch using a culture bred for cheese or some other food verses using the spores found on the cabbage or grapes?  I have read a lot about this subject and I don't recall seeing anything to address this issue. Also, the whole point of fermenting vegetables is to make a source of good fermented beneficial bacteria for better digestion and save your harvested produce for consumption later in the year.

This calls for a test! I think next week I will make 3 quart batches of simple sauerkraut so any subtle differences won't be covered over by strong spices. One will be just cabbage and brine. One will be inoculated using a small bit of my old reliable starter to get it going. The third will include a dried culture sold for this purpose at $20. for 6 small packages.

Hopefully in the end, there will be a difference between the contestants. I'll watch the pH and do a blind taste test. I'm betting on my reliable starter being able to produce a well fermented product. Naturally, I'll post the results.

Eric

proth5's picture
proth5

mightily if the theory of "these little bugs occur naturally on cabbage and these others on wheat - so innoculating cabbage is counter productive" applies.

I'm looking forward to your test results...

Also I'm idly wondering if you've spent the money on the Harsch crock that SteveB mentions - I've often thought about getting one of those and knowing your ability to do product testing was wondering if you had an opinion.

Pat

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

bought it a few years back.  Heavy sucker and not sure of the brand name.  The stone is split inside making it easy to remove and run thru the dishwasher.  I also made a plastic disk from an ice cream bucket lid with a scalloped outside edge and also a hole in the middle.  Folding the stiff plastic in half makes it easy to put inside the crock, then the "stones" go on top.   There is also a spout in the lip.  I can't remember paying more than 25 Euro for it.  I have it in my kitchen back in Linz, empty.  It's roughly 14" tall to the rim and thick stoneware with matching lid.  

These last few years we tend to make kimchi in special containers (plastic square box with locking lid that fits nicely in the refrigerator) (special because once used for kimchi, always used for kimchi!)  Once fermented, the plastic lid can be locked and some control over the odors is achieved.  

With the crock, it has to be kept in a cool place that gets lots of ventilation so it doesn't stink up the house.  In winter, it can stand in an attic or garage.  I understand why the Koreans bury large jars in the garden and cover with straw mats.  They also sell in their country deep freezer looking  kimchi refrigerators, stocked wall to wall with large plastic storage boxes for kimchi.  Since using the boxes, I stopped using the crock for pickling.  Ice cream buckets could also serve such a purpose.  

Mini

proth5's picture
proth5

sounds like the special crock wasn't the be all and end all, if I read correctly.  Something to think about.  Thanks.

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Haha, Pat you know my weakness for kitchen gadgets. I haven't jumped in quite that deep yet but it seems like a natural addition. As mini points out in her post, the aroma coming off the crock is distinctive. Even with simple sauerkraut, you get a smell associated with fermentation. Not the smell of fermenting pears or apples I get on my starter, slightly more tang. At the moment I have been using a larger plastic tub for the bulk ferment. For the test, I'll give each batch a 32 Oz jar so I can watch the activity closely.

Your question is what sent me into testing mode. For hundreds/thousands of years, the Asian population has been fermenting vegetables without access to extra inoculates. Logic tells me that should be the way to make the best, most beneficial culture. My SD starter should produce a similar culture. The commercial starter is unknown, both in activity level and number of live spores. I have wondered if the dry starters available from sellers of cultures around the world really offer anything that you can't make using a small amount of whole grain flour and water. I can make a new starter active in a few days like this. Without an electron microscope who knows really?

Here is a crock suggested as a Mothers Day gift. Lol.

Eric

 

proth5's picture
proth5

I've only been called "a mother" in certain narrow contexts, so I won't be looking forward to such a gift.  Yeah.  I'm not sure I'd take the risk to gift a fermenting crock.

I wonder about the crock because someday I'll have the time at home to make my grandmothers fermented sweet pickles again.  In the past improvised fermentation vessels have been less than satisfactory, but there's been a lot of years passed and seems like technology ever improves.

I do love my B&T proofer/yogurt maker/butter softener/warmer/all purpose thingy - so I trust your instincts...

My beloved starter has a packet of "Goldrush" in its early origins - but by now I am convinced that it has stabilized on the yeasts I introduce in the flour. (even though I know that opinion stirs controversy...)

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

4 days ago I made my first batch of fermented carrots. I packed them as compact as possible in a small jar, then I covered them with a solution containing

-400 gr water

-2 teaspoons of salt

-1 teaspoons of sugar

-1 tablespoon of vinegar

-a dusting of powdered garlick and onion

At day 2 it was already happily bubbling, while at day 3 it was almost uncorking the top! Now it's in the cellar. 

Will I ever have the gut to taste it? :-)

In any case, there must be yeasts doing their job or I can't exlpain that massive release of CO2.

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

I let my kimchi ferment for weeks sometimes.

When it's 'done' (is it ever?), I'm always afraid to try it, but it smells so good that I can't help myself.

What's a little botulism when there's kimchi to be had? (And then I eat the whole jar (over two weeks of Korean BBQ and kimchi and rice)).

Haven't died yet.

Careful with those tightly closed jars/bottles. The pressure will easily explode them. (I'll say nothing of the 'rootbeer' episode and the 12 bottles that are no more).

ehanner's picture
ehanner

The main guy in the fermenting advice world is Sandor Katz. He has a couple books and an active web site that has lots of advice and recipes. Katz says there are NO cases of botulism known from foods fermented with Lacto bacteria in a low pH.

Here is his video answering the question.

No one has written more about this subject for a long time.

Eric

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

I'll have a look.

If ever I'm afraid of my fermented kimchi, I remind myself that they've been eating Kiviaq (fermented birds in seal skin) for centuries.

http://www.odditycentral.com/pics/kiviaq-probably-the-worlds-most-disgusting-meat-dish.html

(I had the opportunity to try it once, but couldn't get within 1000 feet of the stuff. The smell...no words can describe how awful...it supposedly tastes like Gorgonzola cheese.)

G-man's picture
G-man

The bacteria that produces the toxin, c. botulinum, needs an anaerobic environment to survive. If you're using a tightly sealed plastic container, this can be a concern. There was a well-documented outbreak in Alaska because they were making a traditional fermented fish, but instead of using traditional methods (burying it in a grass-lined pit) they sealed it in plastic barrels. The environment very rapidly became anaerobic and the rest is history.

The key to keeping out c. botulinum is to keep the environment aerated. If you're using a container that seals air-tight, don't seal it until you're done fermenting, and then put whatever you've made in the refrigerator. If you've fermented your food properly (which is to say, if you haven't screwed it up entirely), the pH should be low enough that c. botulinum is not a concern. They die off at a pH of 4.6, though there is some documentation that says 4.0. In any event, the pH in your food should be just fine. A properly fermented sauerkraut, for example, can get down to 3.5 and below.

If you're not using a container that seals air-tight, you will have to make an effort to create an environment anaerobic enough to support c. botulinum.

leostrog's picture
leostrog

Exactly so!

good aeration (regular mixing of a product during ripening ) and low pH completely eliminate the risk of botulism toxin accumulation).

 

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Wait a week for it to ripen a little and give it a taste. Sounds good to me.

Eric

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

I'm still alive, but quite disappointed. The taste isn't very sour, if at all. It's more winish, like worked on by yeasts. Overall the carrots aren't very tasty. I'll wait some more time.

leostrog's picture
leostrog

This suggests that the fermentation process has gone by the way of spirit fermentation. Therefore it is recommended to add a pinch of starter or increase a little aciddity in start. What is important too-  is the percentage of sugar content in vegetables.

leostrog's picture
leostrog

A very important additional point - I would recommend you to to cover the  vegetables in jar with  a flat plate and the load it with any weight (for example, a round polished stone from the seashore in Turkey).

freedomteejay's picture
freedomteejay

it should ferment if using lemon juice and salt i don't think there is any need for anything else

ehanner's picture
ehanner

It hasn't been very long fermenting Nico.I used some juice from my last batch of cabbage to seed the brine and I rolled up a small leaf of cabbage to hold the carrots down. As was mentioned above a small amount of starter mixed in wouldn't hurt either.

Eric

eliabel's picture
eliabel

In Russia we added a piece of the rye bread when we made a fermented cabage. And the same method was used to prepare some dairy specialities, based on certain milk fermentation.

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

one more than the devil:)

Rye bread isn't lack around  here...

truthseeker53's picture
truthseeker53

I’ve a home made vacuum chamber to vac-seal jars up to gallon. It will pull 25″ Hg. Just wondering if anyone has tried or knows anyone who has tried such to store fermented food long term. Also wondering if there’s anything one can use as a fermentation arrestor besides refrigeration.

clazar123's picture
clazar123

I ferment in very small amounts so I can't speak to long term storage besides the quart jar in the refrigerator. But with a health care background, I know if you remove the oxygen from a non-sterilised food product, you are setting up an ideal environment for botulism to grow. Botulism organisms are anaerobic-meaning they thrive in environments that lack oxygen. The food can taste and look normal but it only takes a very small amount of the toxin they produce to kill a person. My aunt found that out the hard way and my uncle died as a result. So , please, do not store any non-sterilised,wet food in vacuum sealed jars. That should only be used on dry items.