Ultimate Pickle Jar

Fermentation Woes

What is fermentation and why use our product line?

  Lacto fermentation is the process of preserving foods with the aid of lacto-bassilus bacteria which is present on all uncooked vegetables. Remember the old style dill pickles with that tart twang? They are made by packing cucumbers in a brine solution of un-iodized salt with dill weed, garlic and additional flavoring and get their unique tartness and sourness from lactic acid which the lacto bacteria produce by digesting the carbs in the cucumber. The brine helps prevent undesirable elements from gaining a foothold while the lacto bacteria do their job of converting sugars in the vegetable into lactic acid. This acid is important as it prevents other forms of bacteria from being able to thrive in the now converted brine! The resulting CO2 gas produced adds a cushion to the fermenting vessle that also discourages yeast and molds. A lower PH prohibits the growth of food spoiling bacteria.

  Today's pickles are mostly made by packing in vinegar and adding spices. Vinegar is much more costly than the brine used to make the old fashioned ones. Another benefit of using the lacto bacteria method of preservation is that the bacteria themselves have been deemed as healthful by supplying flora for ones digestive tract! Some naysayers claim that one would have to eat gallons of the product to get the same benefits one would get from todays modern probiotic pills but all agree that even a little is better than none. The revival of the these once common everyday arts has swept the nation as we become more health conscious and once again realize the value of having control over the additives and nutrition of our foodstuff. Many improvements and process's have popped up to address the problems and requirements a successful fermentation and canning system should possess. The main areas where control items are needed are as follows. It can be safely said that our fermenting kits and system are the most effective and most modern.

Problem Identified: Maintaining isolation from environment

This is a two part process and critical to a successful fermenting attempt:

  • We must maintain an atmosphere inside the fermenting jar that will not support growth of molds and yeasts that may already be in the fermenting contents while keeping out airborne contaminants and insects.
  • Covering with a cloth allows insect control and a small degree of airborne contaminant control but will not maintain or allow the growth of the protecting CO2 layer that the lacto bacteria produce which molds and yeasts do not like because it retards and inhibits their growth. The CO2 gas also creates pressure that must be released. An airtight lid will allow this but requires frequent "burping" of the jar lid to let the gas out and is tiresome as well as "ties" you to your ferments to prevent explosions etc! Using a simple 3-piece "wine making" airlock makes short work of this problem. The pressure builds up causing the airlock float to rise and release the collected CO2 and then it reseats itself for another round.

    We will soon be releasing a new "Waterless Airlock" based on the "umbrella valve"....... This will allow very LOW PROFILE STORAGE or footprint on your countertop and uses no water which reduces worry and time usage as well!

    Problem Identified:Mold caused by contents rising out of brine.

    The next most important factor that we need to understand and practise is keeping our contents under the brine. This brine should also be the correct strength for the type vegetables used. The brine helps keep mold from growing by helping limit O2 access and until the ferment progresses to the point that the PH will not favor common bacterial spoilage. And at that point should your CO2 atmosphere fail , then airborne molds AND the ones already on your ferments due to nature, will thrive and attack your "dry ends" that protrude from the protective brine. Anything "can" be used to hold the contents under the brine that is food safe.

    All weights work and accomplish the objective of pushing the contents of the fermentation vessel beneath the surface of the brine to some degree. BUT====>

  • Glass or stone: They can chip, break or sink!
  • Using a small jar or bowl inside your fermenting jar takes up room and is messy when wanting to tend or taste your ferment!
  • Cabbage leaves and/or vegetable peices still require use of a fermenting weight as mold will grow on the leaves as well!
  • Marbles: Beware of lead! You could swallow one also!
  • Baggies work well but can be really messy to tend to! If they break, your ferment's brine will be diluted in both strength and flavor!

    ALWAYS double bag and use brine in your baggies!
  • All are hard to work around when cleaning mold or skim!!!!
  • Best overall solution found: Using the Pickle*Pusher small batch home fermenting jar system

  • No weights to hunt, sink or chip!
  • You get total control of content level. The Pickle*Pusher exerts 25 X more force than traditional weights thus keeping your jar contents fully beneath the brine or canning liquid.
  • You're choice of the "waterless low-profile airlock" or the "3 piece airlock ". They work equally well to allow excess CO2 to escape while maintaining a "CO2 blanket" on your ferments.
  • In the event you do develop a "skim", cleanup is a breeze with nothing to remove or work around to remove the offending skim!

  • While you can sucessfully ferment at home using none of our products, you will acheive a greater success rate and your time will be more enjoyable while you do use them. Until you have experienced a few of the standard mishaps that you will run into while fermenting, like a chipped jar or weight , a sunken weight or bowl, a busted baggie or a little visit from the Mold Fairy, you will not appreciate your investment of time and money. Try our "much better" system early in the year and you will really thank us when the season is over.:)


    Best Solution Found: Pickle*Pushing No-Float Jar*Packer

    We are proud of our little gadget. It requires no additional parts to work correctly. It replaces the need for weights and out performs any weight system now in use. Allows total isolation from airborne contamination and is a dream to use when you need to "work" your ferment. Our system having 2 choices of airlocks is great as the "waterless airlock" completes a Fido Jar based fermenter by allowing low profile storage AND not having to remove the bulky 3 piece airlock when removing lid!. And this system can extend the overall shelf life of your fermented and canned goods drastically! We have many sizes to fit and adapt to any size container normally used in fermenting and canning.

    For the average gardener well knows that "first pickings" can be small and spotty. Now you no longer have to watch those early veggies wither in the ice box waiting for more comrades to make a batch. When the garden reachs mid season it is time to try those recipe variations or even new ones before commiting to that one special one we all seek. That "Holy Grail"! And by season's end , you can go to the larger size containers or try our "BigBoy Buckets" that really work on those cucumbers! [not ready for production yet]

    Another thing great about our gadget is that it keeps vegetables under the brine during fermentation AND after processing. Once the jar is opened , you can adjust the height of the Pickle*Pushing No-Float Jar*Packer downwards and keep the jar's contents under the brine or packing liquid thus preventing drying out and lower mold incidence while in your refridgerator. It extends the shelf life of your jars immensely!!!!!!!!!!

    Sold as seperate units or complete systems or even as gift systems complete with jars and gift wrapped and drop-shipped to those special in your life!

    Pickle*Pushing No_Float Jar*Packer used on 1/2 gallon Ball jar

    A short video showing just what the Pickle*Pushing No_Float Jar*Packer can do. IF you can find something that will work like it .. let us know!

    Posted by Ultimate Pickle Jar System on Saturday, April 2, 2016
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