Fermented Ketchup DIY

Well this will be our first actual recipe.

We followed the recipe from Colleen at Grow Forage Cook Ferment which is a great site for any of the topics that their title mentions.

We changed it a little for a few reasons…. Mainly we did not like the fish sauce and another we got confused between table and teaspoon on the mustard seed and we added water which was not called for due to the mixture just being to stiff for ketchup in our opinions 🙂

Ingredients:
3 – 6 ounce cans tomato paste

1/4 cup brine for a live ferment or whey. [we used a salty brine from some recent dill pickles ]
3 tablespoons vinager 5% and here we used regular when Miss Colleen’s called for apple cider vinager.
1-2 tablespoons honey.. Our honey was granular and we used 2 tbs.
1 teaspoon garlic powder…. We used 1/2 teaspn garlic powder and equal amount of onion powder
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon fish sauce… We didn’t add this and you should go to Colleen’s site for the original recipe.
.

We mixed it up and put in quart jar and will let ferment for 3-7 days

SPECIAL NOTE: The original recipe called for ACV [apple-cider vinegar ] for a reasons! If you use Bragg’s ACV, it is alive and not pasteurized which introduces live bacteria to your cooked/processed tomato paste! Would have sure helped to have known this before starting the recipe!

  • 1 spoon mustard ground the old way made 1 spoon packed of powder!

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS:
1] Will the fermented ketchup be more red after fermenting? ANSWER: Not a lot

2] Will the fermented ketchup be more fluid after fermenting?ANSWER: Yes as we added a lot more liquid than the original recipe called for!

3] Will it taste as good as store-bought???ANSWER: Yes and no..it is after all a different recipe. Will it pass as ketchup? Definitely!

NOTE: AS WITH ALL FERMENTED FOODS WATCH CLOSELY FOR ANY MOLD DEVELOPING AS AN INDICATION OF POSSIBLE IMPENDING SPOILAGE.

Tune in later and we will let you know. If you try the recipe or Miss Colleen’s, let us know in the comment box below.

UPDATE: 2-21-2016: Added 4 more tablespoons of brine. We now have 700 ml in our jar. Still very thick and no sign of gassing . Another group member is doing same recipe and says her’s is doing about the same. The taste is developing but the fermentation is not as regular as a less dense fermenting project. MAY add 4 tablespoons of whey to see if we can get more action going but our brine was alive so it may just be the way a thick ferment acts? Like miso maybe but I do not want to wait 6 months for a coating for my fries 🙂

UPDATE: 2-23-2016: Added 4 tablespoons of kefir whey. We now have 800+ ml in our jar. Still very thick and no sign of gassing . The taste is developing but the fermentation is not evident. Actually 4 more tablespoons are on the way very soon as ketchup is still to thick to pour!

UPDATE: 2-27-2016: Added another 4 tablespoons of whey! We also were advised to add a latex glove to the jar to be able to tell if we were getting any volume of CO2 from the ferment! It was flacid for a while but finally with the help of a little heat from a lamp, it started growing! Our friend was also doing the recipe and had instant gassing on her’s! All we can figure is that the brine we used was not active as they were from older pickle ferment but not processed and the whey ….. well it should have worked we feel a little better. The tomato paste showed only tomato puree and citric acid as contents… NO PRESERVATIVES…. which we would have suspected of having a role in our slow ferment start. At any rate there is not spoilage and taste is great. Here is a short video before we remove the glove to check taste and replace to finish.

VIDEO HERE IN A WHILE…. STAY TUNED.

UPDATE: 2-27-2016: Results was a great tasting ketchup that would indeed be an addition to your table. We did learn a lot in making this recipe as we had another friend making it at the same time and compared results. She achieved faster fermentation activity than we did and this is critical when fermenting as getting the ferment up to the desired ph should be done as fast as possible. And I am sure the taste was close but we were not as she is in Netherlands!

WHAT WE LEARNED:

1] Tomato paste is not a fresh product and therefore has no naturally occurring lacto bacteria so it is important to use fresh fermented starter, brine from an active ferment you have going like kraut or pickles or as whey as last resort to achieve the initial kickstart towards fermenting!

2] The finished product has a little different “mouth feel” than processed ketchup. There is a more “grainy” feeling for lack of a better word. We did not use any emulsifier so that is to be expected. It is possible that we could have pulverized the mustard seed more.

3] Use Bragg’s Unfiltered ACV! It introduces bacteria into your tomato paste.

4] Add a sprinkle of salt and a squeeze of lemon juice when you start and when you open to taste. It will help prevent surface mold that can occur if your ferment is slow in starting!

5] All in all a nice and fun recipe that will make our next meal of french fries and hamburgers a lot more satisfying as the DIY spirit does really make things taste better and stimulates those good feelings 🙂

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Using the Pickle*Pusher fermenting weight kit

How to use the Pickle*Pusher fermenting weight kits:

A fermenting weight replacement system is exactly  what the Pickle*Pusher is ! You have purchased the very well made small batch fermenting kit based complete with the Pickle*Pusher “weightless” fermenting weight replacement and need to know how to use it!

The Pickle*Pusher, the only weightless fermenting weight on the market!
The Pickle*Pusher, the only weightless fermenting weight on the market!

 Your 3-Pack Pickle*Pusher fermenting kit should contain:

  • 1  launcher [ made of FDA foodsafe BPA / phalate free plastic which does not contact your foodstuffs!]
  • 6 plastic storage lids. 3 will be drilled and 3 will not be drilled. [BPA free and Food safe plastic]
  • 3 3-piece airlocks. These are the traditional water-filled airlocks [ high quality BPA free, FDA foodsafe plastic]
  • 6 heavy duty [FDA grade BPA free silicone]
  • gaskets3 heavy duty grommets that will accept a 3/8 airlock [FDA grade BPA free silicone]
  • 3 Pickle*Pusher fermenting weight replacements made of FDA grade BPA free silicone and 316 stainless steel [which is proven to be FDA food grade and will not harm the ferment]to withstand the acid and salt environment of the fermenting jar.
  • 3 adjusting rods and 3 rings. All parts made of acid and salt resistant 316 grade stainless steel now widely accepted and will not harm your ferment!
  • 1 instruction booklet NEWLY REVISED!
  • Business cards from selected recipe sites that offer aid and share knowledge with our customers. Like Miss Holly Howe of MakeSauerKraut

Preliminary Assembly:

  • Remove the launcher, adjusting rods , rings and plungers  from the shipping box and set aside as it requires no assembly.
  •  Add one adjusting rod per fermenting weight replacing plunger by inserting the free pointed end into the side of the plunger that does not have “fins”. Adjust all the way down until you run out of threads or the ring prevents you going any farther.
  • Set this pre assembly aside until later.

Setting the height of plunger correctly to fit your jar:

  • Place your launcher on the counter top with the narrow side downwards.
  • Place 1 plunger assembly into the launcher with the ring end going towards the counter top. This will compress the “fins” and allow it to fit into the jar mouth.
  • Pick up your “loaded” launcher and place on a quart wide mouth mason jar or equivalent.
  • Give the ring a push causing the whole plunger assembly to travel downwards into the jar mouth. When the rod hits the bottom of the jar, the fins on the plunger should have fully opened and be contacting the jar’s sides.
  • Adjust the rod to where the plunger is hard pressed to the very uppermost region of the jar just before it starts to narrow into the throat. The rod allows the plunger to stay there without having to rely on the contents to achieve this as is the case with glass weights!

 

Assembling your fermenting lids and airlocks:

  • Remove the airlocks from their bag. Remove each cap to remove the plastic shipping wrap inside. Set these aside until after you have packed your jars with contents and deployed and adjusted your plunger assemblies.
  • Place 1 gasket in each of the 6 lids.
  • Set the 3 lids with no holes aside. These will be used after the fermenting is completed and will replace the 3 drilled or fermentation lids so you can start another batch.
  • Place 1 grommet and 1 gasket into the 3 remaining drilled lids.
  • Place 1 airlock into the top of a drilled lid’s grommet and allow it to go thru until 1/8″ is past the inside the grommet. Going any farther could cause a problem later.
  • Place the “bowl” part of the airlock into the reservoir part and fill to “Full” line then place cap on and set aside.

Final instructions and tips:

  • At this point set everything aside until you have packed your jars with contents.
  • Once you are finished preparing your fermenting jars, place a loaded launcher on one of the jars. Deploy fully and at this point you should adjust your rod until the plunger is as close to the jar shoulder as possible by holding on to the ring and turning the plunger.

With some vegetables it may be harder to adjust than with others.

  • Once you are satisfied that the plunger is adjusted to the best possible height, add water to cover the plunger but no closer than 1/2″ from the jar top.
  • Silicone does not allow growth of molds or bacteria on it as does plastic! In the early stages of an active ferment, you can use less water to partially cover the plunger as there will be a rise in liquids at that point.
  • Place a fermenting lid [ the one with the airlock ] on the jar and tighten firmly.


How the Pickle*Pusher Fermenting weight replacement system works!

We specially designed our plunger with the fins set to a 45° angle. When installed into the launcher , the fins change their angle to match that of the launcher which is a 90° angle. This allows them to slide into the jar mouth. As the fins leave the launcher with a gentle push from you, they wipe the jar sides free of contents and floaties as they expand back to their original 45° angle! The Pickle*Pusher is now in it’s “Sweet spot” and will stay there without having to rely on the jar contents. You will find this invaluable when doing ferments like salsa especially! A glass weight will sink under these conditions. Once deployed they will hold over 4½ pounds of pressure on your contents as witnessed in the video below using the ½ gallon mason jar full of sauerkraut and brine shows! The contents alone are over 4 pounds!

“Can your weight do that???? I bet it can’t!”

 

No fermenting weights! Super control over floaties! Super easy cleanup of skim and mold! Extended shelf life of your goods!

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Growing your own tobacco

Growing your own tobacco is legal in the USA and the last time I checked , in all 50 states…… BUT please run a google search before you try to grow it.

As you see this post is located in the “Cutting Corner” category and not in the “Healty Living” section. I smoke, I know it is not good for me but I do and frankly enjoy it…… I do not judge nor care to be judged. Now lets get on with the presentation.

Why is it here in the Cutting Corners area? Well it is here because to a smoker… tobacco is the biggest expence!

DO the math.

1 pack a day is 36.5 cartons…..

1 carton name brand ====> $40-55 in areas below the Mason Dixon

total price=====> $1460 to $2007

Myself I do a carton a week….. @ about $50 a carton or $2700 a year..

That is a lot of money regardless of your financial status.

At the risk of loosing a reader…… If you do not think growing your own fits your lifestyle, you can easily save half of our presented savings by just buying your own Whole Leaf Tobacco! Click Here  You will miss some nice pics tho ;(

Click here to see my 2013 “Fisherman” growblog at Whole Leaf Tobacco.

What will it cost to grow a years supply???

On an average, you will grow 2-3 plants to a pound of dried tobacco. This takes up about 3 x 9 running foot of row with about 4 ‘ between rows.

Seed cost====> almost nothing! $20 would do all you ever wanted to grow and that would include many fancy types as well. Oh… FYI…. one plant will get you all the seeds you will ever plant for years to come ! You will never but them again. These seeds are so small that a sewing thimble full will plant all a person needs and then some.

Fertilizer and nutrient========>>> It depends on your area and soil. We are not trying to be a source of information here but rather a springboard and we hope you will follow up on your own.

Growing directions=======> Again we do not care to be the total source for tobacco growing. Here is the link to our “Fisherman” growblog at a favorite and very friendly tobacco growing site. They will help you if you are a friendly person. AND they also offer ready to smoke leaf at a ridiculously low price and you can cut your tobacco bill by 60% and not turn a shovel of dirt!!! The link to the related tobacco store is =====>Whole Leaf Tobacco, distributers of unprocessed tobacco

Processing========> Here it will take a small investment. You really need some sort of a drying chamber. Yes they used to hang tobacco in the barn to dry but I did this and did not like it at all!…. See the old people took years to get tobacco to market. And frankly I do not want to spend years to get a decent smoke. With a drying chamber, you can smoke in a week! Tobacco will keep for years if stored properly and will only get better.  All you need is a defunct upright freezer and a heat source and a thermostat. The best one is the ramping kind that cost about $70 from Aubrin’s. And basically that is it. In a week you can smoke or store your weed and the season is done…. I did 2 full crops here in south Texas that year tho and fully think I can do it again this year.

Miscellaneous accessories ======>

Smoking supplies======> Yes you will need a small list of tools and accessories to smoke at the same level you currently do.

You will need a shredder. This one like I have has been used for 2 1/2 years with no servicing or breakdown. It is a little high but if you share it with a few friends the cost will disappear.

You will need a roller.. This is pretty affordable and the brand I use has served me well having rolled many 1000’s of smokes

And then you need the tubes. Yes the home rolls no longer call for the “cowboy” or “Cheech and CHong” papers. They come now in long and short lengths and with filter in place. They cost between $4 and $6 a carton from Ebay and all tobacco places run sales when they think of it…

SO there you have it. Grow it or buy it… either way it is money you will save. Again let us make ourselves understood… We do not here attempt or claim to be a tobacco authority but are just passing on to you, some of the savings we found growing and rolling our own. Did I mention how many varieties there are and the flavors ????? It is really wild 🙂

Choosing a fermenting container

How do I choose a fermenting container to get started?

Fermenting container choice is one of personal preference. The fermenting container that you choose must simply hold your brine and should restrict contact with O2. It should protect your contents form contamination and it should be able to release the CO2 that is generated. That is all there is to a fermenting container. Goat bladders , skins and even banana-leaf lined holes in the ground have been used in the past as fermenting containers but we will from this point on stay a little more modern.

Why is this important? The brine discourages bad bacteria, molds and yeasts that will spoil the fermenting vegetables . Salt has long been recognized as being a preservative and using a liquid form works effectively to discourage spoiling bacteria from the start of the process. At this point we have already helped our vegetables to survive nature’s onslaught. Lacto bacteria love salt. 🙂

While a ferment is underway, it will produce CO2 [ carbon dioxide ]. This hinders the growth of bad elements. This action when carried out in a controlled atmosphere of the fermenting container, results in a CO2 enriched “blanket” which further discourages bad microbes from gaining a foothold in our ferment. Lacto bacteria love CO2 🙂

Your fermenting container must be constructed of a material that will not harbor mold and should be able to withstand the extreme salt and acid environment of your ever-changing brine as it goes from a “base” PH to an acid one as the friendly bacteria create a habitat that the spoiling bacteria are not able to thrive in.

Traditionally used are:

* All these work well and operate basically the same. They hold brine and limit contact with the outside air which contain possible contaminating microbes seeking a place to colonize and allow CO2 to build a protective blanket in the fermenting container. Two of these explained here have a built in "pressure relief" feature built into them. That is the traditional fermenting crock and the Fido type jars. The mason jar has to be modified with an airlock system to be fully functional. [leaving the lid loose is not a good way to control the CO2 content of a jar unless you are right there to release when pressure is high and replace when pressure stops escaping to keep O2 and bad bacteria and mold from entering]

Type of vessel: Grandma’s Kraut Crock

Description: Large, usually earthern fermenting container with built in “moat” that functions as an effective airlock when filled with water. Veggies are placed inside and covered with brine and a fermenting weight is placed to hold contents under the protective brine. The “moat” is filled with water and the lid placed into the “moat” and monitored for evaporation as the ferment progresses. This allows the CO2 to build up and release under the lid through the “moat”.

Here is a great place to plug a special source of fermenting crocks. Handmade, one at a time, by one of the last and best "Functional Artists" in the field.... Mr Mark Campbell of Mark Campbell Ceramics 
  • Mark Campbell Ceramics produces excellent an fermenting container!
    Mark Campbell Ceramics. Hand made fermentation crocks custom orders accepted.
Pro's and Cons:   Due to size it will hold a more even temperature and as it is usually made of an opaque material so that sunlight can not effect the contents. A fermenting crock can convert a large amount of raw veggies into a winter's supply of tasty DIY food in a hurry! The unit is heavy and is best suited for large batchs. It requires weights to hold contents under the brine.



* Almost every family has one of these in their possession. IF you are using an heirloom, keep in mind that old vessels may have contained a lead based finish and may not be the best thing to use actively. Always check with the producer when buying a new one! It is possible to test your old one with a lead test pen but we are not sure how reliable this method really is!


The crock is great for large batches. But be prepared to process the resulting fermented foods for better storage rates unless your audience has some heavy eaters.  The large batch is best suited for tried and proven recipes. There is nothing like having a 3 gallon or larger ferment finish and finding out that it had "just to dam much garlic" :)

Type of vessel: Fido type wire bail jar

Description:  A type of glass jar once popular in the USA for home canning but widely replaced by the “mason jar” due to it’s failure to fully seal during the heat based processes used to can foods.  It has a “wire-bail” feature that brings forth nostalgic memories. It does not require an airlock to operate as the lid gasket will allow CO2 to escape with a burping action when enough pressure develops. Comes in many sizes.

INSERT PICS HERE OF FIDOS 



Pro's and Cons: The jar is imported from Italy and can be pricey. There are functional "knock-offs" on market but the parts do not always interchange. They call for a weight system to hold contents under brine although some people cling to the belief that once the CO2 blanket has developed there is no need to cover the contents with brine. We do not hold that belief to be wholly accurate!  They are harder to work during the fermenting process if used with a water filled airlock as it needs removed from the lid to prevent spillage of water. Using the new "water less airlock" solves this problem nicely. There are many Fido sizes available. The release of overflowing brine through the gasket at random places can be a drawback. It requires placing jar into a catch pan in most cases. Installing a good quality grommet and airlock helps the overflow issue as the airlock can hold some of the overflow but also makes accessing the jar top work it a lot harder. Installing an airlock in the fido does defeat the benefit of the "self-burping" gasket as the pressure that an airlock requires to "burp" is so so much lower than that of the installed gasket when fully compressed by the lid.
Type of vessel:   Mason jar

Description: A standardized make of jar used extensively in the home canning and fermenting field. It will not expel CO2 pressure efficiently without constant attendance and supervision. The jars are often adapted with a special lid and gasket fitted  with an external airlock to allow CO2 to escape which reduces chance of explosions as well! They also have many of the same problems of the Fido type jar.

INSERT PICS OF MASON JAR KITS HERE

Pro's and Cons: The jars are readily available and affordable. There are many sizes available. They are a good choice for small batch fermenting . They do require a weight system. A good gasket and grommet to maintain airtight integrity and an airlock is a bonus as well to prevent explosions from active ferments and reduces the need to "burp" manually. A good system to use for small batch rotational fermenting. Mason jars have the same overflow collection problem that Fido jars have unless an airlock is used which can catch some of the overflow. Plan your needs and only ferment what you need in a steady and specific time frame to avoid having to process for long term storage and deliver probiotic rich food to your table.

In conclusion:

All 3 fermenting containers work well. Each has it’s own set of benefits, hacks and drawbacks. For example you do not want to use a 5 gallon crock system for a quart of veggies. Nor would you want to make a 4 gallon ferment with a new recipe only to find you did not like the result!  That said if you are preserving a whole garden crop with a proven recipe…. you would most likely want to ferment in a crock and process the results for longer storage. This would be possible in jars but would take up more space for sure and labor! So to recap: If you want volume….. use granny’s kraut crock and process the larger amounts for longer storage. If you want a slow steady stream of live probiotics at your table or want to try a few recipe variations without committing to the one version you may not like OR only have a limited quantity of a veggie….. use Fido or mason jars and eat “fresh” and “live” and “small batch”. It is our belief that a well equipped kitchen should include all type of fermenting containers. There are so many things to ferment that we use in our everyday lives that have been replaced by “packaged” dead foods void of any health benefits that our ancestors and modern doctors say we need! Maybe it is only a few quarts of pickles, a bottle of spicy ketchup or a jar of tangy salsa you need today. It may be that you have acquired a taste for fancy kimchi or sauerkraut and don’t want to waste funds on store bought versions.  Or it may be a need to preserve the proceeds of a garden or take advantage of low prices at the market…….. You should have a variety of fermenting containers on hand and be familiar with how to use them.

This would be an excellent place to ask why a person writing this article and actively in the business of making fermenting kits for mason jars would leave the reader with the impression that anything but mason jars were the best to use? I mean it calls for extra addition of an airlock to vent CO2 and still suffers from overflow issues

Good point! AND the answer is simple.. Using our fermenting kit system really does bring the mason jar back to par with the other fermenting containers discussed here! With the Pickle*Pusher small batch fermenting kits, we address the issues and drawbacks and tackle them all with advanced engineering spawned of need! We feel we have accomplished our goals and have much more to come.

NOTE: We do not mean that you can not use the fermented goods from the crock without processing! Rather we mean that as a general rule most people do "can" or "process" their crock contents which allows them to last longer. They do lose their probiotic goodness but they retain the other benefits of fermentation while gaining additional storage life.

Here are some links to great FaceBook Groups that will help you almost instantly if you are polite! 🙂

Wild Fermentation Uncensored : Great site ran by admins who really care about their members. They run vendor days and allow uncensored posts on sometimes controversial topics.

Fermenters Kitchen  : General fermenting group. Very active and friendly.

Fido Fermentation : A site for Fido enthusiasts

Kefir Time : A kefir sharing group

The Salt Cured Pickle: A fermenting group that does it all.

ANd many more. These are just a few we post to 🙂

 

 

 

Lacto fermentation Basics

What is lacto fermenting?

Lacto fermenting was first used by ancient man as a way to preserve foods as far back as 6000 B.C. Preserving foods is one reason mankind has survived in his path from hunter-gatherer to domestic farmer as he is today. Although it was mainly used to preserve at that time, I am sure they enjoyed the taste as well. As for the health benefits, the most noticeable one they found was the fact they had something to eat when nothing was found growing and ready to harvest. 🙂 It is hard to imagine life without a grocery store where spices and flavors from around the world are daily available in a small area.

It is the process of introducing a vegetable to an environment that favors the growth of beneficial Lacto Basilius bacteria and in return the bacteria create lactic acid which further discourages the growth of spoiling bacteria and thus preserves the food for later use.

Most forms of lacto fermenting use a liquid brine but some use a “bed system” like miso and the use of bran or sake lee beds. The latter require a more intense understanding of fermenting and should be attempted after a person acquires a little experience in the skill.

Lacto fermented foods also contain probiotics. These are the lacto bacteria that also live in our intestines and are vital to human health. Recently a surge in the consumption of these probiotic rich fermented foods like yogurt and kraut has sparked a lot of scientific research into their value to human life. Claims that these foods can cure cancer, aids and erectile dysfunction are common. 🙂 We do not take these claims to serious but do agree as most do that simple gut problems are lessened without argument and that a healthy GI tract makes for a healthier person.

A resent study showed a 2 ounce serving of saurkraut contained more live probiotics than a 100 count bottle of a popular probiotic supplement pill! Now that is a saving ! Google probiotic supplements!

Fermenting foods also saves you money, especially when you are raising a garden or using a small batch system that allows you to use the smallest amount of vegetables at a time. This reduces previously wasted foodstuff and provides tasty healthy treats as well. An example would be those miscellaneous vegetables aging ungracefully in the crisper drawer. Cut and toss them in a fermenting jar of brine and in a few days you will have a jar of pickled relish or tidbits to grace the table and provide a little added flavor as well as a smile because you did it yourself. Just for kicks and giggles…. price a bottle at a store near you today. $1.59 per quartt could be the rate you paid. Your DIY cost = $.01 salt and vegetables you may have discarded because they were not “pretty” And in the case of growing even the smallest of gardens, one can save a super large percentage of their fixed income food costs! I mean huge!

On that subject , it is claimed that the USA wastes about 40% of it’s grown harvest before it even reaches a market because it is not “pretty”. They are healthy food but not first class in the cosmetic sense. I am not referring to damaged vegetables and fruits but rather to ones like a short carrot or an oblong tomato . Anything that is not the stereotypical standard that we are accustomed to, is just not sent to market. And often times there is no other use for these vegetable other than animal use or complete waste. As a home gardener who regularly cuts away damaged portions of our produce this is not a problem at all.

What is the lacto fermenting process?

It is the process that converts vegetables into a state that is not acceptable to the growth of spoiling bacteria and microbes by favoring the growth of good lacto bacillis  bacteria. Simply put…. we create a good environment for lacto bacteria to grow and they reward us by making a finished product that does not allow bad microbes to live in. Win win…… happy ….happy……happy 🙂

For vegetables, it basically involves adding a brine to a container of vegetables. This has a 2 fold purpose. It creates an salty environment that most bacteria do not like thus retards their growth yet favors the lacto bacteria which love the salt. It also helps limits the oxygen from reaching the vegetables which further inhibits the growth of spoiling microbes, yeast and mold as they favor O2. This favors the lacto bacteria which will then convert the sugars into lactic acid. As the ferment develops the sugars are diminished, the acidity is increased and the fermentation process slows.  This acidity is also not favored by bad microbes! 🙂 What remains is a finished “pickled” product that is no longer a suitable place for harmful elements to grow and is effectively preserved. This product is now a flavorful foodstuff containing a diverse culture of probiotic goodness and will last much longer than the original vegetable.

In the case of dairy and meats the same occurs but not in a brine solution. Salami is fermented but since meat has little sugar, it must be added and the lacto bacteria play a minor role in this type of fermenting. With dairy there is a combination of yeasts and lacto bacteria that contribute to their formation. It is not a pure lacto ferment.

What foods can be fermented?

Most any vegetable that is grown can be successfully fermented. The flavor combinations are endless as are the finished product’s uses. From condiment to mainstay. Your imagination is the limit.

ilizes.

In the case of the kraut crock, there is a “moat” that the lid sits in that will allow excess CO2 to escape from once a certain amount of volume and pressure is reached. In the meantime the O2 content is diminished as the CO2 percentage is increased by the active ferment.

In the case of the FIdo type jar, the same enrichment and release process is preformed not by a moat but by the gasket. Once the required pressure and volume is reached, the gas will escape through a temporary opening between the gasket and the jar lid and mouth.

And in the case of the small batch mason jar containers, an airlock utilizing the “moat” theory is used. This micro moat system is usually a 3 piece system creating a liquid barrier to the outside elements and a release mechanism created by a floating bowl. There are also waterless valves currently being used that release at higher pressures and rely on pressure keeping contaminants from entering the ferment.

In conclusion, all 3 work well. Each has it’s own set of benefits and drawbacks. FOr example you do not want to use a 5 gallon crock system for a quart of veggies. Or you would not want to make a 4 gallon ferment with a new recipe only to find you did not like the result! 🙂

Continued========>




What do i need to get started?

You need a container to hold your brine. It should restrict contact with O2. It should be able to release the CO2 that is generated. That is all there is to a fermenting container. Goat bladders , skins and even banana-leaf lined holes in the ground have been used in the past but we will from this point on stay a little more modern.

Why is this important? The brine discourages bad bacteria, molds and yeasts that will spoil the fermenting vegetables . Salt has long been recognized as being a preservative and using a liquid form works effectively to discourage spoiling bacteria from the start of the process. At this point we have already helped our vegetables to survive nature’s onslaught. Lacto bacteria love salt. 🙂

While a ferment is underway, it will produce CO2 [ carbon dioxide ]. This hinders the growth of bad elements. This action when carried out in a controlled enclosure results in a CO2 enriched “blanket” which further discourages bad microbes from gaining a foothold in our ferment. Lacto bacteria love CO2 🙂

Traditionally used are:

All these work well and operate basically the same. They hold brine and limit contact with the outside air which contain possible contaminating microbes seeking a place to colonize. These bad microbes and bacteria usually require O2 [ oxygen ] to thrive.



Type of vessel:  Grandma's Kraut Crock

Description: Large usually earthern vessel with built in “moat” that functions as an effective airlock when filled with water and the lid placed in it.

Pro’s and ConsThe unit is heavy and is best suited for large batchs. It requires weights to hold contents under the brine. Due to size it will hold a more even temperature and as it is also made of opaque material sunlight can not effect the contents.

Almost every family had a few of these in their possession. IF you are using an heirloom, keep in mind that old vessels may have contained a lead based finish and may not be the best thing to use actively.

The crock is great for large batchs. But be prepared to process the resulting fermented foods unless your audience has some heavy eaters.  The large batch is best suited for tried and proven recipes. There is nothing like having a 3 gallon or larger ferment finish and finding out that it had “just to dam much garlic!”.




Type of vessel:  Fido type wire bail jar

Description:  A type of glass jar once popular in the USA for home canning but widely replaced by the “mason jar” due to it’s failure to fully seal during the heat based processes used to can foods. It does not require an airlock to operate and works well for a fermenting container. CO2 escapes with a burping action involving the gasket when enough pressure develops

Pro’s and Cons: The jar is imported from Italy and very costly. There are functional “knock-offs” on market but the parts do not always interchange. They are costly to obtain.They call for a weight system to hold contents under brine. They are harder to maintain during the fermenting process as the lid does get in the way at times especially if used with a water filled airlock especially. There are many sizes available.

A good system all in all with cost being the biggest drawback. Some concern about the random release of CO2 from the gasket and causing spillage has been reported. Installing a good quality grommet and airlock helps but also makes accessing the jar top work it a lot harder. Using a water-less airlock solves both of these problems effectively.




Type of vessel:   Mason jar
Description:
A standardized make of jar used extensively in the home canning and fermenting field. These are adapted with a special lid and gasket and fitted with an external airlock to allow CO2 to escape.
Pro's and Cons: 
The jars are readily available and affordable. There are many sizes available. They are a good choice for small batch fermenting . They do require a weight system.  System depends on good gasket and grommet to maintain airtight integrity.
A good system to use for small batch rotational fermenting. Plan your needs and only ferment what you need in a steady and specific time frame to avoid having to process for long term storage and deliver probiotic rich food to your table.



In conclusion, all 3 work well. Each has it’s own set of benefits and drawbacks. For example you do not want to use a 5 gallon crock system for a quart of veggies. Or you would not want to make a 4 gallon ferment with a new recipe only to find you did not like the result! 🙂

The “weight required” problem can be solved using our own product. The Pickle*Pushing No_Float Jar*Packer ,which effectively holds fermenting vegetables under the brine and are available to fit most quart and larger sizes of both the Fido and mason jar jar lines. Cleanup is a breeze and using our “low profile” water-less airlock also improves the enjoyment of using the fido jars as well as making use of storage space a lot more efficient.

So to recap: If you want volume….. use granny’s kraut crock.

If you want small steady batch of probiotics to eat fresh at your table…. Create a usage chart and ferment just what you need and serve before the shelf life starts to require the possibility of longer term processing to store.

ANd that is all folks! Enjoy and do not fret…………..

Here are some links to great FaceBook Groups that will help you almost instantly if you are polite! 🙂

Fermenters Kitchen  : General fermenting group. Very active and friendly.

Fido Fermentation : A site for Fido enthusiasts

Kefir Time : A kefir sharing group

The Salt Cured Pickle: A spinoff group and great.

ANd many more. These are just a few we post to 🙂

Introducing the Pickle*Pusher


This is a work in progress and will be until we can get the final “In-hand” prototypes for art work.

In the meantime we will work on the text and this will be the basis for the instruction sheet that will be mailed out with purchases.

We will post changes to these deadlines and releases at our FaceBook page , Twitter page and company website pages if you take time to subscribe or follow. All sites are awaiting arrival of finished models for artwork and final test revision. Please be patient and bear with us as we approach the exciting release sale date! :)



Pickle*Pusher

[Formally called the “Pickle*Pushing No_Float Jar*Packer]

This patent pending fermentation aid was designed out of a need for better control of the contents in small batch fermentation jars traditionally in home service. It does not use actual weight system to effectively hold your contents under the brine or other preserving and flavoring mediums used in fermentation or home canning operations. It uses a unique design and incorporates the design of the mason and fido jar to complete a much stronger downward push on the contents than what is possible with weights.  It is made of 316 stainless steel, FDA BPA free silicone and the one piece of plastic used is also FDA BPA free plastic. This latter part does not touch the foodstuff and is only used to deploy the vital parts into your jar system.

Basic description: This patent pending fermenting aid forms the backbone of the Ultimate Pickle Jar fermenting system. It’s main purpose is to firmly hold the contents of your fermenting jar under the brine where mold and yeast will have a lesser chance to destroy them.  It also serves a second purpose after completion of the fermenting process. It can be left in the jar and adjust to constantly keep the contents under the brine all the way to the bottom of the jar thus extending the shelf life of a product and staving off processing for a little while longer thus allowing more probiotics to reach your table and family.




Interesting facts, data and opinions:

Do you need Pickle*Pusher to ferment?: 
Absolutely not! For liquid ferments like kefir or kombucha, obviously it will serve no purpose. For other ferments it will help but is not needed.  If you are on a budget or are just plain frugal..... you do not need this to have a great rate of success in your fermenting endeavors.
Why stainless steel...? I heard it will kill my ferment!!! : 

316 stainless steel is deemed FDA safe and is also a grade of stainless steel that resists salt corrosion as well.Stainless steel is non reactive to food, will not absorb or contribute anything to your foodstuff. Contrary to popular belief.......... It will not kill your ferment!  Stainless steel is recommended in the wine industry and food industries as well for larger containers that are not feasibly made form glass. You can also check out the widely accepted "KrautSource" gadget which is totally made of stainless and has as far as we can tell had no bad reports.
Does silicone contain BPA ? :  

Silicone is FDA approved for extended immersion and storage in liquid foodstuffs. It will not absorb from nor leach into your ferment. It can withstand temperature to 450 deg F as well. It also has no phthalate or BPA. These are estrogen mimicking chemicals that are present in things from cash register tape to baby bottles and shampoos .
How does the Pickle*Pusher work?:
It works by design and incorporates the design of the fido and mason jars. It uses a "Launcher" which compresses the "Plunger" assembly and is placed into the jar and pressed downwards until the assembly clears the jar mouth and throat. It then expands and uses the jar design to hold contents downwards. It is adjusted to where the plunger is as high in the jar as possible and held there by the adjusting rod, Retrieval is easy and accomplished by pulling on the 316 stainless steel split ring.

It is also possible to adjust the adjusting rod to touch the underside of the fermenting lid for added pressure downwards but will hinder cleanup in case of mold or yeast.

Will it work in any jar?: 

No.... as of this writing [ 2-6-2016 ] there is only one jar it will work exactly as described. That is the widely used 1 quart wide mouth mason jar or equivalent. This is not to say it will not work in other jars and is being designed for other regular mouth mason jars and Fido jars as well.

The reason for that is simple=====> We are a startup company and just do not have the funds for multiple size products at this time. We are planning to do this as soon as we complete the initial release sale in the middle of March 2016. With these funds we will be able to offer a complete listing of adjusting rods as well as 3 more plunger and launcher sizes as well as our version of the waterless airlock which will make storage of your fermenting jars a lower profile issue.

We will post changes to these deadlines and releases at our FaceBook page , Twitter page and company website pages if you take time to subscribe or follow. All sites are awaiting arrival of finished models for artwork and final test revision. Please be patient and bear with us as we approach the exciting release sale date! :)
If I do get mold?? :
Cleanup using the Pickle*Pushing No_Float Jar*Packer is a breeze! Nothing is in the way for the easy mopping or removal of any growing mold or floaties that did migrate past the builtin control measures. Total access to all areas of the brine surface!

So there you have it!  No you do not need it…. Yes it will out preform any system on the market with less bother, better results and more peace of mind. The choice is always yours. When the item is marketed it will not be in a fancy box. It will be shipped by myself and Sheila and will be available in a 3 kit set for wide mouth mason jars only at this time.

This set will include 3 complete Pickle*Pusher assemblies:

  • 1 launcher
  • 3 drilled Ball mason jar lids
  • 3 undrilled Ball mason jar lids
  • 6 heavy duty FDA grade, BPA free gaskets
  • 3 heavy duty FDA grade, BPA free grommets
  • 3 3-piece water using airlocks.

This will allow you to ferment 3 jars and store 3 until cycle can be repeated. Jars not included.

Our suggested retail price NOT INCLUDING SHIPPING is $29.99

Prices will fall on the next sale date most likely.

My first Milk kefir crystals arrived!

Ok… I finally … I mean just now………….. got to where I was able to get past the awful sounding name of “Yo-Gurt” and actually tasted it>

It is good! WOW Whoda thunk huh????

Anyway, I decided to get with the program and and ordered some milk kefir and kombucha. Just so I did not hurt anyone in my numerous social group’s feelings. I ordered generically from Amazon. I wanted the milk kefir for a yogurt extension / substitute and also because I had found a recipe for a cheesecake made with kefir cheese…………… OMG this could be it!

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They are here!

The poor crystals or grains were in shipping mode for a week all total… 7 days! Good thing it was cooler temperatures. I would not have tried to get these in the summer. This is why it is important to be involved with some of the social groups like the ones on FaceBook which will share starters with you and possibly from a local area as well. I am in many and it is awesome the support you can get if you run up on a problem.

FYI: a kefir grain or crystal is a SCOBY.. Yes similar to kombucha scoby's and water kefir grains. A SCOBY is an acronym for Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast. It is a mix of bacteria and yeast which work together to maintain a suitable environment for themselves and a healthy food for you. They do this by changing the PH or acidity of the milk and thus discourage formation of bad bacteria and yeast.

The enclosed directions stated that the crystals may be dormant and suffering from shipping stress. I am to:

  1. place them in 1-2 cups of fresh milk. and that it would “require 3-4 24 hour milk changes”  before they work right. This can be any kind of mammal milk except “Ultra pasteurized”.
  2. Cover them with a cloth and place them in a warm place
  3. Every few hours shake them or stir them…….. [ will rig something up 😉 ]

After a time you should see some separation into curds and whey. This may not happen on the first few times. You can separate before separation for a sweeter kefir.

All in all the instructions need to be more specific. The people we bought from are an established dealer and we will contact for better instructions at a later date.
    • Strain the liquid and retrieve the crystals.
    • Cover the separated liquid with a solid or breathable cover.and set aside to complete fermentation. At this time you are doing what is called an “F2 ferment”. Here is where most people add fruits and flavoring and allow the batch to mature from 8-12 or more hours until the desired consistency or tartness/flavor is reached. Since this is not a recipe but a record of my first experience we will not go into detail.
    • Place the crystals into another 1-2 cups of milk and cover with breathable cover

This would be 1 “24 hour milk change”

Repeat this for at least 3 more times and the kefir should be perfect after 6-8 batches…. Again the instructions are vague.

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Well here we go documenting our first batch of kefir!

After 8 hours: Grains are floating and the smell is mainly lacto with not a lot of yeasty smell like the grains had. At least is not the smell I was figuring it would have…. clabbered milk 😉
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02-11-2016 @ 1800: Milk is sticking to the side of the glass ever so slightly. The grains are floating nicely and the odor still is not to yeasty but not bad. I will strain the grains and start again. I dumped the strained batch . This completes 1  24-hour cycle which was really 30 hours or so.

 

02-12-2016 @ 1800 : Really looking better now! No sour smell at all… only sweet yeast… Lots of floating grains also. BUT it looks funny like it could be kahm mold ????? Not even sure you can get that on kefir. Am asking gang at group. Will let it go another 12 hours before starting 3rd break-in. I also covered it from the light of the lamp. And it was 62-68 deg F during the ferment.

It turns out the "dusty" or "silky" appearance on top of the kefir is called "Flowers of Kefir" and normal....

02-13-2016 @ 1200: Total separation! Awesome. No sour smell.. It is yeasty and tastes ok. This is a high mark from someone who can not tolerate the taste and thought of buttermilk. I filtered the grains out and mixed another 1 cup whole milk to start break-in set # 3 and put the rest in airtight container for F2. QUESTION: Should I separate the whey before the F2 setup????????

This link is probably the most important link on the subject of Milk Kefir I have seen to date>>!>> I am just sorry i found it after this experiment grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Dom’s How-To Make Kefir and Recipes

Best kefir site on the web!
go to this website http://users.chariot.net.au/~dna/Makekefir.html

So basically do as many 24 hour milk replacements as you feel it takes to get a good solid 24 hour ferment and from there on just enjoy!

I am currently researching how to make the kefir cheese and also ricotta from the whey.

QUESTIONS AND TIPS:

I had a batch that failed in the F2 stage. This is where you strain the grains and add your sugar and fruit and then seal in un vented jar until it is thickened. They say do not let go to full separation but for me the taste is not bad enough to warrant watching the kefir grow :)

UPDATE: We now have our schedule going and frankly are having to find ways to use the kefir! Nightly we enjoy a glass and it is pretty cool as it is great for sipping. It helps stave off the munchies and satisfies one’s thirst as well. Great before bedtime drink. We added chocklate milk syrup to it for a good taste. Even froze some and ran through the blender with a little rum. NOTE: DO NOT use dry cocoa powder! It was just to bitter! Another favorite is mixing about 25% whole orange juice and this was great! We tried grinding a whole tangerine to the blender and I personally loved it but Sheila was a little less into the added pulp which surprised me as I do not like pulp either. It is funny that I do not consider the kefir as anything like buttermilk.. Of course it has been years since I tasted and defined buttermilk as nasty too because of the “chunks” 🙂 We will be adding a pancake recipe that we found as well. We rigged one up on our own and it was delicious but the cakes them selves were a little less fluffy than we wanted.

At any rate, if you are lactose intolerant you may want to experiment with kefir. It helped me to enjoy dairy once again and the result was immediate. I will add that I could eat ice cream and cheese so I may not have been that advanced in the intolerance scale either. But raw milk had me running for the toilet faster than a morning cup of coffee or even gas station sushi.

Simple Brine Solution

This is the most important single factor in lacto fermenting!

There is really no “Basic Brine” recipe. There are recommendations of brine for each type of vegetable basically based on it’s hardness and acidity. Tomatoes would require less than cucumbers due to acidity. Peppers mash would require more due to its acidity and texture as well.

NOTE: READ YOUR RECIPE’S DIRECTIONS! KEEP NOTES ON YOUR FERMENT’S RESULTS. 🙂

BRINE SOLUTION:

This is the recipe for a brine that is poured over a vegetable. In my opinion, this results in a much less precise percentage for the brine than the dry brine method. What I mean is that you can pack a jar very dense with one type vegetable cut up one way and less dense when cut up another way. The result is that the amount of brine used for each jar will vary as will salt content of each jar.

NOTE: Follow the direction for the recipe that you are using and keep notes. If you have no problems and the results are not salty, then you have a winner. If you have early problems with molds , then it is possible you will have to increase the salt at that point or the next time you attempt that recipe. Good record keeping is the key. Make sure to bookmark the recipes you tried and the results. Eventually you will need no recipe and achieve great results as fermenting is not rocket science nor is it time consuming .

Here is a chart showing how to make a simple liquid brine based on percentage:

Water is U.S. Volume Measurement and salt is in grams:

% brine  1-cup  2-cups  4-cups   8-cups   16-cups
                1-pint  1-quart  2-quart  1-gallon
 2%      5gm     10gm    19gm     38gm      76gm
2.5%     6gm     12gm    24gm     48gm      95gm
 4%      10gm    20gm    39gm     76gm     152gm
 5%      12gm    24gm    48gm     96gm     190gm 
10%      24gm    48gm    95gm    190gm     380gm

DRY BRINE:

This is how much salt is added to a ferment mixture and not to the water.

For a pepper mash it is recommended to use 1 ounce salt per pound of whole peppers prior to grinding. This will give a 6% salt concentration and if mold is present in a week then add up to 1/2 ounce more which will stop most further problems. This sort of recipe does not add additional liquid to the ferment. Salt is added directly into the mash or ground vegetables. It is important here to correctly weigh the salt.

NOTE: 1 ounce is 28.3 grams

Why not in tablespoons?
Answer is simple. All salts are not equal. NEVER USE IODIZED SALT! It will cause your ferments to change color!
Other than that, the reason is that some salts are course ground and others are fine ground and the result is the same volume but very different strengths. And make sure your salt is also dry.


 

 

Simple Brine Pickle Recipe

Simple Brine Pickle Recipe :

Here we offer a very general widely acceptable simple brine pickle recipe and method. This is probably the most common “gateway” into the fermenting world. It was for us! Feel free to add your own spices but keep in mind the brine percentage should remain the same if not a little stronger!

Equipment needed:

  • Enough fermenting containers to accommodate the amount of cucumbers you wish to turn into pickles!
  • Sharp knife and cutting board
  • Postal scale for measuring salt [yes you can convert grams into teaspoons but weighing is better]
  • Fresh and not overly mature pickling type cucumbers [you can use squash, zucchini and even watermelon rinds if you are a bit experienced]
  • Water. Preferably non chlorinated or fluoride treated. [see NOTE: below]
  • Spices. This post is intentionally vague with the ingredients! We have included some basic spices that is great for general purpose use
Mature slicing type cucumbers ready for the simple brine pickle recipe!
These area a slicing variety we had on hand. They will call for a shorter fermenting time!
  • 1/2 teaspoon dill dried or 3 heads of fresh dill per quart and or dill seed
  • 2 small clove garlic per quart [most people add to much garlic!]
  • Add a few hot peppers for a little heat.
  • 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • a few peppercorns
  • 1 handful fresh grape, cherry, oak, and/or horseradish leaves [these are sources of tannins which aid in keeping pickles crisp]
  • Non iodized salt 1 teaspoon per quart. [Iodized salt or salt with caking ingredients will effect your ferment]
Keep in mind this post shows more an introductory to the fermenting art more than a recipe. We will post some good recipe links below. Do the math when adding the called for spices and add that amount to each jar you are going to use.

Directions:

STEP 1 Slicing and Dicing: Slice, dice, cut or leave whole the cucumbers you desire to ferment. Do a few jars of each style! Keep in mind tho that the different cuts will ferment at different speeds and may absorb spices differently as well!

NOTE: Setting aside regular tap water for 24 hours will allow chlorine to evaporate. Boiling for 10 minutes will also do this BUT will not remove floride treatments!

STEP 2 Preparation: Rinse the cucumbers only lightly. Do not scrub intensely. As this recipe does not call for a starter culture, we are relying on the bacteria present on the cucks. Cut the cucumbers into slices either long wise or across grain. If you want whole pickles, cut 1/4″ of the ends off. It is important to at least cut this from the blossom end as it contains hormones that can make the pickle soggy.

Mature slicing type cucumbers ready for the simple brine pickle recipe!
Sliced “coin” style. Slicing speeds fermenting time!

STEP 3 Packing and Salting: Pack your cucumbers in the jars tightly allowing for whatever weight system you are going to use. Add spices towards the bottom of the jar and the leaves towards the top. You can use a small spice bag to maintain better control of your spices and prevent them from migrating to the top of the brine and reduce chance of mold in doing so. At this time we will add our salt at the rate of 1/2 teaspoon per quart. There is also a chart below for those who wish to simply cover their cucumbers with a brine of a certain percentage. As you can see the chart will result in a less salty pickle which may not suit everyone. As long as you do not go below the recommendations in the chart, you will be fine.

 

Mature slicing type cucumbers ready for the simple brine pickle recipe!

Ready for brine!
STEP 4 Closing: Place your weight onto the contents and pour the water or brine  over the filled jars. If using a cabbage leaf you will have to also use a weight of some kind. Make sure to remove anything floating on the brine surface. These can attract molds and yeast hellbent on destroying your fermenting cucumbers! [SEE “Possible Problems” BELOW:] Some people do not use a weight. We advice to use one.  This is a personal decision and one that you should make early in your fermenting career . On this site recommend you use the Pickle*Pusher which is based on the following problems and solutions : Fermentation problems and cures. Place the lid on the jar as firmly as the fermenting container’s instructions dictate. [SEE NOTE BELOW!] Contents will raise in the jar as the ferment develops and CO2 forms in the vegetables and their tissue. Some people place the jar in a small plate to contain any overflow in the early phases of fermentation. Put jar in a compatible area out of direct sunlight and wait. :);

Mature slicing type cucumbers ready for the simple brine pickle recipe!
Preparation time using the simple brine pickle recipe: 20 minutes
NOTE: Again this is a choice that a starting out fermenter should make early in his career , whether to use an airlock system of not! With a crock, you simply set lid on crock. With a Fido you can simply close and with an airlock equipped jar you will tighten fully. With a regular kidded jar you will want to fasten lightly and be prepared to "burp" at regular intervals to prevent a possible explosion or other messy event :)
NOTE: Make sure your airlock is just clearing the inside of the grommet and allow 1/2" airspace from surface of contents to the airlock bottom.

STEP 5 Tending and Tasting: Start tasting once you notice the fermentation action has slowed down. This will happen faster in “chip” sliced cukes and slower in “whole dills”. There may be a “skim” on the surface. You will remove it and replace your lid. [SEE NOTE BELOW:] Constantly opening the container removes the CO2 blanket that the gasket and airlock have helped create and will allow outside contamination to enter. The older and more advanced the ferment is will lessen this from happening as the sugars are less and the acidity is raising towards the point where only lacto bacteria will be able to thrive.

NOTE: The pickles are cured when well-flavored and even in color. There should be no white spots and they will have a translucent appearance.
NOTE: In the event you do notice something developing in your ferment then by all means open and inspect.

Possible Problems:

Things to look for include floating “skum” on surface which is usually KAHM YEAST and can easily be removed by mopping the surface with a paper towel or clean rag. It is generally a dull “flat” [not shiny] buildup and white unless your brine is colored. It can grow in a rippled fashion and generally covers the whole surface compared to molds which concentrate on the bits of vegetation they anchor on to grow. Nothing to worry about as it is usually on the brine surface only. Left alone to grow it will cause an off flavor but not dangerous.

Other molds that can develop will result in mushy contents near surface and possibly proceeding into the contents. Molds generally grow on floating bits of fermenting foods. They will be colored, white, fuzzy or furry. If a foul odor or a sliminess is noticed it may be best to trash the ferment and reflect on what went wrong. Most of the time it is because YOU DID NOT KEEP THE CONTENTS UNDER THE BRINE! and can in most cases be easily rectified with a little common sense.

Once the ferment is to your liking you can replace your fermenting lid with a regular one and place the jars in the ice box where they will keep for an extended period of time. These ferments can develop mold even in the ice box as they do not have any of the added chemical preservatives that your store bought ones have and are more subject to spoilage unless you decide to process them.

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