Pop open the cap and fill water to fill line; leave “bobber” in place. Then place the cap back on.
Every food fermentation kit packaged in a jar comes with a rubber cork. We included it so that you can “cork” your lid once you are done fermenting the jar on the counter. The cork keeps the lid airtight while keeping your probiotics in the fridge. If you have a ball wide mouth lid already, you can use that instead.
Always use non-fluorinated water while fermenting! The fluoride found in most tap water will prevent the magic of probiotic fermentation from taking place
Use Natural Spring Water or Well Water for best results!
One rule: generic salt bad, Real Salt good. A good salt with natural trace minerals is great for fermenting. At Fermentation Creation we use Real Salt, and there’s a bottle included in each of our kits. Real Salt is known to increase the nutritional content of your ferment, and just ‘darn tastes good.’
Sometimes veggies “weep” extra moisture over night causing the jar to “overflow” out the airlock. Just take the airlock lid off, empty some brine from the jar, refill airlock and reseal the kit.
To avoid overflowing salt the veggies and allow them to weep for a few hours in a bowl before adding them to the jar. Always leave 2 inches of space from the mouth of the jar before sealing.
Mold occurs when oxygen comes in contact with the surface of the ferment. This may have happened for a couple of reasons: you do not have an air tight seal on you food fermentation kit, tampered with the lid too much, or the airlock is not installed properly. Check your lid to make sure you have a proper seal.
That being said, mold is a natural occurrence. Oxygen cannot reach the fermented food submerged in the brine, as it is in an anaerobic environment in which mold can not survive. Also, the probiotic cultures already present in your fermented veggies also create a naturally acidic environment which inhibits the occurance of pathogenic bacteria.
Simply, skim the mold or yeast off the top and let your ferment air out for a bit. Then as a general rule, use the nose test – If it smells ok, give it a taste. If it tastes ok, your ferment should be fine to eat. It’s just like cutting mold off a delicious piece of cheese. If the vegetables smell or taste unpleasant to you, discard everything, clean the container with warm soapy water, and try again. For the second time around make sure your airlock lid is perfectly sealed, to prevent oxygen from getting into the jar and creating mold on the surface.
If it tastes, good, smells good, but you are still not confident, we recommend you take a third measure of testing the pH of your ferment. If it tests as acidic, with a pH of 4.6 or below, then it constitutes as an FDA approved, safe to eat acidic food – as harmful bacteria can not survive in such an acidic environment. See CFR Title 21 114.3.
It depends on how sour you like your veggies, every one ferments differently according to their own individual tastes.
Look up recipes and times and experiment to your taste!
As a general guideline about 2 tbsp of salt per 3 lbs of veggies. However, I never measure salt, I simply add as I go along. I encourage everyone to experiment with the ratios and adjust to your own taste
For making your own brine I generally use about 1tbsp of salt to 1 cup of water. Again this can be adjusted. Lowering the amount of salt used decreases the shelf life of the ferment. While a moderate amount of salt can keep a ferment preserved for months.
Captain James Cook made sure his boat was stocked with barrels of kraut to keep his crew scurvy free for those long sea voyages. When returning to port, the leftover 26 + month old kraut was a sought after by nobles as a delicacy. So if it smells good & looks good – eat it. If there is mold, scoop it off. Everything underneath the brine should be safe to eat.
If you are not as hardcore as Captain Cook- the veggie ferments should stay good for up to three months or more in the fridge; use up fruit ferments within a month or two. Beyond those times they tend to get over sour, mushy, and or discolored.