Making fermented vegetables is so awesome that we recommend getting started with whatever means you have.
But if you are seriously considering making fermented vegetables on a regular basis, a high-quality stoneware crock is a beautiful piece of equipment you may want to invest in.
They come with stone weights and can be left alone for weeks, requiring the little moat under the lid be refilled with water, so the seal stays intact when the cover is on. The big bonus is they retain the aroma and also produce a load of belly-loving brine, and Vitamin C content goes through the roof.
- A 5 liter crock will take 2 drum head cabbages, 10 liters will take 4 etc.
Korean Onggi clay crocks have a porous surface where the food breathes during the fermentation process. These crocks bring out the best flavors and nutrition in Kimchi, fish sauce, Makgeolli and condiments – garlic, ginger, miso, sauce, pepper paste etc.
The container used depends on the amount of produce being fermented.
- Glass jars made from high-quality glass and designed to withstand pressure. The Fido / Le Parfait wire bail jars are designed to release gas through the edges of the rubber seal.
- ½ a head of good size drum head cabbage will fill 1 liter Fido glass bottle with kraut.
- With glass containers (avoid metal lids). Mason jar lids are NOT airtight. They are made for canning and have to be sealed airtight by pressure. Lactic acid bacteria cannot develop properly in an aerobic environment– mason jars allow air in.
- Fido keeps the oxygen out (the focus of vegetable fermentation) while allowing some of the CO2 to safely escape.
- If fermentation is done under anaerobic conditions, the results last a long, time. If you do not eat it all, you can keep many vegetables up to a year and some more, refrigerated in an air-tight quality glass container.
- If using a not well sealed jar, the contents can eventually go slimy, nasty, grey, moldy, stinky disgusting after a period of time. In order for disgusting to happen (too quickly), oxygen-loving bacteria had to be in the ferment and they had to be able to out-compete the Labs in order to have that effect.
- When we ferment and store in an anaerobic environment, the Labs kill the oxygen-loving bacteria and keep veggies stable, crisp and with consistent color, with no slimy nasties and most importantly, approachable to the tongue.
- The bottom line is if fermentable go off quickly, it was not LAB dominated.
- Let’s ferment together!
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