You must first choose the vessel you will want to ferment in. There are various vessels you can use but our favourite jar is the Fido jar. These Italian made jars are good quality, come in various sizes and are lead free. Fido jars can be used without a special airlock but you will probably need to burp your ferment regularly if you do not use an airlock. Airlock jars create a low-oxygen, or anaerobic environment. Lactic-acid bacteria thrive in this!
It creates the best results with less chances of mould, but is not absolutely necessary. Cultured Living sells Fido jars and Boss Pickler airlock lids — please see the products tab.
Follow your recipe, weighing salt if possible to get an accurate ratio of salt to vegetable.
Fill your clean jar with produce and brine to shoulder of the jar. Too little headspace and you will get overflow, too much and it will take longer for the oxygen to get pushed out. Ensure there are no food particles on your gasket or around your valve and that both have a good sealing surface.
Fasten the wire bail on your lid. Move your ferment jar to somewhere dark, putting a plate underneath if you are concerned about overflow.
If making sauerkraut, open jar after 5 — 7 days and push vegetable down under brine. With ferments such as relishes, beet kvass, vegetables in brine it is a good idea to give How to ferment vegetables with apple cider vinegar jar a shake occasionally to swirl the vegetables around. By doing this you will have less chance of kahm yeast taking over your ferment.
Leave your ferment undisturbed for the time specified in your recipe. Move directly to cold storage when fermentation is complete. There are different ways to make cultured vegetables. We prefer using only good quality salt ie. There are some rules…. Please not that iodised table salt is not suitable for fermenting.
The first rule is that most fruit and vegetable ferments do not need a starter. All cooked food fermentations do better with a starter.
Some milk fermentations require a starter to get the right flavour. Meat and Eggs need either high salt, or an already fermented brine. Grains can sometimes benefit from a starter but do not require one. It won't taste like yogurt, sour cream, or kefir though.
To get things that taste like those, you need higher concentrations of specific types of microbes. Hence, many milk ferments are best with a starter, of the type of thing you are trying to culture. In general, a spoonful of whatever it is, as long as it has live cultures, will do the trick for each cup of milk you are culturing. In general, if you are using pasteurized milk, you MUST use a starter even if just a bit of a previous successful batch.
If you are using raw milk, it depends entirely upon your taste preferences. If "How to ferment vegetables with apple cider vinegar" end up getting food that has been treated in some way it may interfere with the fermentation process. In that case, a starter culture may help. Generally, it is not needed, and whey, specifically, may be counterproductive.
The best starter for vegetables is some brine from a previous batch. Raw Apple Cider Vinegar can also be used or a commercially produced vegetable starter culture least favourite option.
We recommend a starter for these.
The type of starter used depends on the type of food being fermented - generally take the starter from a previous successful batch, OR something which contains similar ingredients. For cooked sauces and condiments, a vegetable brine is a good choice, and Raw Apple Cider Vinegar is also acceptable. Again, they ferment fine on their own without any kind of starter if you are using clean raw food.
On occasion, you may need a starter, especially if you are using cooked fruits or pasteurized juices. The best starter is a fruit based ferment - Raw Apple Cider Vinegar is a How to ferment vegetables with apple cider vinegar choice. Sourdough can be done either with, or without a starter.
There is some controversy over whether it does better with or without one. The key to a good sourdough is keeping it fed and active. It requires a daily tending, does not do as well when stored in the fridge for long, and it likes flour without preservatives best.
They produce substantial amounts of alcohol, due to the high carbohydrates in them. They do best without a starter, unless they are cooked.
A dab from a previous batch is the best option if you do choose to use a starter. The second rule is to use a starter that is most compatible with the ferment. Vegetables to vegetables, fruits to fruits, milks to milks, grains to grains.
The exception is Eggs, which are done in a pickle brine, this being the traditional method of pickling eggs. Raw Apple Cider Vinegar is the closest thing we have to an "all purpose" starter, and it does not work for milk.
The reason we do like with like, is because various food categories allow specific types of bacteria and yeasts to culture. While there is some commonality, the microbes that grow best in milk are not the same ones that grow best in vegetables or grains. Having milk by-products in your sourdough, vinegar, or pickles is not the best option for keeping the food fresh for extended periods either, since milk degrades faster than vegetables, fruits, or grains in a fermented storage situation.
This is one of the reasons why whey is generally not a good starter to use for things other than milk cultures. So as a general thing, skip the whey in your pickles or kraut. It isn't needed, and actually can do more harm than good. If you cannot get good quality organic produce and have to use treated foods that don't pickle predictably, then use a starter from a similar food group to boost the predictability of your ferments.
In general, lacto-fermenting happens best when you just let nature do her thing. She usually How to ferment vegetables with apple cider vinegar - that is how fermentation processes were discovered to begin with.
You can make cultured vegetables by simply chopping or placing vegetables in vessels, then submerging them under brine. This creates an environment that is safe.
The good bacteria dominate and keep out and harmful pathogens. We use 12g of salt per kilogram of vegetables. The salt draws water out of the cabbage and normally no additional brine is required. We recommend leaving your sauerkraut to heave for around days, then push the cabbage back down under the brine and leave your sauerkraut to ferment for approximately 3 more weeks. It is possible to use less salt by using celery juice as an alternative.
However, salt does help keep the vegetables crunchy, so by cutting down the amount of salt you may find your ferment a little mushy. There are various commercial starter cultures available.