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🥒 Fun with Ferments 🌶️ — The Grow Network Community
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🥒 Fun with Ferments 🌶️

Ruth Ann ReyesRuth Ann Reyes Managing Director TGNShy of the Chi - Zone 5bPosts: 350 admin

Where are my fermentation professionals out there! While I'm no stranger to dehydrating, pickling, and pressure canning...I've only just ventured into fermenting.

I purchased this nice little small batch starter kit that isn't to much of an investment to get me started.

Let me know your best tips, tricks, and recipes!

_ Ruth



  • JensJens Posts: 571 admin

    Hi Ruth,

    Not a professional here but good at doing Sauerkraut.

    Next batch to start soon, just adding some sea salt every layer of cabbage and stomping it in each time to get the juice flowing.

  • JensJens Posts: 571 admin
  • Ruth Ann ReyesRuth Ann Reyes Managing Director TGN Shy of the Chi - Zone 5bPosts: 350 admin

    Thanks, Jens!

    That's pretty much what I did! Made my arm sore the next day!

  • Merin PorterMerin Porter Editorial Director Southwest Colorado (Zone 6a)Posts: 758 admin

    Oh wow! I didn't realize that's how you make saurkraut -- just cabbage and sea salt and stomp? Well, I should try that!!!

  • ines871ines871 zn8APosts: 1,290 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Merin Porter - until 2011 'sea'-salt was mostly beneficial in our food supply. - But March 11, 2019 was the 8th anniversary of the triple meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. <- That same year forward, manufactured food sold in the US that used to have just plain Iodized salt added, then was changed to SEA-salt <- 'Nuff said.

    Sea salt also generally contains less iodine (added to prevent goiter) than table salt. Related, from several other man-made causes, most Americans are now Iodine-deficient. Therefore, as has been done for 1000's of years, how about using plain Iodized salt for fermenting...

    The minute amounts of trace minerals found in sea salt are easily obtained in other forms.

    Speaking of minerals, for the past 100 years beyond calcium most people have also increasingly seriously ! become deficient in further Essential minerals notably Potassium, & Magnesium etc. without which your heart can not be dependent on to beat... let alone correctly.

  • Ruth Ann ReyesRuth Ann Reyes Managing Director TGN Shy of the Chi - Zone 5bPosts: 350 admin

    I used my canning salt so it was free of anti-caking agents.

  • Karyn PenningtonKaryn Pennington Posts: 71 ✭✭✭

    I'm trying fermented pickles, so would love additional input. Mine look a little scary right now, but I'm told that's normal . . . (not sure why the pictures turned, they're right-side up when I copied them in) Bottom pic shows how they started. Top pick is after 5-6 days. I guess my biggest question is when they're done, do you store them in fresh brine? I feel like the fermentation they're in would continue to be cloudy/scary.

  • seeker.nancy - Central Texasseeker.nancy - Central Texas Posts: 803 ✭✭✭✭

    My understanding is that cloudy is good - it's the proliferation of beneficial bacteria (acidophilus). I just started fermenting a few weeks ago making pickles. Yes, the first batch was scary lol. My kitchen is quite warm so the fermentation went fast. I refrigerated after about two days. I put garlic and pepper flakes in the next one then onion and jalapeno in the next batch. I did add some black tea leaves to them for the tannins which are supposed to keep the pickles crisp. I used to add grape leaves for that in regular pickles. You could also use oak leaves but I had neither lol.

    I did use sea salt but bought it over 10 years ago in a fifty pound bag. As for iodine I take kelp tablets.

    I'm really looking forward to fermenting fire roasted red jalapenos then blending it for hot sauce. I read about that yesterday so I'm hooked lol.

  • CynthiaGravesCynthiaGraves Northern IdahoPosts: 15 ✭✭✭

    ohhhh I'd love the recipe for the hot sauce - would be a good way to get started with fermentation I think

  • seeker.nancy - Central Texasseeker.nancy - Central Texas Posts: 803 ✭✭✭✭

    It's super simple. Fire roast the jalapenos, I like the flavor of the ripe red ones. Them cut in chunks, remove some of the seeds so it doesn't taste bitter. Ferment them to taste. There are varying ideas on just how much salt to use. Some work it all out by percentages, Some will make a gallon of brine at a time just to have on hand. I used a tablespoon per quart on the first two jars and it worked out fine. Then I read something that I should be using double that so I did. It was also fine but for me a bit too salty. So I'm going back to a tablespoon. (My kids haven't figured out how I haven't poisoned myself yet lol.) Anyway, once they are fermented to your taste put them in a blender and you have it. I guess just add however much of the brine to the blender to achieve the thickness you want. If there is any left it would make an awesome marinade or dressing I bet,

  • GardennanGardennan Central NCPosts: 47 ✭✭✭

    I make a fermented hot sauce with cayenne peppers that's really good. Fill a pint jar with cayenne peppers (fresh or dried) a couple a cloves of peeled garlic 2 & 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt (or salt of your choice) ferment for 2 weeks dump it all in the blender and add a little dash of Apple cider vinegar. It was my first ferment years ago. It always turns out for me. Plus both my son's love it!

  • gennywugennywu Posts: 96 ✭✭✭

    That sounds awesome - a very unique recipe. I will have to give it a try.

  • Marjory WildcraftMarjory Wildcraft ✭✭✭ Posts: 1,080 admin

    Oh I was so excited because I mis-read the title of this post.

    I thought it was about FERRETS!

    I love ferrets....

  • Marjory WildcraftMarjory Wildcraft ✭✭✭ Posts: 1,080 admin

    AH! 🦦

  • Marjory WildcraftMarjory Wildcraft ✭✭✭ Posts: 1,080 admin

    OK, getting a tad bit more serious, does anyone have a good kimchi recipe? I love the spicyness of it and have two home grown cabbages that just ripened.

  • rachelcostenbaderrachelcostenbader Posts: 11 ✭✭✭

    Marjory I have to say that many of my favorite fermenting recipes have come from the Kraut Source website.

  • Obiora EObiora E Posts: 517 ✭✭✭✭

    @Marjory Wildcraft I have used this for Kimchi: http://www.mnn.com/food/recipes/stories/how-to-make-kimchi-in-5-easy-steps

    I didn't use any of the fish ingredients though and used Nori or Kelp instead (I don't recall which one). I haven't made it for a couple of years.

    Over the past six years I have made the following ferments:

    • Green Tomatoes
    • Salsa
    • Roman Sambal Hot Sauce
    • Garlic cloves (doing that now)
    • Apple Mead
    • Ginger Beer/Ale
    • Kimchi
    • Sauerkraut (with Red Cabbage)
    • Pickles (just did a recent batch)
    • Fire Cider
    • Beet Kvass
    • Leafy Greens

    And there are probably more that I have forgotten. I tried using Pickling Salt in the beginning but it was too salty for me. I haven't used it since and use Sea Salt (Pink Himalayan Sea Salt). And with many of the ferments that I have done I used food that I grew and/or foraged.

  • Melody CastelloMelody Castello Posts: 13 ✭✭✭

    I have recently started fermenting. My first was sauerkraut and I couldn’t believe how good it tasted. Have since done a second batch (ate the first one in 3 weeks) and tried ginger carrots.

    I do have a question though. When I finished fermenting the sauerkraut I put it in the fridge. It had brine totally covering the cabbage. By the next day it had all absorbed into the cabbage. Does this mean I should have let it ferment longer?

  • Ruth Ann ReyesRuth Ann Reyes Managing Director TGN Shy of the Chi - Zone 5bPosts: 350 admin

    So, I NEED HELP! My giardiniera and ginger carrots turned out great...But, my sauerkraut molded on the top!

    What did I do wrong?

    Did I need MORE salt?

  • seeker.nancy - Central Texasseeker.nancy - Central Texas Posts: 803 ✭✭✭✭

    Has anybody fermented Swiss chard or kale?

  • rachelcostenbaderrachelcostenbader Posts: 11 ✭✭✭

    Ruth did you use a weight on your kraut or a cabbage leaf to keep it submerged? I find that putting a leaf on the top of the diced cabbage and then one of the glass fermentation weights really helps to keep all of the small bits submerged.

  • rachelcostenbaderrachelcostenbader Posts: 11 ✭✭✭

    Karyn they look great! It's completely different than canning. When they get to tasting the way that you like them, swap out the fermenting lid for a regular plastic lid and pop it in the fridge, don't tighten the lid all way, leave it a little loose so that it can breathe. The cooler environment will help the sediment settle to the bottom of the jar. No need for fresh brine, what's in there is loaded with beneficial probiotics.

  • rachelcostenbaderrachelcostenbader Posts: 11 ✭✭✭

    Kraut that has been fermenting for the past 20 days, just about ready to go in the fridge. I have made this several times and love it. Here's the recipe:


  • rachelcostenbaderrachelcostenbader Posts: 11 ✭✭✭

    This is a new recipe that I'm trying. It's on day 2. I will let you know how we like it.


  • rachelcostenbaderrachelcostenbader Posts: 11 ✭✭✭

    Another new one that I'm testing out from Homesteading Family's YouTube channel.


  • silvertipgrizzsilvertipgrizz Posts: 1,792 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Hi Ruth,

    I like making kombucha. Only costs pennies to make and the flavoring options are many. The best couple tips I have to share re this:

    You CAN make your on scoby: I buy G T's kombucha, ginger and I follow the recipe I use but add one cup of this ginger flavor G T's store bought kombucha. This will be what grows your scoby saving at least $25 ish. I mix the solids up carefully in the bottle so it doesn't want to explode lol, and pour off the cup to be used. That way you get all the goodies to make a great scoby. This is important to me to share because When I first learned/taught myself to make booch, All I saw online was that you could not make your own and it would need to be purchased. I have started from scratch about 4 times for one reason or another but the scoby always makes and then makes a wonderful batch of booch, batch after batch and have never bought a scoby for my booch.

    I also make mine in either gallon jars or half gallon jars and use coffee filters with a rubber band and then cover with a tea towel and put in the dark and warmest room of the house.

    Also, I really like kvass and it is so easy to make. And very very healthy as well. They say the Russian doctors in the ER when a patient came in with high blood pressure without symptoms they would give them I think it was 1/4 or 1/2 cup of the fermented kvass, Beet kvass and within about 45 min the blood pressure had come down and in many cases would return to normal.

    kraut is easy too. You'll wonder why you haven't fermented your whole life when you taste how good they are.

  • seeker.nancy - Central Texasseeker.nancy - Central Texas Posts: 803 ✭✭✭✭

    That sounds awesome @silvertipgrizz ! I've been wanting to try making kombucha but was concerned it would take too much time and money. I think you are right about wondering why we didn't try fermentation sooner. I started with pickles and just started last night with my ripe jalpenos and serranos for hot sauce. Thank you for that inspiration on kombucha.

  • seeker.nancy - Central Texasseeker.nancy - Central Texas Posts: 803 ✭✭✭✭

    Has anybody fermented anything tomato?

  • Ruth Ann ReyesRuth Ann Reyes Managing Director TGN Shy of the Chi - Zone 5bPosts: 350 admin
  • Obiora EObiora E Posts: 517 ✭✭✭✭

    @seeker.nancy I have done a lacto-fermented tomato salsa and also whole green tomatoes (one of my first ferments).

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