GROW: The Book
I started to do a bunch of cabbage for sauerkraut and realized there is a hole in the bottom of my mother’s old crock. Is there any way to fix it and it still be suitable for food?
People used to soak porcelain in milk to repair cracks. I think with pottery used for fermentation, with the bacterial culture growth and gas pressures involved, repairing cracks might not be a healthy proposition.
However, you might be able to repurpose the crock, to hold a plant for kitchen herb garden, or as an external container for a smaller jar-and-lid style fermentation container, or other dry-storage use (to hold an airtight container of non-iodized fermentation salts if used, or dried chilis, etc)
I concur with @MicheleBaron - a crack in a pottery crock can definitely be a risk for the wrong sort of bacteria. You wouldn't want to have to throw out a whole batch of kraut because it was contaminated.
I agree, that would be heartbreaking! The crock has a hole in the bottom, not a crack running lengthwise, so I was hoping that someone would know of a hack to make it usable. Oh well, there’s always my good old mason jars!
@Lexie if you really really want to use the crock, try a double-layer ziplock baggie setup, fermenting in the inside bag (the outer bag just to provide wall strength an protection against tears or leaks) -- you would have the aesthetic look of the crock, the sanitary fermentation zone of resealable plastic... which you could remove and replace for each subsequent batch...
@Lexie just a thought. I have used beeswax to fix a few things. I would try to get some and take some small pieces and lay over the hole. Not sure how big it is. Then take a heat gun and melt it in the spot you want fixed. Slowly build it up and then let it cool. Since we all know beeswax is food safe you should be ready to go. Put some water in to check your patch, you should have a permanent patch. Already know you can’t get beeswax off the pots I use to clean it up for candle making. Hope this helps, keep us posted and good luck.