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Old October 23, 2019   #58
Nan_PA_6b
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Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
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Imp, DH says:

1. There can be cloudiness in the bottom or a white film that grows on top. That's called Kahm yeast. Wipe and spoon what you can off the top and you can eat it.

2. If it's dark, very fuzzy, or smells funny, toss it. You can't save it.

3. If you're not sure, fermentation groups can help. In the meantime, don't eat it.

4. Salt, acidity, and a lack of oxygen enables lacto-fermentation. Equipment, like special one way lids, can help. So can starting off with a trusted recipe until you learn the ropes.

5. The recipe will tell you how long to ferment. Opening your ferment introduces oxygen, which makes it easier for mold (which needs oxygen) to grow. Lids, like "Nourishing Essentials" allow you to reseal your ferment by pulling air out of the jar after you reseal it. Thus, it's possible to open the lid to taste your ferment, although doing it too often can still cause mold. Keeping the vegetable below the brine also helps reduce oxygen, so weights, baggies, or cabbage leaves can help.

6. You can get an idea of how your fermenting is going by looking for bubbles of CO2 in your jar. The special lids allow this CO2 to escape, which keeps your ferment from becoming over-pressurized and breaking.

7. I did the fizzy tomatoes in the Nourishing Essentials book for my first ferment. I'd probably do a better job now after a number of ferments. There are other tricks like using water without chlorine or chlorine compounds in it, no iodine in the salt, etc. A fermenting group can help. If you have questions, I can try to answer.

I'd love to hear how this goes. I might try a green tomato ferment soon.
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