Fermentation FAQs

Fermentation FAQs

    • Choose fresh, healthy produce.
    • Before starting recipe, thoroughly wash hands, ingredients, equipment, and countertop.
    • Do not alter salt, produce, or water proportions. Salt is critical to prevent undesirable bacteria growth. The brine, or salt-water mixture, is set to a specific proportion to prevent undesirable bacteria growth
    • Do not alter recipe duration times. Do not taste fermenting food too early. Do not leave the fermented food out of the refrigerator longer than the maximum duration specified in recipe.
    • Only use canning or pickling salt that does not contain iodine and anti-caking agents.
    • Keep jar covered with cloth to block sunlight, and store in a cool, dry environment. Room temperature (68°F-72°F/20°C-22°C)) is optimal for fermentation.
    • Periodically check ferment to ensure that all food remains fully submerged under brine.
  • Pickling salt, such as Ball® Salt for Pickling and Preserving, and natural sea salts are free of additives and ensure you are using the best product for fermentation.

  • No. Cloudy brine is a sign that fermentation is taking place.

  • Visible mold, putrid smell, foaming, or unusual color changes. When in doubt, throw it out.

  • Mold has a fuzzy appearance and can be shades of green, grey, pink or white. It grows in spots or clumps and often has tentacles that reach well into the ferment. Kahm yeast is a safe, naturally occurring smooth white film that can form on the top of a ferment and inside the upper edges of the jar. kahm yeast smells yeasty, like bread.

  • Yes, but discard them when you open the jar. These pieces may not be safe to consume because they were exposed to air.

  • Place the spring in the jar with the bent pattern face-down on the surface of the food.

  • Headspace is the unfilled space in the jar between the brine and the rim of the jar.