Fermenting Vegetables

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Barefootgirl
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Fermenting Vegetables

Postby Barefootgirl » Sun Jun 18, 2017 8:58 am

I have a friend with a garden. He harvests more than he can use by himself (and his family, neighbors, etc.)

In addition to filling his freezer, he ferments and has been trying to talk me into it. I live an urban life (think little time and space), so I wasn't too keen to it, until he introduced me to *lacto fermentation*.

It's as simple as falling off a log. All you need is a crock or jars, some weights to keep the veggies under the brine, some easy to dissolve salt and filtered water. I have been fermenting the produce of the summer (so far, swiss chard stems, onions, green tomatoes) - they ferment on the counter for several days, then I put them in the fridge. They are delicious in a salad or along side meat on the plate. The brine is great to drink to replace electrolytes during exercise.

Have any of you tried this? any suggestions or recipes to share? I might next try mixing a little fruit in with the ferment, such as a plum relish - trying to avoid alcohol ;)
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ResearchMed
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Re: Fermenting Vegetables

Postby ResearchMed » Sun Jun 18, 2017 9:05 am

Barefootgirl wrote:I have a friend with a garden. He harvests more than he can use by himself (and his family, neighbors, etc.)

In addition to filling his freezer, he ferments and has been trying to talk me into it. I live an urban life (think little time and space), so I wasn't too keen to it, until he introduced me to *lacto fermentation*.

It's as simple as falling off a log. All you need is a crock or jars, some weights to keep the veggies under the brine, some easy to dissolve salt and filtered water. I have been fermenting the produce of the summer (so far, swiss chard stems, onions, green tomatoes) - they ferment on the counter for several days, then I put them in the fridge. They are delicious in a salad or along side meat on the plate. The brine is great to drink to replace electrolytes during exercise.

Have any of you tried this? any suggestions or recipes to share? I might next try mixing a little fruit in with the ferment, such as a plum relish - trying to avoid alcohol ;)


Hmmm. Never heard of this. Very interesting.

But that "brine"... you added salt.
Where are the other "electrolytes" coming from?
Is there really much of that from the veggies that is transferred to the "brine"?

RM
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sheepfarmer
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Re: Fermenting Vegetables

Postby sheepfarmer » Sun Jun 18, 2017 9:23 am

Try carrots, cauliflower, kohlrabi, separate or mixed. Use a 5% brine with pickling spice. If you are just using kohlrabi add dill. Ferment for 10 days. Keep in the refrigerator. Goes great with a martini before dinner. :sharebeer

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dm200
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Re: Fermenting Vegetables

Postby dm200 » Sun Jun 18, 2017 9:26 am

Before refirgeration, this was a common food storage technique.

The most common are sauerkraut and pickles. Healthwise, I suspect the issue might be high salt/sodium dieetary intake.

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Re: Fermenting Vegetables

Postby Barefootgirl » Sun Jun 18, 2017 10:39 am

"The best you can do is set up like a baseball team does against an unknown hitter. That is spread the defense and wait for the ball to come to you." - pkcrafter

ResearchMed
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Re: Fermenting Vegetables

Postby ResearchMed » Sun Jun 18, 2017 10:57 am



Thanks.

That is fascinating, about the probiotics and such.
I had no idea that something like this was much more than "preserving the food safely".

But I'm still not sure about the "electrolytes", and worry that there is mostly salt (sodium) in that solution.
But if there are lots of other "goodies" (probiotics), that might sort of balance out the high sodium...
Or is high sodium not actually a problem with the remaining liquid?

Thanks very much for the links!

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tidelandp
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Re: Fermenting Vegetables

Postby tidelandp » Sun Jun 18, 2017 11:44 am

I always have something fermenting in the kitchen -- vegetables, fruit, grains, beans, seeds, milk ... The process increases bioavailability of nutrients. Raw fermented foods are vital to a nutrient dense diet.

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Re: Fermenting Vegetables

Postby harvestbook » Sun Jun 18, 2017 11:50 am

We always have sauerkraut, pickles, pickled okra or peppers, or kimchi going.

Mike Scott
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Re: Fermenting Vegetables

Postby Mike Scott » Sun Jun 18, 2017 12:30 pm

Too much salt for us to do the traditional brine ferment process but you can substitute whey. We usually have something going in our fermenting pot.

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Re: Fermenting Vegetables

Postby NibbanaBanana » Sun Jun 18, 2017 12:47 pm

When it comes to nutrition, if there isn't a link to a peer review article that you can read for yourself, then it's just somebody's opinion. Or they're trying to market something. Most likely the latter. For nutritional information I always use nutritionfacts.org. Good luck.

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Re: Fermenting Vegetables

Postby Teague » Sun Jun 18, 2017 12:52 pm

tidelandp wrote:I always have something fermenting in the kitchen -- ...


Me too. I really need to clean out that fridge.

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Re: Fermenting Vegetables

Postby tidelandp » Sun Jun 18, 2017 1:39 pm

Teague wrote:
tidelandp wrote:I always have something fermenting in the kitchen -- ...


Me too. I really need to clean out that fridge.


Time for kimchi jjigae or the ultimate fermentation pot, your compost bin.

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mrc
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Re: Fermenting Vegetables

Postby mrc » Sun Jun 18, 2017 1:48 pm

I make "dilly" beans (fermented green beans, garlic, dill weed), sauerkraut (cabbage, caraway seed), and kefir regularly.

Any store bought item that's not in the refrigerated section, or that contains added vinegar) is not a true fermentation. I make the beans/kraut in a vacuum bag. Haven't used the crock in a long time. The kefir is like yogurt but ferments at room temp using a culture.

You can find out everything you need on the web. The Art of Fermentation is a great reference.
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Barefootgirl
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Re: Fermenting Vegetables

Postby Barefootgirl » Sun Jun 18, 2017 2:08 pm

The dilly beans are the best. Do you have any tips for ingredients that support crispness? (for example, in cucumbers!) my last batch of cukes was a little flabby. Someone suggested adding a tea leaf to the jar.

By the way, for others here, the Journal of Probiotics & Health has a ton of academic research articles related to these foods. I hesitate to go off on a tangent since it will likely get the thread locked....so, back to the food :)
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Re: Fermenting Vegetables

Postby itstoomuch » Sun Jun 18, 2017 2:14 pm

Yes, used to do it a lot.
May still do it but the yeast and lacto/aceto bacteria may aggrevate my gout. :|
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btenny
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Re: Fermenting Vegetables

Postby btenny » Sun Jun 18, 2017 3:20 pm

Did you people go read the articles about Kimchi and other pickled vegetables? The scientific data is pretty clear that Kimchi raises the odds of getting cancer. I love the taste of the stuff but I will not go out and start eating a lot of it after reading this data.

Good Luck.

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Re: Fermenting Vegetables

Postby Sandtrap » Sun Jun 18, 2017 4:15 pm

Kim chee? :shock:

Teague
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Re: Fermenting Vegetables

Postby Teague » Sun Jun 18, 2017 4:16 pm

btenny wrote:Did you people go read the articles about Kimchi and other pickled vegetables? The scientific data is pretty clear that Kimchi raises the odds of getting cancer. I love the taste of the stuff but I will not go out and start eating a lot of it after reading this data.

Good Luck.


Reference please?

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Re: Fermenting Vegetables

Postby btenny » Sun Jun 18, 2017 4:28 pm

Google chimchi and cancer. There are lots of references.

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Re: Fermenting Vegetables

Postby Teague » Sun Jun 18, 2017 4:33 pm

btenny wrote:Google chimchi and cancer. There are lots of references.


I did that, but because correlation does not imply causation, I couldn't find anything that would lead me to the conclusion that kimchi ingestion causes cancer. I did find the link to "Oprah" amusing though.

thegoodlife
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Re: Fermenting Vegetables

Postby thegoodlife » Sun Jun 18, 2017 4:48 pm

barefootgirl;

Try a grape leaf in your pickles.

Barefootgirl
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Re: Fermenting Vegetables

Postby Barefootgirl » Sun Jun 18, 2017 5:18 pm

Living is linked to cancer. This forum often surprises me.

The subject of grilling meat comes up here often and yet I don't think I've ever seen one poster mention the link between cancer and charred meats/food and cooking meats at high temps - something that has probably been included on the ACA website for more than 10 years. People have the strangest biases.

As I stated a few times, I am trying not to get this simple little innocent thread locked....but if you insist.

PS -
Thanks for the grape leaf tip and no I am not a vegetarian - have some lovely dilled salmon poaching as we speak.
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Teague
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Re: Fermenting Vegetables

Postby Teague » Sun Jun 18, 2017 5:52 pm

One thing I have been planning but never got around to doing is making kosher dill pickles this way. The "half-salt" ones in particular. I was amazed to see how simple it is to do, and relatively foolproof apparently. The cucumbers come naturally inoculated with the starter culture! I like the vinegar pickled ones just fine, but the real fermented ones are harder to come by and much better in my opinion. The instructions I read said put the jar in a cool garage, but I haven't timed the seasons right so far.

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Re: Fermenting Vegetables

Postby Barefootgirl » Sun Jun 18, 2017 6:06 pm

I think the brining solutions I use fall somewhere between 2-4 percent - so the brine is salty to the taste, but quite palatable, particularly as its rich with other flavors developed during fermentation - but to me, not any more salty than a bag of salted pretzels or potato chips - or as I recall, I haven't had them in awhile.
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tidelandp
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Re: Fermenting Vegetables

Postby tidelandp » Sun Jun 18, 2017 6:57 pm

Barefootgirl wrote:Do you have any tips for ingredients that support crispness? (for example, in cucumbers!) my last batch of cukes was a little flabby. Someone suggested adding a tea leaf to the jar.


The factors that can affect crispness are many, starting with the quality of your produce. Organic, just-picked is better than conventional of indeterminate age. Inadequate salinity can also cause flabbiness. This article has 5 more tips for assuring crunchy fermented cukes, http://www.culturesforhealth.com/learn/ ... d-pickles/, including the addition of certain leaves for tannin.

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Re: Fermenting Vegetables

Postby tidelandp » Sun Jun 18, 2017 7:18 pm

mrc wrote:You can find out everything you need on the web. The Art of Fermentation is a great reference.


"The Art of Fermentation" is indeed a great resource, as is “Wild Fermentation.” Sandor Katz is a fermentation god.

I’d like to add 2 additional books, “Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation” by Michael Pollan, and “Preserving the Japanese Way: Traditions of Salting, Fermenting, and Pickling for the Modern Kitchen” by Nancy Singleton Hachisu.

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Re: Fermenting Vegetables

Postby drjazz » Sun Jun 18, 2017 9:39 pm

Barefootgirl - I suggest adding a few horseradish leaves to each batch of pickles to keep them crisp. I believe the key ingredient is oxalic acid. They might be difficult to find unless you or a friend grow horseradish; it's very easy to grow, the main problem is its tendency to spread. A good source of roots is Johnny's Select Seeds.

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mrc
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Re: Fermenting Vegetables

Postby mrc » Mon Jun 19, 2017 3:57 am

To keep cucumbers crunchy, I suggest adding grape leaves, oak leaves, cherry leaves, horseradish leaves, or other tannin-rich plant materials (even a tea bag or green banana peel). Harold McGee writes that using unrefined sea salt “improves crispness thanks to its calcium and magnesium impurities, which help cross-link and reinforce cell-wall pectins,” which he points out is also how pickling additives such as alum or calcium hydroxide work. [36] ... People have used many varied strategies to accomplish this sometimes elusive goal.

— Katz, Sandor Ellix. The Art of Fermentation: An In-Depth Exploration of Essential Concepts and Processes from Around the World


I must say that I've never had a batch of beans (the item I ferment at least once a month) go bad using the vacuum bag. Occasionally, a batch won't be quite as crispy as usual. If the cell walls break down, even if the ferment is healthy and tastes good, we humans prefer crisp over soft, the latter being a sign of spoilage.
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Barefootgirl
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Re: Fermenting Vegetables

Postby Barefootgirl » Mon Jun 19, 2017 6:42 am

we humans prefer crisp over soft, the latter being a sign of spoilage.
. I never thought of it this way, but that's exactly it. I looked at the lovely and tasty piece of cucumber that I had fermented and it tasted good, but I had to tell myself the mushiness was not a concern ;0

If it's solely due to calcium and magnesium, I could easily add a bit of my liquid mineral concentrate (helped my kefir actually). I wonder why the first recommendation is for tannin over added minerals....hmmm
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Re: Fermenting Vegetables

Postby likegarden » Mon Jun 19, 2017 9:11 am

We lived in an apartment when I grew up. My mother made Sauerkraut that way in a jar in our basement. Korean Kimchi is similar.

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Re: Fermenting Vegetables

Postby lthenderson » Mon Jun 19, 2017 9:23 am

We do quite a bit. However this year I branched out after Easter and tried something different to use up all the hardboiled Easter eggs the kids had. I pickled them and I can't believe I have spent most of my life and had never eaten one before.

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Re: Fermenting Vegetables

Postby Ged » Mon Jun 19, 2017 9:59 am

Teague wrote:
btenny wrote:Google chimchi and cancer. There are lots of references.


I did that, but because correlation does not imply causation, I couldn't find anything that would lead me to the conclusion that kimchi ingestion causes cancer. I did find the link to "Oprah" amusing though.


I'm skeptical of correlations as well. But... there are mechanistic results that provide that causation in this case.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2696579

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Re: Fermenting Vegetables

Postby jmk » Mon Jun 19, 2017 10:58 am

Try radishes-- brine turns beautiful pink

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Re: Fermenting Vegetables

Postby onthecusp » Mon Jun 19, 2017 10:59 pm

Mike Scott wrote:Too much salt for us to do the traditional brine ferment process but you can substitute whey. We usually have something going in our fermenting pot.


We are also averse to the high sodium to use it with everything.

Our first try at the whey method produced some mold on top. Any tips to prevent that? Can it just be scraped off?

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mrc
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Re: Fermenting Vegetables

Postby mrc » Tue Jun 20, 2017 4:59 am

onthecusp wrote:
Mike Scott wrote:Too much salt for us to do the traditional brine ferment process but you can substitute whey. We usually have something going in our fermenting pot.


We are also averse to the high sodium to use it with everything.

Our first try at the whey method produced some mold on top. Any tips to prevent that? Can it just be scraped off?


I add 1/2 T kosher salt to a head of cabbage for the vacuum bag ferment. One needs a lot less salt to obtain a successful ferment with the vacuum method compared to using brine, and especially compared to any commercial product.
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Re: Fermenting Vegetables

Postby Tamarind » Tue Jun 20, 2017 6:29 am

Got a fridge full of mixed cabbage, daikon, carrot pickles at the moment. I do this pretty frequently and enjoy the taste. Dilly beans and pickled okra are my favorite to make from the garden. If you're concerned about sodium, it's possible to reduce the salt if you 1) like very vinegary pickles and can up the acid content and 2) don't mind keeping them in the fridge the whole time. You can also try the family of sweet pickles which use sugar instead of salt, or use herb/garlic heavy mixtures. I've never tried the vacuum method but it sounds interesting...

If you're enjoying the wide variety of flavors, try kombucha and sourdough for added fun ferments which contain little salt. Kombucha (fermented tea) is not to my taste but some people adore it. For kombucha and sourdough, it's easiest to get a mature colony from someone (the kombucha organism is called a "mother" and looks like a little jellyfish). These are like odd microbial pets and do require periodic care and the right storage conditions between uses.

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Re: Fermenting Vegetables

Postby Tamarind » Tue Jun 20, 2017 6:39 am

onthecusp wrote:
Mike Scott wrote:Too much salt for us to do the traditional brine ferment process but you can substitute whey. We usually have something going in our fermenting pot.


We are also averse to the high sodium to use it with everything.

Our first try at the whey method produced some mold on top. Any tips to prevent that? Can it just be scraped off?


I would probably discard as spoiled a ferment which grew unexpected molds. There are some where it's expected (miso, f.ex, where you are cultivating a specific mold) but I would not want to see it on any pickle with a vinegar or brine component. Sounds like the acidity or salinity was off. Scraping off the visible mold doesn't remove most of the mold.

Low sodium is a nice goal but you must have some part of the process remove unwanted bacteria in order to produce a safe food. Salt, sugar, acid, or heat, basically, and preferably at least two. If you don't want to use salt or sugar in sufficient concentrations, you need to "pickle" with boiling vinegar solution and then keep refrigerated, like storebought.

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Re: Fermenting Vegetables

Postby Tamarind » Tue Jun 20, 2017 9:43 am

Let's cut the health talk as this is a topic I'd like to see remain open!

Anyone got a favorite cucumber pickle recipe? I've never made them myself even though I've done other vegetables.

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Re: Fermenting Vegetables

Postby LadyGeek » Tue Jun 20, 2017 6:57 pm

I removed a number of posts and replies which were giving, then challenging, medical advice (health benefits of a certain chemical, effects of diet to reduce certain diseases). The thread was derailed. As a reminder, medical advice is off-topic: Medical Issues

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Re: Fermenting Vegetables

Postby j0nnyg1984 » Tue Jun 20, 2017 8:08 pm

i water bath can everything I do. I don't think it's the same as fermenting.

I have cupboards full of quarts. lots of super spicy / dilly / garlic green beans and asparagus. I routinely make "mexican vegetables" like you'd find in a restaurant - jalapenos, onions, carrots, cilantro, etc. SUPER spicy but so damned good.

I want to try pickles this year.

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Re: Fermenting Vegetables

Postby macman_65 » Wed Jun 21, 2017 3:55 pm

I ferment hot pepers. I use them sliced or to create hot sauces.
A lot of the commercial hot sauces are made with fermented peppers.

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Re: Fermenting Vegetables

Postby Tamarind » Wed Jun 21, 2017 5:33 pm

macman_65 wrote:I ferment hot pepers. I use them sliced or to create hot sauces.
A lot of the commercial hot sauces are made with fermented peppers.


I know some hot sauces are fermented but I don't know how it's done. How long do you typically let them "mature". Is a standard pickling liquid involved or does the capsaicin change the recipe?

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Re: Fermenting Vegetables

Postby mrc » Wed Jun 21, 2017 5:40 pm

Tamarind wrote:
macman_65 wrote:I ferment hot pepers. I use them sliced or to create hot sauces.
A lot of the commercial hot sauces are made with fermented peppers.


I know some hot sauces are fermented but I don't know how it's done. How long do you typically let them "mature". Is a standard pickling liquid involved or does the capsaicin change the recipe?


You can ferment hot peppers just like kraut (stemmed fruit + salt). Some add garlic and other spices. Food process the results. The capsaicin matters not to the micro critters :-)

Use as a seasoning in cooking or as a raw condiment. “Commercial hot sauce with factory-farmed peppers soaked in cheap vinegar will never taste the same again,” warns Rick Otten. “I make an heirloom hot sauce, a fermented chili-garlic sauce (think sriracha), and a fermented version of the Southern pepper vinegar sauce for greens,” writes April McGreger, who sells her ferments as Farmer’s Daughter Brand in Carrboro, North Carolina. “I am forever in awe of the complexity in the flavor of a fermented pepper.”

— Katz, Sandor Ellix. The Art of Fermentation: An In-Depth Exploration of Essential Concepts and Processes from Around the World
A great challenge of life: Knowing enough to think you're doing it right, but not enough to know you're doing it wrong. — Neil deGrasse Tyson

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Re: Fermenting Vegetables

Postby macman_65 » Thu Jun 22, 2017 8:50 am

Tamarind wrote:
macman_65 wrote:I ferment hot pepers. I use them sliced or to create hot sauces.
A lot of the commercial hot sauces are made with fermented peppers.


I know some hot sauces are fermented but I don't know how it's done. How long do you typically let them "mature". Is a standard pickling liquid involved or does the capsaicin change the recipe?


At the simplest - slice the jalapenos and keep submerged in salt water (brine) for a couple weeks.
The longer you let them ferment - generally - the greater the tang.
You can add garlic/onions or other spices as you desire before or after the fermenting process.

If you just want to eat the jalapenos sliced then you're done after the fermentation. If you want hot sauce run the peppers through a blender, adding brine and/or vinegar for the desired consistency. You can then run the results through a food mill or cheese cloth to get rid of the bits. Depending of the quality of your blender this might not be needed.

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Re: Fermenting Vegetables

Postby dm200 » Thu Jun 22, 2017 2:14 pm

j0nnyg1984 wrote:i water bath can everything I do. I don't think it's the same as fermenting.
I have cupboards full of quarts. lots of super spicy / dilly / garlic green beans and asparagus. I routinely make "mexican vegetables" like you'd find in a restaurant - jalapenos, onions, carrots, cilantro, etc. SUPER spicy but so damned good.
I want to try pickles this year.


I would be very, very careful in home canning (sounds like that is what you do with 'water bath'). The safety of various methods depends on (among other factors) whether the food is acidic or not. Here is just one reference to such risks. https://www.thespruce.com/removing-risk ... ng-1327437

As far as canning methods go, you need to remember that non-acidic foods must be processed in a pressure canner, not a boiling water bath. That will make sense once you know the "why" behind the "what."

I would hate to see you "disappear" from this forum.

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Re: Fermenting Vegetables

Postby j0nnyg1984 » Sun Jun 25, 2017 12:06 pm

dm200 wrote:
j0nnyg1984 wrote:i water bath can everything I do. I don't think it's the same as fermenting.
I have cupboards full of quarts. lots of super spicy / dilly / garlic green beans and asparagus. I routinely make "mexican vegetables" like you'd find in a restaurant - jalapenos, onions, carrots, cilantro, etc. SUPER spicy but so damned good.
I want to try pickles this year.


I would be very, very careful in home canning (sounds like that is what you do with 'water bath'). The safety of various methods depends on (among other factors) whether the food is acidic or not. Here is just one reference to such risks. https://www.thespruce.com/removing-risk ... ng-1327437

As far as canning methods go, you need to remember that non-acidic foods must be processed in a pressure canner, not a boiling water bath. That will make sense once you know the "why" behind the "what."

I would hate to see you "disappear" from this forum.


that's why you use a minimum 5% acid vinegar.

My mom and my god mom have been doing this for probably 100 years combined. We'll be fine :)


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