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Lacto Fermentation Fun

8 months 1 week ago - 8 months 1 week ago #9 by Tony Carson
Lacto Fermentation relies on the properties of Lactobacillus Bacteria. Which by pure chance (?) happens to be human friendly and able to deal with a Saline Aerobic environment. Sounds very scientific I know. But if you have Salt and a clip top jar, you’ve basically got everything you need.
The Bacteria is all around us in the air, on your hands and living inside you. So you don’t need anything by way of a culture. But as a quick starter I often add a teaspoon of the brine solution from an existing successful ferment.
Anything vegetable based which has any level of natural Sugar will Lacto Ferment in a 2% to 4% brine. Generally the higher the Sugar content initially the higher the final Acidity will be, as the Bacteria digest Sugars and release CO2 and Lactic Acid as a bi-product. The Lactic Acid pickles the vegetables and eventually the Bacteria goes into a state of stasis and sinks to the bottom. It’s not dead, it’s just sleeping.

A typical ferment will take 3 to 4 weeks.

Garlic is a great starter as you can see by the colour how the fermentation is going. The Sulphur compounds change colour as the acidity increases. Your Garlic cloves will go from fresh Cream, to Green, through livid Turquoise and eventually settling back to a darker shade of Cream / Light Brown. Once fermented out you will have an acidity of about 11% to 15% and they can be stored in air tight jars for longer than you are likely to live! That never happens here as we use pickled Garlic in just about every meal.

Here are a few other ferments we’ve tried -

Ginger was quite hard to get going as it has natural anti-bacterial enzymes. I gave it 2 weeks and then seeded it with a brine from a running batch of Garlic. It then bubbled away quite happily…..
Last edit: 8 months 1 week ago by Tony Carson.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Georgina Mueller

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7 months 1 week ago #19 by Georgina Mueller
As an avid fermenter (but still a beginner) I have found that it is quite sad to have to dispose good brine especially from hot ferments. When I have a lovely spicy /flavourful brine I will pull out some dried gf bread cubes soak them in the brine then dehydrate again. Use them as croutons, sprinkle on soups or salads, grind for bread crumb. So versatile and tasty. 

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7 months 1 week ago #20 by Tony Carson
Replied by Tony Carson on topic Lacto Fermentation Fun
The Croutons gig sound like a cracking idea. I often use the remaining Brine as a 'Starter' for a fresh batch. It's a bit of a cheat trick, but it does get the fresh batch off to a flying start.

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