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I am in the process of fermenting my first batch of sauerkraut.  Since I shredded the cabbage too fine, it was floating on the top of the brine.  I tried to mitigate this by covering the whole thing with cabbage leaves and an extra weight.  After the first several days the leaves were fairly moldy so I removed them and the extra weight.  There is still bits of shredded cabbage floating on the surface and today there was a pronounced "bloom" over the entire surface of the kraut.  It was lighter in color than the mold on the leaves but still very scummy.  I still have most of the cabbage under brine and I skimmed the bloom off.  I used a lacto starter from Cultures-for-Health and followed the directions carefully.  The kraut is 12 days on the counter and I want to move it to the fridge but I'm just uneasy about the whole thing.  Not sure if it looks/smells right.  I have a deep seated fear of botulism.  Any input would be greatly appreciated.  This is cabbage from my garden so I have a lot invested here!


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I've made lactofermented pickles, saurkraut, kimchee, jalapeno rings, and chile sauce.

I usually keep them in the fridge once they are "done" just because I eat the stuff pretty slowly, and am afraid that they will get mushy.

But I supposed that once the process is complete, it won't proceed any further...? I'll have to look it up in my book.

Here are the pickles I made, with my crock in the back. My family lives in rural Kentucky. So I bought it at a junk shop, while I was out there.

I used a saucer, weighted down with a jar of water to keep everything submerged.

Here's the pepper sauce:

Oh and olives! How could I forget olives?

These look like the amazing but pricey olives I splurge on at the olive bar at Fry's or at the Olive MIll.  Beautiful and I be they taste even better!

Grr, those look just like the old style pickle barrel pickles - yum.  And Olives!!! - I have been wanting to salt cure olives for a while - a friend says she may know a friend who would have the olives and I might be able to pick in October (that is when the Olive Mill suggests picking)  I had not thought about it as a fermentation so much as a straight brining.  Are you doing the olives any particularly way?  Thanks for the great pictures.

Thanks! You know, I don't know if it is technically lactofermentation. I didn't add anything other than salt and seasoning.

Though, that is also what I did with the pickles and pepper sauce as well. Supposedly, random lactobacillus lands in it and goes to work.

I followed the recipes in Wild Fermentation. Here at the pickles at the start:

After a week:

Here are the olives after 2 weeks:

And after about 9 months:

Can you believe that I STILL haven't opened them? 

I would have been chowing down as soon as I thought they would be tasty!!!!

Is Wild Fermentation a book, a site or both?  Thanks for the great pictorial inspiration :-)


Some of the recipes from the book are on the site, and the forum is pretty active, for troubleshooting and such:

I would be willing to loan out my copy to anyone who is interested, as I'm not planning any fermenting projects any time soon. Well, I would like to make some ginger beer, but I probably won't get around to it.

Also, it appears that Mr. Katz has a new book coming out in June, that might be more detailed and include illustrations and such.

Come to think of it, I think I did pour a little whey off the yogurt into the pickles, when I started them. It was so long ago, I forgot how I did it!

I could see some whey.  The video I shared a link to, was pretty simple in preparation - for pickles.  I'm going to get my sauerkraut started today or tomorrow and keep my fingers crossed.

Awesome - good luck!

Go for it Catherine!  I've been eating mine every day and am thinking it may not last as long as I thought.  Let us know how it turns out.

Thanks, Grrlscout.  I did find the site but was not sure it was 'the one' - ginger beer sounds fun :-)


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