questions about fermented foods and long-term storage - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 06-01-2009, 02:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm attempting to do as much as I can this season so I can stay as local as possible.
How long do whey fermented products last? Do they have to be refrigerated?
Are there any good sites on this topic (specifically lacto-fermented stuff)?
Is the book Wild Fermentation a good resource for this?

I especially want to make sauerkraut, beet kvass, pickled beets and other veggies, jams relishes and chutneys. I think this is going to take up a lot of room because I eat a ton of this stuff. But I only have 1 fridge and I live in an apt.

Thanks.
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#2 of 11 Old 06-01-2009, 02:55 PM
 
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In my experience......
Ferments must either be refridgerated of kept in a root cellar, just above freezing.
Saurkraut lasts a full year if kept at the right tempature in the fridge.
Salsa does not keep well. I follow the directions fully , but everytime it goes bad within two weeks. So we make it as we need it.
Beet Kvass is something that you make as needed. Kind of like Kombucha.

Is there any way you could squeeze in a half size fridge for storing ferments in? Does not have to be in the kitchen.

Wild Fermentation does not use whey for the recipes. Things like crock pickles will keep in the fridge for a period of time, but not super long periods.
I am sure others will have more insight.
Paula

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#3 of 11 Old 06-01-2009, 09:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I wanted to make the beet kvass and pickled beets from local beets in season so I wanted to make a whole bunch and have it for the rest of the year (ideally).

Do you think they will stay like the sauerkraut?

Wild Fermentation doesn't use whey? What does it recommend you use?

I would buy a mini fridge but I made my dh buy a mini-fridge a few years ago and then when we moved I said we should get rid of it and he did against his better judgment (he's a pack-rat and I'm a minimalist). So I can't go there.

My idea was to ask a friend if I can use their fridge and freezer space and make some extra for them in return for storage.
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#4 of 11 Old 06-01-2009, 09:31 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Jimibell View Post
I wanted to make the beet kvass and pickled beets from local beets in season so I wanted to make a whole bunch and have it for the rest of the year (ideally).

Do you think they will stay like the sauerkraut?

Wild Fermentation doesn't use whey? What does it recommend you use?

I would buy a mini fridge but I made my dh buy a mini-fridge a few years ago and then when we moved I said we should get rid of it and he did against his better judgment (he's a pack-rat and I'm a minimalist). So I can't go there.

My idea was to ask a friend if I can use their fridge and freezer space and make some extra for them in return for storage.

Beet Kvass will not last. Its meant to be drunk when its ready. After day 2 or 3. The pickles I am not sure about. Have not made those yet. But I will be this fall. I will be cold storing the beets, and will make them as I need them.

Wild fermentation is just that. Wild. Like making real sourdough. Mix flour and water, cover and feed daily.
Like the long method for making saurkraut.
Chop cabbage, pound with salt, weight it down and wait.
Get a copy of the book for sure.

Paula, wife to Steve, mother hen to 38 , busy doing : TTC after 6
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#5 of 11 Old 06-01-2009, 10:11 PM
 
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Wild Fermentation is a fantastic book. I had a similar question though because I love fermented green beans and would eat them all year but I don't have that much fridge space. Sigh. Oh well.

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#6 of 11 Old 06-02-2009, 07:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I love a ton of "pickled" dishes too! I would be totally content to eat them all year long. Tomatoes, mushrooms, beets, cucumbers and sauerkraut are my favorites. Green beans sound great too!

Unfortunately I don't have any cold storage. I'm on the 19th floor of a building in Chicago. I wish I did though.

I am curious as to why the kvass wouldn't last like the pickled foods. It is made the same way, is it because there is more water?
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#7 of 11 Old 06-02-2009, 08:02 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Jimibell View Post
How long do whey fermented products last? Do they have to be refrigerated?
I am starting to whey ferment a few foods (carrots, cabbage, and cucumbers next) and I follow the guidelines in Nourishing Traditions. This is from the book (page 91), and may help you:

"Lacto-fermented veggies increase in flavor with time - according to the experts, saurkraut needs at least six months to fully mature. But they also can be eaten immediately after the initial fermentation at room temp. Lacto-fermented veg condiments will keep for many months in cold storage but lacto-fermented fruits and preserves should be eaten within two months of preparation."

"The sign of successful lacto-fermentation is that the vegetables and fruits remained preserved over several weeks or months of cold storage."

"Lactic-acid fermented veggies and fruit chutneys are not meant to be eaten in large quantities but as condiments. They go beautifully with meats and fish of all sorts, as well as with pulses and grains."
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#8 of 11 Old 06-03-2009, 12:10 AM
 
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One thing to keep in mind is that the process reduces some foods a fair amount. For greens its considerable - I swear I just lacto-fermented three bushels of kale into a half-size foo grade bucket. Since its supposed to be used in condiment quantities, then its awesome - you are packing tons of nutrition into a tiny space. Some stuff you just have to can I think. I mean, you can lacto-ferment tomatoes, but if you want to preserve the harvest for six months, canning is still a good option for some things.

Drying is a very apartment-friendly mode of preservation too!
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#9 of 11 Old 06-03-2009, 07:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thank you, thank you!

yes, I'm planning on mixing it up. tomatoes I will can, jam I will can. mushrooms, tomatoes and some fruits I'll dry
some greens I'll freeze
I never thought of fermenting greens, sounds like a great idea.
I think this goes well with the concept of eating more meats in the winter, the veggie condiments will go so well with all the meat.
I have plans for all sorts of things. I'm excited about it. I just did my asparagus.
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#10 of 11 Old 06-03-2009, 08:31 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Jimibell View Post
I am curious as to why the kvass wouldn't last like the pickled foods. It is made the same way, is it because there is more water?
Personally, I have made the kvass this way, and left some in the fridge for some time, and it got more then a little scummy.
Because it is a tonic, you need very little of it, and a gallon is going to last a long time. I know its not a local buy, but a couple of organic beets every so often, will keep you in kvass quite well.
Just my two cents!
Try making some right now, and see how it holds for you.
And how much you end up actually drinking.

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#11 of 11 Old 06-03-2009, 08:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I drink a cup of kvass every day, plus I put it on my salads (which I guess I'll be eating less of in the winter)
But I agree, I don't want to go crazy trying to be local and in-season to the detriment of my sanity or whatever. I'm just going to do what I can now and see where it goes...
thanks.
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