Fermentation brine ratio question - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 5 Old 08-21-2009, 06:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
Metasequoia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: In the village
Posts: 5,637
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
When I make pickles, I follow Sandor's recipe for a 5.4% brine (3 TBSP salt to a quart of water.) Can I use the same ratio to make all vegetable ferments, like kraut, kimchi, carrots, beats , etc?

When I make kraut, I also follow Sandor's recipe, chopping cabbage, putting in bowl, sprinkling salt, adding more cabbage, more salt, more cabbage, more salt, etc, etc. & then mashing it down. If I don't get enough brine just from the juices, I mix 1 TBSP salt in 1 cup of water & top it off.

My question is: Can I just make a standard brine of 3 TBSP salt in 1 quart of water & use this for all ferments? I made kraut & beets/carrots/ginger the other day & instead of salting & mashing the cabbage, I just stuffed shredded cabbage in jars & poured the brine over it - same with the other ferment.

I should probably ask The Man himself...but would love to hear what everyone else thinks.

Homeschoolin' Mama chicken3.gifto Dd1 2/3/00, Dd2 1/13/03, Ds1 3/11/06 & Ds2 11/18/10!!
Metasequoia is offline  
#2 of 5 Old 08-21-2009, 06:17 PM
 
tanyalynn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: TX, but anticipating one more move
Posts: 11,489
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
My impression from Sandor's book is that there's more flexibility in brine strength than I used to think. He's got a low-salt version of sauerkraut that's quite a bit different from the usual one IIRC, and I think it has higher risk of spoiling, but other than that, it's fine (and the spoiling is supposed to be obvious). I check whichever book is closest, either NT or Wild Fermentation to look up salt: water ratios when I make ferments. Maybe I've been lucky so far, but most of what I do turns out, and I'm not as exacting a cook as perhaps I should be.
tanyalynn is offline  
#3 of 5 Old 08-21-2009, 06:49 PM
 
pandora665's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: The cold tundra
Posts: 444
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I went to a talk of his, and he mentioned that the salting/mashing method makes it a bit more nutritious, b/c the juices that the veggies are steeping in are their own. He said that some people do just brine cabbage for kraut (in Eastern Europe, apparently they brine whole cabbages in barrels).

He never measures salt himself for kraut (just sprinkles and smashes, and repeats until it tastes the way he likes it), so I know that exacting salt/water ratios aren't necessary. Lower salt just means that it ferments faster. I'm sure you could use that brine ratio for anything that doesn't give up its own juices.

Good luck!
pandora665 is offline  
#4 of 5 Old 08-22-2009, 09:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
Metasequoia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: In the village
Posts: 5,637
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Oh that's right! I forgot about the fermenting of whole cabbages - that was waay back, didn't the soldiers from somewhere borrow that idea from whatever city they were conquering?

Okay, I feel better about my lazy approach. My knuckles always take such a beating when I pummel down the salted cabbage.

My beets/carrots/ginger look so purty.

So obvious spoilage would be mold, which I have none of. I've been really good about pushing the ferments down below the brine throughout the day.

I'm hoping to find some little pickling cukes at the farmers' market this morning so I can make some pickles! I still haven't found the perfect vessel. Last time, I used a food grade 5 gallon plastic bucket - but the thought of fermenting something so acidic for so long in plastic bugs me out.

Homeschoolin' Mama chicken3.gifto Dd1 2/3/00, Dd2 1/13/03, Ds1 3/11/06 & Ds2 11/18/10!!
Metasequoia is offline  
#5 of 5 Old 08-22-2009, 10:10 PM
 
velcromom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: N. Ca Sierra Nevada
Posts: 4,977
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I don't like the idea of plastic either. The new Ball Ideal jars come in up to four gallon size. It would be nice to have a crock but they are so $$$... I have my eye on these for pickle jars - but I think I'd get four one gallons.
http://www.goodmans.net/get_list_1056.htm
velcromom is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off