I have 3 of these 1 quart vessels: http://www.culturesforhealth.com/fermented-vegetable-master.html
I have a package of Body Ecology Culture Starter: http://bodyecology.com/control-weight-vegetable-culture-starter.html
I have a few heads of cabbage.
It seems so simple and yet I am so confused. First, I made kimchi and ate almost the whole jar before learning that it should have been submerged in the brine while fermenting. I followed the instructions from Body Ecology and it didn't say that! So then I was terribly worried I had poisoned myself and my family! Eek! Also, I hear of a lot of people using whey, but then I also read that you really should NOT use whey according to some credible sources including Wild Fermentation because milk bacteria like milk and what you really need are the bacteria from the vegetable's soil which is available in some culture starters but not necessary as it should be live and well on your fresh produce. Okay, so just salt and my culture starter it is! But then I read that the culture starter bypasses some crucial steps in the fermentation process (can't remember what I read or where) and so then I figured, okay I'll just use salt. Taking out the whey and the cutlure starter simplifies things anyway.
So then I read that a lot of people ferment the cabbage for about a week. But then I've also read about how the fermentation process goes through several stages and the proper lactic acid can't possibly develop (and be as beneficial as we want it to be - the whole point in eating the darn stuff!) unless it ferments for 4 weeks! That's quite a difference, right?!
So...use the Body Ecology starter or not? Ferment for 28 days or 1 week? Does anyone have any links? I have read so much that my head is spinning but I don't really know who knows what they are talking about and who doesn't so I would really appreciate comments from someone who is experienced and knowledgable. Thank you!
I have been researching this myself, and the most helpful thing I have found is here:
She tested a whole bunch of different methods and looked at samples under a microscope to measure the lactic acid bacteria and whether there was mold.
I think you can't go too far wrong with what you have. If I were you, I'd use the starter and ferment it for a month. As long as it tastes good and has no mold, you are probably getting great benefits!
Oh!! Thank you! I had read a blog referring to this blog but then my internet screwed up and I was never able to trace back my steps to find this source. What a cool experiment! My set up is much like one of the airlock systems she recommends so that's encouraging.