Fermentation Success, thanks to Fido jars!

I am so excited to have finally had some vegetable fermenting success thanks to Fido Jars !

Fermented Vegetables are so good for you! Done right they pack a proboitic punch unlike anything you can get from a bottle you bought at the store.

They’re cheaper than those bottles too, if you make them yourself.

I would like to incorporate two or three servings of fermented foods a day into my diet.

My yogurt always ferments flawlessly, but fermenting success with vegetables, not so much.

Until Now.

fermentation success

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My Many Fermentation Fails

Failure #1

The first time I tried to make sauerkraut it went bad in the first 5 days. There was pink mold growing all over it an the stench was horrid!

I had rigged up a make shift fermenting vessel out of a big Tupperware bowl, a dinner plate and a dish towel.

I don’t remember what went wrong exactly, but whatever it was, it went really wrong.

Failure #2

Next, I tried to make Apple cider vinegar. This time in a large pickle jar with a cheese cloth over it.

We were spared the stench with that little experiment, but I forgot to check on it for a long, long time and when I finally did there were a large amount of gnats involved.

So I gave up for a few years.

Failure #3

I decided my ferment failures might have been because I didn’t have the proper kitchen equipment. So I purchased a traditional American crock like my grandma had. (affiliate link)

I packed it full of salt and cabbage, weighted the cabbage down under the brine with a dinner plate and a heavy rock that I had scrubbed clean and boiled for good measure. Then I covered the whole thing with cheese cloth and left it to sit on my counter top.

I checked the crock often and always found a bunch of white stuff floating on top. I had read this was a normal type of yeast called Kahm yeast and I could just scrape it off, so I did. Every…single….day

About half way to the time it was to be done I became worried about the amount of Kahm yeast that was growing.

And not being able to find a local person to ask for assistance, I chickened out and tossed the whole batch in the trash.

It may have turned out? But I’ll never know now.

Failure #4 

Last summer, not wanting to waste 3 Gallons worth of cucumbers in my big crock (which had now become a counter top decoration and catch-all), if things went wrong once again……..

I decided to try using a smaller Jar like this: (affiliate link)

I cut down the lid of an old ice cream bucket to fit the opening of the jar, weighted it down with a pint sized mason jar full of water and covered the whole thing with a bath towel.

Initially it went better than the sauerkraut had gone. There was still a little white Kahm yeast I needed to remove every few days.  But alas, they turned into a soggy mess and the very cloudy brine worried me.

From this   20140212_135508  to this  20140311_162150

A Half Success

In May of this year, I stared another bath of Sauerkraut, this time in yet another type of fermentation vessel. I’d don’t know where I first head about this vessel, but as soon as I did, I knew I had to try one.

I remember reading that with this particular type of fermenting vessel, I shouldn’t have such a time with that yucky Kahm yeast that seemed to plague my attempts at successful fermentation in the past.

The special vulcanized rubber gasket/seal keeps oxygen out while letting the by product gases of the fermentation process escape (gas off) without me having to do a thing.

And they are inexpensive!

It almost sounded too good to be true, but I just had to try it.

Enter the Fido jar (affiliate link)

As soon as my fido jars arrived, I washed them up and packed them full of cabbage and salt, pounded it all down and clamped the lid shut.

I also did one other thing differently this time. I kept my ferment in a cooler place for 10 days.

My kitchen, I think, might just be too hot to ferment in sometimes. It can get up to 80 in there when I’m cooking in the summer.

I checked the jars for Kahm yeast each day and found none. When doing so I opened the jar to be sure. Later I found out this is a no no as it allows oxygen inside. 

You should not get enough Kahm yeast with a Fido to need to scrape any off.

On day 10. I stopped the ferment and moved it to storage in the refrigerator. I had intended to let this kraut ferment for 28 days. But I found out last minute I needed to have my third surgery to remove a giant cell tumor from  my arm.

I wrongly assumed I would need to check on, fuss over and scrape kahm yeast off the top of the kraut, and I wouldn’t feel like it because of the surgery. So into the fridge they went.

Fast forward 5 months, once our mini house disaster that followed immediately after my surgery slowed down, I found my forgotten jars of sauerkraut in the deep recesses of my refrigerator.

The cabbage color looked a little bit off. It looked a bit tan. I asked around online and was told it was because oxygen had somehow entered my jars.

That was because I kept opening the jar checking for Kahm yeast before I knew I shouldn’t be doing that with a Fido Jar.

20141007_195753 20141007_195830

But it smelled Ok.

So I tasted it and it tasted like sauerkraut!

So I ate some and didn’t die. So then I ate some more. 

Fermentation Success

Two weeks ago, I decided to try fermenting some organic baby carrots in a Fido jar.

I still don’t have a kitchen sink or kitchen counter tops, thanks to my house disaster, so chopping up a bunch of cabbage just seemed like too much effort.

Fermented Dilly Carrots Recipe 

fermenting success

 

What You Need

1 pound bag of organic baby carrots (or peeled carrots cut into sticks)

1 tsp dried dill seeds

1 tsp dried dill weed

2 cloves of garlic peeled

2% salt brine made with chlorine free water and a natural salt, such as Real Salt, Celtic Sea Salt or Himalayan Sea Salt

1 Fido Jar or fermentation vessel of your choice

Step One

Make a 2% salt water brine by combining 4 cups of water and 1 TBSP of salt.

Bring to a boil and stir until all of the slat is dissolved. Then set aside to cool, which can take two hours or more.

*You can speed up the cooling by submerging your pan full of brine in an ice bath. Just be sure not to get any ice or water in the brine or you could mess up the ratio of salt to water*

Step Two

Add dill seed, dill weed, garlic and carrots to your jar.

Try to pack the carrots really tightly, so they don’t rise to the top of the jar like mine did.

If you are using a Fido Jar, it shouldn’t be a problem because they are air tight, but it’s still better IMHO, if you can avoid it.

Step Three

Pour the cooled 2% brine over the carrots and spices to within one inch of the top and clamp the lid shut.

Then set your jar in a warm (but not too warm) spot in your house. 68-72 degrees is good.

Cover the jar with a dishtowel or other article to protect your ferment from direct light

Step Four

Wait. For 7 to 28 days to enjoy your dilly carrots.

Notes

Many recipes for fermented carrots that I saw online said to wait about 7 days to eat them.

I got busy and waited 10 days. I found crunchy, tangy, fizzy carrots with a slight dill flavor.

The next time I make a batch, I am going to try and wait the full 28 days. I base thisoff the advice I have received from fellow Fido Fermenters in a Facebook Group I happened upon recently.

Do you eat or make fermented foods? Have you had fermentation success? I’d love to hear your tips.

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Comments

  1. Hello. Have you ever tried installing airlocks on the lids of jars? I use 1/2 gallon jars and simply punched out holes that would fit the gasket and airlock device purchased at our local brew supply shop. They are really inexpensive and fool proof. They allow gasses to escape without introducing oxygen. Fermented food for thought!

  2. sounds like I need me some Fido jars! Hubby has been asking me about making sauerkraut. I am grateful to learn from your mistakes, er, I mean, experience 😉 Thank you so much for this tutorial and all the tips!
    Linda recently posted…A Thought about Aprons and the Hearts for Home Blog Hop 10.23.14My Profile

  3. Interesting! The only thing I’ve ever fermented was cucumbers! I always thought of fermented foods as bad…must do some more research on this!
    Kristen from The Road to Domestication recently posted…Home Matters Linky Party #11My Profile

  4. I’ve never fermented anything and I’m not so sure I want to try, but I do love the jars! :)
    Alli recently posted…Cookie Dough TrufflesMy Profile

  5. This is so interesting to me. My mom used to do this when I was a kid & I would love to do it as gifts… I’m highly allergic to fermented foods (I know… so weird!) but I think it would be fun to learn how to do it.
    Renee @ Renew Your Space recently posted…Vision Board your Weight Loss PlanMy Profile

  6. I like those Fido jars because they are attractive. I’m not one for consuming fermented products but if I ever decide to, I know where to come for great info! You have just about mastered the craft. Pinning for others to learn too.
    Shirley Wood recently posted…Home Matters Linky Party #11 And A GiveawayMy Profile

  7. I’m still a chicken when it comes to fermenting my own things. I may have to give these jars a try and do my first run at it.
    Erlene recently posted…Jellyfish Halloween CostumeMy Profile

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