Why ferment? Eating fermented foods is a great way to get probiotics into your gut. This good bacteria aids in healthy digestion which promotes optimum overall health! Also, there are more vitamins in fermented vegetables and the fermentation process makes it easier to digest them.
What materials do I need and what is Whey? From my research, it looks like the materials I need to start my first fermentation is a big mason jar, an airlock, pink himalayan salt, cabbage, carrots, garlic, a knife and cutting board. Whey, pronounced "way", is the watery part of milk that remains after the formation of curds. Whey helps start fermentation in a variety of products. It is important to research and experiment with different types of whey because it can affect the taste of your fermented food. Fortunately, when fermenting vegetables, you do not have to add whey because the organisms you need are already present on the vegetables.
What can go wrong? Sometimes, if your vegetables aren't submerged in liquid the whole time, then mold can grow on top of your veggies. If this happens, you can just scrape the mold off and add a little water and continue fermenting.
Also, it's important to use clean and uncontaminated raw vegetables and to sterilize the vessel you will use to ferment.
Here is some good guidelines I found that will help with my first sauerkraut attempt and storage:
"Proper temperature is important. According to USDA, at temperatures between 70-75 degrees F, kraut will be fully fermented in about three to four weeks; at 60-65 degrees F, fermentation may take five to six weeks. At temperatures lower than 60 degrees F, kraut may not ferment, and, above 75 degrees F, kraut may become soft." -taken from Foodsaftynews.com
Also from Foodsaftynews.com, "Fermented food needs to reach a pH level of 4.6 or lower (which indicates it is acidic enough to be safe). Fermentation, if done properly, will bring food to the “safe” acid level.
Post 1: Research and project plan
Post 2: Make Sauerkraut and airlocks!
Post 3: Pickled Eggs, Green Beans, Radishes, Moroccan Lemons, Cucumbers
Interview with Mike
Post 4: Kombucha and Kefir!
Post 5: Hot Sauce and Kimchi!
Below, you can find my Scoop.it! website that curates all the web browsing I have been doing to gather information on fermentation:
Fermentation Information on Scoop.it!