what is lacto¯fermentation?
Lacto-fermented foods are fermented by lactobacillus bacteria, a category of benefcial bacteria that
feeds on sugar and produces lactic acid as a byproduct. This is why lacto-fermented foods taste acidic.
Most lacto-fermented foods are nothing more than whole, chopped, sliced or grated vegetables placed
in a brine of salt and water for a period of time at room temperature to let benefcial bacteria develop.
bubbles form when CO² is trapped.
It may have a yeasty smell and look
powdery. On the downside, the favor
of kahm can affect the favor of your
ferment so it's preferred to spoon it off.
WHEN IS YOUR FERMENT READY
FOR COLD STORAGE?
When you see bubbles and effervescence
and your fermented food has a sour
(but not rotten) aroma and taste.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
• 16- to 64-ounce mason jars
or other sterilized glass vessels
• Airlock fermentation lids
• Nonmetal strainer,
cheesecloth or cotton satchel
• Glass pickling weights
• Wooden spoon, rolling
pin or tamper
• To eliminate air pockets, tightly pack
and pound chopped vegetables and/or
fruits with a tamper and add salt.
• Use weights to submerge fermenting
foods in the brine, and opt for
airlock lids. Wipe the rim clean of any
exposed food or liquid before sealing.
WHY SALT? Salt prevents undesired
bacteria from overpowering the
lactobacillus. Using salt also helps the
vegetables stay crunchy by drawing
water out of them. This extracted water
can then act as the liquid for the brine.
STORAGE & FERMENTATION VESSEL:
Make sure your fermentation vessel
and weights are clean. You can easily
sterilize them with boiling water or by
running them through a cycle in your
dishwasher—then let them air-dry.
Choose a glass vessel. Do not use a lid
that exposes bare metal to the ferment;
it may rust. Select a lid that is “lined” or
plastic. Store in a cool, dark place, ideally
between 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
MOLD & YEAST: If a fuzzy, raised,
white/blue mold appears on your
ferment, throw it out and start again.
Unlike with cheese, you’re not trying
to grow mold, and the type of mold
that forms on your ferment will not be
a type you can ingest. It’s best to err on
the safe side and start over.
Kahm yeast—a milky white substance
that appears on the surface—on the
other hand, is safe and can be scraped
off. Kahm yeast is fat, except where