Lacto-fermentation is an old fashioned pickling process that is easy to do and adds probiotics to your diet.
I grew a nice batch of hot peppers last summer. Had a few plants each of cayenne and habanero. Had enough to use a bit fresh, freeze a bit, and then put the rest in a quart jar with a couple of garlic cloves and a 4% salt water brine. I weighted the peppers down with a small glass jar and left the whole thing on a shelf in my kitchen for 4 or 5 months. Today I put the peppers in the food processor with a little of the brine and voila!
It’s really good! And hot. Eddie and I ate some with tortilla chips and also killed nearly a half gallon of milk.
Going to have to grow more plants this year. This sauce is one to repeat.
Attempting Lacto Fermented Pickles Without Special Equipment
Brine made from 6 c bottled water to 1/4 c fine sea salt (was going for 3.5%, but it looks more like 4%)
Put in bottom of jars:
Fine sprigs from a good sized dill stem each
Chopped clove of garlic
One jar also got a chopped cayenne
Cut off pickle ends and put them in jars whole, wedging a couple across tops to prevent floating. Poured in brine, leaving a bit of headspace. Saved leftover brine and put into fridge.
Closed into regular mason jars, will have to burp them when fermentation starts, hope they don’t explode. May switch to coffee filter with rubber band.
Brine a bit cloudy. No pressure on lids yet. Scooped a few stray floating spices off the top.
Kitchen 64 degrees.
Brine very cloudy. Pressure on the lids. Burped them without issue. Tried to poke down floating spices some. Brine tastes wonderful. Some bubbles appeared to be coming up through a pickle. Pickles no longer bright green.
Very cloudy. Very fizzy. Upon opening, got a lot of activity but otherwise regular rings and lids are working well. Losing the floating battle though. Pickles are staying put pretty well, but seasonings are not. Next time would leave pieces large. The color looks like what I’ve seen other bloggers call half-sours to me. Another week should do it. I may taste them sooner, but if I do then my pickle wedge system will be ruined.
The bubbles stopped completely. I looked online for fermentation stages and whatnot, but since I just got home from work and it was dinnertime, I wasn’t patient enough to really find any good information. So what the hell? Let’s slice and try one of each.
Gordon said: Pretty bland. Definitely more cucumber than pickle ; Eddie said: The spicy ones aren’t very spicy.
Ah well. So I filled up the empty space with a brine-filled ziploc sandwich bag (using my leftover brine) to weigh everything down and hopefully prevent mold. Should leave them alone for another week.
I cracked the hot ones open today. The jar was full of broken down sediment.
Crunchy, salty, full of yummy flavor. Put the remaining hots in the fridge and left the other ones out on the counter because Gordon thought they could go a little longer and I’m curious about the next phase anyway.
Today is Happle Day (Happy Apple Day) where we eat apple cobbler from our very own apples for dinner. (I just made this holiday up as the cobbler was baking.) I happily have two gallon bags of frozen apples and a bunch of peels and cores in the fridge. Thinking about making apple cider vinegar and/or some hard cider with my scraps. The most fruitful harvest of the season came not at all from my efforts. It was just a gift.
Update: I’m trying it. Vinegar on the left, hard cider on the right. Only real difference is that cider recipe has more sugar. Yeah I know that a kool-aid pitcher isn’t a legit fermenting jug, but while googling I discovered that people ferment actual kool-aid for cheap booze, so…..The good news is that nobody is going to be ingesting this stuff except for me, so there’s only a risk of poisoning one person. And not really, since I have a magical iron stomach.
Below are a links to sites that helped get me from 0 to here- o. But, to disclaim, I’m a ballparker when it comes to recipes.