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Old 08-27-2017, 10:50 AM   #1
stearns
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Default Lacto-Fermentation

I know I’ve talked to a few people about lacto-fermentation but I thought it might be a good idea to start a thread specific to it. I got interested in lacto-fermentation a few years ago after finding out how easy it is, and have been using it regularly to make sauces and ingredients. The most commonly known uses for this is with cabbage, such as sauerkraut or kimchi, but you can really use it with any vegetables. The process uses “Lactobacillus” bacteria that’s already present on all plants, and only takes a little bit of salt (2% by weight) to pull them out and get the process started.

The process is straight forward – cut up whatever you want to ferment, weigh and put in a jar, make a salt water mixture using 2% of the total weight and fill up the jar until the brine barely covers the solids. Put a weight on it to try to stop anything from floating to the top, then put an airlock on it to let out co2 without letting in oxygen and wait.

A few weeks ago I went down to Pueblo CO, an old farming town that has their own type of chili pepper that I wanted to check out. I went to one of the bigger farms and got a whole bunch of different peppers to ferment for different projects. Without really knowing what I was doing, I got (from sweet to hot) Sweet Lilac, White Dove, Sweet Marconi, Sweet Yum Yum, Big Jim Hot Anaheim, Pueblo, Ancho. I took three big mason jars and made a mixture for eating/cooking with on their own, a mixture that will be turned into a hot sauce, and one that was just fire roasted pueblos with a little garlic. I did a few test batches a while back with regular Anaheims to figure out the best way to ferment “roasted peppers” to follow the local trend of roasting these chilis in the big drums, which everybody usually freezes to use during the rest of the year. I ended on just blistering the skin with a kitchen torch, the end product is less mushy than using fully roasted peppers, but still has a little smoky flavor.

I chopped these up and put in their respective jars, filled with brine and let them sit. After one day I could start seeing the first bubbles form, which increased over the rest of the week. After one week I took out the weight (I use glass ones I bought off amazon but you can use a smaller mason jar, they fit in the wide mouth top) and stirred it up, at which point it looked like it was churning with all the activity. I let it sit for two more weeks, then this morning stirred them again. It is still making bubbles, but it’s slowing down, probably a few more weeks until they are done fermenting completely.







I’m making this thread to go through this particular batch as well as start a conversation with anybody else who might be into experimenting with lacto-fermentation, and talk about any batches in the future. Anybody else play around with this?
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