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Fermenting 101

Did you know that the vegetables in your refrigerator are fermenting right now? However, since they are exposed to air, the bad bacteria that causes mold and slime is more prevalent than the good bacteria that turns fermented veggies into a nutrient-rich probiotic.

Fermentools helps you control the environment and promote the good bacteria, while discouraging the bad bacteria from becoming dominant. The solution to this is eliminating all (or most) of the oxygen from your ferment, stopping the growth of the other strains of bacteria. You see, as the good bacteria starts to grow, it gives off lactic acid and carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide is heavier than air, so it sinks to the bottom, keeping the oxygen away from your food.  With an air lock, you can vent these gasses, leaving a perfect environment for your ferment.


Fermenting is easy.
Salt dances on our taste buds and that, mixed with water, is all that is needed to create a basic ferment. The salt will inhibit most of the bad bacteria from becoming dominant, allowing the good bacteria to multiply and preserve your food.


It doesn’t have to be perfect.
Living organisms don’t need a perfect environment to thrive. Bacteria, good or bad, is no different! So not only is fermenting easy, you don’t have to stress about it. For example, say you are following a recipe but it doesn’t meet your expectations the first time around. The next time you try that pickling recipe you may choose to add more or less salt. The point is, the bacteria just needs the basic components of an environment and it will thrive.

Components of the environment.
The good bacteria growth you are trying to promote while fermenting your vegetables needs three basic things:

1.    Salt
2.    Water
3.    Lack of oxygen

 

Fermentools offers the best products on the market to help you create this environment. Let’s do a quick comparison of the other products out there on the market:

·    Fermenting crocks – This method is expensive and takes up a lot of space. Crocks are also inconvenient because you can’t store your finished product in the container you use to make them in or make a variety of veggies at the same time.
·    Plastic lids – This method is most comparable to Fermentools since plastic lids are comparable in cost and fit standard Mason jars. However, in the process of food preparation and preservation, would you rather use plastic products or food grade stainless steel?
·    Converted glass jars – These jars are great products, but they are expensive and are meant for only the purpose of fermenting food. This means you need to find a place to store these jars when you’re not using them.

 

Fermentools’s main component is the food grade 304 stainless steel lid that is designed to fit wide-mouth Mason jars. Our other components include gaskets from the Tattler Canning Company, stoppers, and air locks, and are all standard and easy to find. And since Fermentools works with Mason jars, you can ferment your food right in the container you are going to store it in. There is no need to transfer your product!

Convenient
Fermentools were designed specifically to work with products you already have and products that are easy to find. Mason jars, lids, and gaskets can all be found at your local grocery store. Air locks and stoppers are all found at home brewing supply stores, which have begun to pop up more and more due to the popularity of craft beer.

Saves money
Since our components are meant to work with the products you already have, or can easily purchase at the grocery store, there is no need to buy an entirely new set of glass jars.

Saves space
Fermentools are small, but not so small that they are easily misplaced. Since they easily fit in any drawer, you don’t need to clear out extra space in your pantry or cupboard to store your fermenting equipment.

Saves time
Fermentools are easy to clean. Our stainless steel lid is dishwasher safe and our other parts are easily rinsed off in the sink.

Safe
With Fermentools, only the glass weight is in contact with your food.  The Stainless Steel lid, gasket, stoppers and airlock are above your food.  Plus, all materials are food grade and BPA free

Not all salt is created equal.
You already know that Fermentools will help you produce an anaerobic environment by pushing oxygen away from our food product. The last thing you need is a good quality salt, and it does matter which kind!

Iodized and pink salt
These salts are not recommended. Iodized salt contains additives and lacks the minerals needed to create a probiotic-rich finished product. Pink salt is pink because it contains colonized bacteria, which would have an adverse effect on the outcome of your fermented veggies.

Sea and mined salt
Sea salt and mined salt with no additional additives will work for fermenting veggies. However, you may find that it takes a little more work to dissolve in water.

Follow this process:
1.    Boil the water
2.    Mix in the salt until it completely dissolves
3.    Wait for the water to cool down
4.    Add the resulting brine to your veggies

So, although these salts will work, there is a better product out there.

Fermentools salt
Although our salt is pink, it doesn’t get its color from bacteria, like in pink sea salt. The salt we use and recommend gets its color from iron. Our salt is also rich in other trace minerals, giving you the best product possible. Fermentools salt also makes your fermentation prep-time more convenient. It is ground to a powder, making it easily dissolvable in cool water, so you don’t have to follow the process required with sea or mined salt. Instead, you can mix up your brine and add it right to your veggies, ready and waiting to start fermenting.

 To sum up, here’s what you need to start fermenting:

·    Equipment to keep air away from your food
·    Good quality salt
·    Time

You are on your way to creating a healthier preserved vegetable!