My Cart:

0 item(s) - $0.00
You have no items in your shopping cart.

0

Tools to Use

  • The Ultimate Gift Guide for Ferment Lovers

     

    Do you have that person on your holiday gift list that has everything? Maybe they could use something to encourage their interest in fermenting foods. Or, if they are already a ferment lover, they could always use more supplies or books on the subject. In this ultimate gift guide for ferment lovers, Kristi has compiled a list of everything from tools to books to ingredients. I'm sure you will find something here for your hard-to-buy-for loved one.

     

    Posted by Kristi

     

    What do you give someone who loves to ferment? A fermenter can always use more tools and supplies for fermenting. Whether they are just beginning or they are a pro, they would love to receive anything on this list.

    Ask your ferment lover what their favorite thing to ferment is. It will help you get a better idea of what to buy them.

     

    Ultimate Gift Guide | Fermentools.com

    Ultimate Gift Guide for Ferment Lovers

    Fermenting Supplies

    • This Handmade Wooden Tamper will make pounding the cabbage for sauerkraut all the easier.
    • Mason jars, big and small we’ll take them all!
    • Glass weights, we can always use more weights!
    • Salt, not just any salt, but an amazing quality salt like this Himalayan salt.
    • Airlocks - There can never be too many. I suggest buying one of the kits below…
    • Cheesecloth - some fermenters like to use a cheesecloth to cover their jars.
    • Grolsch Flip-top Bottles are the best for bottling your kombucha or tepache.
    • While we believe Mason jars make the perfect fermenting vessel, this Fermenting Crock looks beautiful on your counter top.

     

    Fermentation Kits

    • Starter set - Everything you need to start fermenting, this set is for the beginner or occasional fermenter.
    • Set of 6 - Get your ferment lover a set of 6 so they can ferment 6 things at once!
    • Set of 12 - Or go for the gold, so they can ferment 12 things at once! After all, what do you do when 10 cabbages come in from the garden?
    • This Beer Fermenting Kit has all you need to get brewing, including a glass carboy for secondary fermentation.
    • This Wine Making Kit is one of the most complete kits you will find.
    • This Cheese making kit contains everything you need to turn 20-25 gallons of milk into wonderful cheese. Complete with an instructional DVD, it already comes boxed for gift giving.

     

    Starter Cultures Gift Ideas

    • From Florida Sun Kefir, this 1/4 pound of Water kefir grains is gluten free, non-GMO, and free of fluoride.
    • Buy these active, organic Milk Kefir grains and get Milk Kefir Unleashed, an e-book by Thomas Egbert, free.
    • Scoby - for making kombucha.
    • Sourdough starter from Breadtopia, complete with written instructions to make wonderful sourdough bread.
    • Eight packets of Cheese starter cultures will make plenty of cottage cheese, cream cheese, chevre and more.
    • When you buy this  Yogurt starter you get free access to: 155-page Yogurt eBook including 30 recipes plus hundreds more articles, recipes, and how-to videos.

     

    Books on Fermentation

    Fermenting enthusiasts always enjoy reading what others are culturing in their kitchens and gathering new recipes for their own.

    • Wild Fermentation, by Sandor Katz
    • Fermented Vegetables, by Kirsten and Christopher Shockey
    • Mastering Fermentation, by Mary Karlin
    • The Art of Fermentation, by Sandor Katz
    • Fermented, by Charlotte Pike

     

    Food Items

    Of course all of the following are available for purchase, fresh, from your local farmers market or grocer.

    Fruit & Vegetables - peppers, cucumbers, cabbage, onions, garlic, carrots, cranberries, lemons, limes, oranges etc…
    Other items may include: meat, dairy & herbs to season the ferments with.

    Let your ferment lover know they should make some fermented hummus to bring to the holiday dinner. You won’t be sorry! It goes great with tortilla chips and vegetables such as celery, carrots, broccoli, cucumbers and so much more! It also goes well on a cracker with some cheese and olives slices.

    If you have questions, please leave us a comment! We will be happy to help you pick out the perfect gift for that fermenter in your life!

     

    ***************************************

    Don't forget, you can never have too many sets of Fermentools. Because when all that cabbage comes ready in the garden at the same time, or the grocery has an incredible sale on carrots, you will be glad you bought the 12-Pack, or more.

    ***************************************

     

    Kristi is the blog owner of HomesteadWishing.com She is a wife and mother of three wonderful boys. She loves to write about food, children & parenting, tips and tricks, and survival information.

    . . .
  • Fermenting Weights--A Comparison

     

    I saw a friend use a water-filled plastic baggy as a weight in her ferment. I was concerned. I mean, what if the baggy leaked? Or, worse yet, plastic from the baggy leached into her ferment? Sarah addresses this very topic in this post. For more fermenting weights comparison, keep reading.

     

    Posted by Sarah

     

    All ferments require some type of weight at the top of the jar or crock. And, while you can substitute a weight when you are just starting, it is better to get a dedicated fermenting weight to remove all chance of floating, or contamination.

    The weight keeps your ferment below the level of the brine. This prevents mold, fungal, and yeast colonization and contamination on the surface of the acidic ferment. If necessary, a clean piece of plastic, a rock, or even a plate can be substituted for a non-reactive glass weight temporarily, if you are ill or traveling and don’t have your Fermentools with you.

     

    Fermenting Weight Comparison | Fermentools.com

     

    Pros and Cons of a Glass Weight:

    Pros: Glass is non-reactive and non-porous. Despite the often high acidity of ferments, glass will not leach into the ferment. Being non-porous, it can be sterilized with boiling water and will not absorb or carry bacteria between ferments or between the room and your ferment.

    Cons: Glass is heavy and may require a particular sized jar. If traveling, jars can be challenging to get or heavy to pack with you. But for the peace of mind of a good ferment weight, it is worth the slight hassle to be careful with packing. If you are fermenting at home, you will have no issues with the glass weight.

     

    Pros and Cons of Other Weight Options:

    Plastic Pros and Cons: A piece of slightly stiff plastic, like the lid of a yogurt container, is easily located and cut to the size of your jar. It can be washed in hot water, but cannot withstand boiling water.

    However, plastic leaches, particularly in acidic environments. So, your ferment will have plastic leached into it if plastic is used as the weight. As plastic also cannot be fully sterilized and is slightly porous, using one piece of plastic over multiple ferments could cause transfer of potentially unwanted bacteria, or bacterial and fungal contamination.

    Plate Pros and Cons: Usually used on larger fermenting crocks, particularly for sauerkraut, a plate can be a handy weight. Choose a glass plate as opposed to a ceramic plate, particularly if the ceramic has an area that is unglazed. Ceramic is porous and sometimes ceramic glazes can have heavy metal contaminants, which could negatively impact your ferment. A smooth glass plate, that is an exact fit for the top of your crock would be preferable to a ceramic plate, or a plate that did not quite have a close fit.

    Rock Pros and Cons: Rocks are easily located, can be scrubbed and boiled, and are heavy enough to act as weights. However, many rocks are porous and even a thorough boiling and scrubbing may not remove all bacteria from the stone. Second, rocks are nearly always made of a mix of minerals and you do not know whether a particular stone may not contain heavy metals or other compounds that could leach into your ferment. Rocks, particularly in the acidic environment of your ferment, will leach and rocks like limestone could even dissolve.

    When looking for a long-term fermenting weight, go with a non-reactive glass weight. It will help keep your ferment happy, and you and your family healthy, for a long time. If you need a short-term solution, use wisdom and remember that acidic environments can leach chemicals and metals from plastic, stone or metal weights.

     

    *******************************************

    Because wide-mouthed Mason jars are easy to get, inexpensive, safe for fermenting and come in a variety of sizes, the Fermentools products are made to fit them. Find glass weights, airlocks, specially designed surgical steel lids and more at the Fermentools store.

    *******************************************

    Sarah Dalziel is passionate about DiY skills, knowledge, and self-sufficiency. She was homeschooled K-BSc, and enjoys questioning, researching, and writing about hands on skills and preparedness. Ethnobotany, natural dyes, and self-sufficiency fascinate her. If she isn't writing about them, you'll find her dipping yarn into a steaming dye pot, or stirring up a batch of woad pigmented soap. Sarah blogs at wearingwoad.com, a natural dye and fiber skills blog, and also at sarahdalzielmedia.com, an interdisciplinary skills and writing blog.
    . . .
  • A Brine Salt Calculator

     

    Ever come across a delicious-sounding recipe that you want to try but you're not sure how to make it because it calls for 3% brine and you don't know how to create 3% brine? Well, this post is for you. Kristi has taken all the mystery out of the equation by providing charts and step-by-step instructions. Read on for help.

     

    Posted by Kristi

     

    This post will help you calculate the exact amount of salt you need to make your fermented foods. The charts were designed specifically for use with fine-grain Himalayan sea salt. Himalayan sea salt is perfect for use in fermented foods.

     

    Salt Calculator | Fermentools.com

     

     

    Below, you will find three tables, which when used together make up our salt calculator. In the first table, find the food you plan to ferment. Look at the suggested brine percentage. Use the second table to determine how many grams of salt is needed. Take the gram amount to the third table, and determine how many teaspoons or tablespoons of salt that converts to. Add your salt measurement into your measured water, and stir it up. Now you have brine!

    Some food items can have salt added directly to the food and it will make it’s own brine. Sauerkraut and beets will make their own brine. If you get stuck, just leave us a comment. We will try our best to help you!

    Use the table below to find the brine percentage that you will need for the food you are fermenting. Go to the next table for more instructions.

    Salt Calculator | Fermentools.com

     

    On the table below, find the brine percentage you will need for your ferment. Choose how much brine you will need to make, and select the corresponding number of grams. 

    Brine Percentage | Fermentools.com

     

    Find the number of grams you need in the left-hand column of the next table. The corresponding teaspoon or tablespoon measurement will be in the right-hand column.  For example, if your measurement of grams is 13, you will need 1 TBSP & 1/4 TSP.

    Salt Calculator | Fermentools.com

     

    If you need help calculating your brine or don’t see your food on the list, just leave us a comment. We would be glad to help you!

    Try some of these awesome recipes that are already calculated for you.
    • Kimchi
    • Sauerkraut
    • Pickles 

    ******************************************

    I feel so much better about calculating brine now that Kristi has made it so clear for me. If you need some salt, Fermentools' Himalayan Powder Salt comes with the charts on the bag so you always have them handy. Now, to find how to convert my ancient recipe that calls for "brine to float an egg." 

    ******************************************

    Kristi is the blog owner of HomesteadWishing.com She is a wife and mother of three wonderful boys. She loves to write about food, children & parenting, tips and tricks, and survival information.
    . . .
  • Why Use an Airlock for Fermenting Vegetables?

    Posted by Mindie.

     

    The process of fermenting food is not a new technique when it comes to food preservation. Evidence indicates that early civilizations, such as the ancient Romans and various Asian cultures, have been fermenting food for thousands of years. Be it beer or bread, cheese or wine, around the world the process of fermenting is old as time.

    Why use an air lock for fermenting foods?

    Fermenting vegetables is an ancient art found in many cultures from Korean kimchi and Indian chutneys to the wide spread consumption of sauerkraut across Europe. The basis of all these foods is the Lacto-fermentation process where salt inhibits the growth of bad bacteria, while allowing the good bacteria to break down the sugars in the food and preserve it.

    Your Anaerobic Environment

    So if this process has been around so long, why all of a sudden are people now using  an airlock for fermenting vegetables? That answer can be summed up in one word, safety! Since the Lacto-fermentation process should take place in an anaerobic (without air) environment, it is key to food safety.

    As the fermentation process occurs, it gives off carbon dioxide and lactic acid. Since carbon dioxide is heavier than air, the air lock allows the air to be pushed out of your fermenting vessel safely without allowing more air in, thus creating an anaerobic environment in your fermenting vessel.

    Alternative Method

    But can’t I just put a lid on a canning jar? While you can, it requires you to “burp,” or let the air out of your vessel often, thus allowing more air, and non-desirable bacteria, back in the jar. If you don’t release the pressure created by the production of carbon dioxide you run the risk of your vessel exploding and no one wants that! Airlocks take the guess work out of when to “burp” and aid in providing the proper anaerobic environment for food safety.

    How to Use an Airlock

    Using an airlock for fermenting vegetables is easy to do with the Fermentools system. Each piece in the kit is set up to work together to provide you with the proper tools to produce healthy food in a simple system. Once you have your food submerged under your glass weight, simply place the lid. Fill your airlock half full with water, cap, and insert into your lid.

    Always leave an inch of headroom on your fermenting vessel to accommodate any food expanding during the process. For food safety, always remember to clean and sanitize the airlock and plug before each use. Only fill your airlocks with clean water.

    This simple tool, the airlock, not only makes fermenting easier, but aids in producing safe and healthy food. And who doesn’t want that?

    Mindie Dittemore is the driving force behind The (mis)Adventures of a "Born Again" Farm Girl where she inspires others to do more for themselves. Her motto is "It's not the amount of land you live on, but what you do on that land that makes you a homesteader." She resides in rural Michigan with her husband and two young country kids, along with a small herd of critters.
    . . .
  • Equipment for Fermenting Vegetables

    My first attempts at fermenting foods were disastrous. Many times, I ended up with slimy, moldy cabbage that was not only un-appetizing, but unsafe to eat. What was I doing wrong?

    Equipment for Fermenting Foods

    Having the proper equipment for fermenting vegetables is critical to success. Why? Because you need to keep you food submerged below the level of liquid.

    The first time I tried to make sauerkraut, I didn’t know that. Fail.

    After I learned this truth, I tried to make fermented pickles. Keeping the cucumbers under the brine with a plate was real tricky. I ended up with some moldy ends. Gross.

    Fermenting Crocks

    Then, I thought about getting a fermenting crock. My husband had picked a couple up from an auction and I used one to store kitchen utensils. I had a few more in the attic. But with those, I still had to weight down the food with a plate on top.

    You can buy new fermenting crocks that come with weights. That sounded like a good idea. But they cost a lot of money. The cheapest I could find was $70. They are also heavy. And I am not a very strong person. I also have a tile floor and everything that hits it breaks into a million pieces. I would be heart-broken to drop a $70 crock on the floor and have it break.

    Then I found Fermentools.

    Canning Jars

    The weight we sell fits into a wide-mouthed canning jar. Canning jars are cheap and light weight. If I drop one and break it, I have 50 more just like it in the cupboard.

    Air Locks

    Another important component of fermenting foods is keeping oxygen away. Oxygen provides the environment that bacteria need to grow, and you do not want that. So we sell air locks that fit perfectly into the lid (with the help of a rubber stopper) to prevent that from happening.

    Lids

    Our specially designed lid fits inside a standard, wide-mouthed canning lid ring. You don’t have to worry about your lids and jars being compatible. Also, in our kits we include rubber stoppers with holes to accommodate the air locks and rubber stoppers that are solid. Once you remove the air lock, simply replace the stopper with a solid one before putting your product in the refrigerator. Of course, if you want to immediately start another jar of fermented goodness, you can replace the fermenting lid with a standard canning lid.

    You can get a six-pack kit for about the same price as that crock I found. That kit will allow you to ferment six different recipes at the same time. With the crock, you are limited to one recipe. Me? I’ll take the variety every time.

    What do you use to ferment your foods in?

    . . .

5 Item(s)

The information on this website is not intended to replace professional medical diagnosis, treatment or advice. Health claims on this website do not warranty, guarantee, or predict the outcome for others. Fermentools strongly recommends readers consult a trusted healthcare professional for any medical condition. All information and links to other resources are posted in good faith. We cannot guarantee the accuracy or validity of any information shared from other publications. Fermentools accepts no responsibility or liability whatsoever for the use or misuse of the information contained on this website.