Vegetables Floating on Top of the Brine?


QUESTION :: I tried Cebollas Encurtidas per the recipe in your book. It seemed to do OK but the onions, as a bunch, seemed to keep wanting to float above the brine. The weight I used was the water in the baggie trick and it clearly wasn’t heavy enough to keep everything down.

There still appeared to be some brine above the onions, so I think they remained unexposed for the most part. But I did not expect this (see picture). Is this normal for this recipe? Do I just need a heavier weight? If I catch it doing this, do I just keep pushing it down to the bottom?

I ended up scraping the top layer of onion off and tasted the rest. It didn’t taste bad, but I have no frame of reference for this recipe so I don’t know if the taste was right.



ANSWER :: This happens, it is not recipe or onion specific. It is as you suspect—not enough weight.  The high amount of released CO2 is trapped between the onions and causing them to float above the brine. To solve this simply push the vegetables back under the brine and add more weight. It is a good rule of thumb to remember that the larger ferments require larger bags with more water.

Some ferments just need more babysitting then others. This can happen with wetter ferments such as this one or pepper pastes. Just keep pressing your floating veggies back under the brine.