Herbs on Brine—Mold or Yeast?

herbs on pickle brine

I’m fermenting some cucumbers and carrots using a simple garlic and dill recipe. As you can see, all of the vegetables are safely below the brine (I’m using glass weights to keep them down), but the dill has floated to the top. I’m worried that this will cause mold to grow but am not sure if mold will grow from an herb like dill or if it only grows when the vegetables themselves are exposed to air. It’s been fermenting for 5 days and so far no mold but there’s a very thin white film on the top of the brine (hard to see in the picture), and it looks like some whitish coloring is forming around some of the pieces of dill. I don’t have an airlock system so I keep the jar covered but not airtight to allow the gasses to escape. What do you think?

Hi Justin,

Yeah those pesky small herbs always sneak past the weights.

Your ferment looks fine, it looks like you are developing a small bit of Kahm yeast (the white) not a big deal and very normal. I wouldn’t touch it until you are ready to taste and eat at which point you will scoop off the yeast with a spoon and discard (along with the dill bits that are floating in it.) Generally, once you refrigerate the yeast doesn’t return but if it does just scoop off as it is harmless—just can taste a little yeasty and will soften any veggies that get up above the brine and into this yeast. That won’t be a problem though with your weights.

I have made pickles without air-locks for years and still do — its all good!