I have a question for you!
Can you tell me why this littles dots on my Pickles is normal? (Pictures are attached) They dont have that before..
The pickles was made the last summer so already 7 months in the fridge.
Also, I find that often, my fermented vegetables are soft. Not crispy (pickles, greens beans, radish...) why ?
I always put a little bit of black tea in the final jar but help to keep their crispiness.
But I need your help!
Oh dear, those do not look well. I believe this is some kind of fungus. This could happen if even one of the tops of the pickles was peeking out of the brine. That little bit of exposure acts as a vector.
As far as soft ferments, more often than not that is because there is not enough salt in the brine. One of salt’s functions is to harden the pectin in the cell walls and this is what keeps things crispy. Tannins help but you need more salt to begin with.
Cucumbers are especially needy in this regard. Of all the things I ferment cucumbers get the highest salt ratio. They just want to soften otherwise. You want to you a 5% brine.
I hope that helps,
Wondering what’s up with the color difference on my lacto ferment pickles. Same batch, one has a light green band around the outside, and the other is fully dark green all the way to the skin.
Thanks for your help!
Thanks for reaching out about the cucumbers. I am sorry but we have been traveling for the last 2 weeks and I don’t know if Christopher got back to you. I apologize for the late reply.
The discoloring you see is just the way the fermentation works. The white parts are not fully fermented, called half-sours to some. This is okay as it will continue to ferment in the fridge. How it works is that when you sink the cucumber into salt water the saline of the salt water and the base water in the pickle exchange in an osmosis process because the water is looking to balance itself—meanwhile the lactobacillus are acidifying the whole affair. This is why you see variation in the coloring—different speeds of that exchange.
I hope that helps and you enjoy your pickles.
Dear Kirsten and Christopher,
I bought a copy of your book last month and successfully preserved a bunch of farm fresh vegetables using your fermenting techniques. However, I am having some doubts about my pickling cucumber ferment. I followed the NY Deli-style pickle recipe. After 5 days I noticed Kahm yeast and removed it. Before refrigerating I noticed some slime so I added more salt to the brine. Upon doing so, I noticed white clumps formed the minute I added a bit of grey sea salt. The water itself looks cloudy and some of the pickles seem to want to float. The white clumps have since settled to the bottom of the jar. The brine itself smells great but before tossing the batch and deeming them unsafe to eat I thought I would get a second set of eyes to look at my jars of pickles. Please see the attached pictures. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you for the pictures, they really help. All veggies want to float in the brine and it looks from the pictures like maybe they did some floating in the jar. If any of them did slip out from the pack and float to the top that would be a conduit for develop enzymatic or yeast infections. We are guessing you may have one or both on this batch. Cloudiness is normal but the white chunk is baffling to us. Our recommendation honestly Tina is to compost this batch and try again. If you are up for that really pack them in tight and under that shoulder of the jar - they should be in there tight enough that none can float to the top. It also helps to find a tannin rich leaf—grape, oak, horseradish to tuck over the top to keep things under the brine and crispy. We hope you still have cukes and that you have a good second batch.
Christopher & Kirsten