Should Fermented Rainbow Chard Turn Brown?


Hi Kirsten,

I recently tried fermenting some rainbow chard stems. They looked and tasted good while they were cementing, but after moving them to the fridge they are starting to turn brown at the tips. They have softened significantly, but don't smell or taste bad. I didn't weigh them down, so some were slightly poking out of the brine. I've attached some pictures. Are these safe to eat? 

Thanks for your help,


Hi Cassidy,

Unless they are somehow off-putting, smell, taste, mold etc. they are likely fine. If they are soft, that could be off-putting, but are safe if they taste fine. If they are mushy or slimy then they are no longer good.

The color and softness likely came from poking out of the brine. 



Is Brown Fermented Garlic Paste Normal?

Garlic Paste

Garlic Paste

Hi Christopher and Kirsten,

I am loving trying all the different ferments from your book, and mostly have had success!  This year I had a bumper crop of garlic, and a lot of patience.  I Followed the directions for garlic paste.  It has been sitting now for 2 weeks, and is starting to turn a brown color.  When I took the bag and plastic out, I scooped some out.  It smells like garlic!  I am worried about the brown.  Is this normal?  Also on related garlic, is it supposed to kind of turn translucent?  I don't worry so much about the liquid ones, I know they are under the brine, and are fine : ).


Hi Candace,

We love that you are enjoying our book. Your garlic paste looks perfect! (Which is good news given that looks like a 1/2 gallon jar—I know how much work went into that?) You can add it to your success list. 

The browning is the sugars caramelizing and is exactly the color it should be. 

As far as the translucent — do you mean the ones up high on the side of the jar — those looks discolored. I would always wipe off the lonely stuff on the sides but everything looks pretty perfect to me. 

The main thing you will want to do is store in smaller containers with little airspace.

Hope that helps,