One of the most common questions we receive is "How long should I let my ___________ ferment? How will I know when it is done?". There are are many things to consider when determining the answers to these questions. Never fear! We have the answers.
1) Always follow a recipe. Good recipes will give an ideal fermentation period in days specific to the vegetables and salinity of the brine it contains.
2) Allow your ferment to go for 7 days untouched. After a day or two, you will start to see bubbles, and the brine will become cloudy. This is the beneficial bacteria doing their job!
3) Taste your ferment on day 7 with a clean fork. Within 1 week it should start to taste sour. If you like it, it is done. If not let it continue to ferment. Pack the vegetables back down until the liquid rises above them. Let your ferment longer if you like a more sour taste and a softer texture.
For maximum digestive and nutritive benefits, allow your veggies to ferment for 21 days and eat them raw.
4) Finished ferments should have a pH reading of 4.5 or lower. Use pH test strips or a digital pH meter to test your ferments, if desired.
Once the kraut is fermented to your desired taste and texture, you can put it in the refrigerator to arrest its progress.
It’s part of our mission here at Mountain Feed to help you make delicious, sustainable, homemade food more often. Stop by and say hello on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest. Or, as always, you can do it the old fashioned way and come by the store to speak with one of our in-house experts.