Why Is My Ferment So Salty and Other Fermentation Questions
Probably the one topic I receive the most comments and emails about are ferments. And they often start with the line…”My ferment is too salty! What happened?” But have no fear! In today’s video, I answer this question and a bunch of other questions…all about vegetable fermentation.
Why Is a Vegetable Ferment SO Salty?
The truth of the matter is that ferments actually aren’t salty tasting at all—at least not over time. Initially, yes, they will taste salty if you try them after only a few days of fermentation. But given time, the fermenting vegetable will absorb more of the brine, which will disperse and dilute the salt from the brine throughout the whole vegetable. This part of the fermentation process makes the vegetable tastier and tangier. After the fermentation process ebbs, the remaining brine that clings to the vegetable has less salt in it, and this contributes to vegetable’s less salty taste.
Do I Really Need All That Salt for a Ferment?
Ferments require a good amount of salt in their preparation for a number of reasons:
- The salt helps to tamp down the formation of bad bacteria, enabling the good bacteria to take a foothold.
- The salt plays a role in keeping the vegetable crisp.
But if you are on a salt-restricted diet, can you cut back on the amount of salt you need to start a vegetable ferment? Yes, you can, and you have a few options.
You can cut the amount of salt that you need for a particular fermentation recipe in half if you add in whey or brine from a previous ferment to your new batch of vegetables for fermentation. Generally, a quarter of a cup of whey or brine is sufficient for anything from a quart-sized jar portion to half-gallon sized portion.
And What If I Don’t Want To Use Any Salt?
But what about the option of using no salt at all? I have not tried this route, but Sandor Katz, author of the Wild Fermentation and The Art of Fermentation books, states it can be done. So if you want to make vegetable ferments without any added salt, I highly recommend checking out his books.
Katz’s books are also helpful if you’re going to delve more deeply into learning everything you can about fermentation. With his in-depth experience, Sandor Katz is your go-to resource! He covers every aspect of fermentation from vegetables to sourdough starters.
Watch the Video for More Fermentation Answers
So be sure to watch my fermentation video where I talk about salt and fermentation and where I address additional common questions about ferments, including how to use pH strips to check for the correct level of acidity, where the best place is to store vegetable ferments, and more!
More Fermentation Videos
Now that we’ve covered some of the most common vegetable fermentation questions, it’s time to jump in and start fermenting! Be sure to check out these great vegetable fermentation videos!
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