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Mountain Ceramics

Posted on July 17, 2017 by Emily Kociolek | 0 comments

Summer is in full swing and fermenting season is here!  We started our first crocks of garden veggies last weekend in our favorite Mountain Green & Cream Crocks.  These crocks have been out of stock for 3 years while the artisan took a break from his business.  But now he is back to work and we are able to offer these popular crocks again!



While most fermenting crocks are a dark brown color, customers are always looking for other options.  Which is one of the reasons we love these green and cream colored crocks!  Plus, the small 2L & 3L sizes are great for fermenting small amounts, like what you pick each day in the garden.  We also love that we can put the entire crock in the fridge when it's done fermenting and eat right out of the crock!

We also have a garlic crock from the same artisan available in two sizes, a small brown crock for storing or serving and a gorgeous mug

Because we have been out of stock of these products for over 3 years, we decided they count as new products!  So be sure to check out all of our Mountain Ceramics.

How to Use a Fermenting Crock

Posted on June 15, 2017 by Emily Kociolek | 0 comments

Today I'm excited to share with you something I have been wanting to create for the last 4 years!  We are now including a "Fermenting Crock Basic Use" pamphlet with every crock we sell.  In addition to our family recipes for sauerkraut and pickles, you now have everything you need to get started using your crock right away! 

Just like our recipes, I know some people will misplace this guide.  Which is why I wanted to share the guide today on our blog.  I also want to make sure any customers who purchased from us before we created this pamphlet will have access to is here as well!  So without further delay, here it is -

Introduction

Fermenting is part science and part art.  Which means, it takes a lot of experimentation to figure out what will work best for you.  For every person who says that THIS is the only way to ferment, there is another person who does it the opposite way with great results!  Remember, there are many variables in fermenting, which means no two people or batches will turn out the same every time.  These instructions are a basic guideline on how to get started using your fermenting crock.  Hopefully your first batch will come out perfectly!  But if it doesn’t, make some changes and try again!

Caring for your Fermenting Crock

We recommend washing your fermenting crock with mild soap and warm water and letting it air dry.  Avoid exposing it to extreme heat, humidity or cold.  Do not place your fermenting crock in the dishwasher!  This will likely lead to the glaze on your crock cracking.  The Luna Glass Crock Weights, however, are dishwasher safe.
  

Instructions

1.  Choose your favorite fermenting recipe. 
There are many available online, in fermenting books, or you can use the 2 family recipes that we include with your purchase!

2.  Prepare the ingredients per the instructions in the recipe. 
Avoid using reactive metal kitchen utensils when working with fermenting ingredients. 

3.  Place the ingredients in the crock, filling it to 2/3 to ¾ of the way full. 
Fermenting Crocks are not designed to be filled to the top.  You need to leave space at the top of the crock to insert the weights and to allow for potential expansion of the ingredients during fermenting.  You do not want the brine to overflow out of the crock.

4.  Insert the Luna Glass Crock Weights into the crock
Insert the weights vertically one at a time into the crock opening.  Rotate the weight to horizontal while inside the crock.  Move the weight to one side.  Insert the second weight in the same manner, placing it next to the first weight to cover the top of your ingredients.  The weights will not completely fill the inside diameter of the crock.  There will be some space between the edge of the weight and the crock. 

5.  Be sure that the ingredients are completely covered by the brine.  Add additional brine if needed to cover everything. 
Additional brine is created during fermenting as the salt pulls liquid from the ingredients.  You can wait a few hours before adding additional brine to see if this will happen.  A Cabbage Masher will help cabbage release more liquid.  To avoid pieces floating on top of the brine in finely shredded ferments such as sauerkraut, save a few large leaves of cabbage before shredding.  Place these on top of the shredded cabbage before inserting the weights.  

6.  Fill the moat at the top of the crock with water or brine.
In order to create the airlock, water or brine must be present in the moat at the top of the crock.  If you have extra brine, you can use this in the rim.  Changes in barometric pressure or temperature swings can cause the water/brine to be sucked into the crock.  If this happens, slowly lift the lid until the water/brine is released.  The water in the rim will also evaporate over time.  Check the water level in the rim every few days and refill if necessary.

7.  Place the lid on the crock and wait!
This is the hard part!  Each ferment will have a different number of days suggested to ferment.  You can sneak a peek inside your crock, but each time you open it you could introduce a foreign substance that can lead to mold or other issues.  We try to wait at least 3 days before checking your pickles, and a week to 10 days before checking sauerkraut. 

8.  Listen…..
After a day or two you should start hearing a little “blurp” noise.  This is the sound of the carbon dioxide created during fermentation escaping through the airlock water moat.  This is a very good thing!  It means that fermentation is happening.  If you don’t hear the sound, there may be something wrong.  The more “burps” you hear, the faster it is fermenting!

9.  Skim floaters or mold if needed.
If you see evidence of mold on the surface or “floaters”, you can skim them from the surface. 

10.  After several days, move the crock to a cooler place if desired.
You can leave the crock in place the entire time you ferment, or move it to a cooler place after some time.  Moving to a cooler place will slow down fermenting, allowing the flavors to develop differently. 

11.  Decide when the ferment has reached your desired flavor and texture.
Another part of the experimenting with fermentation is deciding when it’s done!  The longer it ferments, the more probiotics are created, but there is a greater chance that something could go wrong.  The flavor will also become more sour over time, while shorter times yield a milder flavor.  The recipe you are following will likely have a suggested fermenting time, but ultimately it’s up to you to find the balance of when you think its “done”!

12.  Remove ferment from the crock for storage.
When you are ready, remove the ferment from the crock and place it in storage containers.  We recommend using glass jars as they are inert and will not react with your ferment.  Place ingredients in the jar and cover with brine from the crock.  Extra brine can be used as a probiotic “gut shot” drink if desired.
Store the ferment in your fridge when it is finished to slow down/stop the fermenting process. 

13.  Enjoy!
Most ferments will last about 3 months in the refrigerator, but some can be safe for longer.  Your recipe should note how long it can be stored.  Use your nose and brain – if it smells rotten it probably is!

Tips & Tricks

-  Large fermenting crocks become very heavy once filled.  We recommend filling large crocks with ingredients in the place where it will stay during fermentation.  The process can be up to 6 weeks for sauerkraut, so take some time to plan for where the crock will be during this time!

-  The time it takes to ferment will vary depending on the amount of salt used (more salt = slower, less salt = faster) and the temperature (cold = slower, hot = faster). 

-  We do not recommend water bath canning your ferments.  The high temperature will kill off many if not all of the probiotics present in the ferment.  It will also change the texture and flavor of your recipe.

-  If you have an unfinished basement or root cellar, you can store the ferment in the crock like was traditionally done.  Make sure that the crock is set directly on top of the concrete floor so that the cool temperature of the ground is transferred into the ceramic crock.  This cold temperature is what suspends fermenting.  However, if you do this, you won’t be able to use your crock to ferment another batch!

Now that you know what to do, go buy a fermenting crock so you can start using it!

 


  

Luna Glass Crock Weights Giveaway!

Posted on May 18, 2017 by Emily Kociolek | 46 comments

----THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED----

We think every fermenter should have a set of our Luna Glass Crock Weights.  And we know the best recommendations come through word of mouth, so we want you to tell us who should win a set of Luna Glass Crock Weights.  And if we draw the person you nominated to win, we'll also give you a $10 credit to use on www.stonecreektrading.com!

The Luna Glass Crock Weights are our signature product.  You can only get these large glass fermenting weights from Stone Creek Trading because we invented them and are the sole manufacturers!   And now that you can purchase our US patent pending Luna Glass Crock Weights in Canada (www.wisecrock.com) and Europe (www.fermentingeurope.com), we wanted to celebrate by making sure everyone here in the US knows about them too!

Check out the important details below.

How to Enter 

There are 3 ways to enter this giveaway - 

1.  Comment on this blog post with the name of someone who should win.  Be sure to include both your name and email address in the comment form as well as the name of the person who should win in the comment itself!

2.  Comment on our Facebook post about this giveaway by tagging the person who should win.

3.  Comment on our Instagram post about this giveaway by tagging the person who should win.

You may nominate multiple people, but you must comment separately for each person.  To enter multiple times on each site, you must nominate a different person to win each time.  You may enter on all three sites.

Prizes

(3) pairs of lucky winners will be drawn!  There will be one winning pair chosen from each entry option - Blog, Facebook and Instagram.

For each winning pair, the person who is nominated will receive (1) set of Luna Glass Crock Weights in their choice of size, shipped to the US address they provide.  The person who nominated the winner will also receive a $10 store credit to be used on our website - www.stonecreektrading.com.

Fine Print

This giveaway will close on Monday May 22 at 5pm CST.  One winning pair will be randomly drawn from each entry option (Blog, Facebook, Instagram) after the giveaway has closed. Winners will be notified via email.  Winners will have 48 hours to respond via email accepting the prize, or alternative winners will be chosen.  Once the winners have accepted, they will also be announced here and on social media. 

This giveaway is open to US shipping addresses only.  You must nominate someone other than yourself in order to win.    If duplicate winners are drawn, an alternative winner will be chosen.   

Our Products Available in Europe!

Posted on May 12, 2017 by Emily Kociolek | 0 comments

Introducing FermentingEurope.com, our sister company located in Poland.  The website is now up and ready to take orders for customers throughout Europe! 

Ever since we launched 4 years ago, we have had requests to ship our products internationally.  It didn't make financial or environmental sense to import our products from Poland to the US, only to then turn around and ship them back to customers in Europe.  So instead, we looked at opening a company in Europe to ship our products direct from Poland.

It's been a long process as we wade through the regulations for ecommerce in the EU, but we are happy to say the website has finally launched!  One of the main things we worked on last week during Inventory Week was to get this website ready to go.  There are still many tweaks to work out, but the website is launched and ready for customers!

You won't find all of our products available at this time as our sister company is focusing on our popular and unique fermenting crocks.  And of course, the most requested item is available - our exclusive US Patent Pending Luna Glass Crock Weights!

So if you're in Europe and have been long waiting to buy our products, head on over to FermentingEurope.com and check it out!

Inventory Week - No Shipping

Posted on April 23, 2017 by Emily Kociolek | 0 comments

Our annual Inventory Week is almost here!  During this time, we won't be shipping out any orders.  It can get very busy here at Stone Creek Trading, and we sometimes need to take a short break from shipping out orders so that we can focus on all the other important aspects of our business. 



Orders placed after 6pm on Tuesday, April 25 through Friday May 5, will begin shipping out on Monday, May 8 in the order they were received.  You will be able to place your order during this time, but the normal 1-2 day processing times will not apply.  Customer service will be available, but response times will be longer and limited to time sensitive matters.

We will be back to normal business operations with order shipping and customer service starting on Monday, May 8.  So if you have a product you've been eyeing, I suggest ordering before April 25 to avoid delays!

Anniversary Sale - Luna Glass Crock Weights 25% off!

Posted on April 14, 2017 by Emily Kociolek | 0 comments

Four years ago on April 17, we launched this website.  In celebration, we are offering 25% off our signature product - the Luna Glass Crock Weights.  For four days only, April 14 - 17, 2017, enter the code "SCT4years" at checkout to receive 25% (or 1/4!) off the price of our patent pending Luna Glass Crock Weights!

When we started this business in 2013, both of us were working full time in other jobs.  Everyday, we were gone for 11 hours a day, including some weekends.  We knew it wasn't the life we wanted for ourselves or our daughter.  In January of 2013, we came up with the idea to import fermenting crocks from Poland and sell them online.  Our first shipment, 1 pallet of Boleslawiec crocks, arrived in February and we spent the next two months doing all the leg work to get the business and website up and running. 

And now here we are 4 years later with a successful business that allows us to spend more time together as a family while doing something that we love!  After a year in business we realized that the standard ceramic fermenting weights needed some improvements.  When we couldn't find an alternative that met our needs, we designed one ourselves!  Which led to the introduction of our Patent Pending Luna Glass Crock Weights at the end of 2014. 

The Luna Glass Crock Weights have been very popular and are what set us apart in the fermenting world.  So we thought what better way to celebrate our anniversary than to offer a rare sale on the glass weights!  These prices are cheaper than the Factory Second Luna Glass Crock Weights, without any blemishes! 

The discount code - SCT4years - must be entered at checkout to receive this offer.  The code will take 25% off the price of the Luna Glass Crock Weights only, it is not applicable on any other products including the Factory Second Luna Glass Crock Weights.  All 4 sizes - 5.5", 6.5", 7.5" and 8.5" - are eligible for this discount.  The code is valid for 4 days only - April 13 - April 17, 2017.  It is not applicable on previous sales. 

If you have been a customer of ours before, you will know that we have never offered this big of a discount on our products.  I can guarantee this is the lowest price we will ever offer - so if you've been on the fence about buying the Luna Glass Crock Weights, the time is now! 

 

New Products!

Posted on April 05, 2017 by Emily Kociolek | 0 comments

We've got some exciting new products we want to share with you!  We are always on the lookout for new items that fit in with our requirements -

    1.  Made in Poland by a small producer/artisan

    2.  All natural - no plastics

    3.  Traditional home products with a modern aesthetic  

Check out the newest items we recently added -

Stone Creek Trading Fermenting Crock, 2.5L

I am so excited about this crock!  It's the perfect size for small batch fermenting, great for trying out new recipes or when you are fermenting for just yourself!  The small size also means it's easy to handle and move around, plus it doesn't take up a bunch of room in your kitchen!  It's also the smallest crock we have that our 5.5" Luna Glass Crock Weights fit in.  The glaze is incredibly smooth - as nice as the finish on the new Boleslawiec crocks.

And like all of our crocks, it's made in Poland by a small ceramic studio!  But of course, the fact that it has our company name right there on the crock is my favorite part!

Artisan Garlic Keeper Crock

I love our Garlic Keeper Crocks!  I never felt like I was storing my garlic correctly until we started using one of these.  The enclosed space provides the darkness the garlic needs to prevent sprouting, but the holes in the side allow air circulation to discourage mold.  Now you can keep garlic on the countertop where it belongs and have it look great!

Cherry Wood Utensils

Our Cherry Wood Utensils were very popular when we first listed them last Fall.  We found these last spring when we were in Poland scouting for new products!  Since our customers liked them so much, we've expanded what we offer.  Go check out the listing to see new options of spoons and spatulas made from beautiful Cherry Wood!

Wood Trivet

These wood trivets are another product we found while visiting Poland.  We introduced the square wood trivet in the Fall, and now we have added a round one as well.  Beautiful and functional is what our products are all about!

So which one of our new products are you going to order first??

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