The art of fermentation is filled with nuances. From how much water & salt to add, to what type of vegetables you use, to the temperature of the space you are fermenting in - so many different variables that lead to different results. Each batch you ferment will be different, and experimenting with these options is part of the fun!
But for someone just starting out, all the variables of fermentation can be quite overwhelming. That's exactly why we include a recipe for both sauerkraut and pickles with every fermentation crock we sell. But beyond recipes, there are many fermentation tips and tricks that help make the process easier, which we hope to cover here on the blog!
So to get things started, our first tip is specifically for the type of fermenting pots that we sell. Our fermentation crocks feature a water seal air lock to allow air to escape without letting bad bacteria in. However, the seal only works when the groove is filled with water.
Over the weeks it takes to ferment sauerkraut, it is normal for the water in the seal to evaporate. Depending on the climate (humid or dry), you may need to refill groove every few days to once a week. In order to slow down the evaporation process, we suggest pouring a small amount of cooking oil on top of the water. The oil should cover the surface of the water, thereby creating a barrier that the water can't evaporate thru! You should still check the water periodically to ensure its not evaporating, but the oil will slow down the process.
We hope you'll try out this trick and would love to hear how it works for you. Do you have any other fermenting tips or tricks to share? Or maybe you have a stumbling block that you'd love to have us address? Please share in the comments!