Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

Ocotillo Loco.
With chipotle , allspice, oregano and cumin.
My own home grown chilis. 3 weeks in the crock.

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Comment by Dave Riley on February 6, 2019 at 9:38

Further on the edibility of aged ferments: the real question is mold -- primarily due to aerobic access. But there are molds and molds -- and I've never had much problem with them.

Here's a great review of what they look like:Five Questions on Mold and Food Safety

But the Fermentistas approach is a baseline:

If you have a ferment in a brine and the vegetable matter is below the brine, you can safely scrape the mold off the surface of the brine and consume the ferment.

In my culinary practice if I make a ferment and don't  consume it over a year, it's only taking up space and I throw it out.

Obviously I'm not eating it and I'm not a hoarder.

The Fermentista lifestyle, I reckon, is eating the brew often or even daily. It's not something I do to preserve a glut primarily because I live in the sub tropics and the European fermenting traditions have a history of cold cellars & cold Winters (and Summers!) for storage. We must recourse to refrigeration. 

Unrefrigerated storage is up to you depending on the ferment. My guess is that preserved lemons are OK in the cupboard, for instance. Many pickles, of course.

However, the absolute rule is the core principle of anaerobic preservation by dint of drowning. To embrace that there are a  few hacks.

  • pouring a layer of olive oil on top of the ferment in the jar. That seals it.
  • pushing down the ferment veges below the surface so that they remain drowned
  • inverting the jar (just make sure your lid isn't corrosive)
  • never allowing an at-risk ferment to lose too much fluid
  • ensuring that the jar of ferment is as full as possible with its contents such that combing two jars into one is preferable to allowing one to almost empty.
Comment by Andrew Cumberland on February 5, 2019 at 22:10

I was doing well but then lost a habanero to ants and aphids.  Unfortunately, I can't really ferment my chili powder as nicely.  I still okay with sweet chili sauce as well.  I just wanna ferment one!

Comment by Dave Riley on February 5, 2019 at 21:01

IF it has been kept refrigerated --  consume it. If not: no way.

Comment by Dianne Caswell on February 5, 2019 at 18:29

Hi Dave, I have just found a jar of Fermented Chilli that we made at your place a couple of years ago, what do you think would you still eat it... as I would like to use it. Thanks for the Mexican Recipe, we are great lovers of Mexican Food..

Comment by Dave Riley on February 5, 2019 at 9:08

Chilis are expensive, Andrew. I'm now almost fully self sufficient but  my norm has been to buy them in quantities when they are available and cheap then freeze them until I have enough for a good volume of ferment.

Running out of chili sauce is a great human tragedy and you don't want to face that.

Comment by Dave Riley on February 5, 2019 at 9:05

Airlock devices? No I use ziplock bags filled with water as a stopper. Great hack. For the crock I use Easiyou yogurt makers that I brought in Opp shops. There's usually a "plunger' inside them which is very handy.

Comment by Andrew Cumberland on February 5, 2019 at 7:54

I'm going to have a crack at Sriracha as soon as I can get enough fresh chillies  

Comment by Russell James on February 5, 2019 at 7:01

Hey Dave, when you do your fermentation, are you doing it with all the fancy airlock devices and that sort of gear.  

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