Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

Since I haven't explained this DIY before, this is the rig I use to ferment vegetables. Now on display for the very first time.

  1. EasiYo Yogurt Maker: cheap and readily available flasks from Op shops(cheap) and supermarkets. I reckon they make great crocks.
  2. Pack in your prepped vegetables and ram them down to encourage sweating.
  3. Covered the top of your veg with a blanket of edible leaves. Choko leaves work well.
  4. Add the stopper and push down on the covered veg.
  5. Add water to a ziplock bag and seal. Place bag on top of the stopper to act as a weight.
  6. Place a lid on the flask and set aside for scheduled ferment period.
  7. If the ferment produces a lot of liquid you may want to place a tray underneath the flask to capture the liquid over flow. 

I have 10 EasiYo flasks and they are kept busy. 

The 'model' for the session was outback harvested turnips, fermented with salt and black pepper.

Turnip Kraut is called Sauerrüben.

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Comment by Dave Riley on September 3, 2016 at 22:44

My fav 'primary followers' are choko leaves, mulberry leaves, piper lolot leaves, nasturtium leaves and sweet potato leaves. Some of these leaves are likely to add a slight flavour, so take that aspect on board when choosing. When you add the leaves, layer them on -- one on top of the other. 

I now fill my ziplock bags with conditioned (chlorine/chloramine free) water in case they leak. Will happen if the bag isn't zipped up properly.

Ziplocking is a skill.

While it is tempting to simply rely on the stopper (the red insert) it isn't heavy enough to drown all ferments -- so you do need to weigh it down. If you haven't got a stopper just use the leaves and the water filled bag. You can use just the ziplock bag -- and no primary follower -- if you spread the bag evenly over the surface of the ferment.

It's a good idea to label the ferment on the crock lid as you are likely to get overflow which will wash off the label if it is stuck to the sides. Easiest labeling system is masking tape and a permanent marker, but a biro will do.

Clean the EasiYo crocks between use but don't use abrasives to do so. Give them a reasonable clean with warm soapy water and a soft cloth after they have been decanted then rinse them again with very hot water just prior to re-use.

Lacto-fermenting is a 'clean' not a 'sterile' exercise.

Krauts can be generate an odour in their early ferment period. Radish and cabbage are the main culprits. To deal with this either isolate the ferment (as in lock or hide it away) so it doesn't attack olfactory niceties  -- or burn incense in their vicinity if you are having guests over.

I always intend to check my ferments but seldom do until the date scheduled.  You may get a white milky coating on some ferments but that's OK. That means your ferment has been exposed to the air. Just scrape that film off and drown the rest by pushing it down and adjusting your followers.. 

Comment by Dave Riley on September 3, 2016 at 17:18

I made 4 ferments today -- turnip, radish, chimichurri/green seasoning and lemon -- and the DIY was more or less the same for each.  

Comment by Elaine de Saxe on September 3, 2016 at 17:02

Such good info - thanks Dave. Pix really are worth many words.

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