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Bubble, Bubble, Toil and Trouble…

November 23, 2010

Alright, I know that’s a Shakespeare misquote, but it’s fitting for where I’m at in my Urban Fermentation Project, so I went with it.

I’ll start with trouble:

Here’s a handy tip for those new to fermenting things: don’t use iodized salt!! I ran out of unprocessed sea salt when I set up my first sauerkraut brew, so I grabbed my blue cardboard tube of “sea salt,” forgetting that you must use real (unprocessed) sea salt because the iodine in iodized salt inhibits fermentation. Another tip: watch every day to make sure your water line is above the vegetables. Mine was fine on day one, but by the time I looked again on day three, the kraut had overtaken the water line. I opened the jar, and……yuck. The brew was a total flop. I knew because it stunk. And when it comes to home brew, your nose knows. Live and learn!!

Next comes toil.

There I was, back at the drawing board, shredding cabbage, grinding more caraway with my mortar and pestle, and adding (unrefined) sea salt as I went to draw out the water. While I was at it, I ended up getting another exiting brew started, but I’ll save those details for next week. Suffice it to say that my arm hurts from all the shredding and chopping that went on here.

Finally, the bubbles!!

As I was keeping a careful eye on my kraut’s water line this time, I noticed today that the inch of airspace I originally left was much less than an inch, and it looked as though some kraut might be above the water line again. So, I opened the jar, there was a POP, and then to my complete amazement, I saw that the contents were bubbling and fizzing like a grade four vinegar-and-baking-soda science experiment! Makes sense, after all, since it’s ALIVE!! This also proved to me that the first batch was a flop, because no fizzing or bubbling happened at all last time.

On an excitement scale of one to ten I’m sitting at about a nine. But I’m cool. Really.

Tomorrow: the taste test. I can’t make any promises that I won’t be having sauerkraut for breakfast.

{Image Credit}


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