Tips To Ferment Vegetables All Year Long!

Fermenting vegetables during the spring and late summer is all the rage, but what about the other 6 months of the year. Cool weather vegetable fermenting works just as well as fermenting in the summer if you know the tips and tricks.

Keep in mind that your fermented foods do continue to lacto-ferment even in the fridge. You will notice that your sauerkraut continues that mature in taste and body in the refrigerator, this is happening because the lacto-bacilla are still eating the sugars contained in the vegetables. Sauerkraut will get more of a sour taste as the lacto-bacilla produce more lactic acid along with their health probiotics.

In the refrigerator the ferment is further along and enough lactic acid has been produced from its fermentation time on the counter to preserve the vegetable being fermented so there is not any rot, but try this slow fermenting out on the counter and that critical first few days drags out twice as long increasing the chance of spoilage. Speeding things up when the temperature of your house at night maybe dipping below the ideal fermenting temperature window of 70 to 80 degrees is very important. After all the temperature of the food changes much slower than the air temperature.

Make Fermented Food At Home – Easily

Say your home gets cold enough at night to allow the food being fermented to drop to 64 degrees. In the morning you get up and turn up the heat to 74 degrees. Your ferment will take many hours to rise to a temperature of above just 70 degrees and until it does not much is happening. If this cycle is allowed to happen every night it puts a hard burden on the lacto-bacilla and it keeps them from performing at their ideal rate. You may end up with just a few hours of fermenting during the entire day.

Tip #1 Put your fermenting jar into a box or insulated cooler and place a jar of hot water next to your ferment. Wrap a kitchen towel around both and close the cardboard box or cooler. In the morning the temperature of your ferment should still be in an acceptable range. This will help to keep the timeline of your ferment on track. But this water bottle method can be a bother to have to take the ferment in and out of the box and if the temperature dips very low at night even this method may prove less effective.

Tip #2 Use a small space heater that has a thermostat control. Put your ferments in a corner on your counter and position the small heater about a foot away on the counter pointing toward your fermenting jar/s. You don’t have to turn the heater up very much since all you are trying to do is keep the air around the jars in the low 70’s. The heater will not run very long before turning off and will cycle as it needs during the night. These small heaters are usually less than $20 and I have seen them on sale for even half of that at times.

The Original Veggie Fermenter (starter kit).
Just add the food and a jar

If you don’t have a counter corner you can easily make one using a cardboard box. Just cut off the top and bottom of the box along with two of the sides and you should be left with a flat piece of cardboard that is in the shape of a V when you stand it up and look down at it. Put your ferments in the valley of the V and the heater at the front and you have an instant corner anywhere on your counter or table.

Do use caution when using the heater method, as the fermenting jar should just get slightly warm not hot from the heater blowing on it. We are not trying to cook the ferment, just keep it warm.

Using these tips allows you to ferment all year long and keep your fermented vegetables consistent. Remember these great foods are to be eaten all year long if you want to see consistent benefits.

Need some fermenting supplies? We provide them all year long and the fermenting starter kit makes a great gift!

Please Note: This post may contain sponsor, affiliate, and/or referral links.

Disclaimer: The information in this post is meant for educational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice. None of the opinions are meant to diagnose or treat any disease or illness. You should always consult your healthcare provider.

About Jeff

Jeff Pearce is a board certified Holistic Nutritional Consultant and has coached hundreds of people in the Dallas/Fort Worth to help them achieve their health goals. If you would like more information about his services view the Health Consultations section. For those not in the physical area Distance Coaching is an option. A 15 minute "No Cost" informational consult is available, by phone, to chat and answer questions about services. To schedule your no cost informational consultation please contact us .

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