Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you do need special equipment if your goal is to create tasty lactic-acid (aka lacto-fermented) foods, which are a naturally-rich with probiotics.
Lactic-acid bacteria, key to creating healthy amonts of lactic acid, thrive in an anaerobic process – one without oxygen. They are neutralized when there is oxygen!
Too often, people use open-air systems – bowls or crocks lightly covered with cloth, or glass canning jars closed with two-part metal lids or screw-on plastic covers – when making lactic-acid fermentation foods. None of these options creates the necessary anaerobic conditions, and are much better suited to the creation of acetic-acid fermentations – that of making vinegar which is an aerobic process, requiring oxygen.
Always keep in mind your end goal. If it is to make vinegar? You need an acetic/aerobic system.
If your goal is to protect the lactic-acid bacteria, creating a rich probiotic mixture in your fermented foods? Then you need to have a closed lactic-acid/anaerobic Pickl-It lacto-fermentation system which combines a tight-fitting wire-bail seal and airlock.
Did you know...
Some lacto-fermented foods like garlic, Chinese black bean paste, or spicy pepper mash, take one to three years before they’re considered fully mature!
—The Original Slow Food
Thanks for the clear instructions, Kathleen! I mustered the discipline to let the fermentation work undisturbed, leaving it alone! I’m not used to that! Used to skimming off mold! I’m amazed how good my first attempt with it – khimchee – has come out. You made it so easy.
—Jamie - Massachusettes