Frequently Asked Questions
There are a variety of reasons including fruits or vegetables that were:
- had “bad” spots, already beginning to decay
- blossom ends (pickling cukes – especially important!) weren’t removed
- leaving out at room temperature, especially when over 72F, so mold develops
- stored too long in warehouse or in root cellars
- immature – picked too early so not enough sugar/starch development
- infested with fruit flies
Here are some technical fermentation reasons why spoilage occurs:
- not enough salt
- food is sticking above the brine
- initial fermentation occurred when temperatures were too warm – above 72F
- initial fermentation occurred when temperatures were too cool – below 68F
- not stored in a cool place – root cellar, basement or refrigerator
- not skimming “scum” or “pancake” waxy-style yeast growth from top of brine
- fermenting container wasn’t sterile
- using ground spices instead of using whole spices
- old spices which had fungus spores
- using iodized salt
- using chlorinated or fluorinated water
Failures are good for experience. When dealing with living-food, just like with all other living-creatures, you can expect a wide variety of experiences and variables! Unlike their dead-nutrient, pasteurized counterparts which have nothing to offer as far as living nutrients, enzymes, probiotic benefits, fermented foods are worth the journey of learning! Don’t be discouraged!
Did you know...
Pickles were brought to the New World by Christopher Columbus, who is known to have grown them on the island of Haiti.
—New World Food
I finally got brave enough to check the Pickl-It carrots. They were fine! They smell and taste really similar to the ones we used to by from Caldwells! Amazing. Thank you!