Do I need special equipment for lacto-fermentation?

Half-Sour Dill Photo 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.