I tried my hand at fermenting those little kirby cucumbers. I did so in 1/2 gallon mason jars by first putting in the dill, garlic, etc. and then I added the pickles and submerged them in a brine. I did forget to skim any scum off the top for the 10 days they were fermenting.
One of the jars did, indeed, have some white scum on the top that had some mold on it. Did I ruin the batch? I am afraid to eat something that had mold on it.
>>I understand. That white mold is probably not an issue. If the batch is off you will know it by taste (and smell) - it will be inedible. Assuming the white mold is the same as I get at times, it will not harm you but does allow another culture to develop during the fermentation if the white mold touches the fermented veg. That new culture is usually inedible. If accidently eaten diarrhea is my reaction. If the mold does not touch the fermentation veg no harm in the short term results. Longer term it "slimes" the fermentation liquid and will eventually destroy the fermentation.
To remove the mold I cut/gently wipe it away from the edge then float it off by pouring more brine into the container. that usually works well, provided a little net and weight was used to hold the product down in the container>>
Neither of them had a lot of bubbling at all, and the second batch didn't even have any scum. How do you know something has fermented?
>>"Time" is the simplest way of knowing. Amounts of bubbling and scum are both determined by constituents, pH and temperature. Best use the older examination processes: trial and taste. 10 days is more than adequate in my conditions - temperature being the determinant to a large degree. Stability is dependent on brine strength and consequent solution pH. If you are concerned about stability keep them in the fridge and eat soon. If you are confident about the brine strength and the stability put a couple aside in cool stable conditions and see what happens: preferably in air sealed containers. That was how I refine my processes: trial and taste.
Some of the brine fermentations I have here are three years old. They're fine. I would not recommend that as normal practice but does give me an insight into produce stability and shelf life.>> All the best: T2
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