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  #1  
Old 01-26-2018, 05:05 PM
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Default Lacto-Fermented Pickle Chips

Lacto-Fermented Pickle Chips



Last night I started a new project with my "Kraut Kit" from FarmSteady:

http://farmsteady.com/shop/kraut-kit

As we've discussed before, the kit is probably a bit over-priced; but to be honest, after looking up the individual components, I don't think it is too far out of line. A person could cobble something together for much, much less, to be sure, but I like the convenience and the inspiration that comes from following FarmSteady as they try different things.

My previous sauerkraut project turned out really well - even better after some time in the refrigerator - so I figured I would try something new. The kit, of course, can be used to ferment many, many things, so it was a natural step to take; in fact, I suspect that FarmSteady is phasing out the "Kraut Kit" in favour of an identical kit packaged as a "Fermented Vegetable Kit:"

http://farmsteady.com/shop/fermented-vegetable-kit

The instructions are simple:

http://farmsteady.com/fermented-vegetables/

So simple that even I could manage it...almost. I did end up having a couple of minor glitches...more about that, later.

The kit ferments 2 quarts of whatever you want to ferment, so I bought 5 cucumbers for the project, which ended up being really close to the right amount. Everything else that I needed, I already had at home: kosher salt, beautiful, fresh, locally-grown garlic, dried red chile peppers, bay leaves, mustard seed....I didn't have any fresh dill, but I did have dried dill weed, and dill seed, if needed.



After cleaning and laying everything out, I began. I started by roughly chopping the garlic cloves; however, after the first one, I switched to slicing them into "chips," for a better look:



Next, I sliced the cucumbers; I considered slicing them by hand with a knife, but neither my knives nor my knife skills are very good, so I decided to try a tool that my oldest son, Josef, had gotten me for Christmas:

http://a.co/1a4dJ9i

This thing is pretty handy, actually; with the "whirly-bird" blade, I had previously reduced a head of cauliflower to rice in about 15 seconds.

This was the first time that I used the slicer attachment; because I was distracted by something else happening at the moment, I neglected to use the hand guard...and paid the price with a very nasty cut to my pinky finger. Let my mistake be a lesson: ALWAYS USE THE HAND GUARD!

While I tended to my sliced finger, my youngest son, Roger, finished slicing the cucumbers for me:



Five cucumbers seemed like just enough, if anyone is keeping track.

Next, I dissolved 2 tablespoons of kosher salt into two quarts of warm water:



Strictly following the instructions, I probably should have done this before prepping the cucumbers and garlic, but I am sure that it will be fine.

The instructions didn't specify whether the water should be chlorinated or not; we have a spring south of town, and I could have gotten some water there, but ultimately chose not to. I did have half a litre of spring water on hand, so roughly half of this water was mildly chlorinated. I'm sure it will be fine, but I hope that I don't regret that decision.

Once the salt was dissolved into the water, I started adding the sliced cucumbers to the fermenting jar:



Intermittently, I added some of my garlic, a bay leaf, a broken-up chile pepper and a teaspoon of mustard seeds now and then.

I continued this layering until I ran out of cucumber slices:



Coincidentally, this was right when I reached the top of the jar.

I then topped with a layer of cucumbers:



Next, I added a couple of bay leaves and set the glass fermentation weight into the jar on top of the cucumber slices. I then poured the brine into the jar until the fermentation weight was covered:



After that, I put on the lid, filled the air-lock with sanitizer and set it into the lid:



Did you notice something missing?

I forgot the dill. In fact, I didn't even think about it, until this morning!

I'll add some tonight, when I get home from work; we need to stop by the grocery on the way home, so I will even by some fresh dill. I'm not sure how much would be best to add, as it is a different type of dill than I normally use for my pickles; however, I'll probably be fairly conservative with it for this first attempt. I'll also be sure to add a few dill seeds, which seem to balance the dill weed a bit.

That's pretty much all there is to it!



I put the jar on the top shelf of our bedroom closet, which is currently almost a "normal" and "steady" room temperature, in spite of the winter months in north-central Montana. I'll check it in a week or so, but I suspect that it will be at least two weeks before the pickles are ready - possibly three.

I am expecting some pretty good things to result from this, but we shall see how it goes. If anyone has any feedback, questions or anything else to add, please feel free to chime in.

More as it happens, etc. &c....

Ron
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Old 01-26-2018, 05:38 PM
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I like it...
I'll keep an eye out for updates...
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Old 01-26-2018, 05:47 PM
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Oh yeah, have fun watching the bubbles!!
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Old 01-26-2018, 05:49 PM
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for this!

One, I love kraut, kimche, pickles, etc.

I ordered one and looking forward to screwing something up
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Old 01-26-2018, 06:27 PM
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Mmm Stinky pickles! Kinda
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Old 01-26-2018, 07:03 PM
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I like the idea of dill pickles without the vinegar taste...
Maybe
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Old 01-26-2018, 08:56 PM
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Im curious to see how it turns out too. Great to see you back here again, Ron. I really enjoy your posts.
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Old 01-26-2018, 09:12 PM
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I'm anxious to hear about the crispness and the flavor vs. a typical dill pickle...
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Old 01-27-2018, 07:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SMOKE FREAK View Post
I'm anxious to hear about the crispness and the flavor vs. a typical dill pickle...
Same here. I don't think I've ever had fermented pickles before.
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Old 01-27-2018, 07:23 AM
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Looking at the cukes, are those store bought??? If so you might not get the results you want due to the wax on the outside so they will keep longer, a very important part of this process is the bacteria on the skin of the cuke, this helps with the fermentation process, as well as the type of water used, from what I read, you can not use "city" water due to the chemicals they add... If you are not happy try again in the summer with fresh cukes and wash but dont scrub them.
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Old 01-27-2018, 07:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jailer View Post
Same here. I don't think I've ever had fermented pickles before.
My pickle got fermented once, butt I soaked it in cider, and it was fine after that...

Seriously, this sounds really good. Waiting for the final product...
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Old 01-27-2018, 10:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HawgHeaven View Post
My pickle got fermented once, butt I soaked it in cider, and it was fine after that...
That's what you get for leaving it in the brine too long.


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Old 01-27-2018, 02:31 PM
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Never had that kind of pickle. I always wanted a pickle from Gus's in New York
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Old 01-27-2018, 10:19 PM
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Canít wait to see how you like them. I did the same thing a couple months ago but with spears instead of chips. Definitely different than vinegar pickles.
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Old 01-28-2018, 06:15 AM
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They look great Ron....they probably won't be very crispy at all, but will certainly be tasty...can hardly wait to see them in a couple weeks.
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Old 01-29-2018, 11:55 AM
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Good morning, everyone - thanks much for the kind words and accolades.

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I ordered one and looking forward to screwing something up....
It's pretty hard to screw up with this, Pete - I think you will have a good time with it!

Keep in mind, the instructions are all online at FarmSteady's site:

http://farmsteady.com/instructions/

Note that the instructions for the sauerkraut are slightly different, due to the fact that the salt is massaged into the shredded cabbage. If you are going to do pickles or something along those lines, you want to make a brine, as described under the instructions for "Fermented Vegetables."

In the case of the sauerkraut, they also even have a video:

https://youtu.be/1k-LDM5TUu8

Enjoy, and I'm looking forward to seeing what you do with it! Let me know with a reply on this thread, linking to yours...or a PM. I'm interested in seeing what turns out!

Quote:
Looking at the cukes, are those store bought???
Unfortunately, they are - here in subzero Siberia Montana, it's the only option, right now. And yep, they did have some sort of waxy coating on them. I tried to gently brush most of it off - we'll see if I was successful.

I do expect these pickles to be "not crisp" - I'm hoping that they aren't full-on mush, but we'll see. It's a good experiment, so that I can gauge the timeline, method etc.; and, If I'm lucky, I'll get some decent enough pickle chips out of it to snack on or use with meals.

Having said that, I've got a package of seeds for Ukrainian cucumbers, and am looking forward to growing some this year.

Quote:
I did the same thing a couple months ago but with spears instead of chips.
That's probably what I should have done too, Mike - in the long run, the spears are definitely more versatile, in my opinion. For some reason, I just had a bug about trying the chips.

When I added the dill the next day, there was definitely some fermentation starting; the airlock was working, albeit very slowly, and you could sense that the cucumbers were beginning their transformation. I went pretty conservatively with the dill because I wasn't able to stop and get some fresh stuff. I ended up using dried dill weed and some dill seeds. It tends to be pretty strong stuff, so I tried a couple of teaspoons, for now. I'm guessing I can add a little more later on, if need be.
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Old 01-29-2018, 02:32 PM
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Ron,

I got word today that it has shipped. Thanks for the links

I have my eye on that jalapeno/cilantro kraut with a touch of lime

I will also be doing some Kimche. I've done it before but it has been too long.

Thanks again!
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Old 01-29-2018, 06:40 PM
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I ordered the girlfriend one of the vegetable kit as well as the cheese making kit. Be interesting to see how she fairs


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Old 02-01-2018, 12:51 PM
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I think you guys will be pretty happy with these kits. I have several of them and in a lot of ways this is their best value of all.
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