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Fermentation Friday: Oxidation in a Pickl-It or Fido?

Tip of the Week

I use Pickl-it’s and Fido jars for a few different reasons.  Avoiding oxidation is very high on the list.  Before I started using them, I would consistently have a layer of discolored ferment with my self brining ferments (like sauerkraut or shredded carrots).  At the time, I didn’t there was really anything I could do about it.  It was just what happened to a ferment after time.  I’ve had to throw out many jars of mushy, discolored ferments.

When I switched to Pickl-it’s and Fidos, that all changed.  I haven’t had one jar  get even a hint of oxidation.  My ferments are beautifully colored throughout.

Recently though, I’ve seen pictures of oxidized ferments in Pickl-it’s and Fidos that have baffled me.  I’ve never experienced that at all.  Here are a few reasons why oxidation might happen in these hermetically sealed jars.

My first thought, did the water evaporate from the airlock while it was in the fridge?  It’s important to check the water levels and change the water out weekly if you are storing a ferment in the fridge with the airlock.  If you’re lazy like me and don’t want to do that, you can use food grade vegetable glycerin in the airlock instead.

If that’s not the problem, check to make sure the jar is put together correctly and the wire bail system is tight not loose.

Here is what the jar should look like.

Pickl-it Lid and Jar Assembled

It might seem silly but make sure the wires are in the correct grooves on the lid and the jar and make sure the gasket is on correctly.

D-Ring

Have I told you how paranoid I am about losing a D-ring?  The thought of dropping one down the drain or falling off the counter and bouncing into the abyss behind my fridge or under my stove drives me mad.  When my jars are disassembled, I keep a sharp eye on the D-ring.  The D-ring serves an important roll in keeping the wire tight.  Without it, the jar won’t seal correctly.

Repacking Jars

Repacking fermented pesto.

As you are eating your ferment down, don’t forget to repack it into a smaller jar when it is about 50%.  You can read more about repacking your ferments here “Repacking Jars“.

Lastly, make sure you don’t leave your jar open for extended periods.  You should only have your jar open long enough to dish up a serving before you close it back up.  CO2 weighs more than oxygen so the air layers should reestablish themselves quickly.  If you are constantly fiddling with your ferment, opening it up and stirring it, you might be letting in more oxygen than the ferment can handle.  Avoid opening the jars unnecessarily.

This Week In Fermenting

 

Watermelon Pickles

Aunt Joanne’s Lacto-Fermented Watermelon Pickles. Picture from www.lovingourguts.com.

Patty from Loving Our Guts shared a Lacto-Fermented twist on classic watermelon rind pickles: Aunt Joanne’s Lacto-Fermented Watermelon Pickles. These sweet pickles are a hit with pickle lovers of all ages and so much better for you than their sugar sweetened, canned counterpart.

Exploding Fidos and Grolsch Bottles Gone Wild Jennifer from Hybrid Rasta Mama shares her tale of water kefir tragedy. An exploding Fido and an exploding Grolsch are no laughing matter and this post proves it.

And if you didn’t catch it yesterday, check out my new recipe for Lemon Mint Cantaloupe Drink . This is a tasty way to use up some of the melon harvest that is rolling in fast.


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