The ideal temperature to ferment vegetables in is 62 F - 65 F (average room temperature is 72F/22C). But that precise temperature may be uncomfortable for you or not even possible in the heat of summer or dead of winter. Luckily there’s ways to adjust your ferment to compensate for a cooler/warmer environment.
If the ambient temperature of your ferment is going to be cooler, it will slow down the creation of lactic acid and you’ll need to extend the fermentation time. If the temperature is too cool, for instance your fridge, the fermentation process will come to a screeching halt and move at an impossibly slow pace. Alternatively, if the environment is warmer, your fermenting time will become shorter because lactic acid will be created more quickly and the vegetables will soften sooner. You can also compensate for a warmer environment by adding extra salt.
Since there are so many factors that impact how long it will take your ferment to reach your own desired taste, you should taste it regularly. Although there’s no risk in “over” or “under” fermenting, you don’t want to miss the moment the taste is just right for you. Learn more about room temperature, including an ideal temperature to ferment at and how to combat high temperatures, in this video with fermentation expert and author Sandor Katz.
Did we miss something? Let us know below or share your questions and experiences on this topic.