Introduction to Lacto-Fermentation


Lacto-fermentation is the process of fermenting vegetables in a salt-water brine to transform the taste and preserve the vegetables. Sauerkraut, pickles, kimchi and miso paste are all well-known examples of fermented food. The general term “fermentation” can be applied to a much broader scope of food, including beer, cheese, yogurt and more, but Masontops primarily focuses on vegetable fermentation.

The process of lacto-fermentation typically involves 3 to 4 steps, depending on if you’re making a dry salted ferment, like sauerkraut, or fermenting whole vegetables, like carrot sticks. Either way, the process involves packing a vessel with the vegetables and ensuring they are submerged in a salt-water brine to prevent mold growth. Lastly, the vegetables must be left to ferment in a way that allows fermentation gas to escape, without exposing the ferment to oxygen. As the food ferments, it takes on a tangy, sour taste and grows healthy bacteria.

The two most important things to understand when lacto-fermenting is that any food floating above the liquid brine will grow mold and exposure to open air (AKA oxygen) also promotes mold growth. You can’t leave a ferment fully exposed to air, but you also can’t leave it completely sealed, unless you're willing to tend to it daily. As food ferments, it creates carbon dioxide which must be vented or it will cause the container to explode or lid to pop off. These tricky issues tend to intimidate beginners, but there are a number of easy solutions, including Masontops. Our products streamline the process of fermenting vegetables with patented tools you won’t find anywhere else.

Get the full-scoop on fermentation by expert and author Sandor Katz in the video below.  

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