Hi! I'm Heidi.

Hi! I'm Heidi, and here is my Homestead Journey.....

Hi! I'm Heidi, and here is my Homestead Journey.....

 

Wife. Grandma. Gardener. Student of Plant Medicine and Herbs. Whole30 Fan. Poultry Farmer. Trying to be Courageously DIY. Essential Oil Enthusiast. Beginning Horsewoman. New Homesteader in Mid-Life.

Do you want to feel empowered by being able to be as self-sufficient as possible in this uncertain world?  Me too!  Join me in this learning journey!

I'm Heidi, and this is Ranger.  He has been with me for over ten years, and I love him dearly.  

I'm Heidi, and this is Ranger.  He has been with me for over ten years, and I love him dearly.  

What You DON"T Want to See on Your Ferments!  A Bit About Mold....And How to Prevent!

What You DON"T Want to See on Your Ferments! A Bit About Mold....And How to Prevent!

We all have the best intentions...but sometimes it's just easier to take a shortcut...like I did recently in one of my jars of fermented tomatoes.  If you've been fermenting anything for awhile, then you know that you must keep the vegetables beneath the surface of the brine (liquid).  Otherwise you do take the chance that mold may form.  I've successfully been able to avoid this up til now.  I've gotten pretty creative with ways to weigh down my ferments, but once in awhile some vegetable matter will pop up slightly above the surface.  It's been no biggie...up til now! 

SCARY MUSIC PLAYS:

"NOOOOOOOO!!!!!!" I shriek!!!!

"NOOOOOOOO!!!!!!" I shriek!!!!

That ugly monster you see in the picture above is a combination of black and white molds.  You just DON'T want to see any kind of mold on the surface of your ferments.  Black, white, green....doesn't matter.  It's all bad.  Some hard core fermenters say to just scrape it off and go ahead and use it.  I say....Don't take the chance.  Especially if you are feeding children or the elderly or those with compromised immune systems....it's better to just dump the batch into the compost pile, and start fresh.  I have no idea if this is true, but I have read that the mold spores can even be found at the bottom of the liquid....so this mama is NOT taking the chance.  

I got lucky with all those half-gallon jars of fermented tomatoes happily bubbling and frothing away on my counter....except for this one.  That tomato you see there bobbed its way to just above the surface...and WHAM! POW! BOP!  The mold got it! 

How Do You Weigh Down Your Ferments? What Do You Use? 

Well, I've gotten pretty creative with some of my ferments. I've used boiled rocks.....

Some of the "weights" I've used in my ferments.....

Some of the "weights" I've used in my ferments.....

The rocks are actually some of my favorite things to use.  You just find good size rocks that will fit inside the jar top, press them down until they are forcing the vegetables under the liquid...and that's it!  Plus, they are FREE!  

The other weights I like to use are the ceramic or glass discs. Some have a little hole, and some don't.  It doesn't matter either way. They fit perfectly inside a wide-mouth Mason Jar and press down the veggies.  The problem is if you are using a wider-mouth jar, you may need two or even three of them!  They are not expensive, either.  You can find these ferment weights here.  

Finally, you can use a smaller glass jar that fits inside the mouth of the larger jar.  Just push it down and let some of the liquid into it.  There is NO way that baby veggie is going to be coming up for some air!  This is also free (except for the cost of the smaller jars).  I use the tiny Mason sauce jars.  

Pressing the small (4 oz) jelly jar into the brine...also pressing down the veggies.

Pressing the small (4 oz) jelly jar into the brine...also pressing down the veggies.

Just showing how much brine is filling this little jar.  Usually I don't have this much liquid necessary in a jar to weigh down the veggies, but this is a pretty juicy ferment. 

Just showing how much brine is filling this little jar.  Usually I don't have this much liquid necessary in a jar to weigh down the veggies, but this is a pretty juicy ferment. 

Here you go!  The tiny jar filled with some liquid is effectively pressing the veggies down....NO WAY can they even think of bobbing above the surface.  Then just place your lid on top..and burp once or twice a day to allow the gases to escape! 

Here you go!  The tiny jar filled with some liquid is effectively pressing the veggies down....NO WAY can they even think of bobbing above the surface.  Then just place your lid on top..and burp once or twice a day to allow the gases to escape! 

That's all there is to it.  There is a blessing in every fail, right? That one jar of ferment I didn't weigh down....BAM.  Mold.  I thought I wouldn't need to do it just this one time.  (I ran out of tiny jars and weights, and rocks....lol)  So it was a good learning experience.  

Always weigh down your ferments, People! 

This post contains affiliate links.  This simply means that if you click through on one of the links or pictures and decide to make any kind of a purchase (not necessarily the picture/link in question), then I will receive a small commission.  Thank you so much for supporting Healing Harvest Homestead! :-) 

Also, please feel free to leave a comment or two!  The mold issue is one I have struggled with a couple of times, and if you have other ideas, I would sure love to hear them!

Hugs & Self-Reliance!

Heidi

P.S.  I hope you will sign up for the HHH Newsletter! :-) 

This post is included in a number of great blog hops!  Hop on over and enjoy LOTS of great homesteading, DIY, and simple life articles HERE:  The Homesteader Hop, Our Simple Homestead Hop, The Homestead Blog Hop, and the Homestead Blogger's Network! 

How to Make Your Own Natural Tooth Powder; Remineralizing, Freshening, & Whitening!

How to Make Your Own Natural Tooth Powder; Remineralizing, Freshening, & Whitening!

What Must a Gal Have in Her Get-Home-Bag? 10 Considerations!

What Must a Gal Have in Her Get-Home-Bag? 10 Considerations!

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