Fermentation Using A Crock

Discussion in 'DIY / Self Sufficiency' started by lactofermenter, Jun 19, 2016.

  1. lactofermenter

    lactofermenter New Egg

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    Jun 19, 2016
    Wasn't sure where to put this.

    I recently found an antique stoneware open crock that I still have to clean up and seal a small fine-hair crack on, but I'm really stoked about using it for fermentation instead of mason jars.

    Only problem is I'm not sure how to go about it!

    I know how to ferment, but I'm not sure how to go about it using a crock. I know to shred the cabbage, mix the brine, and use whole leaves to line the top, then weigh it down with a plate to keep everything submerged.

    But the crock doesn't have a lid! I've heard to use cheesecloth, but what about the smell? This thing is probably 30-40lbs empty, there's no way it's moving once it's loaded, so moving it back to the root cellar isn't an option.

    Will I have to try to find a lid for it or is there something else I can do to partially seal it?
     
  2. ldawntaylor

    ldawntaylor Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 23, 2015
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    Hi and welcome,

    It depends on how bothered you are by fermented stuff - cabbage etc. I use my small crock inside without any odors that I object to.

    Fermentation does seem to do better in cooler temperatures so, if I had a cellar I would be tempted to put the crock in the cellar and just put the contents in the crock in that location.

    If you have a plate that fits the crock fairly closely you can use that to cover the contents. You don't want it to be air tight of course.

    Hope this helps,

    Lisa
     
    Tully Mars likes this.
  3. lactofermenter

    lactofermenter New Egg

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    Jun 19, 2016
    Think the lid to my water bath canner would work? I wouldn't think it would react or have any adverse effects since the metal wouldn't be submerged.

    Thanks a ton!
     
  4. ldawntaylor

    ldawntaylor Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, I believe it would. One reason for the plate is for the weight to help keep the contents below the liquid. Many use a plate because it can be washed. I've heard of some using a brick that had been boiled to sanitize, then wrapped in saran wrap.

    You say you know how to ferment stuff. So I'm sure you know that submerging the contents is to help reduce things like mold.
     
  5. lactofermenter

    lactofermenter New Egg

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    Jun 19, 2016
    I meant just to cover the top of it, to keep the mold down, bugs out, restrict airflow, keep the smell down, etc. :p

    I know to keep everything submerged, I was just trying to figure out what would work best to cover it.

    Thanks.
     
  6. ldawntaylor

    ldawntaylor Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That should work.

    I've tried a few batches of saurkraut but I am not an expert by any means. I'm just trying to remember what my mother and others have talked about over the years. As stated before I never found the odor objectionable so I just put a bread cloth type towel over the top to keep bugs and dust out.
     
  7. lactofermenter

    lactofermenter New Egg

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    Jun 19, 2016
    I've never had much an issue with smell either, but I normally use a regular mouth jar loosely covered, and for kraut I normally keep it in a cabinet since I let it ferment for a few weeks at a time. The opening to this crock being more than a foot in diameter is what had me a little concerned!

    I'll test out a small batch here in the next few weeks, and if I have any issues with the set-up, I'll post so hopefully no one makes the same mistakes. :)
     
  8. ldawntaylor

    ldawntaylor Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 23, 2015
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    I'll look forward to the results.
     

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