Red Radish Ferment Is...Interesting?

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Red Radish Ferment Is...Interesting?

Postby apshaitwister on Thu Aug 31, 2017 4:25 pm

I just finished my first attempt at fermented radishes - I'm not exactly sure what type I used, but it's a very generic looking smallish medium sized, red skin white flesh radish. My local produce store had a "last chance" bag for $1, so I bought them to see if I couldn't give them new life through fermentation.

I started the ferment on 8/1/17 and called them "finished" today. That's a four week ferment. The yeast forming on the top was getting to be a little more than I was comfortable with and a couple small spots of mold were trying to make themselves at home, so I decided they needed to be done. While they don't necessarily taste "bad", they're a little on the...flexible side, and super salty. I tasted them a couple weeks ago, and for all I can tell it doesn't seem like they've changed much.

I used a brine of I believe 3 Tbsps sea salt to about a gallon of water (should've written that part down...) and seasoned it with mustard seed, dill, cloves, celery seed, and black peppercorns. I also threw in a couple grape leaves because I have a massive vine out front and thought it might be interesting.

So here are my questions: is this what they are supposed to taste like? If not, where did I go wrong? Did the grape leaves negatively affect fermentation? The radishes may or may not have been organic, could that have been bad?

I'm curious if anyone else has done a ferment of "regular" red radishes and come up with similar results.
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Re: Red Radish Ferment Is...Interesting?

Postby Christopher Weeks on Fri Sep 01, 2017 7:27 am

I have my first jar of radishes right now. they were a mix of white, pink and red -- called something like "Easter egg" but that's just marketing. I pickled them whole, in early May. I've eaten a few. I didn't add any spices or leaves -- just the radishes. The first thing I noticed is that the beautifully pigmented skins faded to white in a pink brine. That's a mild bummer. They're not great -- slightly radishy, slightly funky, not too salty, but kind of limp. I'll try a short ferment next time and see what happens. I've fermented radish in nuka and quite liked it.
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Re: Red Radish Ferment Is...Interesting?

Postby apshaitwister on Sat Sep 02, 2017 2:16 pm

Christopher Weeks wrote:I have my first jar of radishes right now. they were a mix of white, pink and red -- called something like "Easter egg" but that's just marketing. I pickled them whole, in early May. I've eaten a few. I didn't add any spices or leaves -- just the radishes. The first thing I noticed is that the beautifully pigmented skins faded to white in a pink brine. That's a mild bummer. They're not great -- slightly radishy, slightly funky, not too salty, but kind of limp. I'll try a short ferment next time and see what happens. I've fermented radish in nuka and quite liked it.


That sounds a lot like what I've got going on - white, limp radishes in a pink brine and slightly funky. Seems like mine are just on the saltier side of the spectrum. Mine are in the fridge right now, but I honestly can't imagine what I'm going to use them for because I've tried eating a few of them solo and my face makes some awful weird contortions as I try to be "open minded" about them. I'm both glad to hear that I'm not the only one experiencing this phenomenon, and sorry that we're in the same boat.

I'll have to check out this "nuka" I don't know anything about it, but I've seen lots of references to it and radishes in the same recipe.

Thanks for your response!
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Re: Red Radish Ferment Is...Interesting?

Postby gardener on Fri Sep 22, 2017 12:12 pm

I've fermented round red radishes several times now. I do them in half gallon glass jars. I started off using 1.6 oz salt per quart (50 g/ liter) for all my ferments including radishes, but I've backed the concentration down a bit now that I have a couple years experience. I'm usually fermenting in colder months and the salt at lower temps seemed too inhibiting, so a weaker brine can be used. Plus, I prefer the vegetables less salty.

I do not put any thing for extra flavor into the ferment. The final flavor of fermented radish by itself is good enough. In fact, I do not much like raw radish unfermented, by really like them fermented.

Yes, the red pigment soaks off the surface of the radish, but it also soaks into the center, so the the finished product is uniformly pink. I serve them by slicing and adding to a plate of other nibbles such as carrots sticks (fermented or fresh), celery sticks, cauliflower bits.
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Re: Red Radish Ferment Is...Interesting?

Postby Christopher Weeks on Fri Sep 22, 2017 2:16 pm

I wish we had some reasonable way to pass around samples of what we're talking about. It would be neat to see how everything compares.
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Re: Red Radish Ferment Is...Interesting?

Postby gardener on Wed Sep 27, 2017 9:48 pm

Mmm, yes, that would be great!
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