My First Ferment / New product Group Brainstorming Session

Kimchi, pickles, sauerkraut, and more!

Moderator: Christopher Weeks

My First Ferment / New product Group Brainstorming Session

Postby Nickolaughagus on Mon Nov 06, 2017 7:25 pm

Hello all! I began my first ferment with a squash I've had in my home for about a month now - Acorn Squash. I was difficult to peel, but I imagine my hard work will pay off! It's only one day old and it's a bubblin'.

I like a lots of texture with my food, so I diced, shredded, processed, sliced, and even chopped different pieces into one jar.
I also used 1 tbsp of allspice, 1/2 tsp of paprika and 1-1/2 tsp of roasted diced garlic for a fall-aimed flavor. I have no idea what this will taste like, but I'm being adventurous for the 1st ferment because I really couldn't find a good recipe online.

SO... I used the Easy Fermenter. It is the top selling fermentation lid out there on Amazon, and it has pretty good reviews! When it arrived, I couldn't help but feel a bit underwhelmed for the $30 - it came with a pump and 3 plastic lids. It felt overpriced. Having done my first ferment, I feel that I already have some ideas on how I could improve it (please go to Amazon and look up the Easy Fermenter Lids if you want to see what I'm talking about. Link is below.)

http://a.co/fWfquiV

My briefly thought through improvement ideas:
1.) I would like to take away the plastic outer ring. I don't ever have issues removing the lids from jars, and it seems like it makes the lids more expensive without any justification.
2.) I would also look into making the lid clear, so that you can see if there is anything exposed to the air, and also if any mold starts to form.
3.) I would remove the date ring, because again it adds much cost without the justifications. In its place, I would sell the lids with something like 200+ sticker labels, so that people could write their recipe ingredients, fermentation date, expiration date etc. and attach them to the jars. (I imagine that this would be nice since I don't plan on eating my fermented squash right away, and also I would love to gift this out during christmas!)
4.)There is a rubber gasket that flops around loosely when handling and cleaning the lid. I would have this fused to the lid so that its all one piece, also preventing people from losing their gaskets!
5.)Lastly, I was thinking about bundling these lids with 1 strainer lid, a nice wooden masher and a mandoline slicer, since these 3 items seem like they would be essential to making a good kit that gets people started.

I would price the kit for around $40 if I included all of the above items plus 3 lids and a pump. I would aso sell separately just 3 lids with the labelling stickers for $18.

Here's where I need your help:

What equipment do you guys use for your ferments?
What do you think about the easy fermenter, and what could I do to improve this product in your opinion?
Do you guys have any ideas of things that could be bundled with these lids?


Thanks ahead for all the support!
Hopefully this turns out to be a fun thread!

-Nick
Nickolaughagus
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Nov 03, 2017 12:12 pm

Re: My First Ferment / New product Group Brainstorming Sessi

Postby Christopher Weeks on Tue Nov 07, 2017 8:36 am

I have that set of Easy Fermenter lids and I intend to buy more. I adore them for small ferments because they're stackable. I also don't need the date-ring because I mostly don't do short fermentations and I keep a notebook. I doubt that you can make them clear enough to be useful. I can't picture the gasket off-hand, but normally gaskets are removable for washing and replacement. The soft gasket will go bad long before the hard plastic parts.

And finally, I'm not your target audience for a starter-kit, but I'd never buy what you're describing because I don't think you can get a mandoline worth having for $40, much less all that other stuff. If I'm just going to dabble in fermenting, a knife is a just fine kitchen solution and everyone already has them. If you're going to get serious, then a quality, steel mandoline is an easy-to-justify investment. I'm not saying you couldn't sell such a kit, just that I wouldn't be a booster.

My first thought when starting a new ferment is a Fido jar. (https://www.amazon.com/Bormioli-Rocco-F ... 002IT6X0C/ ) The Easy Fermenter has most of the advantages of those -- airlock without much overhead space taken up (as is in the case of a water-lock) with the additional advantages of pumping out some of the headspace air and making canning jars stack easily. I'm not sure there's really much to improve. Cheaper without quality loss maybe.

You talked about gifting your squash. Maybe gifting kits would be a good avenue: A gallon crock, a weight, twelve four-oz jars, software to produce custom holiday labels, instructions for kraut, kimchi, misozuke, dillybeans, or whatever -- maybe even custom salt-n-seasoning blends for the particular default ferment; all packaged up as a DIY holiday gift-making kit.
Christopher Weeks
Nuka Ninja
 
Posts: 1818
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2010 3:59 pm
Location: Jordan, MN

Re: My First Ferment / New product Group Brainstorming Sessi

Postby Nickolaughagus on Tue Nov 07, 2017 9:21 pm

Christopher Weeks wrote:I have that set of Easy Fermenter lids and I intend to buy more. I adore them for small ferments because they're stackable. I also don't need the date-ring because I mostly don't do short fermentations and I keep a notebook. I doubt that you can make them clear enough to be useful. I can't picture the gasket off-hand, but normally gaskets are removable for washing and replacement. The soft gasket will go bad long before the hard plastic parts.

And finally, I'm not your target audience for a starter-kit, but I'd never buy what you're describing because I don't think you can get a mandoline worth having for $40, much less all that other stuff. If I'm just going to dabble in fermenting, a knife is a just fine kitchen solution and everyone already has them. If you're going to get serious, then a quality, steel mandoline is an easy-to-justify investment. I'm not saying you couldn't sell such a kit, just that I wouldn't be a booster.

My first thought when starting a new ferment is a Fido jar. (https://www.amazon.com/Bormioli-Rocco-F ... 002IT6X0C/ ) The Easy Fermenter has most of the advantages of those -- airlock without much overhead space taken up (as is in the case of a water-lock) with the additional advantages of pumping out some of the headspace air and making canning jars stack easily. I'm not sure there's really much to improve. Cheaper without quality loss maybe.

You talked about gifting your squash. Maybe gifting kits would be a good avenue: A gallon crock, a weight, twelve four-oz jars, software to produce custom holiday labels, instructions for kraut, kimchi, misozuke, dillybeans, or whatever -- maybe even custom salt-n-seasoning blends for the particular default ferment; all packaged up as a DIY holiday gift-making kit.



Thanks for the awesome input!

I planned on pairing my kit up with one of the the Mandoline slicer in the link at the bottom. Only has 5 star reviews. That said, you make a good point that a newbie to fermenting wouldn't want a slicer. It actually only costs $5/unit from my source, so I wasn't going to sweat it. (You would be amazed what things cost in Asia.)

http://a.co/j8qzplA

It's good to hear that the experts don't use the date ring. I was also thinking about using a silicone lid like the #2 top seller on amazon. I'd be interested in implementing the raised ring for pumping, including the pump and a real airlock valve instead of cutting a slit into a nipple like the original product. I feel like most people buy the Easy fermenter because of the actual use of the valve. This silicone lid would allow cost cutting while maintaining quality ferments.

I am a huge fan of your idea to include spice kits. My neighbor actually runs a brand new spice company and would be completely in to join this venture!

Do you use weights with your easy fermenter?
Also, what do you think lures and deters people from using the really basic silicone lids with the little nipples on them? They actually sell just as much as the plastic lids with the easy fermenter design.

Thanks again for all the thoughtful input,
Nick
Nickolaughagus
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Nov 03, 2017 12:12 pm

Re: My First Ferment / New product Group Brainstorming Sessi

Postby Christopher Weeks on Wed Nov 08, 2017 9:14 am

If it works out that there's room for a half-pint jar above the produce -- like if I'm working with a half-gallon jar, especially, then I'll do that. I don't yet own any of the glass weights that have come out for that purpose. And in closed and locked ferments, I don't worry as much about keeping produce under the brine -- though that's probably not what you should tell newbies.
Christopher Weeks
Nuka Ninja
 
Posts: 1818
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2010 3:59 pm
Location: Jordan, MN

Re: My First Ferment / New product Group Brainstorming Sessi

Postby gardener on Mon Nov 20, 2017 11:05 am

Christopher Weeks wrote:And in closed and locked ferments, I don't worry as much about keeping produce under the brine -- though that's probably not what you should tell newbies.


"What you should tell newbies." This is something that bothers me sometimes with various products out there. While it is good for newbies to have success using products that make it easy, it bothers me when the message given is that you won't have success unless you "do it this way, with this product."

Even your mandolin idea strikes me that way. Including that in a kit might communicate that uniform slicing is necessary, which is untrue, of course. And suggesting that something like slice uniformity matters probably adds to people's anxiety about possible pathogenic results. People are often scared enough about "food poisoning" when they first start fermenting. I just don't like adding to the message that it takes precision and special equipment.

One of the things I like about fermenting is that it is so freakin' simple....and cheap! I have yet to bury my ferments in the garden wrapped in a few banana leaves, but it I know I could. No Easy Fermenter, or whatever. One of my green bean ferments is in an old, large, glass coffee jar given to me by a 68 year old neighbor whose mother used it in her vegetable garden to protect tender plants from cold nights. He gave gave me about eight of these jars that are sold as antiques. I had to clean grit and spider webs from them to put them to use. I'm probably not the best person to chip in on ideas about new products or groupings of products.
gardener
 
Posts: 45
Joined: Fri Mar 20, 2015 5:20 pm


Return to Vegetable Ferments

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests