Fermentation vessels

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Fermentation vessels

Postby blk on Fri Feb 12, 2016 5:10 pm

I have responded to several post recently on fermenting with ceramic vessels. Both glazed and unglazed. Old and new. Here is the BEST advice I can give you all. USE MODERN GLASS. Even some of the newly made foreign made ceramics have excessive lead content and may contain mercury as well. Just use glass. Please. It is important for your health, your children's health. I know it is the "cool" thing to do to ferment in an old crock but it is just not worth the potential health risks. Remember, it takes far less heavy metal to have a negative effect on a child than an adult. But, they can all get some serious side affects of heavy metals.
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Re: Fermentation vessels

Postby Christopher Weeks on Mon Feb 15, 2016 9:14 am

I'm comfortable fermenting in modern, American, glazed clay. But I agree that there's at least some risk in historic American or modern Chinese clay. And mostly, I use glass or food-grade plastic for very short ferments (like this initial two weeks for sour pickles in five-gallon buckets).
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Re: Fermentation vessels

Postby blk on Mon Feb 15, 2016 1:38 pm

Thanks for the support Chris. I just fear that some folks may not have the chemical/biological/environmental experience or knowledge to realize the potential pitfalls. Especially for young kids Just look at all the lead paint that was found on Chinese imported toys over the last 20 years.
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Re: Fermentation vessels

Postby alisoncc on Tue Feb 16, 2016 1:20 am

All of my ferments have always been in glass. Glass enables me to see what is happening at all levels, instead of just the top.

Making sure that all air is expelled when starting a sauerkraut ferment is important. I carefully push the cabbage down with the pestle from a pestle and mortar when filling a jar, when complete I always examine the jar contents to make sure no air has been trapped before putting aside to ferment.

I always have liquid from the bruised cabbage well above the top, and some extra pressure from the pestle will produce bubbles if air is trapped. So I go around the jar pressing whilst checking for bubbles. Never had a bad batch yet.

Alison
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