On fermentation weights

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On fermentation weights

Postby mattfara5 on Sat Mar 12, 2016 3:53 am

Hi. I was hoping to get a growing list of solutions to this problem. I think I remember reading someone using a plastic bag filled with water, which presumably would fit into any reasonably sized jar.

Any other creative solutions?

And sorry if this has been covered elsewhere. I'm still a little new here. Please direct me where to go if so. Love this stuff, though. I've got pickles, onions, kraut, and kimchi all going at once now!

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Re: On fermentation weights

Postby Tibor on Sun Mar 13, 2016 11:47 am

I would not use plastic bags to weigh down any ferments.
There are many ways to do stuff. That said, I use cylindrical clear glass vases for most of my ferments. That eliminates the problem of how to get a larger weight thru a smaller opening. I find a jar or a saucer that is just smaller than my opening. If I use a saucer or plate, I put a jar of water on top of it to weigh it down.
I have a potter friend that has made me split weights, like the ones that come with the German crocks, and those will fit in containers that have a narrower neck. If you use a half gallon wide mouth jar, find a jar that will just fit inside of it. Then save some big cabbage leaves or cut other veggies in long thin curved slices and put them around the edge of your ferment and then when you weigh it down you won't have floaters sneaking past your smaller jar.
Many creative ways to keep veggies submerged. Plastic should not be one of them .
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Re: On fermentation weights

Postby Gutted on Mon Mar 14, 2016 4:48 am

If you use jars then you have to be resourceful and find something which fits the opening. You could purchase a fermentation crock but those are a lot more expensive than jars, although they do ferment in a much more ideal way, anaerobically. Keeping the ferment under salt water is not totally anaerobic because air does penetrate into the water. Some people use air locks or clip top jars as cheaper alternatives but you still need a weight.
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Re: On fermentation weights

Postby hemul on Tue Sep 20, 2016 5:51 pm

I use flat rocks, preferably nice ones with a rounded form. Find them, wash them, boil them and they are ready to go.
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Re: On fermentation weights

Postby AnnieBoo on Fri Oct 21, 2016 2:52 pm

I'm fermenting in mason jars (and I'm new to all of this) so I splurged and bought some glass fermentation weights designed specifically for this purpose. They're made out of the same type of glass as the mason jars themselves, and are just a little smaller than the neck of the jar so you can pry them out with a fork pretty easily.

Easy to clean, too.
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Re: On fermentation weights

Postby JohnDulleck on Fri Oct 21, 2016 3:55 pm

Since nearly all of my ferments are cabbage and perhaps something else, I just use the large outer leaves from the cabbage to fold and then stuff into the top of the (mason) jar, and then make sure the leaves are covered by brine.
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Re: On fermentation weights

Postby gardener on Sat Oct 22, 2016 9:32 pm

In a large container such as a 3-5 gallon bucket, I've been happy with a glass plate held under the brine by either a brine filled bag or a brick in a sealed bag.

I have a harder time keeping contents submerged in jars. I've tried rocks, mostly granite, but I think the rocks were neutralizing the acidity of the developing brine. If you have success with rocks what kind are you using? I can also easily get gneiss and chert.

My favorite so far is glass marbles in either a plastic mesh bag, a polyester lace (hemmed a curtain and had some left over) bag, or a fabric whose name I cannot bring to mind--- you know the mesh stuff bridal veils and bath scrubbers are made of. But if you use that, get the less delicate variety as the delicate one tears easily. Fill the bag with a lot of marbles for weight but don't tightly fill. I took a bag out of a gallon jar of sauerkraut tonight. It has 1.5 lbs of marbles..
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Re: On fermentation weights

Postby Tibor on Sun Oct 23, 2016 12:11 am

I would never use plastic or polyester or any fabric bags in my ferments. I weigh down plates in 3-5 gallon buckets or crocks of kraut with a clean gallon jug of water( 7 lbs.) or a half gallon jug. Ferments with brine don't need so much weight ,so a quart of water on a plate can be enough to keep pickles submerged.
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Re: On fermentation weights

Postby Christopher Weeks on Mon Oct 24, 2016 8:00 am

I use plates in buckets with a gallon jar of water and use pint jars in the neck of quart jars for smaller ferments. And I've taken to fermenting in Fido jars without worrying too much about submersion because the seal keeps the blanket of gas mostly CO2 (I presume -- no mold grows, in any case).
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Re: On fermentation weights

Postby gardener on Wed Oct 26, 2016 2:10 pm

Christopher, I got caught with a day's harvest of green beans this summer that I had intended to pressure can, but my kitchen plumbing had a big problem, so-- fermentation to the rescue! I used one large jar with an airlock (already had this) and several bail jars. All these made a nice clean-looking ferment. But I did put weights (Marbles in bags on them, too.) on top of all of them. And I did vent them occasionally because of fear of pressure build up.

It sure would be nice not to bother with weights!

Do you think would green beans have stayed sufficiently below the surface before the carbon dioxide could build up? These were largish Romano beans which tend to have air bubbles in them naturally. I did dry salt, bruise, and tamp them down them before I added brine, but I'm not sure if I could have kept them from floating without a weight.
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