What is this growing on top of my pickled onions?

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What is this growing on top of my pickled onions?

Postby captain.tinker on Fri Apr 12, 2019 5:37 pm

Hello! I'm curious about something. I've made pickled onions like this a couple of times now and this is honestly the first time I've ever seen this. First, before I go any further, I better tell you how I made them. I sliced up several red onions, then squeezed the juice of 3 limes into them, weighed them, and figured out how much salt I would need, then weighed the salt, and mixed it around with clean hands, squeezing the onions as I went until lots of juice had come out. I pressed it into a quart mason jar, put a glass weight on top, and covered it with a silicone airlock. To be honest I've lost track of how long this has been in my pantry, but it's probably less than 2 months or somewhere around there. The house has been around 65 to 70 during this time and this was the first time I'd opened it to see if it was still ok. I saw this and was kind of taken aback, I'd never seen it before! It felt kind of jelly-like, sort of a gelatinous mass. It was all centered over the top of the glass weight in a single mass. I was able to easily spoon it out in one scoop and toss it out. I smelled the inside, and it was still pleasantly pickle-y, same as it has been before. It is still bubbling away whenever I bump or lightly jiggle the jar, so I'm pretty sure it's still ok. I was wondering if this might be some kind of a bacterial mass? It's certainly not kahm yeast as I've had that before on other stuff and it didn't smell yeast-y at all. It doesn't look or smell like mold. Any ideas? Anyone seen anything like this before?

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Re: What is this growing on top of my pickled onions?

Postby Christopher Weeks on Sat Apr 13, 2019 10:47 am

More like jelly or more like wax? Have you made kombucha; is it like the SCOBY?
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Re: What is this growing on top of my pickled onions?

Postby captain.tinker on Sat Apr 13, 2019 12:11 pm

Christopher, that's kind of what I was thinking too. I've never actually seen or touched a SCOBY before in kombucha since I don't drink it, but I've seen pictures and that's kind of what I was picturing. It wasn't waxy really, kind of like a jello jiggler, just not as tightly held together.
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