Troubleshooting mold on my vegetable ferments

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Troubleshooting mold on my vegetable ferments

Postby Bassiehetkoekje on Fri Feb 25, 2022 11:57 am

Hi! First time poster here...

I've been trying out fermenting things for a few months now, mostly making sauerkraut. That's supposed to be beginner level, perfectly suited for me ;)

Unfortunately, more than half of my ferments start accumulating mold after about a week (it's not Kahm yeast - it's always black). I know that some people say to just scrape it off, but I don't want to do that, since I have some health issues.

So, I've been changing some things in order to try and avoid the mold:
  • making sure the vegetables are completely submerged. At first I thought that my failure to achieve this was the reason for the mold growth.
  • adding the right amount of salt (2.5 wt% for my sauerkraut)
  • letting a little indirect sunlight shine on the top of the jar, in attempt to stop the mold growth
  • cleaning the jars thoroughly (don't really see the point in sterilizing, there's bound to be some mold spores in the cabbage itself right?)

See below for some pictures of my last attempt. This was bell pepper and some lettuce with a salt concentration of 4 wt%. Nothing came above the brine whatsoever.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to what could be causing the mold growth? Any suggestions are appreciated! :)

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Joined: Sat Feb 19, 2022 12:24 pm

Re: Troubleshooting mold on my vegetable ferments

Postby Christopher Weeks on Mon Feb 28, 2022 2:35 pm

Yeah, that's definitely mold. I haven't ever seen mold grow if there wasn't something floating for it to eat. But even tiny flecks of cabbage (think 1mm square) are enough of an anchorage for it to get started. If literally nothing was floating, then I don't have any idea.

I can only see the blue nipple above the jar's ring-lid, but if that's the kind of lid that I it looks like, I found that I develop mold under those lids way more often than under better airlocks. I'd suggest trying to ferment in a sealed Fido jar and see if your results are better.

And for completeness sake, what's the source of your produce?
Christopher Weeks
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Location: Carlton County, MN

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