Fermenting Green Snap Beans

Alasgun

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We are growing quite a number of different pickling cucumbers this year, and hope to ferment some of those too. I have seen different ratios of salt mentioned for cucumbers, ranging from 3.5-5% salt in the solution. How much salt do you use Alasgun? And do you store your fermented cucumbers in a root cellar over the winter? We have a nice cool, dark basement that may be just right for storing a large jar of ferment.

Also, I found someone who posted a brine calculator on their site, which may be helpful:
Brine salt percentages by vegetable: https://myfermentedfoods.com/tools/brine-calculator/

I was unaware that different vegetables required different ratios of salt in the brine. Here are some of the personal recommendations from My Fermented Foods:
2%- beets, carrots, green beans, or turnips
2-3%- peppers
3.5%- okra
3.5-5%- cucumbers
5%- radish
5-6%- asparagus, giardiniera
10%- olives 10%
Ruthy says she uses 5% brine for cukes ans 2/3% for the beets/carrots. Im not sure what we use for Kraut but with all this stuff; we learned these are good starting points, not absolutes! She only uses Himalayan salt these days and we quit the pickle pipes in favor of the air lock jars. And everything is kept refrigerated, although we’ve wondered about the root cellar idea.
the top shelf is the beginning of this years stock, the second shelf is the remainder of last years. And that one lone Kraut is from last year.

Also, we only grow Sweet Success cucumbers (a slicer) and found they do just fine as a ferment.
 

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Ruthy says she uses 5% brine for cukes ans 2/3% for the beets/carrots. Im not sure what we use for Kraut but with all this stuff; we learned these are good starting points, not absolutes! She only uses Himalayan salt these days and we quit the pickle pipes in favor of the air lock jars. And everything is kept refrigerated, although we’ve wondered about the root cellar idea.
the top shelf is the beginning of this years stock, the second shelf is the remainder of last years. And that one lone Kraut is from last year.

Also, we only grow Sweet Success cucumbers (a slicer) and found they do just fine as a ferment.
Alasgun, your fridge looks so clean and empty. Is it just for long term storage? Our fridge is so cluttered with bottles and jars; seeing your fridge makes me quite envious. 🙂

I harvested pickling cucumbers, hot chili peppers, and some beans this morning and started two more ferments. Most of the beans were the diminutive Comtesse de Chambord. The weights and lids were improvised a bit, but done with the goal of keeping everything submerged below the brine using grape leaves. I have stainless steel springs and air lock lids arriving tomorrow, which should take my fermenting game up a notch.
 

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Alasgun

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I have several of those refrigerators lined up in the shop just for this stuff.
in another month they will be jammed full of produce! This one (from last year) holds the Carrots, Parsnips. Beets etc. Another one will have 2 shelves for pickles and Kraut in the door, along with Apples and other soft fruit in season.
We learned not to keep any of the fruit in the same one with Parsnips! The gas Apples emit made them fo south fast.

I don't remember the exact reason but Ruthy wont use any metal, Stainless included, in any place it contacts the contents. We use glass weights in everything.
 

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I just watched one of her videos where she showed the difference between mold vs. kham yeast-- very helpful.
But oops--- just watched another one of her videos on how to ferment carrots where she said 'Botulism cannot survive in an anaerobic environment'. Turns out botulism can only grow in anaerobic environments-- at least according to the World Health Organization. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/botulism

She also suggests 'fumigating' fermenting vessels by pouring boiling water over them, which is just, well, pouring boiling water over them. Lol. So take everything with a grain of salt-- and if it's non-idodized kosher salt or sea salt you can use it for your ferment! ☺️
 
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I don't remember the exact reason but Ruthy wont use any metal, Stainless included, in any place it contacts the contents. We use glass weights in everything.
My Ball Fermenting Kit parcel arrived, containing vented plastic lids and stainless steel 'springs' to weigh down the contents of the fermenting jar. It is my understanding that food grade stainless steel is fine for fermenting; other metals such as aluminum will react with the brine, and should not be used. And so far I have trust in the big names in home canning, like Ball and Bernardin. There is a good explanation of the different grades of stainless steel-- and even glass-- on this site: https://www.makesauerkraut.com/fermentation-materials/

I was surprised to read that some household glass may contain lead; then on further consideration I remembered leaded crystal vases.

Meanwhile, it has been about six days since I started my ferment of Goldrush yellow wax beans. I tasted a few this morning and are they ever good. It is surprising how much flavour can develop in just a few days. I am going to give them another day or two in the cool dark basement, and then I will move them to the fridge (unless we eat them all!)
 

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Love the sound effects on your video-- very fizzy. No worries regarding pressure building up, and explosions?? Lol

A couple of days ago we put a jar of Goldrush yellow snap beans, garlic, and a few small hot peppers in a jar to ferment. All of the recipes seem to specifically mention green beans, so I am pleased to hear that the yellow beans have worked well for you in the past. There is hardly any head space in this jar as I topped up the brine fairly close to the top-- so I have the jar sitting in a cereal bowl, just in case it overflows. Next time I will try to allow for 1" head space in the jar. I can hardly wait to try them!
Yeah, when the house is warm (I think it was around 28C), the fermentation happens fast! Good call on the bowl- I would anticipate overflow for sure. I find green beans get a little "woody" almost but that may be the variety. Probably a french filet type green bean would be tender enough to not do that.
 

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But oops--- just watched another one of her videos on how to ferment carrots where she said 'Botulism cannot survive in an anaerobic environment'. Turns out botulism can only grow in anaerobic environments-- at least according to the World Health Organization. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/botulism

yes, there's a lot of incorrect information out there on the internet so it does help to know your stuff apart from that. for me i'll trust a many year's published (and revised) microbiology text over what most people put on-line. i'm glad you knew better! :)
 

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I got brave and tried putting up a jar of cherry tomatoes with basil to ferment. It sounds like they can get quite fizzy too, turning in to little fermented flavour bombs.
 

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Every few days I am sampling the ferments, and if they taste 'right' I am putting a regular lid on them and moving them to the fridge. At that point I am removing the fermenting weight as well, since I need to use the fermenting weight and lid for the next batch. Without a 'pickle pebble', in some jars there are cucumber spears floating at or near the surface of the brine. This has me wondering: do the fermented vegetables always have to remain well below the the brine, even once it is refrigerated? I notice that Alasgun still has weights and airlocks on their jars, even once the jars are being stored in the fridge.

And a tasting update: I tried the cherry tomatoes and kind of liked them. The colour remained bright and cheery after fermenting for six days. The pickling cukes however shrunk up a lot, and were all bent from being smashed down by the stainless steel spring that came with the Ball fermenting lids. I am wondering if that style of spring may be too strong for little cucumbers. It squished the heck out of them. 😊
 

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Every few days I am sampling the ferments, and if they taste 'right' I am putting a regular lid on them and moving them to the fridge. At that point I am removing the fermenting weight as well, since I need to use the fermenting weight and lid for the next batch. Without a 'pickle pebble', in some jars there are cucumber spears floating at or near the surface of the brine. This has me wondering: do the fermented vegetables always have to remain well below the the brine, even once it is refrigerated? I notice that Alasgun still has weights and airlocks on their jars, even once the jars are being stored in the fridge.

if the bacteria have done their job there should be lactic acid so the only thing i think would happen would be some off flavor possibilities from oxidation (exposure to whatever air gets in the container when you open and close it) or perhaps a bit of dessication (drying out). if enough of the wrong kinds of microbes get in then there would also be some chance of spoilage or molds but if you eat them up quickly enough i don't think i'd worry too much about that... :)
 
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