Fall Fermenting

I’m starting to harvest lots of fall veggies here, and that means it’s time to get busy fermenting some of them. Fermenting is my favorite way to preserve brassicas like cabbage, kohlrabi and radishes.  We will be enjoying jars of the fermented veggies all winter long, and they help keep us supplied when fresh homegrown goodies are in short supply. Last month I was busy making hot sauces from our hot peppers. I made a sriracha style sauce, a Tabasco style sauce, and a chunky fermented chili-garlic sauce. I made enough for our own use plus some to give away to friends who like it hot.

fermented hot sauces

fermented hot sauces

I already wrote about making kimchi last week, and this week I started a few more jars of it to ferment. I’ve got one jar made with napa cabbage (baechu kimchi), two jars with daikon radish (kkakdugi) and one jar I started yesterday made with kohlrabi. I prepare the kohlrabi exactly like I do the radishes, peeling it and cubing it up then soaking it in a 5% salt brine for 6-8 hours. Then I drain and mix with the seasoning paste. This year I am happy to be using peppers I grew myself for the gochugaru powder, and I am anxious to see how it compares with the commercial powders I have used in the past.

fermented fall veggies

fermented fall veggies

I started one jar of kohlrabi ‘pickles’ yesterday and I hope to make some sauerkraut as soon as the cabbage is ready. For the pickles I cut them into spears, pack them in a jar and cover with a 2% brine solution. I also add a few cloves of garlic to each jar to give a little extra flavor. This is my wife’s favorite ferment, and I try and make lots of it for her since she enjoys it so much.

fermented kohlrabi pickles

fermented kohlrabi pickles

I’m also experimenting with making some ‘green’ flavors of kombucha. I flavored one bottle with powdered chlorella, mint and lime juice. The other I flavored with spirulina powder and lemon. Hopefully they will not taste like something you scrape from the bottom of your lawnmower! My wife and I drink my homemade kombucha daily, and I love to try new flavors. Her favorite is ginger, so she mostly lets me drink the new ones myself. I’ve tried commercial versions of green kombuchas before and liked them, so hopefully I can flavor a homemade version that I like.

green kombuchas

green kombuchas

Regular readers might be wondering where we manage to find room in the refrigerator for all those fermented foods. The answer is – we don’t, and so a couple of years ago we got a small refrigerator we put in the basement just for them. It holds quite a bit, and now we have more room in the main frig for things like fresh veggies from the garden!

ferment frig

ferment frig

I hope you have enjoyed this update about some of the foods I have been fermenting lately. I’ll be back soon with more from Happy Acres!

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7 Responses to Fall Fermenting

  1. Phuong says:

    It’s great seeing all the different ferments you do. And the kombucha sounds like a fun drink to experiment with.

  2. Michelle says:

    Fridge space has always been an issue here too, there’s a second one in our garage where the overflow goes. I’ve only ever tried Kombucha once and was not impressed. Perhaps I should give it another try. My collection of hot sauces has grown – there’s red Sriracha style, and yellow and green and peach colored sauces too, oh and there’s a jalapeno sauce with crushed rose petals. And I think I’ve made at least 5 sweet fermented pepper pastes each with a different variety of pepper. My latest fermenting experiment is honey fermented cranberries which I just started today so I have no idea how it will turn out.

  3. Sue Garrett says:

    I didn’t realise fermented foods still need to be kept refrigerated.

  4. Gail says:

    My family has been drink kombucha for a few years now. The best is when we add our homemade grape jam! YUM!!!!

    • Dave @ HappyAcres says:

      Grape jam is a great idea for flavoring kombucha! I’ve tried grape juice and didn’t like the taste so I will give the jam a try, though it will have to be store bought jam.

  5. shaheen says:

    I am totally impressed with your fermenting. I have dabbled in it a little, but not made kombucha which is what I really want to make, except I have no one here to give me the mother starter, so I wait until that day to start. I have recently started making sourdough bread and keeping the starter has been an interesting experience, learning all the time.

  6. Margaret says:

    Great idea with the mini-fridge. I’m a big fan of both mint and lime – the green kombucha is intriguing. I have to say, though, that your lawnmower comment made me laugh out loud…literally 🙂

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