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Scott Kustes
08-12-2008, 02:48 PM
Fermenters, question for you. I've made sauerkraut numerous times with no issues. I put some aside a week ago and opened it today to check on it. The liquid had a thin snotty consistency, literally like someone had blown their nose, mixed it with water, and poured it in the entire container. The smell was a touch off, as was the taste, but nothing major. I threw it away as it seemed to be ruined. What the hell happened? Was that just mold of some sort? Was it okay to eat anyway?

Frank Needham
08-12-2008, 05:14 PM
Gawd, I'm glad I ate before reading that....

Garrett Smith
08-12-2008, 06:27 PM
I think you made the right decision tossing it.

Was it only cabbage or was anything else in it?

The only time I've had a batch go bad (which was very obvious in the smell, it actually felt like it burned my nose) was when I made a very high sugar content cultured veggie batch (lots of beets and carrots, in an effort to get my wife to eat some) in a jar that had previously been used to make milk kefir.

I think you got some yeast/mold in your batch, that's my guess.

Did you use any starter culture or any salt?

Scott Kustes
08-13-2008, 01:03 PM
It was just cabbage this time. Used a ton of salt. I thought I scalded everything well before starting, but I guess that happens. That's the pleasures of eating real food huh? Sometimes it doesn't work out.

Allen Yeh
08-13-2008, 01:25 PM
Stop lying, we all know twinkies with their decade+ long shelf long is really the way to go for a post workout muscle building fuel.

Scott Kustes
08-14-2008, 09:27 AM
Well, the nice thing about Twinkies is that they'll keep in your gym bag for quite a long time if you forget about them and leave them under a sweaty shirt. You never know when you might need a carb-up at a moment's notice and reach for that Twinkie from your childhood.

Kyle Clayton
08-14-2008, 09:38 AM
From someone who ferments beer rather than cabbage, it sounds like your sauerkraut got an infection. How did you sanitize the jars?

Boiling them in water should be sufficient, but you can be sure they're clean by adding an appropriate amount of iodophor. I use it on 5-gallon fermenters and have never had any contamination issues.

Scott Kustes
08-16-2008, 08:00 AM
Kyle, I just scalded everything in the hottest water my faucet runs, which is pretty hot, though not boiling. It's always worked before, but I suppose I'll be adding boiled water to everything next time to make sure any nasty stuff is killed off. Where does one get iodophor?

Kyle Clayton
08-17-2008, 09:41 AM
Kyle, I just scalded everything in the hottest water my faucet runs, which is pretty hot, though not boiling. It's always worked before, but I suppose I'll be adding boiled water to everything next time to make sure any nasty stuff is killed off. Where does one get iodophor?

Scalding water isn't enough to kill some bacterias. Definitely boil it for a few minutes at the least. If you want to use iodophor, try your local homebrew supply store. That's the most common use for it. Breweries and homebrewers as well as bars with lots of good beers on tap tend to eat this stuff up.

The great thing about it is if you use the right proportions there's no film to rinse out. Even if you're worried you used to much, just run hot water in the jars to neutralize whatever may be left. It'll eventually turn things orange but there's no effect to the stuff in the container. Just discoloration of the container.

Garrett Smith
08-18-2008, 06:48 AM
Scott,
I'm going to guess that the infectious organism was probably in your veggies and not the container.

I don't salt at all, and like I mentioned, I've only had one batch go bad ever.

Pre-inoculating with probiotics (like the BED ones) is intended to give the good guys a head start to outcompete the bad guys.