Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.
Farm life and the desire to be more self-sufficient has inspired me over the years to learn more about food preservation. This is an area where I believe we’ve lost a lot of incredible knowledge over the years, and think it has been to our disservice. So, since fermentation has already been a topic of interest, I was excited for the opportunity to review the Starter Kit from Fermentools.
There are so many benefits of fermented food. I won’t dive into those benefits in this post, but I have been amazed at what I have learned and what I have experienced since I began making fermented food a regular part of our diet.
What Is This Product?
This kit provides the items you need to turn any wide mouth jar into a fermentation vessel. This means you can create a tiny batch in a pint jar, or a larger batch in a half gallon jar. You can size your ferments up and down depending on your needs.
I appreciate that these products are sourced and made in the United States. Each item in the kit was high-quality. It came with:
- A stainless steel lid (that is corrosion resistant)
- A glass fermentation weight (that fits perfectly inside a wide mouth jar)
- 1 air lock
- 2 rubber stoppers (one designed with a hole for the air lock and one solid)
- A rubber canning gasket
- A bag of Himalayan powdered salt for fermenting
- Directions for using the products
- A basic recipe for making sauerkraut
I appreciated that the directions were clear, and easy to read.
How Did We Use This Product?
Since I already had cabbage in the fridge, I decided to start with a small batch of sauerkraut. I used the basic recipe as a starting point, and added a few other ingredients from a favorite recipe I have (such as carrots- I really like fermented carrots, especially when mixed in sauerkraut!) Here it is, ready to get the lid on and get fermenting.
I opted to go with the salt mix on the heavier end of the brine solution % scale. In retrospect, I should have lightened this up a bit. It was pretty salty at the end.
The second batch I made, I went with the lower end of the range. That batch had a much better flavor and the cabbage and carrot shone through, instead of just merely tasting like a salt lick.
I think that is one of the things that makes fermenting food an art. The quality of the salt you are using, the items you are using, and everything else plays a part in the finished product. There are subtle nuances of difference that you don’t get in food that is preserved in a different way.
Now, we have a batch of baby carrots going. I like to keep fermented carrots on hand, as the kids are more receptive to those than they are sauerkraut. Here’s what it looks like when everything is together.
After this batch is done, I’m planning on trying carrots with dill and garlic. Yum!
I imagine that we will continue using this kit for many years to come.
What Did We Think of This Product?
I am really enjoying this kit. The bag of salt is large enough that it can do several batches. It took some time to learn how to get the right amount of salt. You have to convert teaspoons and tablespoons into grams, and then figure out how many of each you need to get the right percentage. Thankfully, the back of the bag has a conversion chart you can use. And I’m sure as I get more practice it will become easier.
Being able to start another jar without having to empty out the first is such a nice feature. I can start a second batch in a new jar, as soon as the first is done. I just put a regular lid on the first and add the canning ring to hold it down. Then it sits in the fridge while another one gets started.
This opened up the door to talk about probiotics and gut health with the kids in a practical way. And they are looking forward to trying to ferment some carrots from the garden later this year when they are ready for picking.
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