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Maximizing Probiotic Fermentation

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  • Maximizing Probiotic Fermentation

    Hey everybody, what are your thoughts on maximizing lactic acid fermentation (or other probiotics)?

    I ferment fruits and vegetables in a fermentation crock. I have found fruits higher in glucose ferment better than fruits lower in glucose, and especially better than vegetables.

    It seems lactic acid bacteria use glucose in the fermentation process. In terms of getting way more bang for your buck, could you simply add lots of water and pure glucose to the crock along with the fruit? What about plain sucrose? Invert sugar?? So many questions. Will be experimenting and posting back if anyone sees this.

    Any thoughts?


  • #2
    I don't know about fermenting fruits or most veggies yet (though I plan to do some experimenting of my own in the near future), but I do know from making kombucha that a new batch is GREATLY helped when I add about 1/5 of 'starter kombucha' (kombucha that is completely fermented from an older batch). Have you tried using some of the liquid from a previous batch of fermented fruits/veggies to jumpstart a new batch? I'd bet this would speed things up, but since I haven't done it myself, it's pure conjecture.


    • #3
      yeah, sugar will increase fermentation. the bugs feed on the sugar!! they digest it nicely.


      • #4
        BestBetter - you are most certainly correct! I suppose I should have included that info. I always use some of the last batch to start off the new one unless I have eaten it all. I find that for my ferments, it speeds the process up by about 2 days.

        jakey - yeah that's what I thought. Any thoughts on which sugar is best? So you think sucrose will do the job?


        • #5
          Also, kombucha ferments lightning fast if I keep it really warm, and I'm assuming lactic acid fermentation is the same. At night, I put my kombucha on my stove, because the pilot light keeps it pretty warm. The top of the fridge is another good warm nighttime place. Do you put your ferments someplace warm?


          • #6
            No, but it's a good idea. A while back I found a study that said 37 degrees was the optimal temperature for some lactic acid bacteria strains. It also said 30 grams of glucose/litre. Interesting IMO. Anyways, I would put it somewhere warm, but the crock is huge. Holds 10 Litres. I usually have it in the basement out of the way . I even thought about buying a little space heater and trying to heat it that way, but the energy requirement is way too expensive.


            • #7
              Yeah, those heavy containers are not fun to be moving around, so if you don't have a warm spot where they can hang out for the duration, I guess it won't help. Just as an experiment, it might be cool to take some of your current ferment-in-progress and put it in a smaller container so that you could more easily stick it in a warm place, and then compare the results to the huge batch that's in a cooler temp.


              • #8
                Yeah it weighs 30 some odd pounds without the fruit and water haha, so like maybe 40 or more pounds in total. Back when I didn't have my crock I would just use jars, and yeah I did the basement vs bedroom experiment - higher temperatures definitely did help. I just have no way of increasing the temperature with the crock. But I assume fermenting for a longer time at lower temperatures yields the same result. I'm gonna go check on my batch of honey dew melon. It's been fermenting for 5 days. I have fermented honey dew melon before for 5 days with great results everytime. The only difference this time is that I added a lot of water and sucrose. Will report back soon. It will be a lot easier to tell tomorrow how well it went. For some reason after it sits in the fridge for a day THEN I can really taste the probiotic content easier.


                • #9
                  So yeah I'm pretty sure that adding water and sugar works! I can now make 10 litres of probiotics at a time, even if I have about 2 litres of fruit. Yayy. I'll know for sure tomorrow after it's been in the fridge for a day.


                  • #10
                    Do you leave the rind on the fruit? I've read that you're supposed to, but since I peel all the fruit/veggies I eat (to keep fiber low for my IBS) I can't see peeling everything AFTER it's fermented. I've read that the yeasts on the skins are what get everything fermenting, so I'm worried that I'll end up with a big failure if I eliminate the peels before starting.


                    • #11
                      Hmm that's interesting that people say you're supposed to. No, I usually use pineapple or honey dew melon or bananas or a combo - and never with skin. Mine always turn out great. So no, the people who are saying that are wrong. That being said, my fermentation device is pretty awesome - it has 2 semi circular stones to keep the fruit/veges below the water, and also a rim where the lid sits is filled up with water so absolutely no oxygen can penetrate while its fermenting. My brother who makes this stuff only using jars usually gets mediocre results at best. The only thing I should add, is that if you try this its a good idea to add a bit of salt that contains no iodine. And the water used should have little to no chlorine (ie if using tap water, filter it).

                      Do you eat paleo?


                      • #12
                        Yes, I'm paleo (no grains/dairy/legumes) and just recently I've been trying to add a little more saturated fat to my diet. I was eating a ton of fruit and veggies, but my longstanding IBS got worse and has only shown improvement with cutting down on the fiber, hence my concern with the peels.

                        I have reverse osmosis water that I add back minerals to using Concentrace Minerals, so the chlorine shouldn't be an issue. Is pink himalayan salt ok? It doesn't have added iodine, just whatever amount is naturally in the salt.

                        Where did you get your magic fermenting crock from?

                        BTW, I was trying to find some more info on speeding up lactic acid fermentation, but couldn't really find any new stuff, until I found a link to a recipe for making a fermented 'cleaning product' which looks like something to drink, honestly. The woman suggested adding yeast to speed up the fermentation, and that got me wondering about adding something like nutritional yeast to fermenting stuff. It's probably not a good idea, but I may try it as an experiment. Of course, now I can't find the link to that site.


                        • #13
                          wow, well you seem to be doing a lot of stuff right IMO. The water and salt are both good for sure. I got it online. They aren't cheap at all but to me it was worth it. I feel like they are so over-priced, if only I knew pottery haha. Basically I couldn't find anything much cheaper than 150. Maybe 130 at the lowest - for me what killed me was shipping, because I live in Canada. I actually have since found a site that would've only asked for like 20 bucks shipping to me, but I was lazy in my research. . Amazon has it and other online sites. Not sure where you would look for one if you didn't buy things online. If you want I can give you the two best links that I know of. (one is an amazon link). They are called fermenting crocks, but most of them out there are Harsch Fermenting crocks (Harsch is the company....kinda like how kleenex and ski-doo are actually brand names).

                          Hmmm, that's interesting about the yeast. I'll have to look into it. Thanks.