Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Floaters

Our latest two batches have been concerning me- cut veggies have been floating into the oil layer. They shouldn't bother the fermentation process, the oil still keeps oxygen out of the way. They won't, however, get fermented with the rest of the batch and will have to be removed once refridgeration solidifies the oil layer. They will/should be worth eating but would otherwise destroy an aging batch of escabiche. Hmm, they just might botch the batch, we'll have to see...

The problem was dryness- all of our raw ingredients had time to sit and wait for us to get to them, between drop-off by the farmers at Central City Co-op and processing in Stelly's and Rowan's kitchen. Stelly, Rice, and Lewis now hypothesize that a two-step process, soaking overnight in water, will solve this problem. It's proposed that further batches be put into jars filled with water and soaked overnight, in the fridge if possible. The next night, an inner-circle crew can then join the host/ess in the final stages: decanting excess water (about two inches per jar), adding the vinegar, and topping with oil, before sealing and setting on the shelf.

2 comments:

Johnny Bubonic said...

Our noses are highly-tuned putrifaction detectors, trust yours. A slight whiff of putrescence comes out of some of the jars with floaters, those jars are being written off. The veggies that floated had live cultures on them before getting surrounded by oil, so not everything went bad, only some. The stuff that floated in jars that passed the smell test (three noses just to be sure) went into the stewpot with no subsequent issues (four bellies to judge that one)

Slingshotjohnny said...

The fermentation process produces CO2 as a by-product. This gas is well-distributed and forms little bubbles which contribute to the floating. This is becoming a vote for the crock fermenting process over fermenting under oil.