Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Homemade Pickles Using the Starter Kit from Fermentools Review

{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.}

fermentation, ferment

I have never fermented anything in my life!  When I saw the Starter Kit from Fermentools I knew that I had to give it a try, it made it look so easy.  Why ferment?  Did you know that one scoop of fermented sauerkraut contains more probiotics than an entire bottle of store bought probiotics?  Wow!  Ferments are extremely beneficial for our immune systems, digestive systems, skin, and our absorption of nutrients from food that we eat.

easy fermentation, ferment, fermentools
Our Starter Kit

What's included in the Starter Kit?  Our kit contained 1 stainless steel lid, 1 glass fermentation weight, 1 air lock, 2 rubber stoppers (1 with a hole for the airlock and 1 solid with no hole), 1 rubber canning gasket, Himalayan Powdered Salt and an instruction guide.  This kit is specifically intended for use with wide-mouth mason jars.

Ancient Himalayan Powdered Salt
1 lb bag of Himalayan Salt

The Himalayan Salt bag has a handy reference chart for making your brine solution.  Depending on the percentage of brine solution you need, along with the size of jar you are using - the chart tells you exactly how much salt you will need and what that converts to in Tbsp, tsp, etc.

cucumbers, ferment, pickles, making pickles
 I decided to use some cucumbers and try and ferment them into homemade pickles.

Powder, Fine Salt
A close up of our salt

I used distilled water for my ferment.  I filled up my mason jar with distilled water and added it to a glass bowl.  I then dissolved enough salt to make a 2% brine solution.  Next, I cut up my cucumbers into spears.  I placed them into the bottom of my empty mason jar.

cucumbers, cucumber spears
Empty mason jar with cucumber spears

Next, I added my brine solution to the mason jar until the cucumbers started to rise.

brine solution, cucumbers, fermentation
Cucumbers in a brine solution.

I wasn't sure what to add next.  I read several different recipes and decided to add a few chopped cloves of fresh garlic.  Then I used my glass weight to keep the cucumbers in the solution.

fermentools, glass weight, cucumber, ferment
Cucumbers with glass weight on top

I added the rubber canning gasket to our stainless steel lid and placed it on our jar.  We tightened it with the ring that came with our mason jar.

fermentools, rubber gasket, lid
Adding rubber canning gasket and lid

ferment, lid, starter kit, fermentools
Adding ring from mason jar

I then placed the rubber stopper with the hole into our jar.  I added the air lock system.  I removed the top lid and filled it halfway with distilled water.  I replaced the top of the airlock and my ferment was done!

fermentools, air lock system
Adding the airlock without the top lid

fermentools, air lock system
After filling with water and adding the final lid the airlock system is ready.

My cucumbers were now ready to store away until the fermentation process was complete.  I stored them in the top of my pantry as they need to be out of sunlight and light for the fermentation to work.

I did a little research and most people think that pickles need ~ 5-7 days to ferment before they will be ready to eat.  I tried them on day 8.

homemade, pickles, fermentation
On Day 8

ferment, pickles, delicious
I pulled out a few pickles to try.

ferment, fermentation, pickles
Trying my 1st ferment ever, a pickle!

It worked!  When I opened the jar, I immediately smelled pickle juice and I was really excited.  And my homemade pickles are good!  I think I might have added a bit too much garlic because I can really taste it but they are surprisingly good.  I say surprisingly because I was kind of doubting myself.  David likes them too so it's not just me 😃.

 I found the recipe for Pineapple Tepache on the Fermentools website and decided to try it next.

This recipe is relatively simple using just pineapple peels, filtered water and sugar.

Pineapple Tepache, ferment
 My pineapple peels with 1/4 inch of fruit still left on them.  The kids ate the pineapple as it wasn't needed for this ferment.

Adding my chopped pineapple peels to my mason jar with filtered water.

 I then added the sugar and mixed it together.

 I used the same procedure as with my pickles - added the weight, sealed our jar and set up the airlock system.

Another view

Again, I stored this ferment in the top of my pantry because it needs to be out of sunlight and light for the fermentation to work.  I didn't have grolsch-style bottles needed for the decant process so I just let my ferment sit a few extra days as the recipe said.  It is suppose to be a little less fizzy but taste just as great.  

Here is my Pineapple Tepache after 5 days of fermentation.

We had mixed reviews on this one.  It wasn't my favorite but it was okay.  I think David and the kids that tried it thought the same.  So, if we make this again we will definitely tweak this recipe.  The ferment went great, I just don't think I'm a huge tepache fan.  I much preferred my homemade pickles.

Oh, what to ferment next - there are so many possibilities!  I really appreciate that all of Fermentools products are made and sourced in the USA!  Everything in my kit is high quality.  The lids are made with surgical stainless still and our corrosion-resistant lid should last a lifetime.  The glass weight fits perfectly inside our wide-mouthed mason jar.  Our Himalayan Powdered salt dissolves easy in cold water making the fermenting even easier.  I also love that this is a family run, home educating business with 7 kids - similar to us!!  This kit could not make fermenting any easier.  It's super friendly to use and I would highly recommend it.

Interested in trying out Fermentools?  I have a discount code to share with you.  Simply use CREW2020 to save 15% off any purchases through June 30th! 

Be sure to click on the banner below to visit the Homeschool Review Crew blog to read even more reviews of Fermentools.  I'm excited to see what everyone else fermented!

Fermentools Starter Kit {Fermentools Reviews}

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Norma said...

Wow that seems like a very cool kit. I will try it out in the future.

Kathryn said...

Thanks Norma! I really loved the ease of using it. It's kind of like fermenting for dummies, which was great for me.

Adriana Lately said...

I LOVE pickles but I have never thought about making it. I think im going to try it.

Aditi Malhotra said...

wow, I always used market bought pickles but your recipe seems really easy and doable and I shall now definitely give it a try

The Motivated Mom said...

I am going to try this. My hubby loves pickles and this would make his whole day.

Kathryn said...

Yes, I hope you guys do try it. The kit is easy to use. I was worried that my pickles wouldn't turn out but they did! So fun.

Natalie said...

I just read about lacto fermentation and I would really love to give it a try. That kit is amazing for beginners like me. Thanks for sharing.

Babit said...

Thanks for this amazing post there is a lot to know in this article.
Logic Power Starter Kit