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52 Weeks of Bad A** Bacteria – Week 1 – Pickled (Lacto-Fermented) Garlic


Lacto-Fermented Garlic - Pickled Garlic Recipe Follow Me on Pinterest

UPDATE 9/3/12: I just updated this recipe for true anaerobic fermentation. You can find the newly updated recipe here.

UPDATE 7/26/12: I no longer use whey as a starter for my ferments (learn why here). I also no longer use Mason jars for my ferments (learn why here). I use Fidos and Pickl-Its exclusively and the improvement in the taste and texture of my ferments is unbelievable! I encourage everyone to take a look at the information regarding Mason jar ferments and come to a decision that best fits their family. I will be releasing updated versions of these recipes soon, as it applies to the Fido and Pickl-It jars.

Welcome to the very first edition of 2012’s 52 Weeks of Bad A** Bacteria! This week, we’re enjoying pickled garlic. I love garlic and eat as much as I possibly can, but I’ve never had it pickled. I’m really excited to try it on some crusty buttered bread or in homemade ranch dressing for an extra probiotic kick. Since the fermentation process helps mellow the flavor of the garlic, it will be easy to eat alone, though I’m sure people around me would prefer I didn’t. ;)

This garlic is full of enzymes and probiotics after its fermentation. The primary bacteria in lacto-fermented foods is lactobacilli, which helps increase digestibility and nutrient absorption. The byproduct of the fermentation process is lactic acid, which help act as a preservative of the food, as well as helps the growth of healthy bacterial flora in the gut.

A Look at Garlic’s Nutrition

Garlic is an amazing food. It has all sorts of health benefits and should be a regular addition to any diet. It is in the same family as onions and works best if you let it sit after prepping it. To obtain the most from your garlic, after you chop or crush it, let it sit for a little while before cooking or adding it to other ingredients. This allows the alliinase enzymes to activate and be more available for absorption. Garlic, like most foods, is best if consumed as a food, rather than a supplement for the biggest nutritional bang. One of the most valuable compounds of garlic is called allicin and it only stays good at room temperature for less than 16 hours after being extracted, however, if it’s left in its whole food state, then it stays viable for much longer.

Research has shown that garlic can help improve your iron metabolism because of the diallyl sulfides that help increase production of a protein called ferroportin. Ferroportin is a protein that runs across the cell membrane, and forms a passageway that allows stored iron to leave the cells and become available when it is needed.

Garlic is also high in selenium, manganese, vitamin B6, vitamin C, and tryptophan. The sulphur compounds in garlic help with cardiovascular health by helping our blood vessels expand and keep our blood pressure in a safe range. Studies have shown that garlic extracts cannot be used by our red blood cells the same way that whole garlic can. Just another example that our medicine should come from our food. In addition to all of the goodness above, garlic also has antiviral properties.

If you want to use garlic for medicinal purposes, it is recommended to eat at least 1/2 clove with your food portion. If you are going to cook with it, then you need to add 2-3 cloves and you should add that at the end of the cooking process so the nutrients are retained.

Probiotic Tip of the Week

Depending on the current state of your gut’s flora, you may want to gradually introduce fermented/cultured products to your diet. Introducing too many new bacteria too quickly can cause intestinal discomfort as the bad bacteria die off and the good bacteria take up residence. Because of this change, you might experience some gas, bloating, and sometimes diarrhea if you “overdose” with good bacteria. That said, most people don’t experience any issues, so just do what you feel is best for your body. If you do notice some discomfort, just reduce your “dosage” and slowly ramp it up again over a few days time.

Stay tuned for next week’s fermented food. Remember, I’ll be featuring a different fermented or cultured food every single week in 2012! I look forward to hearing your thoughts, comments, ideas, etc. If you’re not already, make sure you sign up for email updates so you never miss a new post. Also, sign up for my monthly newsletter to receive even more info! If you’re on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest, join me there!

Sources: WH Foods “Garlic” | Wiki “Garlic

This post is part of Make Your Own Mondays | Real Food 101 | Fat Tuesday | Weekend Whatever #7

Natural Fermenation Crocks and Supplies
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Delicious Obsessions was founded by Jessica Espinoza in 2010. Jessica is passionate about real and traditional foods, nutrition, health, wellness, food politics, natural living, yoga, and more. She creates fast and easy real food recipes, and helps people see how to eat nourishing food, without breaking the bank. Her motto is “baby steps” — making small, lasting changes, one at a time, is the best way to ensure long-term success.

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About Jessica Espinoza

Jessica is a real food nut, coconut everything enthusiast, avid reader and researcher, blossoming yogi, and animal lover. She has had a life-long passion for food and being in the kitchen is where she is the happiest. Jessica started Delicious Obsessions in 2010 as a way to help share her love for food and cooking. Since then, it has grown into a trusted online resource with a vibrant community of people learning to live healthy, happy lives through real food and natural living.

Discussion

91 comments

  1. It would be lacto-fermented whether you use the whey or not.

    reply 

    Tas'
    Posted 01/09/12

    • Really? I was always told that the addition of whey was what made it lacto-fermented. Though, I guess now that I sit here and think about it, the lacto part comes from the lactobacilli aspect, huh? All this time I’ve been told wrong and I never stopped to really think about it. I went in and took out that sentence — I learn something new every day! Thank you for stopping by and commenting.

      reply 

      Jessica
      Posted 01/09/12

      • No worries. I make ‘minced’ garlic all the time. I don’t roast it. I just whizz up all the (peeled) cloves in the food processor with the salt and a little filtered water and then put it in a jar. Depending on the quality of the garlic, it may go a freaky blue/green colour for a few days (the acidity reacting with copper in the garlic), but after that it goes a rich buttery colour. Then I can just spoon it out as I need it.

        reply 

        Tas'
        Posted 01/09/12

        • Oh, I just read the note in your post about the blue colour. I’ve found that if I buy cheap garlic from China it turns blue/green, but if I buy organic, local (Australian) garlic it doesn’t.

          reply 

          Tas'
          Posted 01/09/12

    • Technically, that isn’t correct. You must either lactoferment in an anaerobic environment, which the mason jar is not, or add whey to get a partial lacto-ferment with aerobic bacteria included.

      If you’re salt curing in a mason jar (Because it isn’t lactofermenting if it isn’t anaerobic), you must add the whey to introduce the LABs and drop the pH or else you’ll have an aerobic dominated ferment and that won’t have any LABs in it at all.

      Sally Fallon knew most people couldn’t invest in a Harsch, so she used the whey as an inoculate to get a partial LAB ferment.

      reply 

      KerryAnn @ CookingTF.com
      Posted 04/11/12

      • If it’s underwater in a mason jar surely it’s anaerobic or a reasonable approximation to it. Maybe a tiny bit of air diffuses in not enough to say it isn’t lactofermenting.
        And salt curing kills all bacteria its a very poor comparison to make to using a mason jar.
        Its one argument to say you get better results in a pickl-it but it’s ridiculous to say someone using a mason jar don’t even get any healthful bacteria.
        This just adds more confusion to the subject.

        reply 

        Ian
        Posted 09/21/13

  2. I have some garlic in brine right now looking a lot like your picture. :) I didn’t roast it, just peeled the 75 little cloves and covered them in the salt solution.

    reply 
    • The peeling part is the worst. Takes forever! I might keep the cloves totally raw next time and do it your way, rather than heating them up. Even with low-temp roasting, you still destroy a few of the beneficial compounds. But, it does help the skin come off easier!

      reply 

      Jessica
      Posted 01/09/12

  3. Do you ever open the lid on the jar in the 8-10 days? And once you take it out of storage and open to use how long do you have to use all of it?

    reply 

    Janna
    Posted 01/09/12

    • Janna – Those are great questions! Yes, I opened the jar once on day 7 to see what it smelled like. It smelled fresh and fragrant, just like garlic. No “pickled” smell. I went back and added that note into the post.

      The garlic will keep for at least six months or not a year or more in cold storage. As with all fermented foods, you can tell if it goes bad simply by the smell. Considering that garlic is used to ward off bugs (both internal bugs and real creepy crawly bugs), it’s unlikely that any bad bacteria would take up residence! Thank you for your questions!

      reply 

      Jessica
      Posted 01/09/12

  4. Do you think it will work without the whey?

    reply 

    Bethany
    Posted 01/09/12

    • Hi Bethany – yes, it will work without the whey, you just need to double the salt. :)

      reply 

      Jessica
      Posted 01/09/12

      • Many people have found that if they ferment their veggies without whey, they stay crispier.

        reply 

        Tas'
        Posted 01/09/12

  5. Thanks so much for this post! We started fermenting garlic last week too. The day after we began, the garlic turned blue. I almost threw it out! Thankfully, I decided to wait and see what would happen. Now after reading your post, I’m so glad I waited! Thanks for the insight!!

    reply 

    Jennie M
    Posted 01/09/12

    • Yay! Glad you didn’t toss it! Mine has yet to turn any funky colors, so I haven’t gotten the pleasure of seeing it. I’m kind of curious, so I was almost hoping it would. It would freak my hubby out! :)

      Thank you for stopping by! Hope to see you again next week!

      reply 

      Jessica
      Posted 01/09/12

  6. This is next on my list to make!! I LOVE garlic!!!

    reply 

    Linnae
    Posted 01/09/12

    • Awesome! Me too. I eat a ton of it. As a matter of fact, I’m going to go heat up some more chicken broth and chop some of the garlic to “garnish” it with! :) Thanks for stopping by!

      reply 

      Jessica
      Posted 01/09/12

  7. Where do you get your whey? Do you make it from raw milk?

    reply 

    Holly
    Posted 01/09/12

  8. We LOVE this stuff!

    reply 
    • I’m loving it too! Today alone, I’ve eaten 8 cloves of garlic. It’s just so good. I added 4 cloves to my broth at lunch and then another 4 at dinner. I’m afraid I’m going to start smelling like one big garlic clove! :)

      reply 

      Jessica
      Posted 01/09/12

  9. I love, love, LOVE LF garlic! I have some in my fridge over a year old and it’s the smoothest, most incredible flavor. I love it!

    I don’t put whey in any of my ferments, either.

    reply 

    KerryAnn @ CookingTF.com
    Posted 01/09/12

    • So far it’s been great. I have a feeling I’m going to start smelling like garlic soon – today alone, I ate 8 cloves!! EEK! Hubby might make me sleep in another room tonight! :) Thanks for stopping by KerryAnn! P.S. Why don’t you add whey to your ferments?

      reply 

      Jessica
      Posted 01/09/12

      • Well, I’ve been doing a LOT of research on the whey issue and how fermentation works. At first, I had quit adding whey because I didn’t think it was necessary. Then I discovered that when you don’t add whey, there’s nothing to drop the pH and add some LABs, so you wind up with an aerobic, salt-cured but not lactofermented product. You wind up with a bunch of bacteria that aren’t what you’re after.

        So I have now gone to only anaerobic ferments, which is done in a truly sealed environment where the bacteria can use up the oxygen, then the anaerobic LABs then have a chance to out-compete the oxygen-loving bacteria. That process takes 2-3 days in an anaerobic environment. From there, you need to go through at least the second stage of lactofermentation before you move it to the fridge. With things like sauerkraut, you want to go up to 12 weeks. 7-10 on the counter and the rest in the fridge before you eat it.

        You can only get an anaerobic environment in a Pickl-It or a harsch crock with a water seal. I now won’t do any ferments that aren’t in one of those two methods, as all of the research and benefits about probiotics I’ve come across are for the anaerobic bacteria, not the oxygen-loving ones.

        reply 

        KerryAnn @ CookingTF.com
        Posted 04/11/12

  10. I wish I had found this information about a month ago! I had made a bath of Master Tonic and the garlic turned a pretty green color and I finally threw it all out! I could cry:( But, I did find that soaking the garlic cloves in cold water helped get the skins off. I think I’ll try this recipe, too!

    reply 

    Donna
    Posted 01/09/12

    • Oh no! Well, now you know that if the garlic turns a funky color, it’s most likely fine, just reacting with minerals in the water! Live and learn, but some of the lessons are more costly than others! I’m glad you found us now. Stay tuned for more fun fermented posts! Thank you for coming by! :)

      reply 

      Jessica
      Posted 01/10/12

  11. I recently watched a video on how to peel garlic in 10 seconds! I’m sure its on youtube if you search. Basically though, smash the head with the heal of your palm, then put your cloves in a bowl with another over it (or I used a jar with a lid) and shake vigorously. When I tried it, I didn’t shake long enough and still had to peel 2, but it was only 2 so I was very happy. :)

    reply 

    Genny
    Posted 01/10/12

    • Genny – Hi there! Another reader just posted the link to the video because she had seen you mention it. I’m going to throw it up on the blog tomorrow so everyone can see it! I can’t wait to give it a try and see if it really works :)

      reply 

      Jessica
      Posted 01/10/12

  12. Here’s the video Genny mentioned! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0d3oc24fD-c
    When I saw it, I was shocked! I’ve tried it & it works awesome, though I’m not sure about roasted… but I guess it’d be just the same. :)

    reply 

    Heather
    Posted 01/10/12

    • Love it! I’m posting it on the blog tomorrow so everyone can see it! Thank you for sharing this with me. I will definitely be trying this method! :)

      reply 

      Jessica
      Posted 01/10/12

  13. Fantastic – really looking forward to these weekly posts!

    reply 

    Caroline Cain
    Posted 01/11/12

    • Thank you Caroline! Much appreciated. I look forward to seeing you again! :)

      reply 

      Jessica
      Posted 01/13/12

  14. I am a huge garlic fan–and have been looking for an easy ‘in’ to fermenting. Looks like I should try this out!

    reply 

    Alex
    Posted 01/14/12

  15. http://theliberatedkitchenpdx.com/basics/why-i-dont-use-whey-as-a-vegetable-fermentation-starter/ this is a great article I read the other day. My garlic just finished yesterday. I left mine out 3 days as per NT, but I noticed you left yours longer…I am curious as to why? House temp or another reason?

    reply 

    livesimplylovestrongly
    Posted 01/16/12

    • Thanks for the link to the article. I’ll go read through that. Most of Sally Fallon’s ferments says to leave out for 3 days, but I find that 3 days is not nearly enough. I think a lot of it does depend on the temperature of your house – my house stays pretty cool between 66-68 degrees. Any time I’ve tasted a ferment after 3 days, it doesn’t taste fermented enough to me. As a matter of fact, my garlic is still sitting out on the counter! I’d say play with the number of days based on what your tastes prefer :)

      reply 

      Jessica
      Posted 01/16/12

  16. In my attempt to make fermented garlic, I peeled 6 heads and put them in a jar with water, whey, salt and oregano. I left it on my counter, and opened the jar after two days–just for curiosity……would this cause any problems with the ferment?

    reply 

    RBT
    Posted 01/21/12

    • Nope – Not at all! I opened mine around day 5 and then again on day 7, just to give it a sniff test. It won’t hurt it at all to open the lid. I think garlic is somewhat unique in regards to fermented foods because I don’t think that any bad bacteria could grow in it! The batch that I made a couple weeks ago still smells great. As a matter of fact, it’s getting a really mellow, smooth, kinda sweet garlicky smell that is really pleasant. I used a little bit of the brine in my vinaigrette dressing tonight and it was AMAZING!

      reply 

      Jessica
      Posted 01/21/12

      • Thanks for the quick reply, Jessica!
        Great to know that I have someone (besides me) who cares
        about my garlic!! (:

        Enjoy the day!
        RBT

        reply 

        RBT
        Posted 01/22/12

  17. Did you have any issues with the garlic floating? Mine is just rising to the top…perhaps if I leave it a few days, it will sink down? It’s pretty weird!

    reply 

    Christina
    Posted 01/26/12

    • Some of mine did float. I thought it was strange. For some reason, some of the cloves must have more air in them. They still taste good though! I hope you enjoy. I’m almost done with the jar that I made for this post and I already have another jar done and waiting! It really has become one of my favorite LF foods!

      reply 

      Jessica
      Posted 01/26/12

      • Ok today is day 10, so I stuck the jar in the fridge. I just tried 2 cloves and not only are they still VERY strong tasting, but the effervescent effect is quite overpowering. Did you experience this? Maybe I just need to get used to it, but I can eat pickled garlic like candy, and I like eating raw cloves when I’m cooking. But the combo of the strong garlicky smell and the tingling from the fermenting is a bit much – any ideas? Will they mellow out more in the fridge?

        reply 

        Christina
        Posted 02/04/12

        • Interesting. Your experience is totally different from mine! My garlic never got effervescent and it was never super strong tasting. It doesn’t get the typical “pickled” taste that you might expect from other pickled products. I found that the garlic flavor was mellowed and not overpowering by the time the 10th day came around. It does seem to mellow more over time, and I think the flavor actually gets better and better the longer it sits. It’s still garlicky, but kind of a calm garlicky flavor/smell if that makes sense. I never could tolerate raw cloves, but I enjoy eating these raw. So strange how your garlic is yielding such a different result than mine. I honestly don’t know what to say! Maybe leave them in the fridge for a few days and see if they settle down a bit? I’m sorry that the experience has not been great so far! :(

          reply 

          Jessica
          Posted 02/04/12

          • Oh I’m not giving up yet. I wonder if it was the lack of whey or the quality of the garlic. I did double the salt. I just tried another one and I feel like I’ve got a burn on my tongue from the effervescence. I might stick them in a different jar and try again with the whey. I know not to expect the vinegary taste of the pickled garlic, but the mellowness of them is what appeals. Thankfully none of the ingredients are expensive so I don’t mind trying again, but I’m just impatient to eat them!

            reply 

            Christina
            Posted 02/06/12

            • I don’t know. Such an adventure isn’t it. I find it fascinating that we are having totally different experiences with the same ferment. I love it! It’s also giving me more info in case I run into these issues in the future, or if another reader runs into similar issues. Thank you for keeping me posted! :)

              reply 

              Jessica
              Posted 02/07/12

            • Possibly you fermented them in mason jars? Hostess has gone over to the pickle-its, so the effervescence may be due to the C02 buildup in the jar. I’ve been just cracking the seal on mine, and watching the bubbles rise! C02 comes bubbling up, and I think it’ll limit the “carbonation” you’re probably experiencing. Good luck, and Don’t give up!

              reply 

              Doug
              Posted 04/17/13

              • It could be. I used Mason jars many times with the garlic and never had fizz, but, every ferment is slightly different, depending on our own environments. That’s what makes it so fun! :)

                reply 

                Jessica
                Posted 04/18/13

  18. I have a dehydrator that I could use instead of the oven. What temperature would you recommend?

    reply 

    Katie P
    Posted 02/02/12

  19. After 3 days my house reeks with a strong garlicky smell. Is this normal? Doesn’t smell off, just very strong (kids are complaining). I’ve not fermented anything before and am a little concerned. Looks good, though

    reply 

    Kelly
    Posted 02/02/12

    • Kelly – Interesting. I’ve made a few batches and never had it stink up the house. All of my batches have had some garlicky odor when you stand right next to the jar, but unless you’re standing right there, you can’t smell it. I wonder if it’s a difference in our house temperatures? I’m in CO and my house during the winter stays at 66-68 degrees. Other than that, I don’t know. Maybe your garlic is just WAY more powerful than mine! :)

      reply 

      Jessica
      Posted 02/03/12

  20. Thank you for your submission on Nourishing Treasures’ Make Your Own! Monday link-up.

    Check back later tonight when the new link-up is running to see if you were one of the top 3 featured posts! :)

    reply 
  21. I just went to my local asian grocery store and found a bag of PEELED garlic for only $1.50. It all fit into one Prego spaghetti jar. (My housemate eats a lot of spaghetti.)

    reply 

    Peggy Lew
    Posted 02/08/12

    • Nice! I hadn’t even thought of doing it that way! That saves you some work for sure. I hope you enjoy it! :)

      reply 

      Jessica
      Posted 02/08/12

  22. I’m the founder/moderator for Punk Domestics (www.punkdomestics.com), a community site for those of use obsessed with, er, interested in DIY food. It’s sort of like Tastespotting, but specific to the niche. I’d love for you to submit this to the site. Good stuff!

    reply 

    Sean
    Posted 02/15/12

    • Oooooh! I just checked out the site and I love it! I would love to join. I’ll go sign up now as a contributor. Thank you for stopping by and letting me know about it! :)

      reply 

      Jessica
      Posted 02/15/12

  23. As soon as I get my hands on some organic garlic, I would love to try this. Here’s a trick my mom taught me: to peel garlic cloves quickly, set them individually on the counter top or sturdy cutting board. With the bottom of a sturdy glass or jar, give each clove a light smash and the skin will slip right off.

    reply 

    Christine
    Posted 02/23/12

  24. I have made pickled green beans before with cloves of garlic in there and I tried them and they were delicious. Out of curiosity, is there a reason you use plain water versus a vinegar brine?

    reply 

    Lindsey S
    Posted 03/06/12

    • You never want to use vinegar (even Braggs) if you’re trying to do true lacto-fermentation. The vinegar does not allow for proper lacto-fermentation to take place, therefore hindering the growth of the probiotics. While vinegar is a preservative, it should not be used during the LF process. You will get an amazing brine out of just using water, salt, and whatever veggie it is that you’re pickling. I always like to use the explanation from the Pickl-It website when answering this question. According to them:

      “Acetic acid is developed from aerobic fermentation, in the making of vinegar. An open-vessel system is important for this process, quite the opposite of what is needed for anaerobic lacto-fermentation required by sauerkraut, kimchi and kefir.”

      “Lactic acid is the dominant acid created by lactic-acid bacteria, during fermentation. Although acetic acid (vinegar) is also created, the proper ratio of lactic:acetic acids needs to be in a 4:1 ratio.

      Adding Bragg’s to a lacto-fermentation brine, disrupts that ratio, throwing the lacto-fermentation out of balance! The lactic-acid bacteria will be stunted, unable to develop the correct texture, flavor, or natural-preservative qualities that are desirable in lacto-fermentation.

      The only reason to add Bragg’s is if the flavor is desired. Some people, for example, will mix a 50/50 solution of Bragg’s ACV with sugar, creating a sweet and sour mixture, which they pour on sliced, lacto-fermented pickles, to create a “butter” pickle for use on hamburgers and sandwiches.

      There’s no need to use “raw” vinegar as a preservative, at least, not in a properly lacto-fermented food.”

      Here are the links: http://www.pickl-it.com/faq/264/raw-vinegar-in-brine/ and http://www.pickl-it.com/faq/128/why-no-vinegar-making-pickles/ and http://www.pickl-it.com/faq/142/what-is-acetic-acid/

      Does that help at all?

      reply 

      Jessica
      Posted 03/07/12

  25. I have a jar of garlic on the counter, just started it today. As soon as I “gave it all a good shake” all my garlic started to float. Is that alright? It won’t mold or anything, will it? Will it ever go under water?

    Thanks for your help!
    Dellaina

    reply 

    Dellaina
    Posted 03/26/12

    • Nope, it shouldn’t mold. The reason that I like to keep a tight lid on it is so that I can shake it up each day. That will ensure that no mold happens. I would loosen the lid a tiny bit each day to let off any gas that’s built up, but then tighten it back up. You should have no problems. Also, for me, I have some cloves that always float and others that always sink. I can’t figure out why, other than some of the cloves must have more air pockets in them or something! Have fun! This stuff is fantastic! :)

      reply 

      Jessica
      Posted 03/26/12

  26. Dude.. I got one of these on the recommendation of Michael Smith from PEI, Canada: IT CHANGED MY GARLIC CLOVE PEELING LIFE!

    Get one.

    http://www.amazon.com/Zak-Designs-E-Z-Rol-Garlic-Peeler/dp/B00004RDDP/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1333323729&sr=8-2

    put the garlic clove in half way – roll firmly and quickly between your hands!

    insane.

    reply 

    unixrab
    Posted 04/01/12

    • And never wash it. The more garlic you peel…the more seasoned and sticky it becomes.. you’ll see.

      reply 

      unixrab
      Posted 04/01/12

  27. 38 seconds in: http://chefmichaelsmith.com/tips-tricks-hints/speedy-garlic-peeling/

    reply 

    unixrab
    Posted 04/01/12

  28. The best way to peel garlic is to separate the cloves
    and soak them in warm water for at least 30 mins, then peel :)

    reply 

    Cat
    Posted 05/01/12

  29. Can I use powdered whey for this recipe?
    Or should I just make my own?

    reply 

    Shawn
    Posted 06/29/12

  30. My way to replace Pickl-It:
    take a clean surgical glove and put in on a mason jar (wide).
    If you see a lot of air accumulated, take a needle and made a tiny hole in one finger (air will go only from jar).

    reply 

    gail
    Posted 08/15/12

  31. I think I just ruined my whole batch. I’ve been canning for weeks now (still a newbie), and I put my garlic/brine bottles in a hot water bath. I’m guessing that it’s not going to ferment. Shall I start another batch without the water bath?

    reply 

    Gyan Devi
    Posted 09/26/12

    • Hi Gyan – Canning defeats the purpose of lactofermenting. You never want to heat your ferments up above room temperature, or you will kill all of the good bacteria. Also, lactofermentation is a way of preserving food (like canning). Once the ferment is done, you just need to store it in the fridge. I know people who have batches of lactofermented garlic that is a year+ old and it’s still fine. All you need to do is prepare the jar with the garlic and the brine, wrap a towel around it to keep they light out, and then place it in a dark area where it can ferment for a month.

      I actually recently updated this recipe to be more accurate. I no longer ferment in Mason jars and only use anaerobic fermenting vessels. You can find that post here: http://www.deliciousobsessions.com/2012/09/52-weeks-of-bad-a-bacteria-week-32-lactofermented-garlic-updated-for-the-pickl-it/

      Does that answer your question? Let me know if it didn’t! :)

      reply 

      Jessica
      Posted 09/26/12

      • Hi Jessica, Just what I thought. Grrrr. I killed my beautiful organic locally grown garlic. I think I’ll try to tincture it in Braggs and see what happens. Then I’ll go get more garlic and ditch the hot water bath. Thank you for responding so quickly and thoroughly. I can’t wait to taste the fermented garlic when it’s done.

        reply 

        Gyan Devi
        Posted 09/27/12

        • I think the garlic is still usable, it’s just not going to be fermented or probiotic! As long as it still smells and tastes OK, I would use it for cooking. I hate to waste anything, especially local organic goodies! :)

          reply 

          Jessica
          Posted 09/27/12

  32. I contacted you about a month ago, made my garlic, put it in the cabinet and forgot about it. Today the lid was bowed on the jar from preasure and there was some leakage on the side of the jar. There is a white residue on the inside bottom of the jar.

    Did I do it wrong?

    reply 

    Kendra
    Posted 10/07/12

    • Hi Kendra – I sent you an email about this. Let me know if you didn’t get it! :)

      reply 

      Jessica
      Posted 01/09/13

  33. The best way to peel a lot of garlic is to put the cloves inside a seeled, hard container, or just two metel bowls and shake vigourously. They will all be peeled in no time. Just do a search on youtube for a visual. I didn’t get through all the comments, so I apologize if someone else has said this.

    reply 

    Gabriel
    Posted 12/02/12

  34. Hi, I tried this recipe last Monday. I added salt, water and whey, but I don’t think the garlic is fermenting. I didn’t have organic garlic and I used purified water so maybe this is why nothing is happening. It’s one week today since I started. Every day this week I have checked on them and very small bubbles of air come to the surface. The water is a tiny bit cloudier and it smells delicious however, I’m not sure if this is the way it is supposed to be since I haven’t seen any white stuff on top. Also, I got the whey from stoneyfield plain yogurt and I read somewhere else that I should only use whey from home made yogurt. Basically I just want to know if its ok to still eat this garlic. I did use the same whey to make beet kvass and that turned out delicious. I hope someone can give me an answer. Thanks

    reply 

    alicia
    Posted 06/24/13

    • Hi Alicia – If you’re seeing bubbling, then most likely it is fermenting. That said, let your nose be your guide. If it smells fine and there is no visible mold anywhere in the ferment, then it should be fine. I have always been told to go with the sniff test. But, if there is mold, I toss it, as mold spores can be present beneath the brine and since I am working on healing leaky gut, I have to be very careful. I also have an updated version of this recipe that is whey free: http://www.deliciousobsessions.com/2012/09/52-weeks-of-bad-a-bacteria-week-32-lactofermented-garlic-updated-for-the-pickl-it/

      reply 

      Jessica
      Posted 06/25/13

      • Thank you Jessica! My garlic is so delicious, I’ll be making them for the rest of my life.

        reply 

        Alicia
        Posted 07/10/13

        • Yay! Isn’t it amazing!? And, it just gets better with age. Try it in a few months and it will be even more delicious! :)

          reply 

          Jessica
          Posted 07/11/13

  35. Hi I’ve got a problem I used a recipe to pickle my garlic it said to process the jars for 30 min , I used sugar, salt and vinigar. So I tasted it after it cooked for a couple of min in the brine, it tasted bitter! Why? , will it go bad? I made 10 lbs, I’ve been searching for answers which I can’t find. I’ve bought pickled garlic and it never tasted like that. I was so excited as my sons love pickled garlic. Please tell me it will be ok or have I wasted my time. Thanks for your help. Jo

    reply 

    Joanne
    Posted 09/03/13

    • Hi Joanne – I’m sorry, but I’m not really sure. I’ve never used sugar, salt, and vinegar. My recipe above only calls for salt and a starter culture, but I actually have an updated version that just calls for salt. You can read that here: http://www.deliciousobsessions.com/2012/09/52-weeks-of-bad-a-bacteria-week-32-lactofermented-garlic-updated-for-the-pickl-it/. I no longer use starter cultures for any of my ferments as it messes up the proper stages of fermentation that an item must go through. Keep in mind that there is a big difference between “pickling” and “fermenting”. Pickling usually requires processing with heat, which defeats the purpose of fermenting, where you are wanting to cultivate the beneficial bacteria. I’m thinking that if you canned the garlic, it would probably be OK, but it will not possess any probiotic benefit, because all of the beneficial bacteria will have been destroyed by the heat. Sorry I can’t be of more help! :(

      reply 

      Jessica
      Posted 09/04/13

  36. Hi Jessica, I’ve had my garlic in mason jars and Sea Salt (3T per 4C filtered water) for 10 days now and they have been VERY active, releasing loads of gas. I am very concerned however in that the liquid is milky with a lot of floaty whitish substance in it, not at all clear like your pictures depict. The garlic odor upon burping the jars is not just intense, but over powering and almost way too much. Is it possible that this batch has gone bad? I generally like garlic smell and consider garlic a staple in my kitchen, so I am considering tossing the whole 5 pint batch since it is so intense an odor. What is your input. I can take a phone photo and send it to you for your view and comment if you like. It is the milkiness and floaters along with the odor that worries me. I am all ears for input – don’t want to poison myself! Thanks for your blog. Tom

    reply 

    Tom
    Posted 10/13/13

    • Hi Tom – I am not sure. I have not had my liquid turn milky so to speak. My brine is always a little thicker and garlic clove colored when I get to the bottom of the jar, but that is from some of the garlic breaking down. Are you on Facebook? If you are, there is a fantastic group full of some well-respected fermenters. I’d recommend taking photos and uploading them there and see what someone in there thinks. I would hate to steer you wrong, though I’ve always been told to go by your nose. If it smells off at all, it may have gone bad. Here’s the group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/394264567301079/ :)

      reply 

      Jessica
      Posted 10/13/13

    • Was there ever an answer to to this question? My garlic is doing this exact, same thing.

      reply 

      Laurie
      Posted 01/13/14

      • Hi Laurie – Yes, there was. Look right above your comment and you’ll see my response to Tom regarding his questions (which I am assuming are the same as yours). Let me know if you had different questions and I’ll do my best to answer them.

        reply 

        Jessica Espinoza
        Posted 01/13/14

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