Fermenting Weights

Fermenting 101: Fermenting Weights

If you’re new to fermenting it will help to understand that a key concept in fermentation is to keep the vegetables (or other product) submerged underneath the water while you ferment. This helps ensure success and is the primary defense against aggressive mold growing during the ferment.

The majority of our fermenting is done in small quantities and we often use a small mason jar inside a wide-mouthed jar to hold the product under the water.  But there are times (most often while making a big batch of pickles or fermented hot peppers and hot sauce) that we use large fermenting crocks.  I’ve read all sorts of tricks to weigh down vegetables in these posts (including using plates, mason jars filled with brine, plastic bags filled with brine and more) but none are as effective as these:

(Most of the flecks in the photo above are jalapeno seeds).

Fermenting stones (there are also glass equivalents available) fit perfectly within your crock to hold food under the surface of the water.  The stones in this photo are holding more than 15 pounds of hot peppers under the surface of the brine.

Although you can buy them online, shipping is bound to be expensive.  The stones themselves are relatively inexpensive (generally less than $20 for a set) and a pleasure to use.  They’re sometimes called different things including:

  • fermenting weights
  • fermenting stones
  • Crock weights
  • pickling weights

If you plan to ferment large batches of food in crocks, I highly recommend at least one set of these!

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