Choosing the right fermenting pot is an important step in the fermentation process. The type of pot you choose can affect the flavour, texture, and overall quality of your fermented foods. In this post, we'll explore the different types of fermenting pots and the materials they're made from, and discuss why fermentation weights are an important tool to use.
Types of Fermenting Pots
- Open top: Open top fermenting pots are the most basic type of fermenting container. They are simply a container with an open top. These pots are typically made from ceramic or glass, and can come in various sizes.People will commonly cover them with a muslin or hessian cloth to keep any dust out. They are easy to use and are great for beginners who are new to fermentation. However, since these pots are not airtight, this can lead to issues with mould.
- Water-sealed: Water-sealed fermenting pots are similar to open top pots, but they have a water seal. This well of water around the rim of the lid creates an airtight seal that prevents other contaminants from entering the pot, while still allowing gases to escape. These pots are typically made from ceramic.
- Air lock: Air lock crocks are a type of fermenting pot that use an airlock mechanism to keep the lid securely in place. This type of pot is ideal for fermenting foods that need to be kept anaerobic, such as sauerkraut or pickles.
Different Materials Used for Fermenting Pots
Fermenting pots can be made from a variety of materials, including ceramic, glass, and stainless steel. Ceramic and glass pots are great for fermentation because they are non-reactive and won't leach any chemicals into the food. They also retain heat well, which can help to promote fermentation. Stainless steel pots are also a good choice, as they are non-reactive and easy to clean, but they are not good at retaining heat.
You should always check that any ceramic pots are lead and cadmium free, and use a food-safe glaze and clay. All the ceramic crocks that we stock are lead and cadmium free.
Why should you avoid using plastic containers for fermenting?
Plastic containers are not recommended for fermentation because the acidic environment of fermentation damages the plastic, causing it to leach chemicals into the food. Additionally, many types of plastics can be permeable to oxygen, which can affect the fermentation process.
Fermenting Pot Buyers Guides
FOR THE BEGINNER
Type of crock: Air-lock
This set is perfect for trying fermenting for the first time. All you need is a wide mouth mason jar, and you're good to go. It comes with vented airlocks, fermentation weights and a pickle packer. Plus a recipe book to guide you through the process step-by-step.
FOR THE ENTHUSIAST
Type of crock: Water-sealed
This 2-litre fermenting crock is great for someone who has made fermented food before and eats it regularly. It is perfect for neatly and aesthetically storing your food whilst it ferments, and even comes with two fermentation weights.
FOR THE PICKLE LOVER
Perfect for pickling smaller amounts of veg, these mason jars are great paired with a weight. They come in sets of four or six and make a much smaller volume of fermented food or pickles.They're also just the right size to keep in the door of the fridge, so you always have some pickles to hand.
FOR THE KOMBUCHA OR KEFIR LOVER
These ready-made kits with fermentation bottles and starters are perfect for making your own kombucha and kefir.
Fermentation Weights: what are they and why should you use them?
Fermentation weights are used to keep the food submerged under the brine during fermentation. This is important because it prevents the food from being exposed to air, which can cause mould to develop. Fermentation weights can be made from a variety of materials, including glass, ceramic, and stainless steel.
The fermentation weights we stock for use with mason jars are made with glass and have a handy pinch top so you can easily take them out of the jar. And all our ceramic fermentation crocks come with fermentation weights.
In conclusion, choosing the right fermenting pot is an important step in the fermentation process. There are several different types of fermenting pots available, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. Ceramic and glass pots are great for fermentation because they are non-reactive and retain heat well. But if you are new to fermenting, glass mason jars may be a better option for creating small batches. Avoiding plastic containers is best practice as the acidity of fermented food can cause it to leach chemicals. Finally, Using fermentation weights ensures that the fermentation process goes smoothly and results in high-quality, uncontaminated fermented food.