New fermenting project: a big ol’ jar of garlic!
This project was inspired by a recent Costco run, where the husband and I picked up a ginormous bag of peeled garlic cloves. We use garlic in, like, everything and peeling it is kind of a bitch, so the giant bag was super appealing. But even we cannot use an entire 3-lb bag of fresh garlic before it goes bad (I mean, maybe we could, if we really tried – but you would smell us coming for miles and miles).
I love garlic + I love all things fermented, so right off the bat, I’m assuming this project will be a win.
For instructions, I turned to Cultures for Health. Their recipes and guidelines are always spot-on (this is a simple ferment and I could have just guesstimated the salt to water ratio, but I like to consult a recipe the first time I do anything): Cultures for Health Lacto-Fermented Garlic Cloves
For this project, I’m also trying out the new airlocks I got for Christmas (I haven’t been doing much fermenting lately, because I’m still trying to use up all the kimchi, fermented pinto beans and cucumber pickles I obsessively made last fall – my sauerkraut I make in a traditional German crock with a water seal). I’ve used Nourished Essentials Easy Ferment Lids in the past, and they work well, but my husband decided I needed a new toy and bought these Sauer System lids.
As with any fermenting project, the most important thing to remember is to keep the perishable food fully submerged under the brine. This proved to be especially difficult with small garlic cloves, and they all kept rising above the brine line, despite my efforts to pack them down. I finally devised a method of cheesecloth with a glass pickling weight wrapped in the center – I sunk the weight into the jar and then tried to pack the garlic down with the cheesecloth.
Fingers crossed it works or I may end up with a giant jar of moldy garlic and that would be very sad.
I just started this batch last night, and this morning it was already bubbling away – can’t wait to try it!
4/13/18 Update: It’s been one week, and these garlic cloves have been bubbling (fermenting) like mad since day 2! I’ve had to open the jar a few times (not necessary because of the airlock, which means I don’t need to “burp” the jar to release any built-up gasses – however, my cheesecloth + glass weight method wasn’t effective enough at keeping the cloves submerged, so I ended up using some wax paper to push everything back down below the brine line) and I cannot express how amazing this stuff smells!! If you like, garlic, that is. Which I do!! Success!