Salt and water

Brine is used in lacto-fermentation when you don’t want to grate or press the vegetables. Think cucumbers and green beans, mixed vegetables in large pieces (such as carrots, cauliflower, onions, and sugar snap peas), and even leaves and berries can be lacto-fermented this way. The brine should be quite salty because a lot of it will be absorbed by the vegetables, and you want to achieve a final salt concentration of 1-2% overall. I use a brine with 4% salt for most fermentations. Think of the sea – but the Atlantic rather than the Baltic. Unrefined fine sea salt from Denival (which can be purchased in a 20kg bag) works excellently. I choose this salt because it is not highly refined, has not gone through a lot of chemical processing and doesn’t contain anti-caking agents (I am not anti cake!). However, lacto-fermentation bacteria can handle most types of salt, so start with what you have at home.

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