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Fermentation FAQ

My ferment is bubbling or!?

First things first, DON'T WORRY! Bubbling and even a bit of juice leaking out the jar is perfectly normal and doesn't mean there's anything wrong with your product. What it does mean is that your jar has got a bit active and started to ferment again; this won't do anything to make it unsafe but it might change the tastes, textures and colours slightly.

My ferment ISN'T bubbling, is it still alive?

So bubbling in your jar of sauerkraut or kimchi is due to the production of CO2 as a result of fermentation. During different stages of fermentation the naturally occurring bacteria produce a variety of different compounds. During the first couple of weeks of fermentation, the microrganisms that dominate are called heterofermentative microorganisms. These bacteria produce a number of different compounds including lactic acid and CO2. As fermentation is allowed to progress further, these bacteria die off due to further acidification of the environment and pave the way for more homofermentative microorganisms which predominately produce lactic acid. This process is known as bacterial succession, where bacterial species are replaced with another due to the changing environment. So the lack of bubbling in your ferment is merely a lack of CO2 production and means that the fermentation process has completed and the primary microorganisms present are lactic acid bacteria (LAB)! Bubbling can also be a result of the addition of CO2 when bottling or jarring to remove any excess oxygen. 

How should I store my lovely ferments?

In the fridge please! Ideally between 1 and 5°C for best quality. This temperature slows fermentation right down so that the high quality of the product when we jar it is maintained! Our ferments are safe to eat outside of the fridge. We've had them tested in a lab - look at us, fancy! - for up to 5 days out the fridge and they've been totally safe to eat. We even take these bad boys camping with us from time to time. BUT keeping them in the fridge will make sure they'll stay as intended - utterly delicious.

Where can I buy your beautiful products?

We have an ONLINE SHOP so you can get your grubby hands on us from all over the UK! You’ll also find us out and about at markets in South East Wales and over the border in Bristol and beyond, so come say hi! We are working on getting our products in restaurants, cafés and retail outlets around the UK. Here are the current lists of our stockists! If you're a business looking to stock our awesome products click HERE. Also if you want to stalk our pretty faces and stay up to date follow us on social media! We try to be as active as possible, while still maintaining some sort of life of course. Instagram I Facebook

Where do you make Crafty Pickle ferments?

We began life as a business in 2019 in the bright and sunny heart of Aberdeen, Scotland at CFINE HQ. However, when we found out we were expecting our first wee bebe we decided to move closer to family. So in 2021 we moved countries and are now based in South East Wales, near Chepstow!

What's so special about Crafty Pickle ferments?

We produce our products with a purpose. We continually strive to use more and more surplus fruit and veg to craft our delicious ferments in order to make an impact. We also make our products using what’s referred to as ‘wild fermentation.’ This means we allow the naturally occurring microorganisms present on the raw produce to do the magic for us. We believe this produces a superior product with more complexity, depth of flavour and in the way nature intended.

Why are you called The Crafty Pickle Co. but don’t sell any bloody pickles!?

Ugh, we knew this would be something you'd call us out on...

Coming up with a name is challenging. It’s the same as coming up with a name for a child. It has to sound good, roll off the tongue a bit and not rhyme with any obscene word that can be used against them. We must’ve discussed dozens of potential names prior to settling on our baby, The Crafty Pickle Co.  According to the Cambridge dictionary the term ‘pickle’ means: vegetables or fruit that have been preserved in vinegar or salty solution. So even though we don’t sell pickles, (yet) the name still describes the process in which we preserve our vegetables (in your face!).

Are fermented foods probiotics or good for our gut health?

Ok, this is a bit of a complicated one. The short answer is… maybe? There is a lot of anecdotal information out there where individuals claim that fermented foods have healed their bodies in some way. But strong scientific studies are seriously lacking in this area. Some companies may claim that their product contains ‘probiotics’ or are ‘gut healthy;’ but the fact of the matter is most of these products have not undergone a scientific study that confirms a ‘cause and effect’ relationship. One thing we do know is that fermented foods can be a healthy addition to an already varied diet. And yes, they MAY be healthy for our guts, but they still can’t be called ‘probiotics' just yet. Read more HERE.

What’s with the logo?

The idea for our logo came about after endless cups of coffee (and pints) and chats about how we wanted The Crafty Pickle Co. to be different. Different in the sense of our mission, our marketing and the transparency of our products. Some might say the image is a bit shocking and unappetizing. But so is the endless amount of food that goes to waste each day and the amount of individuals that go to bed hungry each night. We strive to use unloved, mistreated produce to craft our delicious fermented food products, while giving a percentage of our sales back to a cause we believe everyone should care about. As individuals of science, we will never make unsubstantiated health claims in regards to our products. So why are still sitting there and reading this? Go out there and try one of our products!

We got your answers right here

What is fermentation?

Fermentation is an ancient method of food preservation that helps to extend the life of perishable foods like milk, fruit, vegetables, meat and also make certain foods edible and delicious, think olives, grains into bread and milk into cheese. The range of fermented foods across the globe is ridiculous, with some estimates reckoning upwards of 5000 different ferments! At the heart of every distinct type is the microcosm of bacteria, yeast, moulds and fungi that turn raw food materials into vastly different textures and tastes.

Put simply fermentation is the action of microbes (bacteria, yeasts, fungi etc) breaking down sugars in food, creating by-products like acids, alcohol and some vitamins.

Lots of foods are made using fermentation (e.g. beer, bread and wine) but because of other parts of their processing they don’t contain any live microbes in them when we eat them. This is where our fermented foods differ. We utilise microorganisms that are already present on the produce to craft our products. These little buggers live on much of the foods we eat daily, like fruit and veg. We just offer them a little nudge to grow to transform something ordinary into something new and exciting!

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