Sunday, November 27, 2011

Update on the Sandwich Baggie Method


Pickleers, we set up a batch of garlic potpourri to bring the holiday cheer to Sigrid and Brak's house this week. Three folks went to work at the counter with $20 worth of garlic and quickly worked out an efficient process. The three stations were: rough peeling and separation; cutting the ends off; and fine peeling, using a silicone rolling sleeve that looks a lot like a yellow rubber canneloni. We had everything done within an hour.

We used the plastic bag seal in a half-gallon jar this time, far and away our favorite technique when not using the crock these days.

We got a great batch out of it but wound up with some dry headspace at the top, under the bag. We saw this last week, too, after each time insuring that we had enough water inside to provide positive pressure once the lil' critters started farting. Each time, we saw the scrim left by water as it burped out of the jar but we still wound up with open airspace on top of the fermenting goodies, which we want to avoid!

Where'd the water go? After talking and thinking about it, I'm gonna guess capillary action and surface tension are to blame. With the baggie so close to the jar walls, these two related processes aided and abetted fluid in its escape, pushed from behind by the CO2 generated by our little friends.

---> What we didn't do was fill the baggies with water, we just put the coconut juice cans in for weight like we normally do. And we didn't leave much headspace; now I know why we want that- water weight. I'm betting that, had we increased headspace and filled the bags with water, once putting the can of coco juice in there as the primary weight, we would have seen better sealing of the plastic layer to the top of the fermenting goodies.

Now, as that fluid burps out, volume will decrease. So, the plastic layer needs to be able to sink. So, we need to stop securing the plastic with the lid bands. Just weight it down with water and the can or water bottle.

Hmmmm. Details, eh?

Happy pickling!

1 comment:

econgrrl said...

Just found this alternate fast peel method for garlic: http://www.saveur.com/article/Video/video-How-to-Peel-a-Head-of-Garlic-in-Less-Than-10-Seconds

Thanks to Indy Food Swap!