How long does it take berries to start to ferment?

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How long does it take berries to start to ferment?

Postby slederman on Fri Mar 27, 2009 8:52 pm

Hi,

I've got several mason jars, half full of berries (blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries) and half full of water. I also added some sugar, some lemon juice, and a small amount of salt. It's been just one day and there's no bubbling action. Do I need to just be patient? How long should it take for bubbling to start?

I'm used to fermenting cabbage and it usually starts within 12 hours. I've also fermented other fruits (pears, plums, nectarines and others) and I seem to recall that within a day they were actively bubbling. Could it be that berries are not sweet enough to get fermentation going without a bunch of sugar. I put roughly 2 TBS of organic sugar in each quart jar.

Thoughts?

Thanks.
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Re: How long does it take berries to start to ferment?

Postby eauclaire101 on Sat Jun 27, 2009 11:55 am

When you ferment berries you can be risking mold production. I noticed when I drank my berry ferment, my stomach hurt a little bit. I believe that was a result of a nasty mold that is also fermenting too.

I am not 100% sure, but other nasty things ferment with berries that can hurt you.

How can i remedy this problem?
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Re: How long does it take berries to start to ferment?

Postby Lycoperdon on Fri Feb 12, 2010 7:55 pm

slederman ~ How did you decide to add salt, sugar, and lime juice? All three of these are natural preservatives. Adding these things can discourage microbiological growth.

Eauchlaire101 ~ If you grow a mold in your must it is probably a aspergillus these do not grow in anaerobic environments (oxygen free). So make sure that your berries are submerged in liquid or use and airlock. If you use an airlock make sure that the berries do not block it because then it will explode.

Also, some aspergilluses contain some interesting chemicals that can get you sick. I'd recommend discarding any of the fruit with mold growth unless you know just what you're growing (like aspergillus oryzae for example.
-Lord Lycoperdon
http://www.sfwiggle.com/
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Re: How long does it take berries to start to ferment?

Postby crandell on Sun Jun 05, 2011 12:49 pm

I've done a few batches of blueberries, and it started bubbling within 24 hours, or sooner depending on how strong the starter was. I've never had issues with mold. I used whey as the starter for my first batch, and for batches after that I just used a little from the last batch to start the next batch. Works great. I just did a batch last week using blueberries from almost a year ago -- they were still good and still strong enough to get the fermentation going in 24 hours.

Mash about a quart of blueberries (large box from the farmer's market) in a jar. Add a few tablespoons of honey and a pinch of salt. Add 1/4 cup of live starter culture (whey or something from a previous batch of fermentation) and mix together. Make sure there's at least an inch or more of empty space at the top, as the mixture will bubble up quite a bit. Coat the jar lid with honey, close jar very loosely (gases need to be able to escape) and leave out at room temperature for about 48 hours. Then refrigerate. The starter culture helps to get the fermentation going before mold grows. The honey I believe also helps inhibit mold growth. It will drip down from the lid and form a protective layer on the surface of the blueberries and sides of the jar. So I'd recommend resisting the urge to shake the jar or mix the preserves during the 48-hour fermenting period, so that honey layer stays intact. The more honey you add, the more alcoholic your ferment will become.
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Re: How long does it take berries to start to ferment?

Postby crandell on Sun Jun 05, 2011 12:52 pm

PS I came up with my blueberry recipe by combining two recipes found in these two books:
http://www.amazon.com/Preserving-Food-w ... 1933392592
http://www.amazon.com/Nourishing-Tradit ... 320&sr=1-1
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Re: How long does it take berries to start to ferment?

Postby Fubar on Sun Jun 05, 2011 2:49 pm

@Slederman. Is this intended to be an alcohol ferment? If so, it sounds like you just need to be patient. Many different variables can affect the lag time of your ferment, including temperature, acidity, gravity, and yeast. Not sure why you added the salt as it can also slow down fermentation. I would just wait a few more days and see what happens.
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