Can I use Bragg's "raw" vinegar in my brine?
The short answer is: “no”.
Lactic acid is the dominant acid created by lactic-acid bacteria, during fermentation. Although acetic acid (vinegar) is also created, the proper ratio of lactic:acetic acids needs to be in a 4:1 ratio.
Adding Bragg’s to a lacto-fermentation brine, disrupts that ratio, throwing the lacto-fermentation out of balance! The lactic-acid bacteria will be stunted, unable to develop the correct texture, flavor, or natural-preservative qualities that are desirable in lacto-fermentation.
The only reason to add Bragg’s is if the flavor is desired. Some people, for example, will mix a 50/50 solution of Bragg’s ACV with sugar, creating a sweet and sour mixture, which they pour on sliced, lacto-fermented pickles, to create a “butter” pickle for use on hamburgers and sandwiches.
There’s no need to use “raw” vinegar as a preservative, at least, not in a properly lacto-fermented food.
You don't use distilled vinegar when making your pickles? Why?
The modern food-processing industry, replaced the traditional nutrient-dense, lactic-acid brine (created from lactic-acid bacteria during fermentation) with dead-nutrition, distilled acetic-acid vinegar. They could not mass-produce pickled-foods, using lacto-fermenting artisan methods, on a large-scale.
Using distilled acetic-acid vinegar for “pickling” can best be described as a killing and embalming process. Distilled vinegar, for example, is an effective household cleaner, weed and plant killer, its pH measuring 0 effectively killing most every microbe – harmful or beneficial – with which it comes into contact.
Using distilled vinegar has absolutely nothing in common with lacto-fermented, vibrant, rich-in-microbes, living foods! Weston A. Price Foundation recommends that distilled products – vinegar or alcohol – should be shunned, and are NOT appropriate in a healthy diet.
That’s not to say that ALL vinegars are unhealthy. Some, like Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) are properly fermented, not pasteurized, and are considered to be “raw”, loaded with “living nutrition”. Even so, Bragg’s does not have a place in the early stages of lacto-fermentation. For more information on how to use Bragg’s “raw” ACV, read this FAQ
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