German Style Fermentation Crock – Item of the Day — 10 Comments

  1. Where do you get grape leaves and do they have to be fresh? I’m guessing the ones that are packed in liquid in jars will not work. I might be able to find some that are dried and crushed up at a brew shop or an herbal store but even if that worked it’s not ideal since it wouldn’t help hold everything down and I would have to make a herbal infusion with the water before adding the salt and putting it in the crock.

    • Yea they need to be fresh, I have muscadine grapes on my property and they are fine so I ferment stuff that needs them when they are in full leaf, the plant never misses a few. Another option is oak leaves and these can be green or brown, either is fine it is the tannin that you are after. Thing is you need big oak leaves, not the tiny things these live oaks near me grow.

      So if you have oaks around try those. Horseradish leaf is supposed to work well as well.

      Another option is just put in a tea bag, (regular black tea) it won’t over power the pickle flavor, on bag in a big crock you won’t even taste it but it will give you the tannin, it won’t hold stuff down so you still need to make sure you use a good weight system. One way is cut a circle of some sort of a cheap silicon sheet, like say this just cut a circle the diameter of your crock. Put that tea bag in, then this on top, then the weights on top of the silicon.

  2. If you were starting from scratch as a first timer, this or the MasonTops system?

  3. Thanks Jack! I’ve wanted one of these for a long time. Do you recommend any of vegetable fermentation books that pop up with the crock at Amazon, or any more recipes? Just checking as I’m new to this.

  4. A new crock should be here Thursday. It’s good quality, I just need to use a lighter touch!

  5. What’s the best way to clean everything, especially the rock weight inside.  I figure the crock itself would be normal, but I’m pretty sure you never use soap on the rock weight.  I made some sour kraut a year ago, and cleaned it.  I pulled it back out to try something new, but it has what appears to be mold growing on it.  Thanks

    • No big deal use hot tap water and a clean scrubby sponge. If they stones are stained with mold, soak them in some water with bleach. Use say a tsp to a half gallon. Soak until they are clean looking, put them in the sun for a few hours and all the chlorine will off gas and be like it was never there.