​Clip Top Fermentation for Beginners

​Clip Top Fermentation for Beginners

Posted by The Wares Team on 1st May 2024

If you've just started to dabble in fermentation, you're in for a treat as this fascinating process can be used in the kitchen to make so many delicious treats - from wine and kefir to fermented fruit, sauerkraut, kimchi and more. Fermented food is very healthy as it's packed with gut-loving bacteria, and it tastes great too, adding a real zing to your dishes.

When fermenting at home, it's very helpful to use clip top jars. These make it very easy to release the gases that are produced during the fermentation process. If you don't remember to do this regularly, your glass jars or bottles can explode as the pressure builds up! But with clip top jars you can make this process simple and even just allow the lids to sit loose above the ferment so that the gas can release itself without any manual intervention.

In this post, we'll take a look at fermentation and how glass storage jars can be used very effectively for your home projects.

Why ferment foods?

Fermented foods have been around for millennia as they were one of the earliest ways to preserve fresh foods and provided added health benefits. Fermented foods help balance the gut bacteria and can boost immunity and overall health. Fermentation is also a great way to ensure access to fruits and vegetables out of season, without chemical preservatives. Some studies have found that fermented foods can even boost happiness, cardiovascular health and weight loss.

How are foods fermented?

Fermented foods are made using bacteria, probiotics or yeast to break down the naturally occurring sugars found in the food. The process makes the food last for longer, adds health benefits, and can make it more palatable too - such as olives, which are too bitter to eat off the tree. Examples of fermented foods and drinks include sauerkraut, kefir, miso, kombucha and sourdough bread. These foods are found all over the world. Even foods such as chocolate, bread, beer and cheese are fermented, so the chances are you eat fermented foods every day without even realising.

Why are glass jars good for fermenting?

Glass jars are a great choice for fermenting because they don't scratch easily, are durable, and don't contain chemicals such as BPAs, which leech into the food you're fermenting. Glass jars are also inexpensive and look great, and if you choose storage jars with clip-tops, you can easily let the build-up of gas out of your fermenting foods. We have a great range of glass storage jars at Wares of Knutsford, with different sizes and lids available:

Fermented vegetables recipe: cucumbers

This is a great lacto-fermentation recipe that works well as a beginner and lets you use up any leftover bits of vegetables or preserve a glut. The finished results are wonderfully flavoursome, and they are packed with beneficial gut bacteria to boost your digestion and immunity. Lacto-fermentation uses lactobacillus, a beneficial bacteria that naturally lives on vegetable skins. By grating or chopping vegetables and adding salt, the juices of the vegetables are drawn out to create a brine, which submerges the vegetables and keeps them from spoiling. It also prevents any bad bacteria from forming while the ferment occurs, changing the texture and flavour of the vegetables, which can then be eaten or used for cooking.

The resulting flavour is gently sour and a little fizzy. Fermented vegetables - or fruits - work brilliantly as an accompaniment with main meals to add a little zing and interest. Think of kimchi with an Asian dish or sauerkraut with a Ploughman's lunch, for example.

The fermentation process takes around five days, but you need to release the gas from the glass jars each day. This is why clip top jars are a good choice for your ferments, and they then make great storage jars until you're ready to eat the results.

Try this recipe for fermented cucumbers to get you started!

You'll need a kilogram of small cucumbers, a litre of water, 20g of sea salt flakes, a head of peeled garlic cloves and a few sprigs of dill. Sterilise your glass jars and cut the cucumbers into strips to fill them. pack the dill and garlic into the jars and dissolve the salt in the water. Cover the cucumber slices with the brine so that they are submerged. Seal the clip top jars and taste the cucumbers after a couple of days when bubbles form. Leave them for a couple more days, if you like, until the flavour deepens, and then seal them and put the glass storage jars in the fridge. This will stop the fermentation process, and you can enjoy the cucumbers with any main meal. They work perfectly with cheese and sourdough or burgers. See the full recipe here:

Check out our full range of glass jars at Wares of Knutsford and do tag us in any photos of your fermentation projects so we can add them to our community on social media!