I’ve been reading a lot of raw fermenting recipes during the last few days (don’t know why it never occurred to me that others were reporting their ferments online before).
In books, and on-line, I’ve found a recommendation to use whey, but I never have and do not plan to (I am very milk allergic — it’s the casein– so I avoid milk products of any kind). I’v also heard that whey ferments can fail.
I guess I am lucky. When I set out to make my first batch of sauerkraut, I picked up from somewhere that I could use probiotics powder (or caps) to make a good ferment. To date, I have only lost one batch, and that was the batch where I forgot to add the probiotics in.
I’ve always used New Chapter Probiotic All-Flora — I don’t rightly remember why I use this particular one, but I do recall that I made a point of chasing it down — I suppose you could use any other probiotic you have lying around or choose to obtain.
Without having experience in any other way of making fermented vegetables, I think my way works very well, and ferments up in 3 days (for sauerkraut, and just about any other vegetable I ferment). Sometimes, if I’m working with someone else’s recipe, if they recommend a longer ferment time, I’ll leave it for up to 14 days, but, usually, the longest I leave a jar is 5 days.
I’m excited about trying out all of these new recipes I’ve found recently, but I expect I will continue my way of fermenting, because it works very well for me. You might try it yourself.