Harrison Farm

for now, the only thing we're growing on this farm is kids - not the goat variety

Storing Lacto-Fermented Condiments

The question of storing lacto-fermentation has been brought up. One of the beauties of lacto-fermentation is that you don’t have to “can” them in a water-bath or pressure canner. The thought of boiling all that water in the middle of summer is stifling.

With lacto-fermentation, you store the uncooked, prepared vegetables or fruit (if you’re preserving fruit, you have to add whey from a cultured dairy product) in air-tight jars and store the jars in a cool place after the 2-4 day fermenting process, which takes place at room temperature. Fruit based products should be stored in the refrigerator and consumed within a couple of months. Vegetables can be stored in a cool place, like a basement or cellar, and will keep much longer. I have kept lacto-fermented vegetable stored in my room temperature pantry for up to 6 months with no signs of spoilage. (According to Sally Fallon’s Nourishing Traditions, “The occasional batch that goes bad presents no danger — the smell will be so awful that nothing could persuade you to eat it.”)

Sauerkraut connoisseurs say lacto-fermented vegetables get better with age and should be at least 6 months old before consuming. I don’t know how long LF vegetables will last in cool storage, but many months is reasonable.

I recently harvested some cabbage from my little garden, so I hope to make some kraut soon.


  1. How much Danon plain yogurt is needed to strain off 1/4 cup of whey?
    How do you strain the yogurt? Do you use cheesecloth?


  2. Milkmaid

    January 13, 2009 at 3:37 pm

    Hi Charlie,
    Hmmmm…I can’t say I’ve tried to be real precise with this. I usually strain a lot so that I can do several batches. But 1/2 cup of yogurt should give you 1/4 cup whey (probably even more.)

    Cheese cloth will give you a nice, clean whey. I’ve also used a fine colander for straining the yogurt. The result was less waiting time but cloudier whey with some of the yogurt solids coming through. Whey strained in cheesecloth or colander both performed fine in making my lacto-fermented products.

    The strained yogurt will be a nice soft cheese that could be used as a spread (maybe add a few herbs?) or mixed with fruit sauce or preserves.

    Hope you have good results!

  3. Thanks to your reply I strained about 4 ounces of whey from about 1 cup of plain yogurt. I made a batch of Kimchi and am storing it on my kitchen counter for 3-4 days. For now, I’ll just have to wait to taste it.


  4. Milkmaid

    January 15, 2009 at 12:53 pm

    Thanks for the update, Charlie. I’ve never made kimchi. Hope it turns out well!

  5. Hi,
    I read your comment about getting why from yogurt. I get my whey just from milk with no waste. (Can you eat the yogurt after you extract the whey?) A wonderfully easy, all-natural & delicious way to get whey is to make cheese… Don’t be intimidated. You can follow a REALLY easy recipe. Easier than fermenting, really.
    Take 4 cups of milk (any kind, I like org. 2% pasteurized cow’s milk because that’s what I have locally available. But of course, raw is best. Don’t use homogenized, although you can, it’s better not to).
    Heat it on the stove top in a stainless steel sauce pan. Stir it so it doesn’t scald. When it begins to bubble turn down the heat and add vinegar or lemon juice & mix it until the curds separate from the whey (about 5 minutes). If it doesn’t seem to be separating enough just add more lemon juice or vinegar.
    Then strain out the curds from the whey (you can line a strainer with cheese cloth, or if you can’t get a hold of any I have used paper towels successfully) with a pot to catch the liquid–save the whey for fermenting recipes & ball the curbs into the cheesecloth & squish out excess liquid. Then you can rinse curds and press again to get liquid out…. Now you have cheese! *other cheeses use cultures like rennet but this is one that doesn’t need any cultures. You can find other recipes that do not need cultures as well where it also calls for buttermilk.
    Hope you try it— I give my daughter (14 mo.) this cheese & she loves it! & I use the whey in fermenting recipes.–

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