2 min read
Tools used in fermentation with jars of fermented vegetables.

Fermentation is a process where beneficial bacteria consume sugars and nutrients that are present in food, leading to the production of acids. These acids help preserve the food and give it a unique flavor, which has made fermentation a more popular method of home food preservation.

The Alabama Cooperative Extension System’s food safety and quality team recently hosted a basic fermentation webinar that was bubbling with activity, and two hours was just not enough time. So, the team invites you to join them for their Basic Fermentation Question and Answer Webinar. This webinar will identify and answer 15 of the most asked questions from the first webinar.


When: June 14 from 1 to 2 p.m. (CDT)

Where: This webinar is presented through Zoom, an online video presentation format.


This webinar is free to attend, but registration is required. The Zoom meeting number and link will be provided upon completion of the online registration. Visit www.aces.edu/go/3393 to register.

New to Zoom? Visit the Zoom website to watch a video that will help you prepare to attend.


In this webinar, Angela Treadaway, an Alabama Extension food safety and quality regional agent, and other members of the food safety and quality team will answer questions related to the fermentation of vegetables, especially cabbage. There are other popular fermented foods such as kefir (fermented milk drink made from kefir grains), yogurt (fermented milk), and kombucha (fermented tea). These types of fermented foods will not be discussed at this webinar but will be covered in future webinars.

When using fermentation to preserve foods, it is important to follow proper guidelines on proportions, salt, water, containers, weights, etc. to produce a tasty and safe fermented product. Fermented products must meet acidity requirements of a finished equilibrium pH of 4.6 or below for food safety, and it is recommended to follow USDA guidelines specific to your product. The following topics and more will be discussed at the webinar:

Proportions. Five pounds of fresh, shredded cabbage mixed with 3 tablespoons of canning or pickling salt makes about 1 gallon or 4 quarts of sauerkraut, which is a common household quantity. Do not alter the proportions of ingredients in the recipe.

Salt. It is important to use canning or pickling salt.

Water. Water should be free from chlorine and minerals, so distilled or filtered water is a good choice.

Containers. Traditional fermentation containers are stone crocks. Other options include glass or food-grade plastics. Restaurants receive food in 5-gallon buckets, which can be ideal fermentation buckets, if fermenting in larger quantities.

Weights. A suitable weight must be used to hold the cabbage under the liquid to avoid surface mold growth.

More Information

For more information on the Basic Fermentation Question and Answer Webinar, contact Alice Moore at amm0167@aces.edu.