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fermenting Can I reuse leftover brine entirely?

I just did a new ferment and reused about 3 cups of my last brine, which I had refrigerated. There was so much brine, I didn’t need to add a fresh salt/water combo to it. i want to know if this will ferment ok. Thank you!
Yes! Sort of. I do this a lot. Advice:

As time goes by, the old brine will lose probiotics, as bacteria need food (sugars, etc) to stay alive. I’m not a scientist, but this is basically how it works.

So, if it’s been in the fridge for a couple of weeks, go for it. Months? I would probably start over, or just use “some“ of it.

Also, fermentation is a multistage life cycle sort of thing. So, almost anyone would tell you to use a mix of old brine and new. The old can jump start fermentation. The new ensures you get back to earlier, less acidic stages. This is particularly notable if your old brine is from a batch fermenting for a long time (months vs weeks).

Refrigeration pauses the fermentation process, so thats also worth thinking through. I’m not sure how long the ferment went, how long it’s been refrigerate, etc.

Alternative to consider… I have learned that my recipes come out best when I don’t create a water brine, but rather “dry salt“ a chili mash and let the peppers (or cabbage) give their own water to the recipe. You can’t dry salt everything. For example, I don’t think it would work with pickles :) I can share some resources if interested.

Lastly, make sure it’s mold free, remove any yeast, and strain it.
There was so much brine, I didn’t need to add a fresh salt/water combo to it.

The leftover brine will be weaker than the initial brine due to the water it pulled out of the fruit — this is also why you had so much leftover. If you keep doing this, it will eventually be saltless water rather than brine. To compensate, you will need to figure out how much salt to add to make up for the dilution.
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Or...you can use the leftover brine to just spice up your tomato juice, or make some excellent Bloody Mary's! :)