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fermenting Ferment stalled?

My peppers have been fermenting for just over 1 week. I dont see many CO bubbles even when shaking the peppers. I just received my new ph meter and the brine was reading a ph of 2.8. Is my ferment syalled / failed?

**I cant get my peppers to sink. Hoping they are ok if not fully submerged with the water lock.


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Extreme Member
Hello @Damplenutz and welcome to THP.

I read you're new to fermenting, so I recommend you read THIS THREAD, Fermenting 101.

From here on, these are just my opinions. There's different ways to approach fermentation. This is what I do, and I've been doing it for many years.

If you tested the pH of the brine in the ferment, you've broken the cardinal rule - Once you start a ferment and seal it, DON'T OPEN IT! Fermentation creates Co2. Co2 is heavier than oxygen. As the Co2 layer increases above the peppers, it pushes the oxygen out through the bubbler (be sure there's water in the bubbler at all times). You should see the bubbler burping out this oxygen, quickly in the beginning, and slowing down as the ferment progresses. Mold needs oxygen to grow. By opening the jug, you let the Co2 escape and oxygen back in, increasing your chances of mold. Since your ferment is still fairly young and fermentation is still active, the oxygen displacement process should happen again. I suggest you do not open the jug again until you are ready to process.

"I cant get my peppers to sink."

Completely normal. The Co2 being created is 'trapped" within the peppers and causing them to float like a raft. I suggest you "ratchet" the jug back-and-forth (clockwise-counterclockwise-clockwise-counterclockwise...etc) for several seconds. That will release some of the Co2 bubbles within the raft and the peppers will sink.

Another common question - When is my ferment done?

Fermentation generally takes between two to four weeks. After the fermentation is complete, the "aging" process begins. The flavors and taste evolve continuously once fermentation begins, and continue to do so throughout the aging process. Some people process after only 7 days, while fermentation is still active, and skip the aging process completely. Others may wait weeks, months or even years before they process. Only you will know when you hit your "sweet spot".

My last piece of advice is to take good notes. Write down everything. That way you'll know what changes (if any) you want to make in your next ferment.

Fermentation can introduce you to a whole new world of possibilities. Have fun with it, and good luck!
Thank you for the detailed reply. I did read the pinned thread, as well as anything else I could find on the internet lol. This is my first ferment, so I likely made lots of mistakes along the way. I started it in a gallon jar with a regular lid and used a plastic bag filled with water to hold the peppers down. I noticed a bunch of slimy stuff after a couple days on the bottom of the bag, so I dumped the peppers into a colander, rinsed them with water and then made a new brine, bought a bottle with the water lock and restarted the ferment.

My biggest concern from the start was the floating peppers and fear of getting baddies on top and producing mold or even botulism. You are saying that if I leave the airlock intact that there should be no O2 in the top which means peppers are safe to stick out of the brine? If my brine ph was below 3.0 this means my ferment is doing well? I was worried that it was too low for active fermentation.

I will not open the lid anymore. Thanks!


Extreme Member
The short answer is if you have bubbles escaping through the airlock and you ratchet a few times a day, you should be fine. Remember, bubbling will start off slow, build to a frenzy, then taper off over about a two week period. After that, bubbling will eventually stop and aging will begin. Keep the airlock filled to the line with water, and don't open the jug until you're ready to process.

My concern is the "rinsing the peppers and starting over". That could have negatively impacted the lactobacillus (LAB) colony that was forming. But, if the picture above with the peppers floating is after the rinse, you should be good. There are some things I would have suggested after the rinse, but I'm not gonna mention them because you'll be tempted to take off the lid, lol. If you were bubbling post-rinse, you're good.