• If you have a question about commercial production or the hot sauce business, please post in The Food Biz.

fermenting First ferment, 4% salt, white growth on day 3

Hey all, I started my first ferment over the weekend---4ish percent seasalt by weight + about a teaspoon of whey harvested from a tub of yogurt. The peppers were deseeded then lightly blended with the salt and whey. I only had enough peppers to fill half a 16oz mason jar.
Yesterday was day three and I noticed the beginning of white growth appearing on the surface of the peppers, so I opened the lid (mason jar recap + airlock combo) and scraped it out, then mixed in a wee bit more salt and sealed it again. Is this a good procedure to follow or should I just keep it closed regardless?
So far I haven't seen any bubbling, so I moved it to the top of my fridge where it would be warmer. Is this also good/bad?
Its probably the half of the jar thats empty (headspace that is all air). Ill let others pipe in but id say stop opening it and let it do its thing.
It sounds like a normal kahm yeast forming in the aerobic part of the jar.
Nova said:
I have never fermented. Having said that I would leave it in, can't hurt.

You boil at the end anyway, and it probably imparts a nice sour note.
I have been reading up on kahm yeast and it definitely looks like thats what is beginning to grow. Last night I skimmed off what I saw, added more salt and mixed things up again. Then put the airlock back on and place the jar on top of my fridge. Came back today to bubbles and peppers rising, but also noticed another layer of yeast had started forming.
Should I skim it off again add yet more salt, or just wait and remove it at the end of the ferment? Also I should mention this is not a sauce, but a mash that I am planning to use in a sauce later.
MY First ferment has been going great. I just followed the guidelines in the fermenting 101 post and with a little help from members have been having great success. The biggest problem I see is opening up the lid I've never opened mine and no problem. Head space must be kept to a minimum I left about 2 inches and used cabbage leaf to hold my mash below the brine, 4 percent salt solution should be fine. I'm no expert by any means but if you follow the basic guidelines you should be fine. One last note, my ferments started after 2 days and one took 4 both smell great I was panicking a little but was told to be patient and let it happen:) have fun and keep us posted.
My ferment has been doing great after following some advice from more seasoned members. I ended up adding cabbage leaves to keep the peppers down under the brine and since then the kahm yeast issue has resolved itself and the ferment has been chugging along as evidence by the space in the airlock.
Here's a pic!
I've been doing 10% salt brine for the last 2 ferments I've done and with no starter.  Been bubbling by the third day and done in just a couple weeks.  I've read peppers need at least 10% salt.    But trust me I'm def not an expert on this!
My number one rule when I have a ferment going is Don't Open It! That's when the bigger problems happen. The only time I ever had to throw one out was when I opened it. The Kahm yeast won't hurt anything So when I see it forming I just put it back on the shelf as let it go. Scrape it when your ready to process.

Using a higher percent of salt with a wild ferment, no starter, is probably a good idea. Keeps the mash safer till the LAB take control. I have high blood pressure and don't normal use a lot of salt. In a lot of my ferments, 1 gallon, I usually only add about 3 tablespoons of salt and 1/2 to 1 cup of whey.