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fermenting High pH on Ferment

First post here! I dug through the forum and found a few posts that pertained to my issue but I was still not real clear on how to proceed. So, here is my issue:
 
A little over a month ago, I whipped up  a ferment of Jalapenos, Garlic and Onion and used a brine solution of 2 cups distilled water to 1 1/2 TBL canning salt. I divided the ferment into two quart jars and used airlock lids. They were kept in a closet where the temperature varied from 66.9 F to 73.6 F. I began to see bubbles after about four days in both jars. Now, after a month, I have taken them out and tested the Ph. One is at 4.0 and one is at 4.9.
 
Now I know I'm shooting for a Ph below 4.0 but I feel okay about the one at 4.0. While the jalapenos have lightened a little, it smells really good.
 
With the ferment that is at 4.9, the veggies are brighter and it smells fine. No mold, no yeast, My big question is, what do I do with it? Did it not ferment long enough? Do I need to pitch it? Can I just add vinegar/lime juice to bring Ph down and cook it? Am I doing something wrong? Should I be using a starter?
 
I had this issue last year with one of my jalapeno sauces and I just pitched it. I've always gotten good ph results with all my other hot peppers (aji chombo, fatalii, ghost, seven pot, habanero, naglah) it's just these pesky jalapenos.
 
Thanks for any help/insight you can provide. Cheers!
 

salsalady

Business Member
Hey Chizzler, :welcome: to THP from a neighbor 2 valleys to the north in the Methow! 
 
It should be fine, and as ^^^ said, just really slow to ferment.  Cook it and add a bit of vinegar or citrus to get the pH down.  In the future, use a bit less salt or a starter.  Even adding a cabbage leaf on the top of the jar (under the brine of course) will help get the fermenting started.
 
salsalady
 
 
ShowMeDaSauce said:
1.5 tbs for 2 cups is a really high percentage brine. Fermentation will be slower.
 
Mortons canning salt is 19 grams per tbs and 24 grams per 2 cups would be a 5% brine. A culture starter will make a huge difference speeding things up.
 
 
Thanks for the advice on the brine!
 
Cheers!
 
Something else that could be going on....green jalas dont have as much sugar as ripe jalas. Lacto B feast on sugar. I usually add a little to my ferments in one form or another. Such as carrots in kraut. It dont take much. A 2 quart ferment gets about a tsp of sugar added.
 
I like how well the starter cultures from Caldwells and Cutting Edge work but the price is about $25/6 packs. Each are good for about 5lbs or veggies. A bottle of probiotic juice is around $5 in lots of stores and you only need a couple TBS. Of course............$5 also makes a lot of kraut.
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