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fermenting Kahm Yeast or Mold and what to do.

I made a red habanero mash on 01/09/23. Everything was cleaned and sterilized and the only ingredients were peppers, salt, water and a probiotic capsule. I only slightly opened the ring to burp the gases but never took the lid off. Any idea if this is yeast or mold and any remedy? Thanks.
The (unofficial) rule of thumb is to “follow your nose,” but that looks extremely sketchy to me… looks like cream cheese in there :shocked:

My vote is to toss it. For next time, I’d suggest investing in some type of lid/airlock that doesn’t require burping. My $0.02
It really does look like cream cheese. Amazing. Maybe you can find someone else to taste the cream cheese? 😇 I'd not try it yourself.
I'm gonna give you two contrarian responses to the mold issue:

1, What's your health worth? Even sniffing/inhaling mold can be detrimental to your health and is that worth it over a jar of pepper mash?

2, How does it smell? :lol: If it doesn't smell like rot, scrape it off (take an inch below the surface), close it up again and see if it comes back. Remember, mold is everywhere, you didn't add that mold, it was already there, probably on the surface of the pepper. It's just preferentially growing instead of lactobacillus but when the quantities get high it can get to levels that are toxic. It may be Kahm yeast, but I'm no mycologist so can't tell.


BUT in my eyes - there are two major problems with your ferment:
- There are many pieces of pepper stuck to the side of jar so not covered in brine - these are going to be mold magnets. And there is too much headspace. Lactobacillus thrives in an anaerobic environment whereas those pieces on the side and top are directly exposed to the air in the jar. If you don't have enough mash to fill the jar, use a smaller jar or just top it up with brine.
- Use a decent airlock. Burping is risky - it may work for some but an airlock is foolproof.

For both of these reasons I only ferment mashes using the vacuum bag method now. Jar ferments for large pieces.