Slimy Sour Beets

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Slimy Sour Beets

Postby Martyne on Sun Jan 25, 2009 6:33 pm

Hi,

I'm totally new to fermentation. I first made a small batch of plain sauerkraut which turned out o.k. Then I decided to make sour beets following Sandor's recipe. When I checked it today after a week, the brine was very thick, ligthy bubbly and slimy. It smells fine and doesn't taste sour at all. Since the brine was low, I added more brine to it and will let it go for another week.

Since I never had sour beets before, I'm not sure what they are supposed to taste, sour? Was is the slime about? I'm a little put off by the viscous texture

Thanks for any tips,

Martyne
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Re: Slimy Sour Beets

Postby maxairborne on Mon Feb 23, 2009 3:42 pm

Hi Martyne,

I just had a similar experience making beets using the recipe from "Nourishing Traditions" by Sally Fallon. In her recipe, you roast the beets first. She also uses whey as a starter, but gives instructions to add extra salt if you don't have whey. I didn't have whey, so used a pretty typical medium strength brine solution as I would for sauerkraut. After 2 days, the brine was really viscous. My beets (the yellow kind) looked like banana slugs. Not something any of the beet-lovers in our household were even willing to try! So, I rinsed the slimy stuff off and now I just have salty beets, which aren't sour at all.

In the past I've had great success making a mixed vegetable pickle that included raw beets, The raw beets take longer to change texture than the other vegetables (cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, turnips), but they are nonetheless delicious -- I slice them thin on the mandoline.

I, too, would like to know how to have success fermenting just beets without getting the slimy stuff. I wonder if it's related to brine strength, and the lactobacillus not having the right environment. Or perhaps it's to do with the starchiness of the beets.

Anyone have any knowledge to share?

Thanks!
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Re: Slimy Sour Beets

Postby ellaguru on Mon Apr 20, 2009 2:06 pm

I've also had a slimy experience with beets and would love some trouble shooting tips.

I followed the directions in wild fermentation and after 4 days have a pot of slime. I've been making various ferments for years and beets are my first failure.
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Re: Slimy Sour Beets

Postby bouncethecat on Wed Jan 26, 2011 12:33 pm

I too have tried the sour beets recipe and got the same viscous slimy consistency. I added more salty brine and pushed down the gelatinous beets and really had to hold back the sudden turn in my stomach at the feel and look of the beets. I let my beets only ferment for approx 5 days total, always making sure the brine was over the slimy beets. I ended up putting them in the refrigerator this last Friday to stop fermenting. I want to know if these beets can still be used for the Borscht recipe from Katz's book or if I should just right this batch off as a bad ferment? It happens, right? The post prior recommended rinsing the slime off, but mb the slime would cook off in a borscht soup. Also, since others have had this same viscous texture maybe it's the natural course of the beets and we should all get use to it. Hoping not because if you know what we are talking about it's not a pretty site, especially with the usually vibrant coloring of the deep red beets we all usually love.
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Re: Slimy Sour Beets

Postby hemul on Sat Feb 05, 2011 5:21 pm

Hi guys!

Funny this. I have Katz' book but I didn't know about this forum. I googled "slimy sour beets" and this thread was the first hit. All for the best! :-)

I have the same problem as everyone else. I first tried a year ago. When I noticed the sliminess I assumed something was wrong and threw the batch away.

New try now. Looks like last time. The liquid is slimy or maybe sticky is better word. Looked in the book and Katz says: "The juice [...] is dark and thick, like blood". So maybe this is as it should?

As someone else noted above, I feel no sourness whatsoever. This worries me more. There has been vivid fermentation going on. There should be sourness. Or alcolhol, but I don't taste that either. ;-) My beets haven't gone bad. They are quite crisp to the tooth. No bad taste. But no especially good one either since they aren't sour.

Is this how sour beets should be?
Fetbobba
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Re: Slimy Sour Beets

Postby hemul on Sun Feb 06, 2011 12:46 am

Hey, I found something. Read the last paragraph here.
http://www.sarahflackconsulting.com/articles.php5?go=16

Could that be it? I grated my beets with a machine, rather finely. Maybe the trick is to make them more coarsely grated or to shred them by hand with a knife?
Fetbobba
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Re: Slimy Sour Beets

Postby marnie on Wed Feb 09, 2011 10:02 am

I just made a batch of pickled beets using the Sally Fallon recipe. I used whey, salt and water to make the brine. I baked my beets for a couple of hours, peeled and sliced them to about 1/4" thick x 2" long (or however long the beet itself was), put them in the jars and covered with the brine. I fermented them for 3-4 days in closed jars and then put them in the fridge. They were VERY fizzy when I opened the jar - the red beets were more fizzy than the golden ones. They are actually very nice... firm, a little salty, and a little sour. I prefer a milder ferment so I thought they turned out perfectly.
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Re: Slimy Sour Beets

Postby hemul on Thu Feb 10, 2011 9:46 pm

Good to hear someone succeeds! :-)

Wonder if it was the larger bits you used, the whey or the baking? I'm not too fond of whey ferments myself, the product gets a different flavour, doesn't it? Maybe I take too much of it. Anyway, you've encouraged me. I'll make a new batch with sliced beets, the red ones, raw and without whey. I'll let you know how it goes.
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Re: Slimy Sour Beets

Postby Tim Hall on Thu Feb 10, 2011 9:57 pm

Just wanted to add this...it may not have anything to do with your process or ingredients apart from the beets themselves. It could be the particular variety of beets or even the time of year they were harvested. Beets do produce mucilage (much like flax seed). May not be exactly what you expected, but it's completely harmless.
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Re: Slimy Sour Beets

Postby healthybeet on Sun Feb 13, 2011 6:39 pm

Hi all,

Just stumbled upon this discussion. I use the old recipe to ferment beets (don't have Katz's book). Raw, peeled, whole dark red beets.
They ferment fine at room temp, 3% brine, keep the weight on top so that brine always cover the beets, and wash the cover off the foam regularly. The liquid will get rather thick, but I never thought of it as slimy. The beets come out slightly salty and more sweet-sour than just sour taste. Normally, it'd take more then a week, more like 10 days or so. You can look it up here:http://www.healthy-beets.com/fermented-foods.html
"A tale that begins with a beet will end with the devil."
Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins
http://www.healthy-beets.com/
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