Frequently Asked Questions
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ChouAmi only works with the Le Parfait Familia Wiss Terrine Jar and the Le Parfait Screw Top Jar with a 100 mm diameter opening. It does not work with US-made Ball or Kerr brand mason jars.
◄11. How long do I need to ferment vegetables?
That depends on what you’re fermenting. Minimum should be 6 days. We recommend at least 7 days for cabbage-based ferments. Traditionally, cabbage was left to ferment in big crocks for weeks, even months; however, a small batch requires less time. Your ferments can be left to develop for as long as 4 weeks or longer. Although the longer fermentation period doesn’t necessarily confer more beneficial bacteria, it does help the foods develop a deeper flavor. Sample fermentation time: Sauerkraut: 10-12 days Kimchi: 10-12 days Real pickles: 7-10 days Cauliflower-based: 10-12 days Salsa: 5-6 days Fruit-based: 5-6 days Please be aware that even after the ferments have been transferred to the refrigerator, the flavor will continue to slowly change and develop.
◄12. How do I know when my ferment is done?
Your ferment is typically done anywhere between 6 to 10 days. After this point, it’s a matter of personal taste. To taste your ferment, follow these steps: 1) Unfasten the ring and remove the cap and moat 2) Lift up the press/spring 3) Use a clean fork or chopsticks to remove a small portion, and taste 4) If you're satisfied with the taste, replace with the Le Parfait sealing cap and screw lid, and transfer to the refrigerator 5) If you want a deeper flavor, put the press/spring back in the jar, secure the moat, ring, and cap, and continue fermenting at room temperature.
◄13. The brine is overflowing into the moat and making a mess on my kitchen counter. Help!
This usually happens with vegetables that contain a lot of water, such as fresh cabbage. Simply remove ChouAmi, pour off any excess brine, and replace the unit again. Rinse the moat and fill with water (not brine). To help catch excess brine, we recommend setting the jar on a shallow dish or plate before fermenting. To prevent overflow: When making sauerkraut, massage salt into the shredded cabbage, and pack into the mason jar with other ingredients such as spices. Allow the mixture to ferment for 24 hours without adding any brine. If there is enough liquid released by the salted cabbage to cover the top of the vegetables by 1.5 inches (3.75 cm) after 24 hours, then no additional brine is necessary. Note on kimchi: As Napa cabbage releases a lot of water, keep an eye on your kimchi during the first 24 - 48 hours. There should be about 1.5 inches (3.75 cm) of liquid above the top of the vegetables, so pour off excess if it looks like it will over flow.
◄14. There is no water in the moat. What do I do?
The water in your moat will evaporate over time, especially if your fermenting room is humid. Always make sure to fill the moat 2/3 of the way up and top off every couple of days as needed. If your moat is completely empty, it's possible that some water have been sucked into the cap. Tilt the cap gently to release the water.
◄15. My brine looks murky. Is something wrong?
It’s ok if your brine looks murky. It doesn’t mean something is wrong. Brine will turn murky as a natural result of fermentation and from minerals in the sea salt. Some ferments such as pickles and cauliflower tend to produce a murky brine.
◄16. What if I see mold? Is it unsafe to eat?
If you see that the top of the brine has developed a fuzzy or lumpy matter that's green, pink, or grey, something has gone wrong with your ferment. Compost the contents and start over. If the jar smells rotten or sulfuric, leave it open for 10 minutes; it might clear itself up. If it doesn't, compost the contents and start over. If the substance is soft white, it could be kahm, which is a natural yeast that's a byproduct of fermentation. It's harmless and you can just scrape it off.
◄17. I want to open my jar but it’s stuck. Help!
This may be because the ring was fastened on too tightly on the jar. Wrap a soft kitchen towel around the ring for more leverage, and rotate the ring and the jar in opposing directions. For your next batch, fasten the ring on the jar only until when you lift the ring, the whole unit stays in place. A rubber oven mitt can be helpful with extra tight ring.
◄18. Where do you ship?
We're currently working on our online Shop and hope to launch it live soon! We will be shipping to anywhere in the world from Illinois, USA.
◄19. How much is shipping?
Once our online Shop is live, you'll be able to see your shipping fees before placing your order.
◄20. Where can I buy a ChouAmi in person?
When ChouAmi is available to purchase in person, we'll post locations on our website.
◄21. Do you do any wholesale?
Yes! If you represent a qualified retailer that carries food preservation supplies or gourmet kitchenwares, please drop us a line here.
◄22. I’m a journalist/blogger and I want to review ChouAmi. Who do I contact?
Email our media team here.