How pickling proceeds: Fermentation is
the work of millions of microbes. You can't see them without a microscope,
but you can see, smell and taste evidence
of their activity.
Each day, press down on the jar or bottle top so that cabbage juice
always covers the cabbage, and the cabbage is kept from contact
with the air. You are cultivating anaerobes,
organisms that grow best where there is no oxygen. As you press
down on the cabbage, you will see bubbles of carbon dioxide (CO2)
rising to the surface. Where do they come from?
long does it take?: Cabbage can take 3 days to 2 weeks to
complete fermentation, depending on the surrounding temperature.
The warmer it is, the faster it ferments. If your classroom is a
steady 25 degrees C (75 degrees F) or more, you can have kimchee
within 4 days; sauerkraut requires more like 2 weeks.
Measure the acidity of the cabbage juice
with pH paper daily. Link toKimchee
Explore (pH indicator text) You can record the date and pH directly
on the paper strips, and then tape them on the bottle to keep
track of changes.
Your kimchee or sauerkraut is ready to eat when the pH of the cabbage
juice has dropped from about pH 6.5 to pH 3.5. You'll have to open
the sliding seal in order to taste the cabbage. When you remove
the top, however, the bottle's contents are exposed to air, which
may allow different kinds of microbes to grow. To be safe, refrigerate
after opening. Do not eat the kimchee or sauerkraut if mold is present.
and taste your kimchee: Do you notice the aroma
of garlic and pepper? How do the odors change with time? Can you
taste the garlic and the pepper? You can explore flavors by adding
other ingredients such as ginger, radishes, or different amounts
of pepper and garlic.