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enter image description hereI made my first batch of Kimchi, it has fermented for about a week & the bubbling seems to have slowed down. Can I eat it now or does it need to ferment longer in the refrigerator?

Also, the liquid level seems to have dropped during fermentation such that the kimchi at the top of the jars is no longer under the liquid. Should I add more liquid or just leave it be? The kimchi tastes quite salty, if I add more liquid should I add salted or unsalted water?

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You can eat kimchi at any point. More fermentation/time simply means more funk. It is more likely that things are floating, your only risk is mold forming on the surface. You can add a weight of some sort to keep the exposed ingredients under the liquid, but if you are going to keep them sealed like that, mold formation is less likely, unless you remove kimchi with fingers or non-sanitary utensils. You can also add brine, but I don't think that is as common in a kinchi situation, as it is in other pickling situations.

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    I have encountered recommendations to top up the 'natural' liquid of lactic acid fermentations with some salt water brine if it was not enough to cover the product otherwise. Only at the start of a ferment, though, never at the end. – LSchoon Jun 1 at 11:45
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    Agreed. If you add liquid, you should add a brine solution (preferably boiled and cooled). I typically open all my containers and press the kimchi back down before putting into cold storage. I've never had to add brine, actually. It usually presses down a lot. – kitukwfyer Jun 1 at 19:38
  • Hi, one of the jars has in fact gone moldy on the top, I removed the mold & put it in the fridge but would you say that that jar is now spoiled? I have pressed down the kimchi a few times, I'm thinking this is how the mold got in, but there is still not enough liquid to cover it.. I'm thinking adding more brine may be the way to go? – Andrew Stone Jun 2 at 8:01
  • Very difficult to give advice about mold online. If it was a few spots of white mold, I usually scrape off the top. Any other color, or any fuzzy mold...or if you think you pushed it down into the ferment is not good. Again, hard to know without knowing the exact circumstances. Always better safe than sorry. If unsure, discard. You really should not need more brine, and, if you are refrigerating, that should help with mold, but dramatically slow fermentation. – moscafj Jun 2 at 10:48

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