I'm making Kimchi for the first time and I have two questions about air bubble removal.
First, all the recipes I've seen say to press the Kimchi down to remove air bubbles. My batch had a few small bubbles lower in the jar, probably the size of a lentil or less, and when I tried pushing down deep enough to get them out, it tended to just introduce more air bubbles around the muddler I was using to press it. Short of putting the jar in a centrifuge, I don't see how I could get these small bubbles out.
How strict should I be about initial air bubble removal? Is it ok to have a few very small bubbles like the one highlighted below?
Second, I see after the first day that some larger bubbles have formed lower down in the jar. This picture shows a larger bubble after 24 hours of fermentation which was definitely not there when I initially jarred and packed the veggies down:
Recipes I've seen tell you to push the solid contents down below the surface of the brine periodically as it ferments.
Should I also try to remove new/larger bubbles as they form during fermentation? I.e. by pushing deeper into the jar with a muddler. Or does doing so risk contaminating the environment with new external bacteria?