I'm making America's Test Kitchen's fermented jalapeno recipe for the first time. Here's a pay-walled link.

The general idea is you pack halved-through-the-stem jalapenos, shallots, garlic and lime zest into a quart jar, make a high-salinity brine, pour it over (tight packing keeps the peppers submerged), then ferment at 50-70F for 10-14 days. Refrigerate for up to five months. This works fine, but I noticed when I tried the first batch that there were a few air bubbles trapped by the halved jalapenos. Is that a problem? I know I need to keep the peppers submerged or they will start to rot, but are a few small air bubbles trapped by the food okay? I can't easily fix the air bubbles through any method I've imagined. I can't shake the jar. That would just distribute the headspace. I might try packing them concave-side-up next time, but that makes it tricky to pack them tightly.

I've consulted a few other recipes like this one that don't mention air being a problem, and I've seen a few other passing references on the web to air bubbles being okay in fermented food as long as the food isn't producing gas from a bacterial process. But, I'm new to this, and I don't want to accidentally give myself some kind of food poisoning.

  • 1
    What do you mean by a “high-salinity brine”? Above a certain salinity level you won’t get any fermentation at all.
    – Sneftel
    Jan 25, 2022 at 23:10
  • I'm not sure of the weight ratio but it's seven tsp of morton's pickling salt in 3 cups of water (I think that's the water amount; I don't have the recipe in front of me). Given it's a recipe from ATK I am pretty confident the ratio will do what it purports to do. I just don't know if a few bubbles in the jar are dangerous. Jan 28, 2022 at 15:57
  • You have to weigh the salt before you add it to a brine. Salts vary massively in volume between brands. 6 - 8 % salt per liter of water that means 60 - 80 grams of salt per liter of brine. Don't go below 6%
    – Neil Meyer
    Jan 31, 2022 at 18:25


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