Is anyone aware of some solid reference information on lacto-fermented vegetables? I am especially interested technical information, such as what off flavors may occur due to which circumstances.
The internet seems to be flooded with misinformation on the subject because of the probiotic fad and the air-lock vs open fermentation argument. These articles seem to gloss over the fact that spontaneous fermentation is unpredictable and that this has been done for ages in every fashion imaginable. I am trying to find some good information on how lacto fermentation can go wrong (or right) and why.
In the beer community, it is well accepted that fermentation temp and microbial strain affect the flavors in the final product. Home brewing documentation offers advice such as (this is very approximate):
- Bubble gum flavors
- Belgian yeast fermented in excess of X degrees Fahrenheit will exhibit such flavors.
- Buttery flavors
- Attributed to diacetyl, a compound produced by poor temperature control or a pediococcus infection.
In my specific case, I have a batch of fermented cucumbers that have a bit of a band-aid flavor to them (an off flavor also found in beer). I know now that they were fermented at entirely too high a temperature. I have also been consuming them safely for over a week now, so it's more a matter a taste than safely.