I wrote this blog for my Cheese Making extravaganza. However, it’s really relevant for ALL ferments. Particularly cheese, meats and alcohol. Anything that ferments for more than a few weeks, needs to be made in sterile conditions.
(I do admit to short cutting these sterile conditions to hand washing and sterile containers when doing a simply batch of sauerkraut or yogurt. However, I also have had failures… not often… but.. yes.)
Here’s my basic cleanliness guidelines:
1. Pull your hair back.
2. Wash your hands and sing “baa baa black sheep” under the running water, before touching anything to do with the food preparation.
3. Wipe down your counters with a sanitization solution, especially if you use a few different types of culture.
4. Sanitize all of your equipment, before (and preferably also after) use.
1. Boiling: Fill a large pot up with water and bring it to a boil. Put in all your glass and metal implements and boil for 5 minutes. This doesn’t work for plastic and wooden items.
2. Bleach: Dip all items in a solution of 2 tbsp of bleach per gallon of water. Rinse items well prior to use. Bleach can also be used for spraying down surfaces.
3. Commercial Sanitizer: You can usually find this at the home brew beer and wine stores. Follow the instructions on the package. I usually fill on of my sinks up with sanitization liquid, and keep all my equipment stored there while I’m using them. Just be sure to rinse well prior to use, because the sanitizer will also kill the good bacteria that you want to ferment.