Daniel Spinelli

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since Mar 10, 2019
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food preservation medical herbs homestead
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Recent posts by Daniel Spinelli

Leigh Tate wrote:Did you make and add a brine to your jar when you first started the sauerkraut, or did you just add the salt and pound the shredded cabbage to bring out its natural juices? I've read instructions for that method, but haven't had success with it.

I've had both success and failure with adding salt and pounding the cabbage to release it's juices. In my experience it seems that if the cabbage is local and fresh then this method works very well. But if the cabbage is store bought or not fresh then this method does not create a sufficient brine. Either way I like to start with this method, and then add salt water if necessary.

I've been warned from several different sources that the texture of the sauerkraut will be slightly soggy, or at least not as crisp, if you use a salt water brine versus the natural juices. I do agree that the texture is usually better if using the natural juices, but I have had no issues with the sauerkraut being soggy or not crispy when using a salt water brine.
1 month ago
The kraut still looks fine to me. I would just compost the top leaf and eat the good stuff underneath. If the liquid level continues to drop then I would harvest it sooner rather than later to prevent degredation of the remaining good stuff. Plus the top leaf is now vulnerable to contamination.

Conversely, you could remove the top leaf and try to pack the kraut down to raise the brine level. However, removing the lid is never ideal as it will reintroduce oxygen into the jar. If the ferment is not still very active then it will not produce enough CO2 to force the oxygen from the jar and the top layer will now be vulnerable to degredation of color, taste, and texture, as you have seen with the top leaf. Adding liquid is never ideal either, but if you do then make sure you are adding salt water.

For future success I think it would probably be most helpful for you to understand why the top of the kraut is no longer submerged in brine. I'm not sure why this happened. Did you pack the kraut down well before adding the weight? Maybe the weight that you are using is not heavy enough?
1 month ago
Thank you for your help Judith!
5 months ago
I found these mushrooms growing on an unidentifiable log, likely oak. They have a lot of features consistent with Pleurotus pulmonarius or ostreatus: white spore print, shelflike clustering, decurrent gills, off-center stem, growing on wood, tannish cap color, and their odor.

What's strange to me is their 1.5"- 2" long, thin stems. I've seen this on cultivated oysters, but never in the wild. I'm used to seeing short, stubby stems on oysters. I can't find any pictures or info of oysters with similar stems. But I also can't find any other mushrooms that fit the description better than oysters do. Any insight would be greatly appreciated.
5 months ago

Louis Romain wrote:
Hi everybody
Do you know what is the latin (gender species) name for herb lemon ? Does it grow in temperate climate ?

It is Melissa officinalis, which is in the mint family. Lemon balm is a super prolific perennial in temperate climates.
5 months ago
Matt Powers is a great teacher. Good luck to you!
6 months ago
I have no clue what it is, but I would be interested to know the answer if you do figure it out. I'd agree that it does appear to be a species of Ganoderma.
6 months ago
I've also grown longevity spinach in containers in zone 8. I used 10 gallon fabric pots, which proved to be more than large enough for them to thrive. In fact, I have 4 longevity spinach plants going on their 3rd season that are still comfortable in these same pots. The roots have have totally filled the containers out, and would certainly enjoy more room to grow, but nonetheless they are healthy.
7 months ago
BSF= black soldier flies
EM= effective microbes
Willow Wonka is a fun name for a restroom where the excrements are deposited into a container, then stored air-tight for 2 years when the container is full, then used to fertilize willows.
7 months ago
In my experience when the fermented vegetable turns brown it is due to oxygen exposure or high temperature. It sounds like temperature was not the issue.
Did the recipe tell you to leave the jar uncovered? I've never heard anyone recommend doing that. With a lid on the jar the CO2 will build up and will cause the ferment to bubble. With a lid on you must burp it regularly to allow these gases to escape, because the pressure will build. If you ferment without a lid then I would imagine that would prevent any noticable bubbling and would expose the vegetables to oxygen, even when submerged under a brine.

Also, 1/3 cup (6tbsp) of salt is way too much for 1 pound of turnips. This recipe reccomends only .5 tbsp per pound of turnips: https://insaneinthebrine.com/sauerruben-fermented-turnips/
7 months ago