The Science Behind The Brine

Click on these resources for more information:

Sandor Ellix Katz’s Website (James Beard Award-winning author and leader of the recent fermented foods movement)

How the bacteria in our guts steer our romantic choices

NPR on fermented foods’ flavors and health benefits

Frequently asked questions:

For questions regarding tempeh please check out our TEMPEH FAQ page here.

Do I have to refrigerate my kimchi or sauerkraut?
Yes, you have to keep it in the refrigerator, just like you would with yogurt. It is a raw product and the refrigeration serves to slow down the fermentation process.

Is this made with vinegar?
No, that is what makes our products unique - that complex, tangy flavor is from the all-natural lacto-fermentation process. We do, however, add vinegar post-pepper fermentation to our hot sauce.

How long will it keep for?
Indefinitely, as long as it is in the refrigerator and the vegetables are fully under the brine. It’s like that age-old saying “If it’s in the brine, it’s fine! If it’s in the air, beware!” (David Klingenberger, 2010). Our krauts, kimchi, and pickles will only spoil if the vegetables are above the brine and make contact with air. Even so, whatever is under the brine is fine, just dispose of the spoiled layer. We do, however, offer ‘best-by’ dates on all of our products to serve as a guide.

Why does it bubble when I open my jar?
The Brinery products are all raw and have not been canned, pasteurized or heat processed in any way, therefore they come to you alive - beneficial bacteria ready to stimulate your inner economy! The fermentation process only slows when it is refrigerated, so what you are seeing when you open your jar is the natural process of fermentation occurring right before your eyes!

What do you add to start the fermentation process?
Just a little salt! Lactic bacteria is naturally occurring on the surface of all vegetables and is triggered into action by the salt brine.

Where can I find your products?
The first place to look is the Ann Arbor Farmer’s market, that is our home base and we are there all year! You can also find us in stores and restaurants throughout the midwest. Can’t seem to track down a jar of our ferments? Email and we’ll see what we can do about getting our products onto shelves nearby. Requests from customers go a long way in stores and restaurants, so let them know you want to see The Brinery there!

Do you take your glassware back?
We encourage you to reuse this vessel for your own storage and decorative needs. We currently don’t have the ability to wash & re-sanitize jars for resale/reuse.

Do you have nutritional information available for your products?
Yes! Check out our products page for nutritional info!