What are Gutsy Ferments’ Foods Fermented In?
We ferment all our foods in oak barrels. Fermenters have been using oak barrels for thousands of years, and we love oak barrels for so many reasons. Oak barrels are chemical free, sustainable and create some great flavours. During fermentation, foods often get very acidic. Depending on time, temperature and levels of carbohydrates, vegetables can achieve a pH of 3.5–3 (acidic) during fermentation.
When foods are fermented in plastic, poor quality stainless steel, or even ceramic crocks with the wrong type of glaze, chemicals may leach from the vessels into the foods. After 3-4 weeks of fermenting the flavour of these chemicals becomes noticeable, and taints the fermented foods. Oak barrels are great as they contain no artificial chemicals. Oak also produces a unique depth and complexity of flavours in fermented foods.
What Is Wild Fermentation?
Wild fermentation is the process of allowing all the locally sourced, naturally existing bacteria that live on and in and around our fruit and vegetables to multiply and propagate during fermentation. We do this without using starter cultures. Instead, we just wait and let the natural bacteria do their thing. You can taste the difference in our fermented foods.
Some people say that you need to add a starter culture to vegetables or fruit before fermentation; but that’s not true! People have been wildly fermenting for thousands of years, and it’s worked just fine. In fact, because it’s totally natural, you get better results with wild fermentation.
Are Gutsy Kraut and Kimchi Products Vegan?
Yes. No animal products are used during the process when we make our Kraut and Kimchi products. There is definitely no fish sauce in the Kimchi.
However, if you order Kraut or Kimchi online it needs to be kept cold as it travels to you. By default we ship it in a thermal box using sheep wool offcuts. So, if you don't want to keep your products cool in wool, you have the option to choose a vegan, polystyrene box at checkout.
Are Gutsy Ferments’ Products Certified Organic?
Yes! Our standard range of fermented foods ARE Australian Certified Organic (ACO). This includes: Smoked Garlic Kraut Pepperberry Kraut Carrot Ginger and Turmeric Kraut Beet and Citrus Kraut Apple Radish Kimchi Cauliflower Kimchi.
We also ferment a seasonal range of fermented foods which vary from season to season. We ferment whatever is available in small batches. These raw seasonal vegetables are all certified organic, but we usually won't get our finished product certified organic as it's just a seasonal short run. By the time we finished certifying the seasonal fermented foods, they'd probably be all gone!
How Many Probiotics In Gutsy Fermented Foods?
We don't get every batch of fermented food tested, but just 45g of properly fermented foods can have more than 2.5 Trillion bacteria! That's a lot!
Most probiotic capsules only claim to contain 1–10 billion bacteria. That means that in a serving of Gutsy Ferments probiotic foods, you could be consuming 200–400 times more probiotics than if you popped a probiotic capsule.
Are Gutsy Ferments’ Products Nut Free?
All Gutsy products are nut free. No nuts or nut-containing products are processed in the Gutsy facility.
Does Gutsy Kraut And Kimchi Need To Be Kept Cold?
The short answer is, “yes” you actually can keep your fermented vegetables at room temperature. For thousands of years, most cultures have fermented food so that it can be preserved for months or even years (and that's without refrigeration). All of this means that properly fermented vegetables can be kept out of the fridge for months and it will NOT go bad, or rotten, or be dangerous to eat.
But there’s a problem, at room temperature the vegetables will keep on fermenting. Even though we’ve already fermented for veggies for 2-4 weeks (depending on temperature), there are still some carbohydrates left in the veggies for the probiotics to feed on, which means more fermentation. As these good bacteria feed on the remaining carbohydrates, they multiply and the carbohydrates decrease – this is good!
Except that they produce carbon dioxide as a by-product of fermentation. This means that if your fermented vegetables warm up too much for too long they could be pretty fizzy when you take the lid off your jar. They may even overflow once you remove the lid. This is totally fine, and not dangerous in any way, it's just messy. To avoid the mess and fuss, it’s best to keep them cool.
If Gutsy Kimchi and Kraut need to be kept cool, how can you post it to us?
Great question. At first we used expanded polystyrene boxes to keep your fermented foods cool in transit, but since then we’ve switched to compostable packaging, which is much better for the environment.
We pack our fermented foods in sheep wool offcuts. The wool liner only uses the bits of wool that would usually be thrown away, as they can't be used for anything else. We do this to ensure our packaging is compostable
If you don't want to keep your products cool in wool, you have the option to choose a vegan, polystyrene box at checkout.
Why do you use wool to keep fermented food cool during shipping?
There are really three main reasons we use wool offcuts to keep our fermented foods cool while in transit. They are:
1. It’s efficient: Gram-for-gram wool is more efficient than EPS at keeping the cold in and the hot out.
2. It’s made using waste: Even better, this wool insulating liner is made from waste. When sheep are shorn, all the little bits of wool that are too small to be used for anything else are usually thrown away, but not anymore. WoolCool is gathering all those little bits of wool that are usually thrown away. The little bits are being washed and then combined together to be reused in these thermal liners.
3. It’s compostable: When your fermented vegetables arrive in compostable packaging, you can reuse the thermal liners as many times as you want. But once you have no further use for it, you can remove the recyclable polyethylene wrap (and recycle it) so you're left with just 100% pure, unbleached, untreated wool. This biodegradable wool can be placed in your garden to keep in the water and the warmth. You can use this wool to insulate your air-conditioning or hot water pipes. If you save up enough of these wool liners you could even make a blanket out of them.
So if you buy online, and don't want to keep your products cool in wool, you have the option to choose a vegan, polystyrene box at checkout.
What If my Fermented Veggies Warm Up?
We try to keep them as cool as possible, but our Australian Summers get pretty hot, so if your fermented vegetables in biodegradable packaging are traveling a long way your sauerkraut will eventually warm up (even though it’s wool).
As we’ve mentioned before, it doesn’t matter if your sauerkraut and kimchi warm up, it’s actually a good thing (as far as probiotics go). Just beware, if you’re ordering in the middle of summer, and you live far away from Brisbane (Tas or WA) your fermented veggies might be a little fizzy when you first take off the lid.
If this is the case, refrigerate the jar for a couple of hours before you open it. Hold it over a bowl the first time you open it and drink any juices that you catch.
Tell Me About Gutsy Ferments Orders Shipping
We ship Gutsy orders all over Australia. We don't ship overseas, sorry. Having said that, we do ship to Tasmania, does that count as overseas?
We collate all online orders every Monday and prepare them for shipping. Every Tuesday morning, our local couriers come around and take your orders away.
We try to keep the cost of shipping as low as possible, but the cost will vary depending on where you live and how much you order. Add the products you would like to your cart and enter your postcode to find out how much shipping will cost.
What Happens During Wild Fermentation?
During wild fermentation we create an environment in which all the beneficial bacteria (probiotics) that live on and in and around the veggies/fruit can feed on the carbohydrates that make up the veggies/fruit.
Fermentation happens as the bacteria feast on the carbohydrates. During this feast, these happy bacteria multiply and propagate.
Unlike some fermenters who stop the process after a couple of days, we let the bacteria enjoy themselves (aka ferment) for a period of weeks.
The time taken to reach optimal fermentation is different at different room temperatures, and different strains of probiotics ferment at different rates.
We ferment at a variable room temperature for most of the year except for the very hot months when we try to keep the extreme temperatures down in our fermentation room to avoid rushing the process which impacts on the flavour of the fermented food.
Once the food gets below six degrees Celsius, fermentation slows down to a nearly negligible rate, and that’s why food stays fresher in your fridge at 4 degrees Celsius than it does on the kitchen bench.
Why Is My Sauerkraut or Kimchi Fizzy?
The short answer is fermentation that has happened during shipping. There’s nothing to fear, your products will still be as fresh and delicious as ever, and you’ll be getting a few extra probiotics per serve. To prevent fizzing, just pop your jars in the fridge for a while before opening and to be sure you don’t lose any delicious foods, open them over a bowl.
Now, here’s the longer answer for those of you who would like to know more.
As the probiotics (good bacteria) consume the carbohydrates in fermenting fruit and veggies, they multiply and create lactic acid and carbon dioxide as by-products. The lactic acid gives fermented veggies a lovely sour flavour. The carbon dioxide is what makes the kraut fizzy.
During the initial weeks of fermentation, our veggies are kept in sealed oak barrels that allow the carbon dioxide to escape. Once the veggies are transferred into sealed jars for shipping, they are usually pretty stable as long as they are kept under six degrees Celsius (at which temperature fermentation rates are very low).
If the jars are allowed to heat up above six degrees Celsius, the rate of fermentation increases once more and more carbon dioxide is produced which begins to slightly pressurise the jar. Once the lid is removed from the pressurised jar, you may notice that your fermented foods are a bit fizzy, and they may even overflow.
Carrot Kraut is more prone to fizzing as it is naturally higher in carbohydrates than cabbage.
Fizzing does NOT mean that your fermented foods are bad. A jar of fermented veggies can happily last out of the fridge for months.
One of the reasons that our forefathers first started fermenting veggies was because it would allow them to eat the summer harvested crops 6 or 8 months later in the middle of winter.
The ONLY reason that our Gutsy labels require refrigeration is so that this bonus fermentation (known as lofting) won’t occur…it can be messy and disconcerting.
On the upside, lofting shows that the probiotics in your fermented foods are alive and healthy. Actually, fizzy jars of kraut are probably better for you as they're lower in carbohydrates and higher in probiotics.
Are Gutsy Products Kosher?
Yes. Our standard range of fermented vegetables ARE certified kosher. This includes: Smoked Garlic Kraut Pepperberry Kraut Carrot Ginger and Turmeric Kraut Beet and Citrus Kraut Apple Radish Kimchi Cauliflower Kimchi.
We also ferment a seasonal range of vegetables which vary from season to season. We ferment whatever is available in small batches. These seasonal vegetables are fermented in exactly the same way and in exactly the same kitchen as our standard range, but they're not certified Kosher as they are small batches and vary every season.
How Long Will My Sauerkraut or Kimchi Keep After Opening?
Fermentation is a natural way of preserving vegetables. Before opening, your sauerkraut and kimchi will keep for over a year in the fridge. After opening it will usually keep for a long time as well.
Once opened, the greatest risk to your fermented foods (aside from your partner eating them all) is mould. The rate at which mould grows on your fermented foods will depend on temperature, your environment, and how many mould spores are floating around.
Generally, your jar of fermented veggies will last 3–4 weeks after opening, but as long as there's no mould it, you’re free to enjoy it much longer than that.
How Many Probiotics In Gutsy Sauerkraut And Kimchi?
We don't get every batch of fermented foods tested, but just 45g of properly fermented veggies can yield more than 2.5 Trillion bacteria. That's a lot!
Most probiotic capsules only claim to contain 1–10 billion bacteria. That means that in a serving of Gutsy Sauerkraut or Kimchi you could be consuming 200–400 times more probiotics than if you popped a probiotic capsule.
How Much Sauerkraut and Kimchi Should I Eat?
There's no right answer here. There are lots of probiotics in a very small amount of fermented foods. In just one tablespoon of fermented veggies you’re getting a huge boost of beneficial bacteria into your microbiome.
Within reason, you can't have too much sauerkraut or kimchi. If you're new to fermented foods, take care to introduce fermented foods slowly, as too much too quickly could, erm... clean out your system. But if you're used to plenty of fermented foods, a jar at a time is no problem.
When Can I Start Introducing My Child To Fermented Foods?
Since the dawn of time, traditional cultures have been known to enjoy a wide variety of fermented foods. A love and taste for fermented foods are often nurtured from a young age.
Besides the delicious flavour, fermented foods also contain a wide diversity of gut beneficial microbes which contributes to a healthy and strong gut in babies and young children.
According to a paediatrics study done on fermented foods and children, "Once a baby has begun solids foods, they will benefit from the inclusion of small amounts of fermented foods right away.
Dipping a spoon or finger in the juice of sauerkraut or other fermented vegetable and letting the baby taste it is a way to adapt the eating habits. The benefits of fermented foods are not only their probiotic qualities but also allowing the child to experience and become accustomed to sour flavours." See the full article here.
We have a tribe of 5 children and they don't feel like sauerkraut or kimchi every day. And it's okay. Having a generous variety of fermented foods around allows them to choose and discover their own favourite ferment. It could be avocado miso sourdough toast, or blueberry and cacao nibs milk kefir smoothie. The special treat of a refreshing raspberry and lime water kefir icy pole on a hot summer day.
Don't stress too much if they turn down a certain fermented food the first time you offer it to them. Keep up with finding different delicious ways to accompany or add the ferments to meals and they will definitely come around to it one day.
When Is The Best Time To Eat Fermented Foods?
Anytime. We prefer to let our bodies tell us when we feel like a spoonful of kraut or kimchi with our meals, rather than to force-feed ourselves at a regulated time daily.
There are days when we feel like kraut three times a day, and others when we just don't feel like having much at all.
Start with small amounts with meals if you are not used to fermented veggies. Once you have acquired the taste, it might become hard to stop at the first spoonful.
We love sharing our knowledge about fermentation and the benefits of these amazing probiotic foods. Here are the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions. If you don’t find the answers to your questions here, get in touch with our friendly team today.
Want To Know More About Our Products & Processes?
If you would like to know more about Gutsy Ferments, our processes and our products, our friendly team would be happy to hear from you.
Reach out to us today and we’ll get right back to you.
4/42 Clinker St Darra QLD 4076