Pickles, ferments, relishes…how do you store them?
I’m getting asked about this semi-regularly, so thought it was time to make a post so you know how to safely store your bottled goods.
Ferments: (ie. sauerkraut, lacto-fermented pickles, lacto-fermented beets, beet kvass). These are created using the vegetable, and then a macrobiotic salt brine. The product is left to lacto-ferment at room temperature for about three days, and then moved to the fridge. Even if unopened, the ferments need to remain refrigerated.
Relishes/Chutneys: (ie. the caramelised onion and beet relish, or corn relish). These are made using vinegar and sugar, which together do create an unfavourable environment for bacteria to grow…but this doesn’t last forever, unless the product has been pressure canned. I do have an use a pressure canner for some preserves, but not these. I prefer to use less processing for higher nutrient retention. Your relishes/chutneys are shelf or room temperature stable for about 3 months, if unopened. Once opened, they need to be refrigerated. I keep them all in the cold room regardless, because the summer heat here is more of a risk than I want to take with leaving preserves out. If you are keeping them on the shelf, choose a place free from excess heat or sunlight.
Pickles: (ie the bread and butter pickles). Again, these pickles are based on vinegar and sugar, so do have some shelf stability, about 3 months, like the relishes. But the fridge is definitely preferable, and ours are always stored in the cold room. And of course, once they are opened, they definitely need to be refrigerated.