If you’ve been fermenting or are just getting started, a fermentation crock, vessel or container is a critical piece of equipment.
Choosing what you will use to ferment vegetables, make sauerkraut or kimchi is actually a big choice to make because it requires investment. And it’s a big enough investment that you don’t want to go wrong.
A Little About Me (and why I’m giving this advice)
Fermaculture started as a business selling fermented food products. We made quite a variety from a fermented turmeric cauliflower to kimchi as well as fermented salsa.
We’ve fermented in small batches and large batches and definitely noticed a trend in terms of what actually worked.
Large batches nearly always worked. Small batches tended to be hit and miss (and still are).
So to someone just starting out their fermentation journey, we always recommend fermenting large amounts of vegetables, sauerkraut, pickles or whatever recipe you’re making, at one time.
And that is why we recommend this fermentation crock:
I’ll go into a review of this crock based on our experience fermenting a variety of foods.
Quick Overview of the Sauerkrock Fermentation Crock
- Color: brown
- Material: ceramic (finished with a lead and cadmium-free glaze)
- Size: 5 Liter / 1.3 Gallon
- Water channel
- Weights (heavy and ceramic)
- 10 inches wide
- 12 inches tall
- Easy to clean
- Not too heavy to be carried
- High quality
- Thick walls
The Benefits of Ceramic
Ceramic is a very safe medium to ferment in.
You can ferment food in glass jars, plastic food-grade buckets and crocks made of ceramic.
The problem with glass is that the glass jars are often on the smaller side and it’s difficult to ferment a large batch in them. If the mouth of the jar is too narrow, you won’t be able to fit your fist through to press the food down (which is a problem).
Glass is a safe medium however in terms of the reactions caused by the fermenting food interacting with it.
Plastic is least desirable. It is possible to ferment in food-grade plastic containers (preferably one designed for it like large-scale yogurt containers). Fermenting creates acid and bubbling and all sorts of weird and wonderful thing that may cause chemicals to leach from the plastic.
Leaching chemicals is definitely undesirable.
Ceramic is traditional, sturdy, easy to clean, food safe and an ideal material for fermenting.
Why is the Water Channel Important?
Why a ring of water around the fermenation vessel is great is that it lets gas out and also keeps contaminants out. So with the Sauerkrock, dust or bugs are kept out of your ferment.
This is important because:
- You don’t want to clean up an exploded mess (especially if made with beetroot – don’t ask)
- You don’t want bugs to ruin your ferment
- You want to keep extra oxygen out
Weights Are a Fantastic Help!
Having weights the perfectly fit your crock are really a blessing. That way you are not searching the house to the right sized plate or bowl, you’re not using plastic wrap on top of your ferment and you don’t have to hunt outside for the perfect flat rock to set on top.
I can’t emphasize this enough.
Weights hold done the veggies fermenting so that they stay below the brine. This prevents mold that can take over and ruin your whole batch. And this usually happens right at the end which is just sad.
The weights with the Sauerkrock are ceramic as well.
Crock Width is Wide Enough
When fermenting, you need a crock that has an opening large enough to fit your hand into but not too large.
The less area exposed to air the better.
This is why you need a more vertical fermentation vessel and also another reason why the weights are important. (The weights will also limit exposure to air.)
The mouth of this fermentation crock is wide enough to do what you need to (pushing down veggies) but not too wide.
Goldilocks would approve.
You Ferment Anything in this Crock
Crocks are not just for sauerkraut but they are ideal for sauerkraut. Especially is you’d like a long ferment of your sauerkraut.
Kimchi, a spicy fermented cabbage, has been traditionally fermented in crocks (sometimes below ground). The sauerkrock is be perfect for kimchi.
You can pickle cucumbers or any other vegetable as well. Anything with a brine will work fine as you have those weights to help you.
The manufacturer notes you can also ferment kefir, yogurt, kombucha, sourdough, probiotic-rich condiments and more. (You can use a clean cloth in place of the lid where required.)
This crock allows you to ferment in a traditional way if desired. Your food is blocked from light (often required) and sealed up tight.
You don’t have to ferment traditionally though. You can do a quick 2-5 day ferment just as easily.
It is nice to know that you can ferment your food for a long period of time without worrying about the quality of your vessel however.
How You Would Ferment Using the Sauerkrock
- Chop your veggies and put them in the crock.
- Fill with brine (if required).
- Add the weights on top.
- Fill the gutter around the lid with water.
- Put on your lid.
- Leave to ferment and check on it periodically (depending on your recipe).
Humble House is a Quality Manufacturer
The Sauerkrock Fermentation Crock is made by Humble House. Humble House is located in Wisconsin, USA and their sole focus is products related to fermenting.
They create products that are high quality and long lasting. They also get great reviews for their products from buyers.
Their other mission is to help those wanting to ferment and guide them along the way.
Q: What size family would this work for?
A: The 5 liter / 1.3 gallon crock is ideal for 2-4 people.
Q: Is there any lead or cadmium in either the crock itself or the glazing?
A: No, there is no lead or cadmium in the ceramic or the glaze. There are strict requirements by the FDA regarding food products and Humble House adheres to each one. Additionally, the Sauerkrock complies with California Proposition 65 which restricts the presence of over 800 chemicals known to the state of California to cause cancer.
Q; Where is this crock made?
A: The SAUERKROCK is made in China by a team of skilled pottery artisans who specialize in traditional Asian and European-style ceramic fermentation equipment.
Q: I use a glass jar with an airlock to ferment vegetables right now. Is this fermentation crock better for making kimchi or sauerkraut?
A: Yes, the SAUERKROCK is more appropriate for making kimchi and other fermented foods than the described vessel because its ceramic walls and lid ensure an absolutely dark environment throughout the fermentation process.
It is critical to keep fermenting foods in total darkness because UV rays (from both natural and artificial light sources) kill lactic acid-product bacteria, the bacteria that aids the fermenting. This results in damage to the food flavor, color, and nutrients and can even result in total spoilage. Lactic acid-producing bacteria (LAB) thrive in the dark, so it is important to keep them happy and give them the environment they desire to ensure consistent, successful batches!
Q: Is this dishwasher safe?
A: No. Putting it through the dishwasher is not recommended but this crock is easy to clean by hand. The smooth glaze allows food to slide off easily so you don’t need to use dish soap as well. It’s best cleaned with a clean cloth and warm water (or a mild soap or vinegar). Soap is not recommended for the weights as they are unglazed.
Q: How much is the shipping?
A: In the USA, you should be able to get free shipping.
Q: Where can I buy this fermentation crock.
Here are real comments from real customers who have bought the Sauerkrock. It gets great reviews but testimonials also can give you insight into things a manufacturer (or reviewer) hasn’t thought of.
“I really like the size and quality of this crock. It was packed well and delivered quickly.
It’s the right amount of pickles for the season, while I can still pick it up and carry it myself to the basement to ferment. (My other 3 gallon crock is so heavy full that my husband has to lug it downstairs).
It’s all you need for healthy fermented veggies. The crock has a delightful old-world quality. Can’t wait to taste the finished product!”
“Great crock at a great price. Very nice product! Will be using often!”
“Five Stars! Great! Must have if you need a great crock. Packing was great and fast. Made first batch same day.”
“Five Stars. Awesome product. Awesome customer service. Just the right size for my projects.”
“Amazing Product! What a wonderful purchase!
The Sauerkrock arrived neatly and safely packaged, on time, and in great condition. My fiance and I have been looking for a fermentation vessel to make healthy fermented foods at home like sauerkraut and kimchi. The Sauerkrock was a perfect solution for this and made the creation process a breeze.
Humble House included instructions for use and their website gave us amazing recipes, which was a nice touch. We followed the sauerkraut recipe from their website and it turned out perfectly. After a successful sauerkraut batch under our belts, we are planning to use the Sauerkrock again for kimchi! Will be recommending to our friends!”
Review from Amazon
“Great fermentation product! Fantastic product. My first batch of sauerkraut was better than any brand sold in the store. I can’t wait to try it for brining pickles and kim chee.”
This European-style, water-sealed fermentation crock is excellent for a variety of reasons.
Because it is larger in size, your ferments will be more likely to turn out well and not go moldy.
It also has the water gutter to keep bugs and dust out which is essential.
The ceramic weights also ensure that the fermenting vegetables or sauerkraut will be kept below the liquid in the container. This is also necessary for a successful batch.
You can ferment a variety of things – anything you want really – in this fermentation crock.
Past customers just love it.
You can’t go wrong with this fermentation crock.