Kimchi, a traditional Korean dish, is gaining popularity all over the globe. It is delicious, beneficial for health, and can be made at home.
Many beginners have trouble with their kimchi not bubbling as it should. So, if you are wondering what has gone wrong with your sauerkraut, I am here to help.
The problem may be due to incorrect fermentation, improper storage, too much water, or not enough salt.
Other reasons could be due to different types of kimchi. It could also be a problem with your cooking equipment.
In the end, I will share tips on how to make perfect kimchi, so read on to find out.
Is It Necessary For Kimchi To Bubble?
If you want to know if your kimchi should be bubbling, I will give you an explanation of how Lacto-fermentation works.
The microorganisms start to thrive when salt and lactobacillus bacteria are combined. The natural sugars in cabbage are broken down and converted into lactic acid.
Carbon dioxide gas can be produced by the process along with acid. You should be able to see the bubbles during the process of making wine.
The CO2 is produced during the process of fermentation. This doesn’t mean that you will always see its effects.
The bubbles may be large or hardly noticeable. They may gather on the surface of the water inside the jar.
What Is The Time Required For The Kimchi to Start Bubbling?
There are a variety of factors that affect the length of the process. For up to four days at room temperature, and up to a month in the fridge, you can expect kimchi to ferment.
The amount of salt and jar seal can have a big impact on the amount of time needed. The longer kimchi takes to start bubbling, the lower the temperature and the less salt you add.
If your fridge is very cold and you add too little salt, the kimchi won’t start to bubble in a month. kimchi can start bubbling in a day if it’s strongly salted in a warm room.
Why Is My Kimchi Not Bubbling?
Let’s take a look at some of the possible reasons why your kimchi isn’t bubbling.
The Jar Isn’t Sealed Properly
For the process to begin, the kimchi jar needs to be clean and sealed. The process of fermentation won’t happen if the jar isn’t sealed correctly.
You have the risk of spoiling the product.
Didn’t Allow Enough Time
A chemical process that doesn’t start until after you seal the jar is called ferment.
There are a variety of factors that can affect the time required for your kimchi to start bubbling.
A rule of thumb is that the lower the temperature, the slower the process. Depending on the amount of salt, it takes about four days to start bubbling at room temperature.
If you store kimchi in the fridge, it may take up to a month. This does not mean that the kimchi in the fridge is incorrect.
It has a milder flavor when it is fermented at room temperature. Kimchi has a stronger sour taste due to the longer time it takes to ferment in the refrigerator.
Too Little or Too Much Salt
Salt can be used as a natural preservative for fermentation. It helps seasonings better penetrate vegetable cells by drawing out the water from the kimchi.
A lack of salt may slow down the process.
Adding too much salt may result in kimchi being just preserved rather than going through the Lacto-fermentation process.
There is a connection between the issue and the amount of salinity the lactobacillus bacteria need to thrive.
How Can I Make Sure Kimchi Bubbles?
It is time for you to find out how to ferment your kimchi properly. There are three simple but essential tips to avoid the problem of your kimchi not bubbling.
Make Sure To Use The Right Container
In the past, onggi was buried in the ground and was used to make kimchi. You do not have to bury your cabbage, but you should find the right container for it.
A Mason jar with a tight seal is a perfect choice. Any other container will do the job as well. The container needs to be sanitized before you put the ingredients in it.
Salt can prevent the multiplication of microorganisms.
The process of preservation doesn’t happen instantly, and bacteria may start the spoilage process before the fermentation begins.
If there is any air in the container, it is not suitable for kimchi. The seal needs to be checked to make sure it doesn’t have micro-cracks or gaps.
Make Sure To Use The Right Amount of Salt
You already know that both too little and too much salt can affect the quality of your kimchi.
It’s important to get high-quality kimchi by measuring the correct amount of salt.
Even though Koreans didn’t have kitchen scales when making kimchi centuries ago, you can use technological progress to your advantage today.
Measure the cabbage to make sure you have enough to ferment. To calculate 2% of its weight, first, you have to calculate it.
There is a certain amount of salt you need. There will be no difference between the calculations and the change in time required for the process to be complete.
If you shift too much from the necessary amount, you may not be able to ferment your kimchi.
Make Sure To Have The Right Conditions
It’s important to remember that temperature is a factor in fermentation. Both temperatures under 50 and above 100 are where the process happens.
According to Koreans, the best way to make kimchi is to ferment it at 70-90 degrees. Most homes in the U.S. have a room temperature of about the same in warm seasons.
It is a good idea to keep your kimchi at room temperature for a couple of days. It should be placed in the fridge to slow down the growth of yeast.
If you find it too mild after you’ve tasted it, take it out of the refrigerator and leave it at room temperature for a while.
Hopefully, this guide will show you how to properly ferment kimchi.
The general recommendations are to experiment with temperatures and salt amounts to achieve different tastes.
Like any dish, you need a bit of experience, but with practice and knowledge of chemical processes, you will soon master it.