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Tyler G

Fermentation Crock?

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I've started trying these out but I am unfamiliar with using them so I want to make sure I am making them proper.

 

Any thoughts or advice appreciated, especially that may relate to...

 

Glazed or unglazed moat?

 

Would any food safe glaze be fine?

 

 

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The moat isn't strictly necessary, the old Medalta crocks that my grandmother used were just simple cylinder shaped jars with lids and weights.

That said, they can be a nice feature, if used properly. I'd go glazed on as many surfaces as possible, for sanitary purposes. But I'm paranoid.

Check your glazes for prolonged mild acid exposure, and they need to be craze-free, or they'll stain and hold flavours.

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The crocks my great-grandparents used were salt glazed (interior was albany slip - an earthenware clay slip that formed a brown glaze at higher temps). They used stones to hold down the cabbage under the water to make sauerkraut. Mold was skimmed of the top, if it formed. As far as I know, they didn't always have lids - they just used cloth to keep dust out. Cocks like this could be thrown or molded. The crocks we still have are thrown white stoneware clay. These didn't have the water seal lip, which I've only seen on crocks in stores recently. I've read that these stonewares often didn't get actually get to cone 10 - most only fired at cone 6-7, only hot enough to vaporize the salt.

 

The largest were cylinders about as tall as a 5-gallon bucket (taller than wide, nearly 1ft in diameter).

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