Barbara R. wants to know: “Can brine be reused to make another batch?”
I'll answer her question on today's #AskWardee!
Barbara R. asks:
“Can brine be reused to make another batch? So let's say I made fermented dill cucumbers. Can I take the whole amount of leftover brine (once I ate the cucumbers) and make another batch with it? What are the rules? Is there any point where the brine maybe is too old and I cannot reuse it anymore? Thank you very much”
Yes, it can be re-used!
In fact, it can ensure a better result because it’s bringing a starter culture into the new ferment — adding a starter culture can help make your results more consistent.
One Thing to Keep in Mind…
Make sure the flavors go.
Leftover veggie brine works well in new veggie ferments, but not in fruit ferments. 🙂
How Much to Use?
Your old brine replaces whey and/or starter culture in the recipe if it calls for either. Just use it in place of the starter — 1/4 cup per ferment. Or more, or less!
Or, you can take pickle juice and simply use that juice and pour over new cucumbers or carrot sticks or green beans. Use it in place of the brine or for part of the brine.
It’s an art, and there’s quite a bit of range where you can be creative!
Is My Brine Too Old?
If there were any chunks of food floating near the top that got moldy or something, you can strain the brine, smell it, and taste it … if it passes the smell and tastes tests, then go ahead and use it.
Honestly, brine lasts for months in the fridge in my experience. I have never had to throw any out.
Other Uses for Leftover Brine:
- Drink it straight.
- Eat a tablespoon before each meal to help with digestion.
- Use it in salad dressings.
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