Organic garlic, separated into cloves and peeled
Brine: 1 1/2 tsp. non-iodized salt, per cup of non-chlorinated water, see notes below.
Small canning jar
1. Place garlic cloves in the canning jar.
2. Cover with brine, leaving at least 1 inch of headspace.
3. Place a lid on the jar and turn back slightly, so it's not tight and developing pressure can escape.
4. Ferment on the counter at room temperature for 2 days in the summer and 3 days in the winter. Each day, tighten the lid and shake to redistribute the contents, then loosen the lid slightly. This will discourage surface mold growth, as well as releasing any pressure that may develop.
5. Garlic will ferment a bit faster in the summer than in the winter.
6. Store in the refrigerator for up to a year.
The amount of salt is personal preference within a given range. Start with 1 1/2 tsp. and increase to taste, if desired. If too little salt is used, the vegetables will not be crisp, it will also not discourage the growth of mold. However, if too much salt is used, it can slow and even prevent fermentation from occurring. Salt within the given range of 1 - 2 1/4 tsp. per cup of non-chlorinated water will keep your brine in a healthy range.
I primarily ferment garlic as a way of prepping my garlic for a month or so, saving me from having to peel it every time I need it. Fermenting also acts as a preservative, so I'm able to keep fresh garlic longer without sprouting or going bitter.
Some people ferment garlic for longer periods of time; however, since I primarily do this to extend the life of the garlic, the short fermentation time is appropriate.
You may reduce the amount of salt further, by using 1 Tbsp. whey, or juice from another ferment, per 1 cup of non-chlorinated water. Whey tends to be a little more predictable. However, I would not recommend reducing salt below 3/4 tsp. per cup of non-chlorinated water.
Enjoy this garlic in both raw and cooked preparations.
Don't throw out the fermented garlic juice. It's strong, but it's also probiotic, healthy and flavorful. You can dilute it in a drink, or add it to soup or other dishes.
For more information on fermentation, read these links under food based probiotics.