Dealing with Mold on Cultured & Fermented Vegetables - Cultures For Health (2024)


The film present on the surface of vegetable ferments is often not mold but yeast, specificallykahm yeast. If the film is white and fairly flat, it is most likely yeast which is a common occurrence. (Learn more aboutkahm yeast and what to do about it.)

If you found a different substance on top of the vegetables—green, black, red, or pink, in raised fuzzy spots—don’t panic. While those spots are mold, youmaybe able to dispose of this layer and have perfectly good fermented vegetablesbelow the brine.

Exposure to oxygen can encourage and allow mold or yeast growth, but as long as thebrine has enough saltand other conditions are favorable, everything below the brine should still be culturing in anoxygen-free environment.


Simplyscrape off the top layer, give the container a few seconds to air out, thentest aroma and flavor. If it smells ok, taste a little bit. If it tastes ok, it should be fine to consume.If the vegetables smell or taste unpleasant to you, discard everything, clean the container thoroughly, and try again with a new batch.


Mold is a rare occurrence, but there are some factors you can control, to lessen the chance of mold formation.

Use Quality Vegetables

For the best-finished product, use onlyfresh producein your ferments. Unsprayed, homegrown, or organic vegetables are best if you have access to them. Old or heavily sprayed vegetables may not ferment well.

Control Fermentation Temperature

Vegetables ferment well in cooler temperatures, which can make preserving at the peak of the growing season difficult. Find a cool place to ferment your vegetables. A temperature of65° to 70°F is ideal.If your home is too warm, consult our article onkeeping cultures cool in warm weatherfor tips on creating or finding a cool spot for culturing.

Use the Right Amount of Salt

A proper amount of salt in each batch of vegetables is important for keeping mold at bay. Learn more abouthow much saltis required for fermenting vegetables and adjust your recipe accordingly.

Are you interested in fermenting vegetables but don't know where to start? Download our Lacto-Fermentation Guide and Recipe book with tips and tricks today!

Dealing with Mold on Cultured & Fermented Vegetables - Cultures For Health (1)


To lessen the chance of mold in future batches, try using ajar with an airlock lidor acrock with a water seal. Learn more about fermentation vessels in our articleFermentation Equipment: Choosing the Right Supplies.

Dealing with Mold on Cultured & Fermented Vegetables - Cultures For Health (2024)
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