Fermented Dilly Beans
250g fresh green beans, trimmed and cut in half
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 handful fresh dill sprigs
1 tablespoon lemon rind, grated
2 tablespoons celtic sea salt
1000ml filtered water
Add the salt to the water to make the brine mixture. Stir to dissolve and set to the side. We usually make our brine at 2% for firm vegetables but it is acceptable to go anywhere up to 3.5% salt to water ratio. For soft vegetables (capsicum/peppers or cucumbers) a brine would have extra salt so that the risk of mould is reduced. Say 3.5%-5% salt to every 1000ml of water.
Place a piece of the garlic, dill and lemon rind into a clean, wide-mouth mason jar.
Fill the jar with the green beans, putting pieces of the garlic, lemon and dill periodically in between the beans. It works best if you place the beans vertically inside the jar. Pack them as tight as possible so that they are all wedged in and unable to move easily.
Pour in the brine until the jar is filled. If the beans are not wedged tightly enough you risk them floating to the top of the brine and being exposed to the air. In this case you would need to use (or create) a weight to hold the beans in place under the brine. You could use a nice clean rock, a glass fermenting weight, or a smaller jar or heavy object to wedge the beans down.
Cover the jar with cheesecloth and an elastic band or with the cap loosely fastened.
Store at room temperature for 2-7 days, checking and tasting daily until you are happy with the level of fermentation.
Cap tightly and transfer to the refrigerator when fermentation is complete.
When we refer to checking your ferment we simply mean ensuring your vegetables are still under the brine. When fermentation starts bubbles and gasses are produced and this can cause the vegetables to float to the surface. The vegetables are only safe from mould if they are continuously underneath the brine. Push them back down, secure the weight and if needed skim off any surface inpurities.