Caldwell Starter Culture for Fresh Vegetables

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$21.99

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**Please note, this product is out of stock until early Fall 2014. In the meantime we recommend Body Ecology Starter Culture as an excellent substitute culture when making cultured vegetables, fruits, and condiments.**

 

Caldwell's Starter Culture for Fresh Vegetables makes it easy to culture raw vegetables at home.  The active lactic bacteria contained in the starter culture are specific to vegetable fermentation.


Caldwell Bio Fermentations has spent the last 15 years producing and researching raw cultured vegetables.  Out of this research comes extensive knowledge concerning the bacterial strains required for an efficient starter culture for vegetables.

Each box contains 6 pouches; each pouch prepares 4.5 lbs. of raw vegetables.


Ingredients: Sugar (as a carrier), active lactic bacteria (lactobacillus plantarum, leuconostoc mesenteroides and pediococcus acidilactici)

This product is certified organic and contains no GMO ingredients.

 

Allergen Information: Carrier sugar is derived from corn. Manufactured in a facility that occasionally handles wheat, soy, milk, eggs, and seafood.



Questions on Caldwell Starter Culture for Fresh Vegetables

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  • From Deborah at 3/1/2011 12:28 PM
    • How many batches of cultured vegetables will this product make? qts or pints? Can you provide more information on the amount used and the package weight or size? thank you
    • Each box contains six 5-gram packets, so you can make six batches of vegetables. Each batch could be anywhere from a pint upward - one customer reported culturing 20 lbs of vegetables with a packet! The measurement doesn't need to be exact. The primary purpose of the starter culture is just what its name implies: it "starts" the culturing process faster, and inoculates the vegetables with probiotic bacteria as they ferment.
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  • From Barbara at 4/15/2011 10:12 PM
    • can this starter be used to make beet kvass? If so how much is needed?

      thank you
    • Yes, you can use this to make kvass. Use between half a pouch and a pouch of starter for a half-gallon jar of juice.
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  • From Tracey at 4/23/2011 7:54 PM
    • Can you tell me what probiotic strains are in the starter?
      Thanks
    • The bacteria in this starter are b.plantarum, Ln.mesenteroides, and Pc.acidilactici.
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  • From Kim Lockett at 4/27/2011 1:44 PM
    • Can the liquid from one batch be used as a starter for the next batch?
    • You may culture one additional batch using the same culture brine, but in general these are not designed to be re-culturing starters. You would be better off using a new starter.
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  • From Marcille at 5/14/2011 9:08 PM
    • Does this come with recipes? I watched the video but am still not sure how to make the vegetables. I am really wanting to make cultured salsa but we live on the Gulf Coast with a high humidity rate. Therefore, I am interested in your product but really can't afford to purchase without real recipes.
      Thanks
    • There is a specific recipe for sauerkraut in there but the instructions for the starter are really general so they can be applied to pretty much any existing recipe you might like or find online.
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  • From SnooZQ at 5/20/2011 10:08 AM
    • The Body Ecology starter lists the specific lactic-acid producing bacteria in its mix. However I do not see this same info for the Caldwell product.

      Could you please specify which organisms are present in the Caldwell veg. starter?

      In terms of finished product, how does flavor of finished product compare between the two starters used, assuming each used on comparable cabbage for say sauerkraut.

      In terms of speed of fermentation process, how do Caldwell and BE starters compare?

      In terms of # of organisms per sachet, how does Caldwell compare to BE?

      Also, can shipping of product be accomplished in warm weather without affecting the starter's effectiveness? Seems like some probiotic stuff needs constant refrigeration.

      Thanks for your reply.
    • The Caldwell Starter active lactic acid bacteria strains are: lactobacillus plantarum, leuconostoc mesenteroides and pediococcus acidilactici. These are now listed in the description of the product.

      Neither manufacturer gives us the information on the number of organisms per packet. At any rate, the number can change as the starter is added to vegetables.

      BE suggests 3-7 days of fermentation. Caldwell's advises 10 days, but you'll get even better flavor by letting the cultured veggies sit in the fridge for four to six weeks following the 10 days on the counter.

      Both cultures can be shipped in warm weather as they are relatively hardy. We do recommend refrigeration once they arrive though as that provides for maximum lifespan.
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  • From Marcille at 6/7/2011 11:24 AM
    • In adapting other recipes to use the Caldwell's starter, do you need to dissolve the starter in water? Or if it is something like salsa, do you dissolve the starter in tomato juice or the lime juice, or do you just sprinkle it in? Do you use the 10 days that Caldwell states for cabbage on all vegetables or do you use the time listed in the recipe that you are using?
    • You can use the juice in the recipe (like tomato, etc.) to dissolve the starter. It's better to dissolve it rather than just sprinkling it in, so it doesn't clump. Let it develop for 7-10 days as that is the amount of time that particular set of bacteria needs to fully develop.
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  • From Jeanne Ehinger at 11/21/2011 1:25 PM
    • If I don't want to do 4.5 lbs of veggies at once, can only part of a packet be used, with the rest of the starter from that package saved for later?
    • Yes, you can use part of the packet. The measurement doesn't have to be exact, just estimate, based on the amount of veggies you'd like to culture in one batch. To store the remainder, close the packet tightly, place it in a plastic bag or other closed container, and store in the refrigerator.
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  • From Pete at 12/5/2011 5:55 PM
    • I would like to use this product in place of whey in fermented condiments such as mayo. Most recipes I have found suggest that you let the mayo sit for several hours before transferring to the fridge. Do you recommend this? More time? Mixing idea? What do you suggest?
    • The reason for letting the fermented condiment sit at room temperature for a few hours is to let the cultures begin to work. If you refrigerate right away, the bacteria may just go to sleep.
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  • From Tom at 12/19/2011 12:54 PM
    • What is the source of the sugar in the starter? Is it corn, beet, cane, etc.
    • From Caldwell's:

      The sugar in our vegetable starter is sucrose. Its role is to provide energy for the bacteria to proliferate. It's all metabolized during the fermentation process.

      Even before it's used up during the fermentation, the amount of sucrose in the final product (fermented vegetables) is tiny. Consider that each pouch contains 2 grams of powder in total, including bacteria, milk powder, and sucrose. That is enough to ferment 4.5lbs (2 kg) of vegetables, so less than 0.1% in total, and actually even less than that when the added water is taken into account.

      By comparison, fresh cabbage itself contains about 3% sugars...

      Not really sure of the exact origin, but most likely sugar cane or sugar beet.
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Customer Reviews

very good Review by Hotrod
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I just sampled the batch of cultured veggies I made with you starter. Quite good!
I used the Vitamix to grind cabbage, carrots, celery, and cucumbers with the salt water. After adding the culture, I covered the container and left it on the counter for a week. I stirred it every day as I didn't have anything to weight the mixture down. At the end of the week, I put the container in the refrigerator at where it stayed for several more days. XLNT!! It has that nice pickly flavor I remember from years ago.

(Posted on 8/4/2014)

works perfect Review by meltdown
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i have just entered the lacto fermentation world. My first endeavor was tomato salsa. Turned out perfect, taste was phenomenal. My son was skeptical, tried some of the salsa and promptly exclaimed, " That is the best tasting salsa I have ever eaten."

(Posted on 7/23/2014)

Good Product! Review by Ryan
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Starter culture is a little pricey at first, but when you add up the cost of energy and loss of nutrition from conventional canning, the product becomes pretty inexpensive. This product gets going fast and the veggies taste wonderful. I highly recommend this product.

(Posted on 7/18/2014)

great product Review by karenh
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I think this is the best culture starter for veggies! I think the veggies are cultured better with a starter instead of just using salt brine. Worth getting!

(Posted on 6/12/2014)

Good results so far Review by Dolores
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I have only used 2 packets of the product. I made a big batch of kimchi that was nice and tangy and not too salty but still crisp.

I currently have a crock of cauliflower and carrots fermenting...don't know yet whether they were successful.

According to Caldwell's website, they have no longer use dairy as a medium for their culture which is good because I prefer not to eat dairy.

(Posted on 6/6/2014)

Great for Sauerkraut! Review by Tianna
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I've only used the first packet of this box but the results were awesome! I started off my first batch of sauerkraut using the starter culture and have been using excess liquid as a starter since.
However, I plan to use the starter culture packets again when I begin a new batch of fermented vegetables - something I don't want to taste like sauerkraut!

(Posted on 4/8/2014)

Does what you want it to. Review by James
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Takes some of the trouble out of fermenting veggies, and is also packaged well enough to keep on hand when you done have any whey to use.

(Posted on 3/6/2014)

I like the fact that it contains L. plantarum and other tested microbes for vegetable fermentation. Review by Fred
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It is a good product and it seems that it makes more bubbles or fermentation than the wild ferments I had been doing. There is good research on L. plantarum fermentation of such things as turmeric and other vegetables and your product contains a strain of L. plantarum. I use it to make kvass with a beet base and other vegetables and it does make a "better" tasting and smelling kvass. I know one can make kvass without adding a culture but I think it adds quality and consistency. I have a PhD in nutritional biochemistry and plan on doing some studies on the fermentation characteristics of the ferments.

(Posted on 2/26/2014)

Perfect for Culturing Veggies Review by Dani
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Thank you for having this product and all of your other ones available to the culturing consumer! This is my go-to site and resource for culturing products,recipes and education. This is a fantastic product...my veggies are bubbling with life every time!

(Posted on 2/26/2014)

Happy customer Review by Trueman
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I have always liked the store-bought sauerkraut, but I had no idea homemade could taste so wonderful until I made my own using Caldwell Starter Culture. Thanks so much for a very excellent product, and thank you also for the phone support, which helped me start fermenting with confidence.

(Posted on 2/25/2014)

Excellent Review by Lisa
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I make sauerkraut about every two weeks. The culture works, tastes excellent. My vote would be 5 stars.

(Posted on 1/25/2014)

Best culture for veggies I have come across Review by Marl
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I love the veggie culture. I have never used them before now. They are just neat for making exact quantiy of veggies.I will now make this a part of my culturing for veggies. I just love how Donna Schwenk uses them.

(Posted on 1/13/2014)

Vegetable Culture Review by Dave
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As a first-time culturer, Caldwell Starter Culture for Vegetables was totally fool-proof and easy to use. Made my first batch and am completely satisfied with the results. Our local Coop carries a blend which I tried to emulate and truly believe it turned out better than the product previously purchased. It is really so easy to do. Looking forward to other variations of vegetable blends and herbs and spices and perhaps may try making kefir, as that is only found in Wisconsin with a high sugar content. Super kudos to Eve for answering all my questions very timely and quelling my first-time fears, not knowing what to expect. Keep up the great work, Caldwell! My family and friends will definitely be ordering from you. Dave

(Posted on 1/9/2014)

Great product. I love it and will purchase it again. Review by Marl
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Great product for the price

(Posted on 12/31/2013)

Easy to mix and start Review by Mary
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I wanted to get started on cultured vegetable. This product helped me over the hurdle of what starter to use. I put it together with cabbage and additives in an hour and this morning it is working away. I can't wait to taste my product.

(Posted on 12/23/2013)

Excellent quality and price Review by Ana
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I have been buying these for quite a while and always get consistently great fermented vegetables. No mold and always just right. This is a quality product hard to beat. Thank you!

(Posted on 12/22/2013)

Very unclear directions Review by Kim
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I don't know if this was good quality because there were no instructions or information included. I originally purchased this to make fruit leather, which I saw on the site for this product. But, had to adhoc it.

(Posted on 11/27/2013)

Great product. Timely delivery. Review by Mikki's
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I love this product. I received it in a short amount of time. I was pleased.

(Posted on 11/13/2013)

Great product Review by Sandy
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I fermented some shredded carrots. It was so easy and in 3 days I was eating them. No mold and great taste. Very simple process. Love this product.

(Posted on 11/9/2013)

PERFECT RESULTS EVERYTIME !! Review by Green Diva
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Can't say enough good things ... These are the best culture veggies starter packages you can buy. Some of the others I have used don't always work, yours work GREAT ... and my veggies/kraut are flavored perfect, and never any MOLD ! My little Yorkie LOVES a snack of the fermented kraut. I am always guaranteed PERFECT results with your veggie culture starter !

(Posted on 11/4/2013)



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