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Caldwell Starter Culture for Fresh Vegetables

Availability: In stock

SKU: 2557
$21.99

Caldwell Vegetable Starter Front

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Caldwell's Starter Culture for Fresh Vegetables makes it easy to culture raw vegetables at home.  Caldwell Bio Fermentations has spent the last 20 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. Browse our extensive list of Cultured Vegetable Recipes and get started today!

  • Each box contains 6 pouches.
  • Each pouch prepares 4.5 lbs of raw vegetables.
  • Culture vegetables at room temperature: 60-70ºF.
  • This culture is suitable for vegetable culturing only; not suitable for culturing fruit.

Fermented Vegetable Instructions and Troubleshooting


Caldwell Vegetable Starter Culture Ingredients:

  • Organic maltodextrin (as a carrier), active lactic bacteria (lactobacillus plantarum, leuconostoc mesenteroides, and pediococcus acidilactici)
  • This product contains no GMO ingredients. 


Shipping Information and Shelf Life: 

Caldwell Vegetable Starter Culture is shipped in a barrier-sealed packet as a freeze-dried culture. The starter keeps

  • At room temperature (68° to 78°F): 6 months
  • In the refrigerator (40° to 45°F): 2 years
  • In the freezer (0° to 25°F): 2 years


Caldwell Vegetable Starter Culture Allergen Information

Organic maltodextrin is derived from organic brown rice. Manufactured in a facility that occasionally handles wheat, soy, milk, eggs, and fish (including shrimps).


Actual product may differ from image shown above.

Questions on Caldwell Starter Culture for Fresh Vegetables

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  • From Cathy at 5/6/2015 8:05 PM
    • The box says that each pack can ferment 4.5 pounds vegetables. I cant find a recipe, specifically the fermented radishes or salsa that state how much to use in those recipes. Also, once I open the pack, if only making say, one quart, can I save the left over for another recipe, or must I throw out what I dont use?
    • The instructions should probably say "up to" 4.5 lbs. If you are making large batches you may need to use two packets but for smaller batches (1 quart) one full packet will work well. If you decide to experiment with a smaller portion, store the remaining starter in the packet in a zippered plastic bag (remove as much air as possible) and keep it in the freezer.
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  • From Sasha at 4/14/2015 9:01 PM
    • Can I use this Caldwell Starter Culture for Fresh Vegetables to ferment cooked red kidney beans?
      If yes, in what quantities? (how many packets for a large batch of beans?)
      If I cannot this one to ferment beans, what is the culture that you recommend for beans?
      Thanks
    • This product can be used for fermenting beans. For detailed information, see our article here: http://www.culturesforhealth.com/fermenting-beans-legumes
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Pax at 3/29/2015 7:42 PM
    • I am in a total low to no sugar regiment, as I am a cancer remission patient. What type of sugar do you use in your starter and how much?
      Thanks
    • The information we have from Caldwell's is this, as stated on the product page:

      Caldwell Vegetable Starter Culture Ingredients:

      Organic maltodextrin (as a carrier), active lactic bacteria (lactobacillus plantarum, leuconostoc mesenteroides, and pediococcus acidilactici)
      This product contains no GMO ingredients.

      You can contact Caldwell's for accurate nutritional information on the maltodextrin to help with deciding to use the starter. It may be that what is remaining in a finished ferment will be negligible, but it's best to ask Caldwell's.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Diane Lutzke at 9/5/2014 7:30 AM
    • When I store my fermented vegetables in the refrigerator, do they still need to be submerged beneath liquid?
    • Unless they are to be consumed quickly, vegetables should remain below the liquid even when refrigerated to avoid exposure to oxygen which can cause the vegetables to lose color and nutrients.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Bill R at 6/28/2014 7:31 PM
    • What is the refrigerated shelf life?
    • This starter lasts 12 months, when stored in the refrigerator.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Sunny at 6/10/2014 10:40 AM
    • Noticing your ingredients for the fermentation has milk powder. Is this milk powder from grass fed/ finished cows?
      Also your sugar as stated may be from beet sugar which is GMO/GE in most if not all cases. Can you pleases tell me if these are healthier than what I suspect it to harmful. After all fermented foods are beneficial to over all health.
      Thank you for answer.
      Sunny
    • The list of ingredients for the current product does not include milk powder but it is certified organic and is non-GMO.
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  • From Kathy at 5/22/2014 7:50 AM
    • How long does an unopened package of Caldwell's Vegetable starter last in the fridge?
    • In the refrigerator (40° to 45°F): 12 months
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Sonia at 5/21/2014 5:11 PM
    • Are the sugars used in either Caldwell's or BE veggie starters certified non-GMO?

    • The starters are certified organic by multiple agencies. Products must be GMO-free to obtain organic certification.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Lisa at 4/22/2014 8:20 AM
    • Can you use this type of culture as a starter for fermenting fruits?
    • No, Caldwell Vegetable Starter is not appropriate for culturing fruits.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From nick hopkin at 3/30/2014 7:37 AM
    • The starter says it contains dairy. Is their anyway to get a completely vegan culture set?
    • We do not carry a vegan vegetable starter culture. However, it is possible to culture vegetables without a starter culture, or to use water kefir or extra water kefir grains as starter in fermented vegetables:

      http://www.culturesforhealth.com/compare-salt-whey-starter-culture-ferment-vegetables-fruits-condiments

      * Note: As of May 13, 2014, Caldwell's has reformulated their vegetable starter and it is now dairy free. Ingredients: Organic Maltodextrin derived from brown rice (as a carrier), active lactic bacteria (lactobacillus plantarum, leuconostoc mesenteroides and pediococcus acidilactici)
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Customer Reviews

Consistent results Review by Shelley
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In the past I have made fermented veggies like pickles and beet kvass without a starter. Sometimes they turned out and sometimes they got moldy and I had to throw them out. I hate wasting veggies and I have found that using the starter makes consistently great fermented veggies. I do with that there were easy to follow instructions with the starter for more than just sauerkraut though. I had to figure out how to use it for making cucumber pickles, but once I found out what to do through a search on the internet it was easy.

(Posted on 8/17/2015)

First time using Caldwell Starter Review by Peter
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At first , it seemed pricey but I had used Body Ecology starter before, and this seemed a little easier and I did not really worry about everything being sterilized in boiling water. I did puree some of my cabbage and threw in some radishes with the cabbage in a smaller container. I thought that the finished product would be salty, but it was really tasty. I even got my wife to try some and she liked it! That says a lot right there.
It is disappearing rather quickly, so I am getting ready to made another batch or two.

(Posted on 7/23/2015)

Crisper than whey Review by Cathy
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I tried this after getting tired of mushy pickles (even with grape leaves added) when using whey as a starter. It worked so well with the pickles that I now use it for sauerkraut as well. My family noticed the difference and is more excited about eating the version with Caldwell's starter.

(Posted on 5/30/2015)

Great product to ensure quality & variety of culturing strains! Review by Dahlke8
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Value

My husbands Crohn's disease has caused our family to take gut health seriously. With Caldwell Starter Culture, I can ensure that our family has a wide variety of strains of beneficial bacteria in our fermented veggies! It turns out a superior product every time no matter what veggies or recipe I use. I believe it is far superior in quality and taste compared to salt/whey only fermented veggies. The four stars are because it does increase the cost of fermenting quite a bit.

(Posted on 5/25/2015)

The only way to go on fermenting veggies Review by Colorado microbiologist mom
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I feel good about getting "good" bacteria only when I use this culture. Years ago in college, we made sauerkraut in Food and Dairy Microbiology lab. Of four crocks, three rotted, and only one turned into sauerkraut. We could have done some things wrong (too long ago to remember) but I will not make cultured veggies without a culture. This used to be the best because it did not have any unnatural ingredients. Recently they replaced the sugar with maltodextrin. PLEASE GO BACK TO THE ORIGINAL FORMULA!! Now there's no difference to set this culture apart from others on the market that also contain maltodextrin.

(Posted on 5/16/2015)

Great results with my first ferment Review by dplinn
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I had some disappointing results from my fermentations last year without this starter culture so I thought I would try this in hopes of getting better results.

So far I have only used this with beets but the results were excellent. I shredded the beets and put them in a fermentation crock with this starter culture and my normal brine solution. After two weeks at about 60 degrees, the beets were done to perfection.

I plan to try this with my cabbage and cucumbers later this year and hope for similar results.

(Posted on 4/28/2015)

veggie culture Review by Carol O
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I am pleased with the results and would like to see measurements if using only half the package, but I found it worked great. I'm very pleased with the results. The only thing I would change is the price.

(Posted on 4/20/2015)

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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Quality

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)



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