Caldwell Starter Culture for Fresh Vegetables

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$21.99

Caldwell Vegetable Starter

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**This product is out of stock until mid-April. In the meantime we recommend this product.**

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.

Ingredients: Sugar (as a carrier), skim milk powder, ascorbic acid, active lactic bacteria (lactobacillus plantarum, leuconostoc mesenteroides and pediococcus acidilactici)

Please note: There is an element of dairy in this product as a carrier, but the proportion in the final cultured veggies is absolutely minute, around 17 parts per million, which is below trace level.

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

Questions on Caldwell Starter Culture for Fresh Vegetables

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  • From Justin at 2/7/12 11:58 PM
    • What kind of sugar do you use? I don't want non-organic processed sugar in my ferments, nor do I want non-organic skim milk (which is a highly processed waste product, by the way.)
    • There is a very small amount of sugar and skim milk powder in the starter culture, basically to provide a carrier for the bacteria as it is stored in the packets. (Bacteria alone are too small to even be seen and could not be transported without a carrier.) Neither the sugar nor the skim milk is organic. We are not aware of a starter culture that uses organic products as carriers.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Micah at 2/25/12 9:37 AM
  • From Shari at 3/23/12 7:51 PM
    • How long will this starter store for in the fridge and still be okay? How about 6 mos? a year? Would it store even better in the freezer? Why or why not?
    • The starter will keep for about 12 months in the refrigerator or freezer.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From rmnc at 7/23/12 11:05 AM
    • how long do the organisms live in the refrigerator ( average life span ?
    • The vegetable starter is good for about 12 months in the refrigerator. Cultured vegetables should be good in the refrigerator for about a month.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From John Hauser at 7/30/12 11:44 PM
    • Some people recommend using Caldwell vegetable starter for vegies and Body Ecology starter for dairy. What do you think?
    • They are both very similar. One uses dairy as a carrier; the other uses sugar. In either case, the amount is negligible and really doesn't have anything to do with how the culture works.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Jane at 9/3/12 4:47 PM
  • From David at 12/3/12 12:59 PM
    • What temperature is required during fermentation for this starter culture?
    • According to the enclosed instructions: The ideal temperature for fermenting vegetables is a constant 70ºF (20ºC).
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Amy at 12/6/12 3:15 PM
    • How long will Caldwell's vegetable starter culture keep in the refrigerator after receipt? Thank you!
    • Caldwell's Starter Culture will keep in the refrigerator or freezer for 12 months.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From kristy at 2/11/13 8:51 PM
    • Can you tell me how much culture is in each packet? 1/4 tsp. etc.? This would make it easier for measuring out for small batches.
    • Each box contains six 5-gram packets, so you can make six batches of vegetables. Each batch could be anywhere from a pint upward. 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.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Hoamai at 7/4/13 9:40 PM
    • If I use double vegetable (9 lb) and 1 packet of starter, do I need to use double salt and water?
    • You need to have enough salt water/brine to keep the vegetables completely covered and submerged.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No

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Customer Reviews

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 April 9, 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 March 7, 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 February 27, 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 February 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 February 26, 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 January 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 January 14, 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 January 10, 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 January 1, 2014)
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 December 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 December 23, 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 November 28, 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 November 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 November 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 November 4, 2013)
Works for me! Review by Marge
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Used with fermented slaw, cauliflower, kraut, etc, etc
NO Failures. Good deal. (Posted on November 1, 2013)
The BEST, AMAZING RESULTS Review by Marlene
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After several tries at different methods of fermenting, just salt to salt & whey, to type of jar & lid configuration, I have found this amazing product, veggie starter. I have made pickles, wax beans, kraut, carrot ferments & they all are PERFECT, NO MOLD!! Taste is fantastic, I now use fido jars & salt brine along with this starter & the flavor is much better than just w/ salt brine or whey. I AM GUARANTEED a good result each time & for my hard earned dollar purchasing organic produce I want results that I can count on each time. No worries here. Now I wonder what the price would be if we bought in bulk? Wonderful product!!
(Posted on October 28, 2012)
Dependable and tasty Review by onegreengoddess
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I typically use just whey and salt, but if I really need to depend on the culture working out, and tasting great, I use Caldwell's. Plus, there's definitely lots of bubbles! (Posted on September 13, 2012)
The Best!! Review by Donna Schwenk
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These are the best culture veggies starter packages you can buy. The levels of beneficial bacteria's stay higher in these than other veggies starter packages. Your ferments are bubbly and delicious. I met the people who made these and saw the science behind it, but it was when I went home and tried them that really convinced me. They are little powerhouse cultures that super charge your immune system and detox you in a hurry. I can't say enough about them, absolutely love them!

www.culturedfoodlife.com (Posted on January 19, 2012)
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