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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 Debra at 7/8/2013 5:07 PM
    • Can I store Caldwell's Starter Culture in the freezer, along with the rest of my packaged cultures?
    • Yes, Caldwell's will keep in the freezer for about a year.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Hoamai at 7/3/2013 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
  • From kristy at 2/10/2013 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 Amy at 12/6/2012 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 David at 12/3/2012 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 Jane at 9/3/2012 4:47 PM
  • From John Hauser at 7/29/2012 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 rmnc at 7/23/2012 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 Shari at 3/22/2012 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 Micah at 2/25/2012 9:37 AM
    • This says it's veggie starter- but will it work for fruits, too, like for chutneys, etc?
    • This starter is not appropriate for culturing fruits.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No

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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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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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