What you’ll need you’ll need:
Mason jars w/lids
Fine sea salt or Himalayan pink salt
Peeled garlic (I get the pre-peeled kind in a big bag at Costco)
Make brine – For every 1 cup filtered water add 5-6 grams sea salt (for fine, it’s about a heaping teaspoon). Make as much brine as you’ll need to cover the amount of garlic you have. You might want to pack your jars before you get started so you can guestimate how much you’ll need. Let brine sit for 15-20 minutes until the salt dissolves. (Or, I cheat and just make sure I stir up the water while I’m pouring it over the garlic to make sure the salt is evenly distributed.)
Place garlic in mason jars so they are packed and leave at least an inch from the top of the rim. You can make as much as you want. I’ve stored them for over 2 years and they still taste great and didn’t get moldy. I usually make some jam size jars and give them to friends. (One of those Costco size bags of peeled garlic will go a long way and should last you for the year if you make the whole bag. Refrigerator storage is your only consideration. Once it’s fermented you need cold storage.)
Pour brine over garlic in jars and cover leaving at least an inch headspace in the jar.
I usually make some plain jars and some spicy. You can add some red pepper flakes or ground red pepper. You could even add some grated ginger or sliced turmeric or ginger root pieces. Sliced habanero or any type of fresh hot pepper of your choice would work well too.
Cover jars tightly and put in a dark spot in your kitchen or garage if you don’t live in a cold spot. Fermenting garlic can get kind of stinky, especially if it’s warm! I put mine on the kitchen counter and cover with a dark kitchen towel.
Fermentation time depends on how warm it is in the area the jars are sitting in. If it’s about 75 – 80 degrees F, it should take 7 – 10 days. Every couple of days you’ll want to crack open the lid to let off any gas that is building up. You should see some fine bubbles developing on the top of the liquid after a few days.
As the garlic ferments it will become translucent. Don’t be alarmed if the liquid turns milky. This is not a problem. The only problem that may arise is mold and that means you did not use enough salt in your brine. Taste your garlic when it starts looking translucent and see if you like it. The texture should be softer than fresh garlic and the taste will be much tamer. Store in refrigerator once it reaches the desired textures. It will mellow out even more over the months to come in the refrigerator.
You can eat a clove or two a day of fermented garlic to ward off vampires and increase immunity! Also, add fermented garlic to homemade salad dressings. You can also add the fermented liquid in the jar to salads. If you heat up the garlic, you will kill the probiotics that have developed in the fermentation process.