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frequently asked questions

What makes these pots so special? The pots are hand made, solid earthenware and are coated with a food safe, lead free glaze. They are extremely sturdy - the 5 litre pot weighs 10kg - and so they are able to withstand the knocks of a busy kitchen, and the thickness and earthenware construction helps to regulate the temperature of your ferment to keep it more constant. There are cheaper, ceramic pots out there, but they are more fragile and more prone to temperature fluctuations. We have had a number of customers who have come to buy from us having been disappointed with their initial cheaper purchase!
How long will it take for delivery? Orders received over the weekend or by 5pm on a Tuesday will normally be despatched the next working day, and then take two days for delivery. Any orders received later in the week will be held over for despatch the following Monday (or next working day in the event of a Bank Holiday). The reason for this is that whilst our pots are extremely well packaged to avoid breakage, our courier does not deliver at the weekend and we’d rather not risk the box being held in a warehouse somewhere where it might get knocked about or dropped.
Where should I keep my pot whilst fermenting? You can keep your pot anywhere you like as long as it is generally at around 18 to 20 degrees Celsius, so normal room temperature should be fine. We wouldn’t recommend putting it anywhere particularly warm, such as in an airing cupboard or by a radiator, as this increases the chance of the water in the rim evaporating and breaking the air-tight seal. Also, if you have cats or dogs we would recommend that you keep the pot out of their reach as they have been known to use the water in the rim to quench their thirst!
How long does it take to make my fermented vegetables? This will depend largely on the temperature at which it is stored. The ideal temperature is between 18 and 20 degrees Celsius - below this temperature fermentation does occur but at a much slower rate. At this temperature range we would expect 14 to 21 days to be about right. The thick walls of the pot will help to mitigate against temperature fluctuations, but it’s not unreasonable to expect the process to take a little less time in the summer or a little longer in the winter. Don’t be tempted to take the lid off to check as this will break the air-tight seal and potentially spoil the ferment.
How should I clean my pot? When you get your pot you should clean it using a dilute sterilising solution (or a soap and water solution) to ensure that it is thoroughly clean before you use it for the first time. Thereafter, when you have finished each ferment you should use warm water (maybe diluted lightly with a natural, non-toxic soap) but rinse thoroughly afterwards to remove any residue.
How should I store my pot when not in use? When not in use we recommend that you store the pot with the weighting stones in the rim and the lid on top of them (see here). We recommend that you don’t place the stones and lid back in the polystyrene packing in which they were delivered and then put that on the pot, as this can trap moisture in the pot and cause mould to grow
Do you have a shop where I can call to buy a pot? As we are an internet-based business we do not have a shop address. We do have a correspondence address, which is Peppermint Health, Box 370, 5 High Street, Maidenhead, Berks SL6 1JN.

© Peppermint Health 2012