1

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Hack my diarrhoea... Bad home fermentation, die off, or something else?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created October 18, 2012 at 5:24 PM

Sorry for the gross topic. I realise these things can't be diagnosed online but I wanted to hear some paleohacksers opinions.

I have been experiencing digestive issues for the last 2-3 days. I had just tried my first homemade sauerkraut for the first time the day it began, and have been eating 1-2 forkfuls a day since. That night I woke up with nausea and sulphuric burps, and the next morning abdominal cramps and diarrhoea. Felt better in the afternoon, fine at night, and then this morning I woke up with worse diarrhoea, except no pain this time... I've probably gone about 20 times today, to the point of having only clear liquid and bile, but no pain or other discomfort (just fatigue as I am scared to eat! I have only had bone broth today). I think it's about stopping now, luckily.

I've been wondering if the sauerkraut could be causing this. Is it possible that something went wrong even though it looks/smells okay? A google search brought up botulism which has left me very worried since it was my first attempt at fermenting, though I know its highly unlikely. Could it be a "die-off" reaction from the probiotics? Are die off reactions supposed to be this strong?

Of course, there is always the chance that its your typical stomach bug or flu, but I did feel better and then worse again. I will be seeing a doctor if this goes on past the weekend, but wanted some thoughts/reassurance about the sauerkraut issue.

4e184df9c1ed38f61febc5d6cf031921

(5005)

on June 25, 2014
at 08:41 AM

I don't use whey ever - here's why

http://www.picklemetoo.com/2012/07/26/no-whey-no-way/

6a94dc82bd0dc219762c2e2f5366f9c6

on June 24, 2014
at 05:26 PM

Lactobacillus Plantarum is the probiotic fermented Kraut (Cabbage). You will have to eat in small amount every other day or every third day or you could end up in the bathroom

6a94dc82bd0dc219762c2e2f5366f9c6

on June 24, 2014
at 05:23 PM

Lactobacillus Plantarum is the probiotic fermented Kraut (Cabbage). You will have to eat in small amount every other day or every third day or you could end up in the bathroom

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on October 18, 2012
at 07:34 PM

Or you can weigh it down with a foil covered rock that barely fits in, or small plate (when I do a large crock worth). When I do a lot I actually leave it out for up to four weeks...just spooning some out whenever I want to, before moving it to the fridge. Its cool to taste the changes as it continues to ferment.

20eefe24d8ccf096096f05b5bce1ea40

(988)

on October 18, 2012
at 06:40 PM

I smash it with a wooden hammer handle, spread out on a cutting board, sprinkle salt over the whole spread out area, mix it around, spread it out again, hit it lightly again and another light round of salt. Then I stuff it in the jar and really get after it with the wooden handle again, smash the hell out of it, really gets the juice flowing that way and you can pack it really tightly. The brine level always seems to sink, not much below the top of the cabbage, but a bit. I just take the top 1/2 inch of cabbage off and eat the juicy stuff.

8c8e71eb729c0edb4786c6f3ba8614e4

(568)

on October 18, 2012
at 06:29 PM

But I looked pretty carefully

8c8e71eb729c0edb4786c6f3ba8614e4

(568)

on October 18, 2012
at 06:29 PM

Unless there was a whiteish fuzz that blended in well enough with the cabbage that I don't see it

8c8e71eb729c0edb4786c6f3ba8614e4

(568)

on October 18, 2012
at 06:29 PM

Nope there was no fuzz or mold at all

8c8e71eb729c0edb4786c6f3ba8614e4

(568)

on October 18, 2012
at 06:28 PM

And about brassica sensitivity, I regularly eat kale, broccoli, cauliflower with no issues. I don't think there's any veg I have issues with, but then again I cook most of them besides simple salad veg

8c8e71eb729c0edb4786c6f3ba8614e4

(568)

on October 18, 2012
at 06:23 PM

I've got 2 jarfulls of this stuff... I will stop eating it now and try it again in a week and see what happens. If no issues, great. Otherwise I dont think I'm going to try again anytime soon... But could it be a die-off reaction?

0a9ad4e577fe24a6b8aafa1dd7a50c79

(5150)

on October 18, 2012
at 06:23 PM

Did you notice any pale whiteish or black fuzz on top of the sauerkraut? You could have introduced mold into the medium and you're reacting to a mold sensitivity.

8c8e71eb729c0edb4786c6f3ba8614e4

(568)

on October 18, 2012
at 06:21 PM

I'm okay with non fermented cabbage, though I rarely eat it.

8c8e71eb729c0edb4786c6f3ba8614e4

(568)

on October 18, 2012
at 06:20 PM

How do you get it to stay in the brine? After I smashed/mixed it and stuffed it in the jar, the brine was covering all of it plus an extra 1/2-1 inch. Yet 4 days later the brine was down and the sauerkraut was up.

8c8e71eb729c0edb4786c6f3ba8614e4

(568)

on October 18, 2012
at 06:16 PM

One or two forkfuls, no more. I'm fine with non-fermented cabbage though

8634d4988ced45a68e2a79e69cc01835

(1617)

on October 18, 2012
at 06:12 PM

How do you smash it?

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on October 18, 2012
at 05:53 PM

How much did you eat that first day? Too much at once or a brassica sensitivity could both cause sulfuric gas and diarrhea, some people just can't do cabbage, even fermented. If you only had a few forkfuls and had that response, personally, I would chuck that batch just to be safe, there is some danger of bad bacteria if there was air exposure when the brine went down since lacto-fermentation is supposed to be an anaerobic process.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on October 18, 2012
at 05:53 PM

How much did you eat that first day? Too much at once or a brassica sensitivity could both cause sulfuric gas and diarrhea, so people just can't do cabbage even fermented. If you only had a few forkfuls and had that response, personally, I would chuck that batch just to be safe, there is some danger of bad bacteria if there was air exposure when the brine went down since lacto-fermentation is supposed to be an anaerobic process.

8c8e71eb729c0edb4786c6f3ba8614e4

(568)

on October 18, 2012
at 05:25 PM

Just to add how i made sauerkraut: I used 1 cabbage, 1 tbsp salt, and about 1/4cup or so whey (didnt measure exactly. it was from from 500g probiotic yogurt), in a glass jar. I made sure everything was in the brine and was not exposed to air. When I checked on it 4 days later, the brine had gone down to almost half the amount it used to be, and the sauerkraut was not completely covered anymore. But there was no mold, and no strong "off" smell (well, I'm not sure what sauerkraut is really supposed to smell like, but I'm assuming its sour smell is normal).

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5 Answers

3
20eefe24d8ccf096096f05b5bce1ea40

(988)

on October 18, 2012
at 06:07 PM

If your kraut was really 'off' no act of God or man could have gotten you to put it into your mouth. That being said, it sure sounds like your kraut is the trouble, the timing is just too right. Stop eating it for a week or two, and maybe double down on the bone broth. While your waiting for your guts to purge themselves of whatever it is they hate so much, you might try making a new batch of kraut. Try it without the whey, just for variety. I've never used whey and have never had a bad batch and have never had the terrible terrible troubles you are having now. You'll want to use a bit more salt in the no whey batch, and just in case your first batch is rotten or poisoned or something make sure to not use any of its juice to 'seed' the second batch. Lots of folk will take the last bit of a jar and put it in a new batch to encourage the right bacteria to grow quickly, don't do that with your 'poison' batch. Here's the recipe I use: 1 green cabbage, 1 small red cabbage, 1 carrot, salt

grate everything and smash the hell out of it, salt it, mix it, salt it, mix it, stuff it in the jar, smash it, and let it set in the closet for about a week. Then stick it in the fridge or a cool basement for a week before you dig in. Age makes it better, I attribute this to magic. The red cabbage and the carrot will turn your whole mix pink.
Best of luck, and start slowly!

8634d4988ced45a68e2a79e69cc01835

(1617)

on October 18, 2012
at 06:12 PM

How do you smash it?

8c8e71eb729c0edb4786c6f3ba8614e4

(568)

on October 18, 2012
at 06:23 PM

I've got 2 jarfulls of this stuff... I will stop eating it now and try it again in a week and see what happens. If no issues, great. Otherwise I dont think I'm going to try again anytime soon... But could it be a die-off reaction?

8c8e71eb729c0edb4786c6f3ba8614e4

(568)

on October 18, 2012
at 06:20 PM

How do you get it to stay in the brine? After I smashed/mixed it and stuffed it in the jar, the brine was covering all of it plus an extra 1/2-1 inch. Yet 4 days later the brine was down and the sauerkraut was up.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on October 18, 2012
at 07:34 PM

Or you can weigh it down with a foil covered rock that barely fits in, or small plate (when I do a large crock worth). When I do a lot I actually leave it out for up to four weeks...just spooning some out whenever I want to, before moving it to the fridge. Its cool to taste the changes as it continues to ferment.

20eefe24d8ccf096096f05b5bce1ea40

(988)

on October 18, 2012
at 06:40 PM

I smash it with a wooden hammer handle, spread out on a cutting board, sprinkle salt over the whole spread out area, mix it around, spread it out again, hit it lightly again and another light round of salt. Then I stuff it in the jar and really get after it with the wooden handle again, smash the hell out of it, really gets the juice flowing that way and you can pack it really tightly. The brine level always seems to sink, not much below the top of the cabbage, but a bit. I just take the top 1/2 inch of cabbage off and eat the juicy stuff.

6a94dc82bd0dc219762c2e2f5366f9c6

on June 24, 2014
at 05:23 PM

Lactobacillus Plantarum is the probiotic fermented Kraut (Cabbage). You will have to eat in small amount every other day or every third day or you could end up in the bathroom

0
96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19463)

on June 27, 2014
at 01:18 PM

If you let any air in during the fermentation process, it's possible other bacteria got in there and caused trouble. A couple of years ago, I made some in the summer without using an airlock and it went off. Each time I ate it I ran to the bathroom as you described - suffice to say, I threw it out after the 3rd serving.

The normal process is to layer cabbage and salt and squeeze it down with a weight and then let the kraut form its own liquid. I don't do that anymore. Instead, I pack a normal glass jar down tightly with cabbage and salt, but top it off with RO filtered water all the way to the top, then put the lid on it (lid has an air tight airlock), and fill the airlock with water as they describe. This prevents anything like mold from developing.

I then put the fermenting jars inside a very large plastic tub (I don't use these tubs for food), to catch any leakage, and as the kraut ferments it produces gas which pushes up the liquid and that spills out. That's fine, you can wash the spill to prevent it from smelling up the house, but the key here is that the kraut itself won't get a chance to get moldy.

Once it's done fermenting, I wash the ouside of the jar in hot water, and put a sterilized lid on without an airlock and store in the fridge.

So the key here is to have lots of large jars with twice the lids, I usually use the ones I buy olives or artichokes or palm hearts from Costco, and throw out half the jars but keep their lids and install the airlocks in them. That way I can ferment a few jars at a time, while consuming what's in the fridge.

Airlocks are cheap, you can get them at amazon in 3 packs for like $6. Takes a tiny bit of work to puncture the lid, insert the airlock and then seal the airlock on the lid, but it's well worth it.

0
2291e139cb26b43bd1688d289def0405

on December 27, 2012
at 10:17 PM

I've made kraut a few time this way and have been very successful. I use whey from plain, organic yogurt. If you skip the whey you are at the mercy of whatever bacteria is naturally introduced. I've notice the cabbage starts to "float" as it ferments. The old fashioned way to keep it submerged is a plate with a rock on it. I ferment mine is a large jar and make an airtight seal by putting a gallon bag fill with salt water on top. Here is the recipe I follow.

4e184df9c1ed38f61febc5d6cf031921

(5005)

on June 25, 2014
at 08:41 AM

I don't use whey ever - here's why

http://www.picklemetoo.com/2012/07/26/no-whey-no-way/

0
B5b6374809a3a7429b771ac039a0bfde

on December 27, 2012
at 09:59 PM

I would not use "whey" from probiotic yogurt. It is not real whey. Most shop-bought yogurt is deliberately made very mild and creamy and lacking in natural acid-loving bacteria. That's why you can often eat a whole tub in one go. If there were a lot of lactic bacteria in the yogurt it would separate out into curds and whey naturally. It is made like that to appeal to the masses who don't like anything sharp tasting. Real yogurt should be more tart than it is, though if it were too acid it would separate out. I allow milk to go sour naturally and that is when the lactic bacteria establish themselves in the milk and cause the separation and the clotting of the milk. I keep a jar of the drained curd for refermentations of milk without the need to wait for it to go sour. The whey which drains off the clotted sour milk is rich in lactic acid bacteria and could be used to get the fermentation of the cabbage off to a good start. Of course the fermented milk curd also contains good quantities of Vit K2(about 50mcg/100g) as does cheese matured from it.

0
089dd41b18fbb95ebb5347cded708d98

(5635)

on October 18, 2012
at 05:52 PM

i don't do well with cabbage at all- no matter what form it is in. i would definitely contribute it to the cabbage.

8c8e71eb729c0edb4786c6f3ba8614e4

(568)

on October 18, 2012
at 06:21 PM

I'm okay with non fermented cabbage, though I rarely eat it.

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