White Fuzzy Mold on top of Fermenting Cucumbers Exposed above Water Level to Oxygen

Answered on August 02, 2017
Created July 28, 2017 at 5:23 AM

Hi everyone,

I am working on my very first jar of fermented cucumbers. I sliced a cucumber into about 6 pickle slices and put them in a jar filled with water and sea salt. I noticed today that the cucumbers did come up out of the water a bit near the top of the jar since it's only about 90% filled to to the top. There was a bit of white fuzzy mold growing on the top. Now, I have read in other posts on this subject that you can just cut away the fuzzy parts and the rest of the cucumbers that are still submerged without mold will be fine. I just pushed the cucumber slices back down into the brine, white fuzzy mold and all, since there wasn't a lot. Won't the brine solution of salt kill the white fuzzy mold?

Also, I'm working on 2 bottles of sauerkraut at the same time and they look fine although I keep pushing the cabbage contents back down under it's own brince daily so that it doesn't dry out enough to get moldy. I see no mold on my 2 bottles of sauerkraut but I guess it doesn't work as well for the cucumbers.

I know some people will say throw it away and start again but I hate to do that unless I am going to end up dead. But that's an unknown I guess.



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3 Answers



on August 02, 2017
at 05:10 PM

I wouldn't eat it either... mold creates toxins that can be really hard for your immune system to fight - it won't make you die, but it can make you sick for a long long time.

If you can't get an airlock, I usually just put a wine-leaf on top of my cucumbers (it also prevents the cucumbers from becomming soft and mushy), and a small bowl of salt water on top. If that isn't enough to keep them down, I have a candleholder from IKEA in solid glass - quite heavy, but small enough to fit in my jars - I put that on top of the bowl. 


on July 29, 2017
at 05:28 AM

Thank you for your response. You make mold seem even more sinister than I ever imagined. So, mold I eat today can literally live in my body for years until my immune system is compromised from old age? God, if that's true that's a very scary thought. My thoughts would be that if you eat a mold and you don't die from it your immune system conquered it and killed it. But I'm no expert in any of this stuff. I still have the jar of cucumbers but will probably throw them away. :(



on July 28, 2017
at 03:53 PM

Mold sends hyphae (long microscopic fibers) throughout whatever it infects.  It's not safe to eat.  Throw out the whole batch.  It might be ok, or you might get sick. Or it might infect you and you won't notice it until your immune system is suppressed from stress or whatever and then it will go active.

Not worth the risk to your health for a $3 dollars worth of cucumbers.

Next time use an airlock (you can find them on amazon for something like $5 for a pack of 3, just punch a hole in the lid, attach the airlock to the lid and seal it with something like silicone) or buy airlock lids/jars.

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