Salt Brine for Fermenting

Use a salt brine to make ferments the Mediterranean way

We hope you will find this recipe for basic salt brine useful in your fermenting projects. Thank you to Leda Scheintaub, author of Cultured Foods For Your Kitchen: 100 Recipes Featuring The Bold Flavors Of Fermentation for sharing her recipe!

Many fermentation recipes, such as classic cucumber pickles, call for a salt brine; I recommend making a big jar of it and keeping it handy in the refrigerator. You may try out lesser amounts of salt if you’d like, but be aware that there’s more chance of bad bacteria entering when you reduce the salt and the resulting ferments tend to be less crisp.

This recipe makes two quarts of salt brine.

The recipe is an essential ingredient for Italian Gardiniera, another recipe in Leda Scheintaub’s book. Get the recipe here.

CULTURED FOODS FOR YOUR KITCHEN: 100 Recipes Featuring the Bold Flavors of Fermentation by Leda Scheintaub, Rizzoli New York, 2014.

Leda Scheintaub is the author of Cultured Foods for Your Kitchen: 100 Recipes Featuring the Bold Flavors of Fermentation (Rizzoli, 2014). She is also the author, with Whole Foods Encyclopedia author Rebecca Wood, of The Whole Bowl: Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Soups and Stews (Countryman Press, 2015)You can visit her at Leda and her husband, Nash Patel, run Dosa Kitchen, a farm-to-truck Indian eatery based in Brattleboro, Vermont. You’ll find them at and on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram. The two of them currently are collaborating on the Dosa Kitchen Cookbook.

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Salt Brine

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  • 2 quarts filtered water 2 Liters
  • 5 to 6 tbsp. fine sea salt


  • In a small saucepan, combine 2 cups (480 milliliters) of the water and the salt and bring to a simmer.
  • Remove from the heat and set aside, stirring occasionally, until the salt is dissolved.
  • Pour into a glass jar and add the remaining 6 cups (1.5 liters) water.
  • If not using right away, cover and store in the refrigerator, where it will keep indefinitely.


Sodium: 28737mgPotassium: 6mgCalcium: 75mgIron: 1mg
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