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Brussels sprouts kimchi fail

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I made the Bon Appetit Brussels sprouts kimchi, which called for trimming the sprouts and halving them, soaking in salted water, and then standard kimchi fare - onion, ginger, chili powder, and top with a brine. The only modifications were that I used 1 lb of sprouts instead of 1.5 and scaled the other ingredients appropriately; omitted the scallions and added a bit more onion; and packed it all into a single quart jar instead of 2.

Capped loosely, in the basement for 2 days, and it wasn't there yet, so I brought the jar up to the kitchen and left it on the counter for another 2 days. I had some yesterday for lunch, and there was a slight aroma of rot. By last night, there was definitely a rot stink.

I'm wondering what went wrong. I'm made kimchi before - standard cabbage - with success, so I'm not sure what happened here. I am a bit suspicious that the sprouts are halved and not shredded - is there not enough surface area and too much vegetable interior that starts to rot before it can be fermented? I liked the concept, but the execution was a fail. Anyone made this with success?

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  1. I have not made the recipe. To be honest, I would have expected it to succeed.

    That said, my first guess toward your problem would be the temperature. Possibly either your basement was too warm, or your kitchen, or both. In my experience (though I'm far from an expert), you can more reliably get a good result by erring on the side of early refrigeration and waiting it out than by risking fermenting at too high a temperature for too long.

    Of course, I'd like to hear from anyone who's made this recipe or who is more experienced with various kinds of non-cabbage kimchi making than I am.