Raw garlic cloves can be harsh to eat. Eating raw garlic cloves upsets my stomach because of their intense heat.

Enter lacto-fermented garlic!

Naturally fermented garlic is an excellent way to enjoy raw garlic with all the enzymes and nutrients intact but full of probiotic goodness and without as much heat. Fermented garlic tastes like a cross between raw and roasted garlic where the cloves become almost buttery in texture. The flavors of the fermented cloves and brine are strongly garlicky, but more complex than fresh raw garlic. Having a jar on hand at all times is very convenient and you’ll find yourself reaching for it in the fridge regularly – the cloves and brine are perfect for homemade salad dressing, marinades, or any savory dish that calls for fresh garlic. They add an amazing flavor to cooked dishes. As you can see, I have already gotten through half of this jar and need to make more!

Because it is simply brined, fermenting whole garlic cloves is easy with most of the work in peeling the garlic. The longer it’s stored, the mellower the flavor. Other fermentation recipes call for using whey, but I believe it’s unnecessary and worth avoiding. If you are new to fermented foods, check our recipes for making German Sauerkraut and Organic Ginger Beet Kvass as well.


12 heads organic garlic

2% brine, about 19 g of sea salt per quart of water


Quart fermentation jar with airlock system

Mason quart jar for storage

Please note fermentation jars with airlocks can be purchased online from Cultures For Health or The Probiotic Jar.


  • Clean and sanitize kitchen surfaces; the cleaner your environment the better. Clean and sanitize the equipment (fermentation jar, weights) to ensure the absence of pathogenic bacteria. Be sure to rinse off the equipment after sanitizing it so does not kill the beneficial bacteria needed for fermentation.
  • Remove the skins from the garlic cloves. A neat trick for efficiently removing the skins is illustrated in the video below:
  • How To Peel a Head of Garlic in Less Than 10 Seconds
  • Place the peeled garlic cloves into the fermentation jar.
  • Cover the garlic cloves with the 2% sea salt brine, leaving 1” airspace.
  • Fill the airlock half way with water and seal the jar tightly.
  • Place in a location between 68-72 degrees F and away from direct sunlight. Forget about it for 4 weeks.
  • Transfer the fermented garlic to a mason quart jar and store in the refrigerator. Enjoy!