8

votes

Sauerkraut juice: Drink it or dump it?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created August 30, 2011 at 8:17 AM

I just finished fishing the last bits of yummy fermented sauerkraut out of the jar, and I'm left with about a half jar of juice. What should I do with it? Drink it? Throw some new veggies in there? Or just dispose of it because it was just a carrier for the kraut? I've seen the juice canned at the store before, so I'm guessing it has got to be good for something if it is marketable.

C56baa1b4f39839c018180bf63226f7d

(3499)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

The acids in the kraut juice make sausages (and probably other meats) incredibly tender when slow cooked. My (mostly German) mom once inadvertently left kielbasa in sauerkraut in a low oven for hours. It was indescribably lush when done.

3ccf2b7de8295e351734a8b6c0c96bcd

(54)

on April 19, 2013
at 10:49 PM

Dave, is this the Sandor Katz way? Do you have a link to this in more detail. Thanks

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on April 15, 2013
at 08:58 PM

I'm not worried about the salt content, and actually rely on it because I ended up with far too little salt in my diet when I started paleo, and ended up fainting from low blood pressure a few times.

3491e51730101b18724dc57c86601173

(8395)

on April 15, 2013
at 08:57 PM

I wouldn't drink very much sauerkraut juice straight because it is pretty salty, but adding it to other things and reducing the salt in those things accordingly is fine. I've heard it makes a good addition to bone broth, but if the broth is too hot, you're going to kill the beneficial bacteria anyway.

23b3f18ae86f8a1133b31e23624e013a

(45)

on April 15, 2013
at 07:14 PM

By the way my vote for what to do with the left-over juice is "drink it"! It's delicious and oh! so healthful!

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on January 08, 2013
at 05:37 AM

That sounds crazy awesome!

7278560e76901ded4081022b54c6e165

on September 24, 2012
at 05:26 AM

I drink the liquid from my cooked meats with added salt, makes it taste like soup liquid. Yummy when it's hot!

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on February 04, 2012
at 03:55 AM

No plans on drinking the whole thing, more like a shot glass worth. As with all things pickled, I believe in moderation.

29518a2572c5fe3a851170a9b1c315f3

on February 03, 2012
at 09:39 PM

great question!

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on February 03, 2012
at 08:41 PM

I saw that on the show. I had never heard of a pickle back before, but I was drooling by the end of the segment. I'm gonna try that with sauerkraut juice one of these days.

B525b3e4b1d6f1cdceec943cdec6eb7d

(1680)

on February 03, 2012
at 07:04 PM

Cool! We grew over 200 heads of garlic this last summer, so we have lots of garlic for experiments like this one. Yay!

C79a5b43dfc5749200bd9dcaa6bb0858

on February 03, 2012
at 07:00 PM

air_hadoken - Just out of curiosity, but how does one inadvertently leave kielbasa in sauerkraut? Or was that on purpose and the many hours it was left was the accident? Could this deliciousness be recreated in a crock pot?

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on January 05, 2012
at 07:38 AM

You rock! Doesn't it get to be a bit too salty though?

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on December 20, 2011
at 12:01 AM

I'm not sure how long it keeps, especially after the cabbage is gone, I would assume the bacteria need food.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on September 01, 2011
at 10:04 AM

I've read mixed things about using it as a starter for the next batch, but most recipes I've read said to start from scratch with just salt and water. Does the old juice impart weird flavors in the new batch?

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on September 01, 2011
at 10:02 AM

A lot of good ideas here, but you win because I happen to have four heads of garlic sitting on the counter right now, and shall make some pickled garlic tomorrow. Sounds yummy!

351cbf133b44fb7a1b90781e148d28d7

(597)

on August 30, 2011
at 10:48 PM

Kielbasa and sauerkraut is heavenly!

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on August 30, 2011
at 10:16 PM

This was a jar of Bubbies. I've tried making my own with mixed results, so I've been indulging in store bought until I figure out a better recipe.

4e184df9c1ed38f61febc5d6cf031921

(4999)

on August 30, 2011
at 08:51 PM

Brilliant idea! I shall try this.....! Thanks.

4e184df9c1ed38f61febc5d6cf031921

(4999)

on August 30, 2011
at 08:50 PM

I have only once added the juice from the previous sauerkraut to the next lot - and I REALLY didn't like the result. I prefer to make Kraut with salt only - and drink / add to soup etc any remaining juice. I add the juice to soup etc as a condiment, after it is served out, so as not to kill the bennificial bugs by cooking them....

Medium avatar

(12379)

on August 30, 2011
at 05:11 PM

how did you make the saurkraut - I've been looking for a good recipe - but just cna't trust the ones online without personal experience backing it up!

Ec7cb2a7a68655954a01f03e95be1383

(1453)

on August 30, 2011
at 04:50 PM

Jan, this seems to be the reason I can't find any fresh sauerkraut in Germany ;) I want my sauerkraut back!

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78407)

on August 30, 2011
at 01:07 PM

wonderful idea. i also have some sauerkraut. here i will try it too. thanks

44348571d9bc70c02ac2975cc500f154

(5853)

on August 30, 2011
at 09:58 AM

http://www.wildfermentation.com/

44348571d9bc70c02ac2975cc500f154

(5853)

on August 30, 2011
at 09:42 AM

I just do sauerkraut and dil pickles (cucumber), have to try something else too. I found a german clay sauerkraut pot from local flea market. I wonder how it came all this way to finland. :)

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on August 30, 2011
at 09:06 AM

Mmm...sounds good. Any favorites? I was thinking carrots might be good.

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22 Answers

best answer

12
E639bc85fd42430285596434a6515ad5

(2226)

on August 30, 2011
at 04:43 PM

A couple things I do with both pickle juice and sauerkraut juice.

  1. Use them in place of whey in all the recipes from Nourishing Traditions. (E.g., in homemade mayonnaise or ketchup.) They can start lacto-fermentation as well as whey can, and for me they are more convenient (since I don't make cheese or anything).

  2. Peel a bunch of cloves of garlic and drop them in the jar of pickle/sauerkraut juice. Leave at room temp for a few days before transferring to the fridge: pickled garlic. Yum.

4e184df9c1ed38f61febc5d6cf031921

(4999)

on August 30, 2011
at 08:51 PM

Brilliant idea! I shall try this.....! Thanks.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on September 01, 2011
at 10:02 AM

A lot of good ideas here, but you win because I happen to have four heads of garlic sitting on the counter right now, and shall make some pickled garlic tomorrow. Sounds yummy!

B525b3e4b1d6f1cdceec943cdec6eb7d

(1680)

on February 03, 2012
at 07:04 PM

Cool! We grew over 200 heads of garlic this last summer, so we have lots of garlic for experiments like this one. Yay!

best answer

3
23b3f18ae86f8a1133b31e23624e013a

on April 15, 2013
at 07:13 PM

You should never "back-slop" sauerkraut. In other words, do not use sauerkraut juice as a starter for the next batch. The cabbage leaves already have enough bacteria to start the fermentation; backslopping just interferes with the normal population dynamics and causes your sauerkraut to skip some of the earlier steps. The sauerkraut juice comes from the late-stage sauerkraut and is full of acid-loving bacteria, but your new sauerkraut hasn't gone through the steps to create that acidic environment yet.

Most of the recipes from Nourishing Traditions regards ferments are just flat out wrong. It's naive to toss in a cup of whey whenever you are fermenting something just because the whey has bacteria and the substrate needs bacteria. Better to understand the fermentation process, the population dynamics of the particular ferment you are attempting, and the best way to get the correct culture for that ferment into the substrate. Whey is useful in limited situations, while sauerkraut tastes best when wild-fermented. (There is actually science to prove this if anybody is interested.)

23b3f18ae86f8a1133b31e23624e013a

(45)

on April 15, 2013
at 07:14 PM

By the way my vote for what to do with the left-over juice is "drink it"! It's delicious and oh! so healthful!

3ccf2b7de8295e351734a8b6c0c96bcd

(54)

on April 19, 2013
at 10:49 PM

Dave, is this the Sandor Katz way? Do you have a link to this in more detail. Thanks

8
351cbf133b44fb7a1b90781e148d28d7

on August 30, 2011
at 11:36 AM

Boil up some bratwurst in the leftover juice, use it in a slow cooker with some apples and pork, or use it as part of a stock for soups/stews.

God, I'm making myself hungry. I'm German, and all of this talk of sauerkraut makes me crave some of my Oma's cooking something fierce.

C56baa1b4f39839c018180bf63226f7d

(3499)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

The acids in the kraut juice make sausages (and probably other meats) incredibly tender when slow cooked. My (mostly German) mom once inadvertently left kielbasa in sauerkraut in a low oven for hours. It was indescribably lush when done.

351cbf133b44fb7a1b90781e148d28d7

(597)

on August 30, 2011
at 10:48 PM

Kielbasa and sauerkraut is heavenly!

C79a5b43dfc5749200bd9dcaa6bb0858

on February 03, 2012
at 07:00 PM

air_hadoken - Just out of curiosity, but how does one inadvertently leave kielbasa in sauerkraut? Or was that on purpose and the many hours it was left was the accident? Could this deliciousness be recreated in a crock pot?

7
F910318b9aa27b91bcf7881f39b9eabe

on August 30, 2011
at 09:09 AM

According to a lot of sources on the webz, the juice is a wonderful digestive tonic, and i'm pretty sure it has other benefits.

I'd also use part of the juice for the next batch. Besides speeding up the fermentation process it'll also help keep unwanted bacteria/fungi away from the cabbage because it contains a lot of good bacteria.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on September 01, 2011
at 10:04 AM

I've read mixed things about using it as a starter for the next batch, but most recipes I've read said to start from scratch with just salt and water. Does the old juice impart weird flavors in the new batch?

4e184df9c1ed38f61febc5d6cf031921

(4999)

on August 30, 2011
at 08:50 PM

I have only once added the juice from the previous sauerkraut to the next lot - and I REALLY didn't like the result. I prefer to make Kraut with salt only - and drink / add to soup etc any remaining juice. I add the juice to soup etc as a condiment, after it is served out, so as not to kill the bennificial bugs by cooking them....

6
F5f742cc9228eb5804114d0f3be4e587

(7660)

on August 30, 2011
at 03:44 PM

You can also use it in salad dressings.

6
44348571d9bc70c02ac2975cc500f154

(5853)

on August 30, 2011
at 08:55 AM

yes throw some veggies in there with salt.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on August 30, 2011
at 09:06 AM

Mmm...sounds good. Any favorites? I was thinking carrots might be good.

44348571d9bc70c02ac2975cc500f154

(5853)

on August 30, 2011
at 09:42 AM

I just do sauerkraut and dil pickles (cucumber), have to try something else too. I found a german clay sauerkraut pot from local flea market. I wonder how it came all this way to finland. :)

44348571d9bc70c02ac2975cc500f154

(5853)

on August 30, 2011
at 09:58 AM

http://www.wildfermentation.com/

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78407)

on August 30, 2011
at 01:07 PM

wonderful idea. i also have some sauerkraut. here i will try it too. thanks

Ec7cb2a7a68655954a01f03e95be1383

(1453)

on August 30, 2011
at 04:50 PM

Jan, this seems to be the reason I can't find any fresh sauerkraut in Germany ;) I want my sauerkraut back!

5
8a039b77b06a06a01eae296131719a0c

on December 19, 2011
at 05:50 PM

How long does it keep?

One Naturopathic doctor gave us a recipe if you have the flu and are throwing up. He said a tablespoon of sauerkraut juice and a tablespoon of tomato juice every 20 minutes for two hours. That combination will kill any bug in the stomach. If you are giving it to kids then only a teaspoon of each instead of a tablespoon.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on December 20, 2011
at 12:01 AM

I'm not sure how long it keeps, especially after the cabbage is gone, I would assume the bacteria need food.

5
76f3ead3aa977d876bcf3331d35a36e9

(4620)

on August 30, 2011
at 03:41 PM

One time I felt a sore throat coming on, so I gargled a bunch of sauerkraut juice and then chugged the rest. Besides being delicious, it seemed to have completely stopped my sore throat dead in its tracks.

4
E3a6128b63b3198453a6dbc0e7380877

on February 03, 2012
at 06:08 PM

I use it instead of vinegar in my vinaigrette. Add freshly crushed garlic and salt. Keep in fridge or cupboard. When making salad, put 1 to 2 TBS in the bottom of the salad bowl, mix in twice as much EVOO. Put salad ingredients on top. Toss salad just before serving.

But I still have too much skj and pickled veggie juice, so thank you all who responded. I am going to defrost that pork roast and marinate it in my extra skj! And I'm going to pickle some lovely broccoli I just got from an organic farm using the rest of my skj, and I won't have to use the kefir starter! Saving $$!

3
77e7d1fa43ecd743d52c92c47393f3a9

on January 08, 2013
at 02:15 AM

This might sound crazy but I mix a shot of sauerkraut juice with seltzer water to make it more of a cocktail and sip it like a regular drink.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on January 08, 2013
at 05:37 AM

That sounds crazy awesome!

3
Cf6fd5d8c6f12e25ab3945f968798cb7

on September 23, 2012
at 08:50 PM

sauerkraut juice is commonly drunk in Belgium Hollanand Germany as well in Scandinavia.it is anin excellent detox tonic and a very good natural laxative. Many fasting regimes in Germany Holland and Belgium call for sauerkraut juice to be drunk on the first day to start detox and beet juice to be drunk on the second day to purify the blood. Anyway it is not at all uncommon to drink sauerkraut juice but we Americans are unfamiliar with it. Do be careful if you drink too much - you will probably spend the afternoon on the toilet but that might not actually be a bad thing if you're trying to detox.

3
Fe1385a1423f8e1eb2faba5d79750096

on January 05, 2012
at 07:27 AM

I can drink the juice all day, who needs 8 cups of water when you have pickle juice.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on January 05, 2012
at 07:38 AM

You rock! Doesn't it get to be a bit too salty though?

7278560e76901ded4081022b54c6e165

on September 24, 2012
at 05:26 AM

I drink the liquid from my cooked meats with added salt, makes it taste like soup liquid. Yummy when it's hot!

3
7c9f81d68c78de1a31eab9c91c17b4b8

on August 30, 2011
at 11:41 AM

I use a small amount of mine in place of apple cider vinegar for marinades. I also drink it. I recommend Bubbie's brand...so delicious and only water is used for the fermentation.

2
F92e4ca55291c3f3096a3d4d3d854986

(11693)

on February 03, 2012
at 08:14 PM

Rachel Maddow recently made a Pickle Back on Jimmy Fallon - pickle juice and whiskey. I know booze isn't Paleo, but maybe you could sub in the sauerkraut juice instead!

http://maddowblog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/01/06/10006306-late-night-pickle-backs-with-jimmy-fallon

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on February 03, 2012
at 08:41 PM

I saw that on the show. I had never heard of a pickle back before, but I was drooling by the end of the segment. I'm gonna try that with sauerkraut juice one of these days.

2
C2450eb7fa11b37473599caf93b461ef

on August 30, 2011
at 09:16 PM

We keep the sauerkraut juice from a jar of Bubbie's in the fridge and I periodically fill a shot glass and suck it down. Yum!

1
2ebc73adbf41f4c70d7922e503684946

(10)

on July 24, 2013
at 08:11 AM

I like adding it to soup after it's cooled a little bit or to rice to aid in its fermentation. I add it to pretty much anything, really. I do repurpose it sometimes for another batch of fermented vegetables and I've always had good results with this. It yields differently than a wild ferment but I like variety so whatevs. I swish and swallow with a bit of it before brushing my teeth and going to bed sometimes.

1
Ce7a83f8c1ec1a6157092f6daac067e4

on April 19, 2013
at 10:06 PM

Hmmm I am an Emergency Medicine physician and have never had any patients come in from such a dare though that does not mean it will not happen. Anectdottally speaking, I drank a whole jar of the remnant juice from my Bubbies about six hours ago. I did so reasoning it would not have much affect on me bc I have on two occassions consummed the entire jar including the juices over about two days on each occassion without any noted affect except sometimes when I would take a swallow and inhaled at the same time I would sort of choke or cough. My wife has the same phenomenom occur when she does. This appears to only occur when the juice is left in since it does not occur if you strain and rinse the sauerkraut. Not wanting to lose the preceious beneficial bacteria I no longer rinse and just strained today. Well within two hours of drinking the juice, I notice some profound gurgling and the demanding call of nature hailing me to the bathroom where I experienced diarrhea without cramps and nothing uncomfortable. I feel fine now but agree that the uninitiated should imbibe with small quantities on this valuable tonic until perhaps they and their gastro-intestinal tracts are better acquainted to Sauerkraut juice. An interesting area I am intrigued with is the protective effect the probiotic bacteria within fermented foods would have agains EColi, salmonella, Campylobacter bacteria. There was a fascinating article in the New Yorker I recently read that alluded to comments by VERY forward thinking Infectious Disease physicians who predicted that in the future physicians may very well be writing less prescriptions for antibiotics and instead writing prescriptions for bacteria to be ingested/administered for their efficacious clinical benefit. Google "Germs ar US" and New Yorker and you should find it if interested. Sean OMara

1
D4d83e7981ca572aaaa19fc620bb54f1

(467)

on February 03, 2012
at 11:23 PM

I would drink it if it was full of probiotics. I bought a canned one, which says pasteurized. I assume that means no probiotics left at all? I bought it hoping that there is something good still left in it, and because of not being ready to start fermenting things at home...

1
518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on February 03, 2012
at 09:38 PM

Repurpose it, but don't drink it straight up, or a whole bunch at one time! Sounds funny, but you'd be surprised how many stories my mom has as an emergency room nurse of young guys from college who would drink a whole jar of some kind of pickling or fermenting juice on a dare. They get severely dehydrated, experience unbearable cramping, and can get induced arrhythmia's. I assume you weren't going to chug it, but just saying, if you get the hankering probably avoid it.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on February 04, 2012
at 03:55 AM

No plans on drinking the whole thing, more like a shot glass worth. As with all things pickled, I believe in moderation.

0
6db96efd4ddc0a82322b43273a06fb4b

on July 31, 2014
at 03:47 PM

Love the raw sauerkraut juice from EATProbiotics - packed with probiotics and 100% organic is great

0
75d65450b6ff0be7b969fb321f1200ac

(2506)

on April 15, 2013
at 08:37 PM

Yes, sauerkraut juice tastes awesome. But I worry about all that salt. When I make sauerkraut with only one head of cabbage I typically use 5 teaspoons of salt. I believe the RDA for salt (sodium chloride) is about one teaspoon daily, with the average American consuming at least twice that. Although since starting Paleo my salt consumption is low (probably no more than 1 teaspoon per day) I fear the salt in sauerkraut juice might cancel out the goodness of the probiotics. And so sadly, I dump out excess sauerkraut juice.

_Lazza

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on April 15, 2013
at 08:58 PM

I'm not worried about the salt content, and actually rely on it because I ended up with far too little salt in my diet when I started paleo, and ended up fainting from low blood pressure a few times.

3491e51730101b18724dc57c86601173

(8395)

on April 15, 2013
at 08:57 PM

I wouldn't drink very much sauerkraut juice straight because it is pretty salty, but adding it to other things and reducing the salt in those things accordingly is fine. I've heard it makes a good addition to bone broth, but if the broth is too hot, you're going to kill the beneficial bacteria anyway.

0
363d0a0277a8b61ada3a24ab3ad85d5a

(4642)

on February 03, 2012
at 11:12 PM

I drink it as I go with eating the sauerkraut from my homemade brew, so there is never more juice left.

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