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New to Sauerkraut!

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 17, 2013 at 9:11 PM

I have never liked sauerkraut, you know that usual garbage that is heated to death that you can buy in supermarkets. A month ago I bought some raw sauerkraut and was amazed at the taste and liked how it made my upset gut (stomach bug) feel. I've been eating some sauerkraut everyday. And then I bought a 10 liter Harsch Gairtopf Fermenting Crock Pot to make my own. I got the first batch ready to eat. I love the stuff.

Can I get some advice from anyone who has made their own sauerkraut? Good recipes, pointers, things to avoid, anything.

Thanks in advance!

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on March 18, 2013
at 01:48 AM

Nice answer. I will add that it goes pink then it is porbably best to turf it as well (I left mine too long in the beginning and didn't check the brine was covering/weight the cabbage down with anything...) I will also add that 'bashing' and 'punching' can be a more apt descriptor of how the water extraction process works for me, depedning on my mood/consideration of time... ;) @ OP - here is a useful resource: http://www.wildfermentation.com/making-sauerkraut-2/

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10480)

on March 17, 2013
at 10:36 PM

Perfect answer. It really IS that simple and easy. I would add, though, to sniff for a few days before you start tasting, if you've never made it before. :)

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3 Answers

best answer

4
3491e51730101b18724dc57c86601173

(8395)

on March 17, 2013
at 09:27 PM

There are recipes online if you want to add stuff like radish or carrot to it, but the basic recipe is simple: 1. Use an organic head of cabbage--it has the microbes you need on it already. 2. Peel the outer layers and rinse if needed, but a good, tight head of cabbage doesn't really have to be washed if you remove the outer leaves. 3. Slice the cabbage and sprinkle it with good sea salt. 4. Knead the cabbage with clean hands for 2 or 3 minutes over a large bowl, squeezing to break down the cabbage and evenly distribute the salt.
5. Cover and wait 8 or so hours (if the room is warm, it might take less time, if it's cold, it might take more) 6. Knead the cabbage again to squeeze as much liquid into the bowl as you can. That's your brine. 7. Pack your cabbage tightly into the crock or jar and cover with the brine the cabbage made.

Cover with the lid, the weight, or use an airlock device (I have a homemade one). If it's in a sealed jar, "burp" the jar daily (more often if it's warm in the room where the jar is kept) to let the gasses out. Taste your kraut so you will know when it's done (as little as 3 days in summer, as long as 2 weeks in winter).

If there's mold on top of the container, scrape it off. All the cabbage below the brine is fine. I threw out several batches before I learned that. Also, I weigh my cabbage down with glass jar weights--the Harsch crock should have come with some sort of weight system to keep all of the vegetable below the brine.

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on March 18, 2013
at 01:48 AM

Nice answer. I will add that it goes pink then it is porbably best to turf it as well (I left mine too long in the beginning and didn't check the brine was covering/weight the cabbage down with anything...) I will also add that 'bashing' and 'punching' can be a more apt descriptor of how the water extraction process works for me, depedning on my mood/consideration of time... ;) @ OP - here is a useful resource: http://www.wildfermentation.com/making-sauerkraut-2/

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10480)

on March 17, 2013
at 10:36 PM

Perfect answer. It really IS that simple and easy. I would add, though, to sniff for a few days before you start tasting, if you've never made it before. :)

0
E17fe88b98575c183241fba50ae42b93

(398)

on March 17, 2013
at 11:39 PM

I save the juice from the jars of sauerkraut that I make after we eat it, because it makes a great starter for the next batch! I've never had mold when I do that and the kraut is ready within a week (even in winter) as opposed to when I have to start it with just the brine.

0
363d0a0277a8b61ada3a24ab3ad85d5a

(4642)

on March 17, 2013
at 10:47 PM

I have some "Pickl-Its" (I love making small batches of different fermented items) and their blog has lots of great recipes that can be used for any pickling system: http://www.pickl-it.com/blog/recipes/

They even have brining recipes for corned beef! I have not been so bold and none of mine are big enough, but with kraut, I really like to stick with just lots of salt and pounding, and I like to cut it into square chunky pieces for texture rather than long thin shaved pieces (mostly because I didn't want to spend on one of those cabbage shavers but ended up loving the bite and mouth feel of little squares of cabbage, and the time saving!).

I also love new pickles - so fresh tasting and deliciously salty! Have fun with the crock!

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