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First time sauerkraut

Commented on February 27, 2014
Created February 26, 2014 at 1:29 PM

Alright, I just bought a fermenting pot. My hubby and I would like to make sauerkraut. There is a dairy allergy so we will need to use only salt or vinegar for ours. Now I am a timid person and so scared about doing something wrong and making us sick. I've read somewhere about bochalism when making sauerkraut and thus makes me want to get rid of the pot and not try. Is there any risks and dangers I should know about and how do I prevent them?

Second, how do I store it once done? We have a 10L pot. I would like to keep the bacteria alive as I'm trying to heal our guts.

I would like to can some to eat throughout the year as well. I understand this would kill any bacteria but I'm okay with that as I will keep some raw. Has anyone canned theirs? How long is it good for?

I guess I'm just looking for a kick in the butt to start and reassurance I'm not going to kill us with death by sauerkraut. And how to keep it.

4a1d8da0ca6fd82cb17cc8291fdf3ad3

on February 27, 2014
at 05:26 PM

Thanks @raydawg!

I know you don't need anything special to make it, I just feel more comfortable that way. The pot we have has a water airlock which will let the gasses out while preventing oxygen from coming in. Just makes it easier for my first time and all I have to worry about is keeping the water level up. :)

I planned on just storing it in mason jars in the fridge. I've heard not to use a metal lid as it will rust and not to use plastic because even food grade will leech. What type of lid should I use? I don't know of any others LOL

4a1d8da0ca6fd82cb17cc8291fdf3ad3

on February 27, 2014
at 05:21 PM

Thanks! I really like Food Renegade.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on February 27, 2014
at 05:04 PM

Sounds like a plan

Medium avatar

(238)

on February 27, 2014
at 04:14 PM

Instead of gum, people can head on over to the hardware store and buy a grommet of the right size, costs less than a pack of gum - also allows for removal of the airlock for easier cleaning.

4a1d8da0ca6fd82cb17cc8291fdf3ad3

on February 27, 2014
at 02:19 PM

Thank you so much for the great info and encouragement @rosabosa. I will definitely check out that video!

Yes, I'm not going to make the full 10L at the start. Plan to get this down pat first. :)

4e184df9c1ed38f61febc5d6cf031921

(5005)

on February 27, 2014
at 08:29 AM

I have just bought one of these jars. It looks great - kvass starting today!

956bcad1d462d433a4e1e22f6e3355d5

(1191)

on February 27, 2014
at 07:36 AM

Amount of my salt intake doesn't matter to me, as long as it's unrefined sea salt I eat it to taste and never been better :)

56c28e3654d4dd8a8abdb2c1f525202e

(1822)

on February 27, 2014
at 03:03 AM

!!!! how many grams of Na would that be? Right now I am eating through a jar of beet krauts (the one fermenting is daikon kraut), and I do use it as "salt": say I cook a steak with no salt, then I cover it with olive oil and some beet kraut. But a teaspoon a day is enough for me.

56c28e3654d4dd8a8abdb2c1f525202e

(1822)

on February 27, 2014
at 03:01 AM

yes, the krauts have to be under brine all the time, everywhere. Do not boil them or you will ruin them. Just put them in jars and close the jar.

956bcad1d462d433a4e1e22f6e3355d5

(1191)

on February 26, 2014
at 08:27 PM

I eat 100-150g of sauerkraut daily, don't think 1 qt will last long here :D

4a1d8da0ca6fd82cb17cc8291fdf3ad3

on February 26, 2014
at 08:24 PM

Thanks for the input! @glib

Yes, 10L is a lot but it's the smallest crock we could find with good ratings. I don't really trust myself to ferment without a fermenting crock. Haha. We will be canning it plus giving some to family.

When it is stored in the fridge does it still need to remain below the brine or does it matter in the fridge?

Glad to hear there will be no bad bacteria as long as I follow everything exactly. :) Makes me less nervous.

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6 Answers

0
96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on February 27, 2014
at 04:02 PM

You really don't need to buy special jars, nor use a weight.

I just use a large 32oz glass jar that previously had ghee, and isn't BPA lined (you can see the metal in the lid on both sides)

I punched a hole in the lid and placed an airlock in the lid, then sealed it with chewing gum. (Sounds gross, but if you microwave the gum, it becomes nice and soft, like a glue - and is sterile). You could also use some silicone sealant, but I'm not sure I want that near my food at all.

Once it made a good seal and cooled off, I filled the airlock with water as per the guides on it. I have a bunch of these jars, all the same, so I can use one lid to ferment while the others are used for storage.

I then finely julienned layers of red cabbage, seasalt, red beets and repeated all the way to the top and squeezed them down as hard as possible. I know you're not supposed to add water as per most recipes, but I've had better success getting rid of all the air by pouring some RO filtered water (very little was needed.)

As the ferment started, the cabbage/beets gave off gas and released liquid pushing liquid out the airlock, not great, so I put a large pan under the jar to capture any runoff, but this created a tightly sealed environment without air, and positive pressure which is what's needed to keep contaminants out.

After about 7-10 days, the kraut was ready and quite tasty.

Medium avatar

(238)

on February 27, 2014
at 04:14 PM

Instead of gum, people can head on over to the hardware store and buy a grommet of the right size, costs less than a pack of gum - also allows for removal of the airlock for easier cleaning.

4a1d8da0ca6fd82cb17cc8291fdf3ad3

on February 27, 2014
at 05:26 PM

Thanks @raydawg!

I know you don't need anything special to make it, I just feel more comfortable that way. The pot we have has a water airlock which will let the gasses out while preventing oxygen from coming in. Just makes it easier for my first time and all I have to worry about is keeping the water level up. :)

I planned on just storing it in mason jars in the fridge. I've heard not to use a metal lid as it will rust and not to use plastic because even food grade will leech. What type of lid should I use? I don't know of any others LOL

0
4e184df9c1ed38f61febc5d6cf031921

(5005)

on February 27, 2014
at 08:31 AM

Here are a couple of useful sites..

http://www.foodrenegade.com/3-biggest-fermenting-mistakes-youre-already-making/

http://www.picklemetoo.com/2012/07/26/no-whey-no-way/

And I agree about the probiotic jar - excellent kit.

4a1d8da0ca6fd82cb17cc8291fdf3ad3

on February 27, 2014
at 05:21 PM

Thanks! I really like Food Renegade.

0
Medium avatar

(238)

on February 27, 2014
at 05:25 AM

This site has a super simple recipe - I don't own the product nor think you need a specialized sauerkraut maker but here you go. http://www.probioticjar.com/sauerkraut.html

Don't use Vinegar, that is going to kill what you are trying to grow - bacteria.

4e184df9c1ed38f61febc5d6cf031921

(5005)

on February 27, 2014
at 08:29 AM

I have just bought one of these jars. It looks great - kvass starting today!

0
07d8ff43993e6739451e58ae7459cfe2

on February 27, 2014
at 03:12 AM

Check out Sandor Katz, author of wild fermentation. His youtube video will ease your worries: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i77hU3zR-fQ.

The secret to good kraut is to keep it submerged and to add enough salt, just as the above answer mentioned. Botulism is only a risk in canning because the boiled, aseptic, sugary, low-acid environment is a perfect opportunity for bad bacteria to colonize. Since kraut is salty, acidic, and has a healthy amount of good bacteria already, botulism can't survive. Death by raw sauerkraut, as Katz will tell you, is basically impossible.

For dairy- free beginnings, you can either just leave it and it will ferment on its own or you can add a bit of raw apple cider vinegar. I recommend not putting it in the fridge until it's tasty because the fridge will slow the fermentation and it could take weeks before it's sour enough. Depending on your taste, the kraut will have plenty of probiotics after a few weeks but it will get more and more sour after a longer amount of time.

Also, some macrobiotic people enjoy just overnight soaking otherwise hard to digest veg like cabbage in salt water. It's also good that way.

I've been making it for years along with plenty of other fermented stuff. Store it in glass mason jars in the fridge when you're done. I recommend starting with less than the full 10 liters. You can do it!

4a1d8da0ca6fd82cb17cc8291fdf3ad3

on February 27, 2014
at 02:19 PM

Thank you so much for the great info and encouragement @rosabosa. I will definitely check out that video!

Yes, I'm not going to make the full 10L at the start. Plan to get this down pat first. :)

0
56c28e3654d4dd8a8abdb2c1f525202e

(1822)

on February 26, 2014
at 08:03 PM

First of all 10 liters is a lot of krauts. Second, krauts kept in the fridge will not spoil. I make a jar at a time (1qt, approx. 1 liter), and by the time we finish it, we are halfway through the year. So just ferment your krauts, place them in jars, and eat them when ready. No chance of bad bacteria unless you put in too little salt, or leave pieces of vegetables above the brine, which brings me to the last point: until you know what you are doing, follow the recipe exactly.

4a1d8da0ca6fd82cb17cc8291fdf3ad3

on February 26, 2014
at 08:24 PM

Thanks for the input! @glib

Yes, 10L is a lot but it's the smallest crock we could find with good ratings. I don't really trust myself to ferment without a fermenting crock. Haha. We will be canning it plus giving some to family.

When it is stored in the fridge does it still need to remain below the brine or does it matter in the fridge?

Glad to hear there will be no bad bacteria as long as I follow everything exactly. :) Makes me less nervous.

956bcad1d462d433a4e1e22f6e3355d5

(1191)

on February 26, 2014
at 08:27 PM

I eat 100-150g of sauerkraut daily, don't think 1 qt will last long here :D

0
4a1d8da0ca6fd82cb17cc8291fdf3ad3

on February 26, 2014
at 06:40 PM

Anyone?

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