4

votes

Does anyone here make Sauerkraut?

Answered on October 09, 2015
Created June 16, 2010 at 10:02 AM

If so - how successful has it been? Do you like it?

I have a couple of books with recipes and they stress the importance of having a wide jar to make it in, using a weight to keep the cabbage below the brine, and a cover over that to keep flies off. Sounds such a fiddle - then I wondered, could I use a large Caffetiere (French Press)? It would keep the cabbage under and the top lid would keep out flies - what do you think??

139fab654b77c06dd0adc4677affd953

(0)

on September 30, 2015
at 07:28 PM

Yes, and I have renamed my french press the "sauerkraut maker" because it is perfect for that purpose. 

03fa485bfd54734522755f47a5e6597e

(3944)

on April 05, 2011
at 03:12 PM

That sounds like the old crock method. If you put it directly in canning jars as people are talking about below, and make sure the juice covers the cabbage (add a little water if necessary), you don't have to worry about weighting it or keeping pests out.

03fa485bfd54734522755f47a5e6597e

(3944)

on April 05, 2011
at 03:10 PM

That's my method too, except that I've left it out for a few months without any ill effects. (I'm very interested in lacto-fermenting more things, but as far as I'm concerned, food isn't "preserved" if I have to keep it refrigerated.) Maybe I just got lucky.

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on April 05, 2011
at 02:33 PM

This is what I do and have been doing for years - except I like to use a food processor to get smaller pieces of cabbage. Also, I add chili powder and a drop or two of apple cider vinegar (or whey).

7e1064164e012a1ead098098245b1cd4

(1217)

on April 05, 2011
at 08:57 AM

Oh, fantastic - I didn't realise it was this easy! Thank you.

4e184df9c1ed38f61febc5d6cf031921

(5005)

on November 27, 2010
at 09:12 AM

What is "the perfect pickler" and is it available in the UK?

D339c39d94d65460e28128174845f423

(821)

on June 17, 2010
at 01:15 PM

This is basically the method I have used with mostly good results

42321851a87415b340d215f629e574dc

(668)

on June 16, 2010
at 12:51 PM

This is the EXACT method I use. It has produced desirable results time and time again. I also ferment various other foods.

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10 Answers

8
8564091e3cf82ea53843c0dbcf57857a

(990)

on June 16, 2010
at 05:08 PM

I make it pretty simply:

  1. Cut up cabbage with a knife. Place in a bowl.
  2. Using sea salt, salt the cabbage a lot.
  3. Using your hands, scrunch and break up the cabbage to start releasing juices.
  4. Stuff the cabbage into any jars you have, and close lid.
  5. Every now and then, open the jar and push down the cabbage so it gets saturated in juices.

If you salt it enough, it shouldn't go moldy. If you cut it small enough and break it down with your hands, it will release plenty of liquid. If it's warm in your house, only leave it out a few days before refrigerating. If it's cool, leave it out 10 days.

I thought about getting a special crock with a weight and it would be nice to have but I haven't had the need to. A good resource for making ferments is Wild Fermentation by Sandor Katz.

D339c39d94d65460e28128174845f423

(821)

on June 17, 2010
at 01:15 PM

This is basically the method I have used with mostly good results

7e1064164e012a1ead098098245b1cd4

(1217)

on April 05, 2011
at 08:57 AM

Oh, fantastic - I didn't realise it was this easy! Thank you.

03fa485bfd54734522755f47a5e6597e

(3944)

on April 05, 2011
at 03:10 PM

That's my method too, except that I've left it out for a few months without any ill effects. (I'm very interested in lacto-fermenting more things, but as far as I'm concerned, food isn't "preserved" if I have to keep it refrigerated.) Maybe I just got lucky.

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on April 05, 2011
at 02:33 PM

This is what I do and have been doing for years - except I like to use a food processor to get smaller pieces of cabbage. Also, I add chili powder and a drop or two of apple cider vinegar (or whey).

4
A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on June 16, 2010
at 11:21 AM

I make my own sauerkraut. I've been doing it for about a year now. Here's how I do it:

  1. I cut the cabbage into chunks.
  2. I put those chucks through the food processor to shred them (because I'm lazy and don't want to chop it all up myself).
  3. I dump all that in a bowl and add whey (from yogurt) and sea salt and red chili pepper.
  4. I use clean hands to mix it all and massage it.
  5. I stuff it all into widemouth jars (6" tall by 4" wide or so).
  6. I add a little water to the top.
  7. I seal the lid and place them in a warm place for 3 or 4 days (with a piece of tape on them reminding me when to move them).
  8. I move them to cold storage (fridge).

Never in that process do I use a weight or a plate. I've never found that I need to keep my cabbage below the brine. It kinda does that on it's own while it ferments (because the salt is drawing the moisture out). And it leaks, so I keep the jars in little plastic bowls.

All that said, trying a french press might work too! ;)

P.S. Sometimes I use raw apple cider vinegar instead of whey. Works like a charm!

42321851a87415b340d215f629e574dc

(668)

on June 16, 2010
at 12:51 PM

This is the EXACT method I use. It has produced desirable results time and time again. I also ferment various other foods.

2
7e1433afbb06c318c4d90860d493c49d

(5959)

on November 28, 2010
at 01:16 AM

Sauerkraut is extremely easy to make at home, in amounts as large or small as desired. Shred cabbage and mix it with salt (a half tablespoon of salt per pound of shredded cabbage). Pack the cabbage into mason jars to one inch below the top, and tighten the lids. After the salt has had a chance to draw out water for a few hours, open the jars and pack the cabbage down to cover with liquid (if there's not enough liquid, add a little filtered water), and put the lids back on tightly. Keep the jars at room temperature, preferably on the cool end of room temperature. Once a day, loosen the lids just enough to vent off any gas pressure and retighten the lids. Do not open the jar all the way, as that lets oxygen back in to the jar. The gas that vents off is CO2, and it purges the jar of oxygen, making it impossible for yeasts and other nasties to grow. After five days or so, the jars stop venting, and at that point, they should be put in the fridge to age for at least two more weeks.

2
667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 17, 2010
at 12:25 AM

Following is a link for making kimchi but i swear to the almight chili lord that this stuff is stupidly delicious. I love kraut too, dont get me wrong (and afterall, kraut and kimchi are essentially the same thing, one simply hot and the other not so much) but this stuff is just too good to pass up.

http://www.drbenkim.com/recipes-kim-chi.htm

1
Ba0479814cf9ceda7b431b14a403c2c4

on April 05, 2011
at 04:31 AM

I love making sauerkraut. In addition to what everyone else has said here, I'd add-

-Use Red Cabbage! It tastes better, and I believe its healthier

-Make sure you use sea salt or kosher salt. Iodized salt will kill the fermenting process

-I believe metal containers interfere with the process as well, use ceramic, glass or plastic

Enjoy!

1
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 05, 2011
at 03:53 AM

Nowadays I just stuff my prepared kraut or kimchi into mason jars smashing it down tight so that the liquid is covering the top of the veg. This works well for the short fermentation time (on the counter) and once it's in the fridge it slows down so less worry about spoilage. Not to mention you are going to eat it pretty fast. Kimchi in particular kills sugar cravings like nobody's business:)

Be sure to remember to set jars on a plate or something to catch juice that will overflow during fermentation.

Also if you really want the cabbage in there as tight as possible stick a clean chopstick into the jar along the sides, after it is packed and let any air bubbles out. Then you'll know if you need more liquid.

Finally, when you finish eating your tasty sauerkraut or kimchi, be sure to save any leftover liquid to use in your next batch. It really gets the ferment going.

PS if you do a lot of different kinds of pickles, you can check out a Japanese pickle maker, which is a container with a screw down pusher which you tighten on top of your batch until it is completely covered in liquid. Good for large batches.

http://www.amazon.com/Tsukemono-Japanese-Pickle-Press-2-2/dp/B001EK2LHK/ref=pd_sbs_k_4

1
A68f24168bc0de414a038037e287b581

on June 16, 2010
at 08:59 PM

When I was a kid my neighbors were doing their own sauerkraut. They were doing huge amounts, for whole winter... and their were employing us (kids) to help. How? After chopping it all they put it huge pot (like you see in some communal kitchens) and we had to walk in them! similarly to what you see in traditional wine production. It was always fun :) So try to break the cabbage really, really well. Traditionally a lot of people add some shredded carrots as well.

Oh, and generally stone vessels are good for pickling.

1
9b06a36116b91415492cb46d5c145ac4

on June 16, 2010
at 02:08 PM

i use the perfect pickler. i have tried to make a few batches in the past with mason jars but, they didn't work. the perfect pickler costs around 20 bucks but it makes awsome krout and pickles everytime. and it comes with directions.

4e184df9c1ed38f61febc5d6cf031921

(5005)

on November 27, 2010
at 09:12 AM

What is "the perfect pickler" and is it available in the UK?

0
F54a16e4caf4dc8da9ef1369f46a95cd

(591)

on October 09, 2015
at 11:55 AM

Someone told me once it was essential to use organic cabbage. I tried it with regular cabbage once... It didn't go well. As far as I'm concerned, she was right.

0
Medium avatar

(4878)

on April 05, 2011
at 02:23 PM

^Ditto the red cabbage! I also add red onions for a kick, jalapenos, and carrots.

I've found that it is best to let the flavor develop for months as it seems to get better and better after the first 3 months.

I also save the juice and drink it.

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