Fermenting sauerkraut in the summer

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 20, 2013 at 8:19 PM

There's no where in my house that consistently stays under 75 degrees. I've heard cooler temperatures produce better flavor.

Should I maybe put the kraut in the fridge during the night so the kraut goes through a range of temperatures throughout the day? Or would that be too much of a shock?

Or should I just put it outside at night? It occasionally gets under 60 degrees.

Anybody have any experience with this?



on June 05, 2013
at 03:07 AM

taste it! If it's sour and fizzy and delicious, it's done. If it's still cabbagy and makes you burp, it's not done yet.



on May 21, 2013
at 04:26 AM

Do you drink kefir? I'm looking forward to trying some kefirkraut. This page has some good info http://users.sa.chariot.net.au/~dna/kefirkraut.html

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6 Answers



on June 04, 2013
at 03:44 PM

Loads of experience!

I grew up making sauerkraut in a house without a/c in the Midwest (summers get up to or over 100F and it's always 80-100% humidity).

Check your kraut early and often.

We used a crock, this maintains temp better than glass (I keep seeing people using mason jars...we used a 5 gallon crock). Also, the larger the amount, the slower the temp change will be (this goes for high temp or low -- it's its own insulation).

When we make salty brines (fermented pickles), we do them countertop in a small container (bowl) with a plate on top. That is checked at least twice a day because they WILL ferment quickly! As usual, when they've reached the flavor you like, refrigerate (or eat quickly).

We never refrigerated ours but that's because the family was eating the bowl within a few days after it matured.

Our kraut was a larger quantity in a crock, so that went slower but the same applies--it's just a cucumber rather than cabbage. It's more about the vessel and amount if they're both in the same temp.

I'm making some kraut right now but doing it in the basement, which is climate controlled, staying about 72F. I only did 4 pounds of cabbage and it's already been about a week and a half. I need to check it tonight as I didn't last night!


on June 04, 2013
at 04:03 PM

I am concerned now!!

I am making two 32oz jars of Kraut.

They have been in a kitchen closet in the dark for 2 weeks now. We have had some very hot days in Pasadena in that time but most of the time it has been relatively mild, ecspecially recently.

I have been checking the Kraut every other day and letting gasses out. Sometimes the water level dropped and I had to push everything down again. No mold is growing.

I was making these as a gift for fathers day but its also my first time.

Should I put them in the fridge now? I don't even know if they are "done" yet.



on June 05, 2013
at 03:07 AM

taste it! If it's sour and fizzy and delicious, it's done. If it's still cabbagy and makes you burp, it's not done yet.


on May 21, 2013
at 03:19 PM

Kraut will go bad very fast in 80 plus degree temps. As long as my home is not more than 70 degrees summer or winter all seems to go great. But one day of 80 plus in the summer or wood stove heating winter and it is all gone. We use #5 harsch crocks also and LOVE them. Middle of the summer we do put the crocks in the fridge if the temp everywhere else is hitting 80 degrees or more. It does slow it down but it does not stop it completely and at least when the temp comes down you still have your kraut.



on May 21, 2013
at 02:14 PM

Kraut is very forgiving and subjective, if it is a little warmer it will likely just ferment a little quicker. putting it in the fridge will all but stop the process.

I leave my crock on the kitchen counter and just try a little every day, when I like the flavor i jar it and fridge it. I like a crispy kraut so i cut the cabbage thick and ferment it a little shorter. my favorite one i have done is a traditional german blend of dill coriander and juniper berrys

happy fermenting!



on May 21, 2013
at 07:07 AM

I haven't checked the temperature in my house but I'm sure my kitchen gets quite warm in summer - cold in winter. And the sauerkraut I make in my harsch crock always seems to work whatever. I do a fairly long ferment along the lines in this link


But I would, if the kitchen got really too warm, be looking for the coolest area of the house just to be sure.



on May 21, 2013
at 12:54 AM

I've made sauerkraut in the summer and the winter and haven't noticed a big difference. I prefer summer because it's a LOT faster, although I now use a homemade air lock lid, so I don't have to fuss with it much at all while it's fermenting. In a closed jar it had to be "burped" once or twice daily to let out the gasses.

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