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First time sauerkraut, pieces above brine. Is it ok?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created December 20, 2012 at 6:11 PM

I just made my first batch of sauerkraut, which has been fermenting for about 2.5 weeks in mason jars with airlocks. One of the jars had the brine get a little low, and there were some pieces sticking out of the brine. Things looked ok, I didn't see any mold or anything. Is the jar ruined? Or should I just remove the top layer?

Thanks

B72e976b2df9e7f01315830062a5209c

(1365)

on December 20, 2012
at 06:34 PM

If it smells good and looks good it's probably ok to taste a small piece. If it tastes good and you don't have any ill effects, then you're golden. I find my batches tend to swell up over the water every 12ish hours, but I use mason jars with coffee filters, so I just pop the filter off, push it down and/or add some more water.

93cc62f4bbf2d9b38173b4bd66e23526

(10)

on December 20, 2012
at 06:31 PM

It smells like sauerkraut to me. I don't detect anything odd.

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4 Answers

1
F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on December 20, 2012
at 07:17 PM

  1. Traditional sauerkraut is made in an open barrel/bucket with a small wooden circle put on top to keep the brine down. I use glass jars with water as a press on top of those wooden circles. Most people use big large rocks.

  2. All the pieces should be covered with brine.

  3. Keep pushing them down so they will touch the brine.

1
194d8e8140425057fe06202e1e5822a7

(3979)

on December 20, 2012
at 06:19 PM

I think this forum is where you really want to go.

As for your ferment, what's it smell like? That will give you the most information.

93cc62f4bbf2d9b38173b4bd66e23526

(10)

on December 20, 2012
at 06:31 PM

It smells like sauerkraut to me. I don't detect anything odd.

B72e976b2df9e7f01315830062a5209c

(1365)

on December 20, 2012
at 06:34 PM

If it smells good and looks good it's probably ok to taste a small piece. If it tastes good and you don't have any ill effects, then you're golden. I find my batches tend to swell up over the water every 12ish hours, but I use mason jars with coffee filters, so I just pop the filter off, push it down and/or add some more water.

0
61848fb3934eb0f08abacf0b920bf81b

on December 20, 2012
at 07:06 PM

Your sense of smell and taste are your best judges of quality when it comes to home fermentation. If it looks or smells off, then it is. But even if it seems fine and you are not comfortable eating, then don't. Better safe than sorry, and you will get more comfortable juding the quality as you make more and more of your own fermented foods.

Cabbage is one of the simplest and safest ferments. Enjoy.

0
6f4425e3c7dc0efe60da531c5d991487

on December 20, 2012
at 07:01 PM

Eat it. If it looks appetizing and there are no off-tastes or smells, then there should be no worries.

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