1

votes

sauerkraut mason jars

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 19, 2012 at 1:22 PM

hi

is it possible to ferment cabbage in mason jars of sizes 1litre or 2litres as i just want to make small amounts if possible and on the top place the head of the cabbage to try to prevent any exposure to air?

thanks

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10480)

on July 19, 2012
at 06:21 PM

I don't get that when I do sauerkraut, likely because I pack the cabbage in very tightly and don't add water. With other ferments, I sometimes do, sometimes don't, depending on the produce. Try using a dry wooden spoon instead of a plastic or metal - I find the little bits stick to it a bit better and make it easier to get out. With Fido style jars, you don't have to burp, but a little foaminess will likely escape during the first few days and it will pop and fizz when opened at the end. I'd recommend setting your jars on a tray or on some towels.

4b5be253ac1981c690689cab7e4bf06d

(3043)

on July 19, 2012
at 05:56 PM

@Alex , mostly, I'm too lazy to babysit my jars like that :). I would rather have a jar that self exhales than worry about not getting to it :)

4b5be253ac1981c690689cab7e4bf06d

(3043)

on July 19, 2012
at 05:53 PM

Fido jars are designed to allow air to escape out. So, you don't need to do anything.

Adb6852b4f2f42904da67708ffcd59f5

(496)

on July 19, 2012
at 05:17 PM

i have fido type jars, so how do i avoid too much pressure, just burping is fine?

Adb6852b4f2f42904da67708ffcd59f5

(496)

on July 19, 2012
at 05:16 PM

when little transparent islands float on top of the fermentation, mine never scraps off, it just keep slipping away when i try to scoop it, any other way to get rid of it? and i use fido type jars so how shall i burp them?

Adb6852b4f2f42904da67708ffcd59f5

(496)

on July 19, 2012
at 05:16 PM

when little transparent islands float on top of the fermentation, mine never scraps off, it just keep slipping away when i try to scoop it, any other way to get rid of it?

7e1433afbb06c318c4d90860d493c49d

(5959)

on July 19, 2012
at 04:53 PM

If the mason jar's metal ring is loosened only enough for gas to hiss out, the lid will not be open enough for air to enter the jar.

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10480)

on July 19, 2012
at 04:47 PM

Er, that is, I don't use -water-. Just salt and cabbage, there has always been plenty of water in the cabbage to ferment it after it is salted properly, and I've never had a limp or soggy batch this way. Also, I love mixing the green and purple cabbage to make pink kraut. :)

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10480)

on July 19, 2012
at 04:46 PM

I do mine this way also. Delicious and never ever had a problem. I don't even use brine - just the extruded water from the cabbage itself. http://www.deliciousobsessions.com/2012/03/52-weeks-of-bad-a-bacteria-week-9-the-triple-s-super-simple-sauerkraut/

7e1433afbb06c318c4d90860d493c49d

(5959)

on July 19, 2012
at 04:09 PM

My guess is that if there was rotting instead of fermentation, not enough salt was used. If you don't have the experience to know by eye how much salt to add, you're better off sticking to a recipe. The recipe I use and recommend is a half tablespoon of salt per pound of shredded cabbage.

7e1433afbb06c318c4d90860d493c49d

(5959)

on July 19, 2012
at 04:01 PM

@hardeep92 Gas production is heaviest during the first few days, so I vent off the pressure 2-3 times a day during that time. As the week wears on, I vent just once a day. When it gets to the point where only a tiny bit of gas escapes, I leave the jar tightly sealed until I open it to eat the kraut. @syrahna The mason jars only burp when I unscrew the metal ring just enough for the gas to escape. When the ring is screwed back down tight, the jar is airtight and no gas escapes.

0382fa263de4c83328dc34a56e25437f

(4238)

on July 19, 2012
at 03:57 PM

Hey, this is an excellent idea. +1.

0382fa263de4c83328dc34a56e25437f

(4238)

on July 19, 2012
at 03:56 PM

Use the jar lids that come with mason jars, just leave them loose, as in, don't screw them on tightly.

D5d982a898721d3392c85f951d0bf0aa

(2417)

on July 19, 2012
at 03:18 PM

Alex, the mason jars aren't airtight primarily BECAUSE of the burping.

1133603ea602c6824da56e8b596c9754

(614)

on July 19, 2012
at 02:51 PM

I actually don't burp my mason jar kraut. I just don't tighten it all the way. I haven't had a problem. Also, I think you were asking about what to put on top of the kraut to hold it under the brine? I peel off the first couple of cabbage leaves and stuff them on top. It's important that your kraut is submerged fully in brine. It really only seems complicated, but once you do it, it becomes second nature. Good luck!

Adb6852b4f2f42904da67708ffcd59f5

(496)

on July 19, 2012
at 02:09 PM

yes the fido jars are the same design i have in the uk but just a different brand like i have made fizzzy beet kvass so much easier compared to mason jars. so as long as i burp the jars every day, i should be fine right?

Adb6852b4f2f42904da67708ffcd59f5

(496)

on July 19, 2012
at 02:02 PM

hi, so what do you suggest covering the kraut with instead of the lids of the jars and do i just keep that cover over the top even when it gets transferred to the fridge? sorry for the questions but thanks

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9 Answers

4
5495f20862fee8ca6a3d6cf6ece99356

(387)

on July 19, 2012
at 03:28 PM

I make kimchi in mason jars. (two gallons last weekend) I use half gallon jars, and leave about two inches on the top. Then I put a ziplock bag in the mouth, and just flip the zipper over the edge of the jar. Then I push the bag down onto the kimchi to pack, (careful not to tear it) and then fill the bag with water. The lid goes on next, then the threaded ring. It will thread right over the thin layer of plastic. (again, careful not to tear) The water holds the kimchi down, and the plastic layer in the threads lets just enough air out. The water will also come out as the product expands, so I put a tray under my jars for that. I refer to it as a home made air lock.

0382fa263de4c83328dc34a56e25437f

(4238)

on July 19, 2012
at 03:57 PM

Hey, this is an excellent idea. +1.

3
7e1433afbb06c318c4d90860d493c49d

(5959)

on July 19, 2012
at 02:04 PM

I have never had problems making sauerkraut in mason jars. The online hucksters trying to sell expensive air-lock pickling jars insist that mason jar lids are not airtight unless heated during canning, but that has not been my experience. I use the burp method, in which the lid is kept tightly sealed, slightly loosening the lid once or twice a day to release the gas pressure. If the lids were truly not airtight, they wouldn't hold the pressure. That said, wire bale canning jars, like the Fido jars from Italy, are sooooooooo much nicer to use than ordinary mason jars. Burping the jars is much easier, and they'll actually burp themselves long before the pressure can build up enough to explode the jar.

1133603ea602c6824da56e8b596c9754

(614)

on July 19, 2012
at 02:51 PM

I actually don't burp my mason jar kraut. I just don't tighten it all the way. I haven't had a problem. Also, I think you were asking about what to put on top of the kraut to hold it under the brine? I peel off the first couple of cabbage leaves and stuff them on top. It's important that your kraut is submerged fully in brine. It really only seems complicated, but once you do it, it becomes second nature. Good luck!

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10480)

on July 19, 2012
at 04:47 PM

Er, that is, I don't use -water-. Just salt and cabbage, there has always been plenty of water in the cabbage to ferment it after it is salted properly, and I've never had a limp or soggy batch this way. Also, I love mixing the green and purple cabbage to make pink kraut. :)

Adb6852b4f2f42904da67708ffcd59f5

(496)

on July 19, 2012
at 05:16 PM

when little transparent islands float on top of the fermentation, mine never scraps off, it just keep slipping away when i try to scoop it, any other way to get rid of it? and i use fido type jars so how shall i burp them?

7e1433afbb06c318c4d90860d493c49d

(5959)

on July 19, 2012
at 04:01 PM

@hardeep92 Gas production is heaviest during the first few days, so I vent off the pressure 2-3 times a day during that time. As the week wears on, I vent just once a day. When it gets to the point where only a tiny bit of gas escapes, I leave the jar tightly sealed until I open it to eat the kraut. @syrahna The mason jars only burp when I unscrew the metal ring just enough for the gas to escape. When the ring is screwed back down tight, the jar is airtight and no gas escapes.

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10480)

on July 19, 2012
at 04:46 PM

I do mine this way also. Delicious and never ever had a problem. I don't even use brine - just the extruded water from the cabbage itself. http://www.deliciousobsessions.com/2012/03/52-weeks-of-bad-a-bacteria-week-9-the-triple-s-super-simple-sauerkraut/

D5d982a898721d3392c85f951d0bf0aa

(2417)

on July 19, 2012
at 03:18 PM

Alex, the mason jars aren't airtight primarily BECAUSE of the burping.

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10480)

on July 19, 2012
at 06:21 PM

I don't get that when I do sauerkraut, likely because I pack the cabbage in very tightly and don't add water. With other ferments, I sometimes do, sometimes don't, depending on the produce. Try using a dry wooden spoon instead of a plastic or metal - I find the little bits stick to it a bit better and make it easier to get out. With Fido style jars, you don't have to burp, but a little foaminess will likely escape during the first few days and it will pop and fizz when opened at the end. I'd recommend setting your jars on a tray or on some towels.

Adb6852b4f2f42904da67708ffcd59f5

(496)

on July 19, 2012
at 02:09 PM

yes the fido jars are the same design i have in the uk but just a different brand like i have made fizzzy beet kvass so much easier compared to mason jars. so as long as i burp the jars every day, i should be fine right?

2
4b5be253ac1981c690689cab7e4bf06d

(3043)

on July 19, 2012
at 04:39 PM

I am doing my fermenting in fido jars, based on the results from Sourkraut Survivor http://www.nourishingtreasures.com/index.php/2012/07/03/sauerkraut-survivor-final-report/

Specifically, the fido will create a seal that will allow gas pressure to leave (so the jar doesn't explode), while still not letting additional oxygen into the jar. Mason jars will occasionally need to be "burped," but will also allow air back into the jar while this is happening, which will change how the lactofermentation proceeds.

Currently I have some kimchi and my water kefir fermenting in Fido jars. Might make some Cortado :)

But, unless you have serious gut issues and/or specifically need the probiotics, I wouldnt let a lack of jars prevent you from fermenting. If you don't see mold, the mason jar will be fine for starting out.

4b5be253ac1981c690689cab7e4bf06d

(3043)

on July 19, 2012
at 05:56 PM

@Alex , mostly, I'm too lazy to babysit my jars like that :). I would rather have a jar that self exhales than worry about not getting to it :)

7e1433afbb06c318c4d90860d493c49d

(5959)

on July 19, 2012
at 04:53 PM

If the mason jar's metal ring is loosened only enough for gas to hiss out, the lid will not be open enough for air to enter the jar.

2
D8612a7c536e74f9855b70d8e97919b5

(1042)

on July 19, 2012
at 01:32 PM

Yes, you can use mason jars. I make kimchi in them all the time. Just make sure they are sterile (pour in some boiling water and dump it out) and make sure the shredded cabbage is not exposed to air (fill with brine up to the very top). Also, don't screw the lids on super tightly. If you make a truly airtight seal, the gases will not be able to escape and if enough pressure builds up, it could crack the glass. Highly unlikely, but possible. I'm not sure what you mean about placing the head of cabbage on top. I would just top off the jars with brine. Here's some more good info on kraut:

http://www.wedlinydomowe.com/food-preserving/sauerkraut/fermentation-sauerkraut

Adb6852b4f2f42904da67708ffcd59f5

(496)

on July 19, 2012
at 02:02 PM

hi, so what do you suggest covering the kraut with instead of the lids of the jars and do i just keep that cover over the top even when it gets transferred to the fridge? sorry for the questions but thanks

0382fa263de4c83328dc34a56e25437f

(4238)

on July 19, 2012
at 03:56 PM

Use the jar lids that come with mason jars, just leave them loose, as in, don't screw them on tightly.

0
75d65450b6ff0be7b969fb321f1200ac

(2506)

on November 17, 2012
at 12:51 PM

As others have posted, the fermentation process causes the release of a considerable amount of gas. I make sauerkraut in a wide mouth ceramic vessel and simply cover the vessel with clingy plastic wrap. I then secure the wrap with a rubber band. This way gas can escape yet it prevents insects from getting in.

Once the fermentation is done you can seal the container.

_Lazza

PS - I will be starting a batch of sauerkraut tomorrow. Sauerkraut is great stuff. I hope those who haven't made their own give it a try. It's very easy (, ... do a Google to learn more).

0
3491e51730101b18724dc57c86601173

(8395)

on November 17, 2012
at 07:04 AM

I use mason jars either with a regular lid I vent twice daily or a homemade airlock device (airlock and rubber stopper from the home rea shop for about $4--they drilled a hole in the jar lid for me).

Recently I got glass weights on eBay to weigh the veggies down.

0
Cffa9e3c379f891554454556b9191ba7

on November 17, 2012
at 06:14 AM

It's a tricky question as too much pressure can break the jar but the pressure is from the yeast. The yeast is fed by the sugar or fruit that is in the kimchi or sauerkraut ( same thing, different spices ) and they consume the oxygen and produce the CO2. CO2 is heavier than O2 so even in a leaky jar, it dispels any oxygen from entering the jar, solving the mold problem and killing off all the aerobic microbes including the yeast. With sealed or partially sealed jars, the added pressure helps the fluids penetrate the vegetables. The salt only needs to be on the vegetables temporarily for about half an hour before the vegetables are packed in the jar and can be brushed or rinsed off, the salt reduces most of the bacteria except Lacto Baccillus which hopefully will outnumber the other bacteria quickly. Lacto Bacillus produces lactic acid which increases the acidity and the sourness of the liquid, killing off the other bacteria and the yeast and this is what preserves the vegetables, the active Lacto Bacillus bacteria. A mason canning jar is actually designed to vent out but not vent back in, that's how the cans seal themselves in a canner, the heat increases the pressure inside the jar, venting gases out and then when it cools, air can't get back in. So long as the jar rings are only finger tight, it shouldn't explode when making sauerkraut or kimchi. The Lightning or French jars with the hinged glass lids with gaskets and a clasp are more of a seal and will hold more pressure which is why they are no longer advised for canning, but they too should vent before exploding. However if you are uncertain if the lightning jar you have is strong enough for the pressure, you can use an elastic band on the clasp or a weight on the lid.

Using the end of the cabbage to hold down the rest of the veggies is a good idea, usually a stone or a dipping dish is used. However that end of the cabbage will be exposed to the air and subject to mold and other microbes so you will want to salt it heavily ( have the salt crystals standing on it ), some people just have a layer of heavily salted leaves on top.

The Hartz and Pickl-it jars are interesting and may be appropriate for pickles and sauerkraut but I think the added pressure and carbonation adds a nice touch to the kimchi so I wouldn't have any problems with using smaller mason canning jars sized for one head of cabbage each. Just make sure they are canning jars with the two piece lids as they are stronger and designed to vent out but not in.

0
D5d982a898721d3392c85f951d0bf0aa

(2417)

on July 19, 2012
at 03:20 PM

I've done it in Mason jars, but I've had more success with Pickl-it jars - and I don't end up scraping off a bunch of the top. I make enough fermented stuff to justify buying a few of those jars. There are also lots of instructions online for how to install a regular cheap airlock into a Mason jar, with properly sized gaskets and all.

Adb6852b4f2f42904da67708ffcd59f5

(496)

on July 19, 2012
at 05:16 PM

when little transparent islands float on top of the fermentation, mine never scraps off, it just keep slipping away when i try to scoop it, any other way to get rid of it?

0
3ab5e1b9eba22a071f653330b7fc9579

on July 19, 2012
at 02:41 PM

I tried to do it in canning jars, mine just rotted, but then again i did not use any technique other than throwing the cabbage in jard with some brine to see what happens

7e1433afbb06c318c4d90860d493c49d

(5959)

on July 19, 2012
at 04:09 PM

My guess is that if there was rotting instead of fermentation, not enough salt was used. If you don't have the experience to know by eye how much salt to add, you're better off sticking to a recipe. The recipe I use and recommend is a half tablespoon of salt per pound of shredded cabbage.

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