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What do you know about making sauerkraut?

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Re: What do you know about making sauerkraut?

Post  Scorpio Rising on 7/11/2017, 7:08 am

I think frothy bubbles are OK in fermenting veggies:

http://www.culturesforhealth.com/learn/natural-fermentation/fermented-vegetables-troubleshooting-faq/

Anybody else who has actually done this?
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Re: What do you know about making sauerkraut?

Post  RoOsTeR on 7/11/2017, 7:40 am

It's normal. As long as the contents of the jars are submerged under liquid, you should be fine. I like to pack my jars as tight as possible. Then place a large outer cabbage leaf over the top. The cabbage will probably rise off the bottom of the jar, if it hasn't already.
Looks great!

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Re: What do you know about making sauerkraut?

Post  CitizenKate on 7/11/2017, 7:58 pm

I checked them today, and it seems everything is going as expected. They're all happily bubbling away, and building up pressure in the jars, and the airlock valves are evidently working. I'm starting to smell a nice aroma when I open the pantry door to check them. I was expecting something a bit more foul as they were actively fermenting, but the first ones are only at 3 days now, so maybe it's too early for the real business to kick in.

The red cabbage looks delightful, with that beautiful ruby red brine rising up in it.
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Re: What do you know about making sauerkraut?

Post  CitizenKate on 7/15/2017, 11:02 pm

It's day 7 on my first batch, and I decided to open one of the two jars and have a taste.

It looks fine, no signs of issues.  The bubbles have slowed down and there's not so much pressure building in the jars that I saw over the first seven days.  Just as all the articles I read said it would go.




The verdict:  So far, the flavor is developing nicely, but it's got a ways to go.  There's definitely a distinct tang becoming noticeable, and the cabbage flavor has mellowed to something a bit richer that I can't quite put my finger on, but it's very nice.  Still, the flavor is still a bit too overpowered by the brine, and I like my sauerkraut fairly tangy, so I'm going to let it continue.

The CRUNCH is amazing.  Love it!
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Re: What do you know about making sauerkraut?

Post  RoOsTeR on 7/17/2017, 7:49 am

The taste is so different than what most of us get used to out of a can. There is some canned/kraut out there that is really good, but once you start making your own, it'll be hard to go with anything else.
I love adding red pepper flakes to my kraut. Adds a nice little element.
Some are very fond of fermented garlic, and I've tried but just don't care for it.

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Re: What do you know about making sauerkraut?

Post  AtlantaMarie on 7/18/2017, 6:30 am

I have GOT to make my own......
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Re: What do you know about making sauerkraut?

Post  RoOsTeR on 7/18/2017, 8:48 am

If you have canning jars, you can easily make kraut and just about any other fermented veggies. I don't ever use an airlock anymore. I pack my jars and put the lid and ring on loosely enough to let gases escape.
This is my chosen method. YMMV.

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Re: What do you know about making sauerkraut?

Post  CapeCoddess on 7/18/2017, 11:10 am

@RoOsTeR wrote:If you have canning jars, you can easily make kraut and just about any other fermented veggies. I don't ever use an airlock anymore. I pack my jars and put the lid and ring on loosely enough to let gases escape.
This is my chosen method. YMMV.

OK, I'm going to do mine like that from now on.
Questions:

Do you pound yours down into the jar until the liquid comes up and covers it? That's always been the hardest part for me.

What size jar are you using? I was thinking of going with quarts but not sure I would eat that much soon enough.

How long do they last in the fridge? That way I'll know how many qts to do at once.
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Re: What do you know about making sauerkraut?

Post  Turan on 7/18/2017, 12:52 pm

Is there some basic guidelines for making kraut? Pounds of cabbage to ounces of salt? thinness needed of shredded cabbage? Is the salt for pulling juice out of the cabbage or for taste or for preservation or a combination? How about long term preservation, canning or freezing or?

I have 3 red cabbage heads forming, and one looks like it will be huge Laughing

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Re: What do you know about making sauerkraut?

Post  RoOsTeR on 7/19/2017, 8:44 am

I almost always use qrt jars. Once level of the ferment suits my taste, I place in the fridge, and honestly I've kept some things like kraut for months.

http://www.culturesforhealth.com/learn/natural-fermentation/how-to-ferment-vegetables/


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Re: What do you know about making sauerkraut?

Post  CitizenKate on 7/19/2017, 8:09 pm

@Turan wrote:Is there some basic guidelines for making kraut?  Pounds of cabbage to ounces of salt? thinness needed of shredded cabbage?  Is the salt for pulling juice out of the cabbage or for taste or for preservation or a combination? How about long term preservation, canning or freezing or?

I have 3 red cabbage heads forming, and one looks like it will be huge Laughing

To answer your question about salt, the consensus I found among numerous fermenting "gurus" is 2% by weight.  So if you have 3 lbs. of cabbage going into the jars (or 48 oz.), sprinkle and work in (48 x 0.02 - about 1 oz) of salt.

Lots of differing opinions about what salt to use... I think that's just up to you.

How fine you shred the cabbage is also subject to personal preference. My first batch ended up being a little chunkier than I prefer it. Some writers mention that the more chunky it is, the more time it will likely take to complete the fermentation process. After trying it a few different ways, I ended up preferring to use my mandolin slicer over the food processor. The slicer gets the job done fairly quickly and I spend less time with cleanup.
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Re: What do you know about making sauerkraut?

Post  CitizenKate on 7/19/2017, 8:23 pm

@RoOsTeR wrote:If you have canning jars, you can easily make kraut and just about any other fermented veggies. I don't ever use an airlock anymore. I pack my jars and put the lid and ring on loosely enough to let gases escape.
This is my chosen method. YMMV.

It really is a lot easier than I thought it would be.

I guess I decided on using airlocks on my jars because of all I read about mold getting into jars that were not sealed or had to be opened frequently.  OTOH, I've also read that some people ferment their veggies in open crocks, and don't seem to think a little mold on the surface of the brine is of much concern.  They just skim it off and allow it to carry on.  As long as the food stays submerged in the brine, the mold can't touch it.  In fact, I think I even read somewhere that you could actually stir the mold into the brine and the brine would kill it.  I don't plan on testing that theory anytime soon.  No  I'd just prefer not to have it to begin with.
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Re: What do you know about making sauerkraut?

Post  sanderson on 7/20/2017, 3:10 pm

Anyone can the sauerkraut? I know the beneficials will be killed but I like hot sauerkraut with pork occassionaly.

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Re: What do you know about making sauerkraut?

Post  CitizenKate on 7/20/2017, 9:27 pm

I've talked to people who can their sauerkraut as soon as the fermentation is done, and also read articles that recommend it. Since I'm just starting to experiment with it, I'd like to see how long it will keep in the fridge without canning it. I suppose you could still cook it if you want it hot, even if you don't can it.
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Re: What do you know about making sauerkraut?

Post  sanderson Today at 1:16 am

Kate, Thank you.

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