Home made sauerkraut

Yes I do and it is really easy and very tasty. My recipe is from my Nourishing Traditions cookbook so I don't know how authentic it is.
1 medium cabbage, cored and shredded
1 Tablespoon caraway seeds
2 Tablespoons sea salt

In a bowl mix cabbage with carraway seeds, and sea salt. Pound with a wooden pounder or end of rolling pin for about 10 mins to release juices. Place in a wide mouth (clean) jar (or just a really big one) and press down firmly with a pounder until juices come to the top of the cabbage. The top of the cabbage should be at least 1 inch below the top of the jar. I keep the cabbage weighted down with a clean plastic bag filled with water and tied off then a shallow container underneath in case of spillage which sometimes happens. Put in a dark cupboard for 3-10 days at room temp. You will see it starting to ferment. You can taste it every couple of days to see how you like it. Once it is how you like it, take out the plastic bag and put a lid on it and refrigerate and it should keep for a few months.
I have made this recipe twice and it was really good, very simple ingredients and very tasty.
(Note the original recipe in my book also has an option for using whey as well as salt but when I tried it the whey failed miserably and gave it a not so nice taste) Apparently it improves with age and if full of probiotics.
I now make Kimchi (Korean sauerkraut) as it has a bit more kick, however my daughter complains about the pong!

village.green (11 11 positive feedback) 3:09 pm, Tue 14 Jan #5

Chef_bev00, Jan 14, 11:28 pm

After 10 days I drained the salty water but it is still way too salty. Shall I rinse it or is that spoiling it?

Chef_maxi42, Apr 13, 8:05 am

How much did you use? I make kimchi which is basically just another version of sauerkraut and it only uses about 2 Tbs per head of cabbage. The sk.t recipe uses the same. It really doesn't need much even though you think it does whilst adding and then when you massage through and then pound to break down the cell walls the most amazing amount of liquid comes out. I just put down a batch.

Chef_village.green, Apr 13, 12:43 pm

Please give us your recipe or a brief outline. The liquid that is created during the making and fermenting process is not actually "water", though some can be added if your vegetables do not produce enough in the initial making. You definitely do not drain this liquid. It is consumed along with the sauerkraut.

As a general rule of thumb I use 15g of non-iodised salt for every kilo of vegetables. Unlike others, I tend to be slightly anal about measurements so use a set of scales. Too much salt will inhibit fermentation and too little salt will allow the growth of unhealthy organisims.

Ensure that your lids are screwed down tight and are not made of metal. There will be leakage (due to gas formation) during the initial 3 or 4 day fermentation process so jars need to be placed into a receptacle to catch it.

If there is anything else you want to know just ask.

Chef_buzzy110, Apr 13, 3:18 pm

thanks for that! I did use too much salt I think, not, measuring it properly,will def do more precisely next time. I did have to drain it and rinse it this time, it tasted pretty good then. Buzzy, when you mention the lids screwed on, that must be after the fermentation? Because I had covered the jar with cloth,with something under it to weigh the cabbage down.

Chef_maxi42, Apr 14, 5:13 am

No. Put the lids on immediately. the whole idea is to keep air from getting into the mix, which is why all vegetables need to be submerged. a white mould/yeast will grow (Kahm -it is harmless but does alter the flavour of the sauerkraut) on the top of the liquid in the presence of air.

Harsch fermenting crocks exclude all air completely during fermentation and the long storage that can follow but allows air to escape.

A good book to read is Lisa's Counter Culture. The special lids for the jars are not available in NZ and too expensive to ship to NZ by one person (two or three people and it becomes practical) but the book tells you lots of things that will help with understanding the process.

Chef_buzzy110, Apr 14, 1:28 pm

I have a question, if you don't add water how can it create enough liquid to keep any of it submerged?

Chef_motorbo, Apr 14, 2:26 pm

I use a clean freezer bag with water in it then tied off as a weight and then the veges are totally submerged. Has worked well so far for me and I've been fermenting for about 5 months.

Chef_village.green, Apr 14, 3:47 pm

Sauerkraut pots similar toHarsh pots are available in NZ or they were. www.goldenfields.co.nz/sauerkraut_pot

Chef_kay141, Apr 14, 4:13 pm

ah you pop the bag in the container to weight the mix down? great idea, thanks I so want to try it myself

Chef_motorbo, Apr 14, 4:33 pm

They are inferior to Harsch in every way. There major drawback is that the water moat is too small for long term storage, having to be topped up every day or every second day. The other major drawback is that they have a thinner wall and are, therefore slightly osmotic, allowing for the formation of thick layers of black, unhealthy mould on the bottom of the crock.

I would recommend them only for making the sauerkraut and then transferring to jars and refrigeration. In that case it is actually easier to just skip the crock and make the sauerkraut directly in jars.

Chef_buzzy110, Apr 14, 4:38 pm

If you say so. People I know, who have purchased them are more than satisified. Like the ones in the old country, seems to be the main comment.

Of course, as I suggested them, you must disagree. I would think it strange if you did not.

Chef_kay141, Apr 14, 4:48 pm

please Kay, no need for that. we are here to learn, thanks everyone!

Chef_maxi42, Apr 15, 8:25 am

Once you have cut and salted it leave it in a big bowl or bin for a bit (half hour or so). The salt will through osmosis get the liquid out of the cabbage.

If there is not enough liquid after this time then just pound it with your fists and keep turning it around so all the cabbage gets a bit of a hit. You will find there is more liquid than you need in the end.

Hope that helps.

Chef_uli, Aug 3, 5:14 pm

I've just been reading this older thread through and have no idea what I meant when I said 'sk.t' recipe?

Another thing I've tried in helping to keep the contents submerged is to get a stone of some sort, wash and boil to sterilise and put on top of a cabbage leaf on the top of everything else to weigh it down. My teen daughter likes to bring that up at times, "mum boils stones, did you know?. "

Chef_village.green, Aug 4, 1:21 pm

Yep - the original recipe is to use a freshly boiled cloth (a cotton or even better a linen towel - not sure they still exist) over the kraut, then add a piece of wood (in NZ I would use kahikatea) cut to the size of your barrel and on top comes the boiled stone (greywacke is good).

Each week you remove the lot, clean it all again so it doesn't go slimy (meanwhile dig some more kraut out for the following weeks eating and cooking) and replace everything nice and clean.

Works well if you live in a nice and cold area. Does not work at all in Northland :)

Hence I use agee or mason jars and keep in the fridge once the initial fermentation is done.Works very well.

Chef_uli, Aug 4, 5:14 pm

Initial fermentation for me is 3 days. What do you do uli? I have heard recently that it isn't long enough for good bugs to start doing their thing.

Chef_vmax2, Aug 4, 5:17 pm

You MUST teach her how to make stone soup then!

But I will not hijack the sauerkraut thread. I will open another one with the most delicious recipe for stone soup!

Chef_uli, Aug 4, 5:36 pm

I boiled a stone once by mistake. Thought it was a purple potato. My kids never let me forget it.

Chef_vmax2, Jan 23, 10:42 pm

Share this thread