Friday, August 14, 2009


Earlier this week, I made some sauerkraut. I did not take any pictures while making it. Here is a picture of the stage it is in now. :) This is a five gallon crock. I have a gallon jar of water sitting on a plate on top of the kraut to keep it under the brine. The towel over the top is to keep any flies out. It will really stink by the time it is done. :)

My real world (vs. cyber world) friend, Ginny is the one who gave me the instructions. Here are the instructions as I did them.


Get your crock out and clean it good. Then put it where it is going to stay, because it is not easy to move once it is full. You can also do this in gallon jars.

Pick the cabbage and get most of the outer leaves off. You can just leave them in the garden to be tilled in. Bring the cabbage in and wash it and trim it further, as necessary, then cut it in pieces big enough to put in whatever grater you use. I used my food processor. I like the smaller cole slaw size pieces of sauerkraut.

Weigh the grated cabbage and add three slightly rounded tablespoons of salt to five pounds of cabbage. Then mix it thoroughly with your hands and pack it into the crock. The salt makes the juice run from the cabbage. Pack it until some juice comes up over the top. You can really pound it down with your hands. Then do another five pounds, salt it, mix it, pack it, etc.

After getting all the cabbage packed into the crock, if there doesn't seem to be enough brine, mix one quart of filtered water with 2 teaspoons salt and poured it into the crock. Take a clean linen towel and put it over the kraut, tucking it down in the edges and pressing until the brine is well over the cabbage. Then put a clean plate on top of it, pressing down until it is under the brine (being careful not to cause the towel to come up), and then put a clean glass gallon jar on top of the plate and filled it with water. When it is all done, put a clean towel over the top and tied it on, to keep flies out.

Every day check it and skim the scum off, if necessary. Some years, You won't need to skim it even once. Then other years you may need to check it every day. Check it. Depending on the temperature of the room, it should be ready in 3-8 weeks. Warmer rooms are quicker, colder rooms are slower. It is done when it stops making bubbles or it tastes good to you, whichever comes first.

If you get some pink slime that is bad. It is not a total loss if there is pink slime, but it is a bad sign. The kraut underneath may be beautiful. Check to see if it smells good.

If you decide to can it bring the kraut to a boil in a pot, in batches, and water-bathed it for 20-30 minutes.

I did 10 heads of Early Jersey Wakefield cabbages (they are not as huge as some cabbages). I ended up with 18.5 pounds of kraut.

1 comment:

Sharri said...

You've been hard at work!

Love the new blog look too!