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Sauerkraut


guajolote
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  • 1 year later...

I'm making sauerkraut. Initially the brine level (2.5% salt by weight of cabbage, no water added) was about 4-5 cm over the plate, now (8 days in) it's only about 2 cm deep over the plate, presumably due to evaporation. Websites suggest adding a brine, but I think that will just up the salt concentration as more water evaporates. So, add brine or just (cool boiled) water?

Also, while scumming the "bloom" (in this case, a white, yeasty-smelling film) from the surface, some of it got mixed into the brine. Do I need to worry about this?

This is my skillet. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My skillet is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it, as I must master my life. Without me my skillet is useless. Without my skillet, I am useless. I must season my skillet well. I will. Before God I swear this creed. My skillet and myself are the makers of my meal. We are the masters of our kitchen. So be it, until there are no ingredients, but dinner. Amen.

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  • 9 months later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Reviving this topic as I came across a recipe for a small batch of sauerkraut and decided to give it a go. (Actually the real truth is that I couldn't source either green beans or daikon to make green bean kimchee so I am settling for second best.)

Here's the cabbage when I first salted it:

image.jpg

And after it had begun to reduce:

image.jpg

Filling the sterilized jar:

image.jpg

And weighted down with a 1/2 pint jar filled with stones to keep the cabbage submerged:

image.jpg

I will keep it in the kitchen for 24 hours and then move it to the cooler basement to do its magic.

Anyone else attempting small batch sauerkraut?

  • Like 1

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Too funny, I finished my first ever batch about two hours ago. About 8 lbs of first head (?) cabbage. As I understand, these are the small heads (13 ounces) that are cut to make wat for the large heads that come later. All I know is they were very fresh and have a lot of water. I am using a Harsch crock. I just checked, and my stones are already completely submerged. I didn't think to take pictures.

I just made a fantastic corn relish. I making several hot sauces, including one fermenting with mesquite wood. I love this stuff!

Edited by Ttogull (log)
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Too funny, I finished my first ever batch about two hours ago. About 8 lbs of first head (?) cabbage. As I understand, these are the small heads (13 ounces) that are cut to make wat for the large heads that come later. All I know is they were very fresh and have a lot of water. I am using a Harsch crock. I just checked, and my stones are already completely submerged. I didn't think to take pictures.

I just made a fantastic corn relish. I making several hot sauces, including one fermenting with mesquite wood. I love this stuff!

Do share how it turns out.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Do share how it turns out.

You too! I have probably 6 weeks of waiting. No peeking. I put stuff in my basement, and things seem to always take the outside of the time ranges for my tastes.

My dream - my passion - is to do a Brussels sprout kraut this season. First, I have to find some really good Brussels sprouts...

I like your rock setup. I saw the picture on the "Recent Pictures" front page, and knew immediately what it was. I've never used rocks. Second, I've got to find some good rocks...

I read the thread from the beginning. Lots of conflicting advice. For a beginner coming through later, I suggest the books by Sandor Katz. I don't want to say much more other than some of the advice here seems to run counter to my understanding of Katz's experience.

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I just finished pushing down some farmer's market kale for a sauerkale. I found some Kilner jars over the weekend, so I am doing it that way.

I've heard sauerkale has a strong smell. That's putting it lightly. To borrow an Andrew Zimmern phrase, it smells kinda poopy, but in a good way. (He says that about the taste of intestine, and I think it's quite accurate!)

Am I understanding correctly that weights are unnecessary with Kilner jars? I don't plan to open them until it is time to eat. TIA

Edited by Ttogull (log)
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So here it is after 6 days at room temperature. And here is when I always have a crisis of courage! It looks like sauerkraut, smells like sauerkraut but... Well I will refrigerate it overnight and tomorrow see about tasting it.

image.jpg

  • Like 1

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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So here it is after 6 days at room temperature. And here is when I always have a crisis of courage! It looks like sauerkraut, smells like sauerkraut but... Well I will refrigerate it overnight and tomorrow see about tasting it.

Good luck! It looks similar to mine. I know what you mean. I always tell my wife what I've eaten so that she can give a sample to the ambulance EMT. also, I don't let her eat any until I've tried a small and a large sample over several days. My grandparents did this stuff, and I am disheartened by how far removed from it I've become.

Good luck tomorrow!

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I did 65# last OCT and it was fermented in my pantry which is plus or minus a couple degrees at 68 degrees. It stopped bubbling at 5-6 weeks which I think means it is done. Sure tasted like it.

It was done in two of the food service square buckets like MAYO comes in. I take a spare top to one of these and use a box cutter to remove the ridge and this is my weight plate in the bucket. I do make 3% brine in 1 gal Ziplocks as weights. In the lid I drill a 1-1/8" hole and put in a water trap like wine makers [ and I think beer brewers ]use [ I think it was a #22 cork but they can tell you correctly].. By doing this I never have to skim the white stuff. I also have NO smell.

I agree that Sandor Katz is the fermenting expert but this ain't rocket science and can be looked up on most ag extension sites in the US and likely Canada. I can't stand the canned stuff , in fact, I will just pick a half pint or so raw from the frig with some left over meat or whatever and call it a good lunch.

I guess I should say that 65# is about 6 Gallons [24 l]. This is a pain for reefer space at Thanks giving and Xmas but by then most places will be below 64 degrees so just move the containers to the porch, if you have a short heat wave the kraut might start fermenting again if you pulled it too early before, no big deal.

Bye the way, I have about 2-3 qts left.

Suggest you try Napa Cabbage, tastey. Also any kraut satated in butter is to die for!

Edited by RobertCollins (log)
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Robert

Seattle

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I did 65# last OCT and it was fermented in my pantry which is plus or minus a couple degrees at 68 degrees. It stopped bubbling at 5-6 weeks which I think means it is done. Sure tasted like it. It was done in two of the food service square buckets like MAYO comes in. I take a spare top to one of these and use a box cutter to remove the ridge and this is my weight plate in the bucket. I do make 3% brine in 1 gal Ziplocks as weights. In the lid I drill a 1-1/8" hole and put in a water trap like wine makers [ and I think beer brewers ]use [ I think it was a #22 cork but they can tell you correctly].. By doing this I never have to skim the white stuff. I also have NO smell. I agree that Sandor Katz is the fermenting expert but this ain't rocket science and can be looked up on most ag extension sites in the US and likely Canada. I can't stand the canned stuff , in fact, I will just pick a half pint or so raw from the frig with some left over meat or whatever and call it a good lunch. I guess I should say that 65# is about 6 Gallons [24 l]. This is a pain for reefer space at Thanks giving and Xmas but by then most places will be below 64 degrees so just move the containers to the porch, if you have a short heat wave the kraut might start fermenting again if you pulled it too early before, no big deal. Bye the way, I have about 2-3 qts left. Suggest you try Napa Cabbage, tastey. Also any kraut satated in butter is to die for!

I am guessing your last sentence should read "sauteed in butter"? You made so much that I am hoping you will share with us how you use it. Aside from a topping for the very rare sausage on a bun that I might enjoy, I draw a blank. Yeah. I know I made it. But it was an irresistable challenge. I could easily put away (into my belly) 65 lbs of kimchi but kraut.......

  • Like 1

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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I am guessing your last sentence should read "sauteed in butter"? You made so much that I am hoping you will share with us how you use it. Aside from a topping for the very rare sausage on a bun that I might enjoy, I draw a blank. Yeah. I know I made it. But it was an irresistable challenge. I could easily put away (into my belly) 65 lbs of kimchi but kraut.......

One thing that you might not be factoring into this is that it will last several months in a fridge. You put yours in the fridge really fast, so it might last even longer. As long as you don't heat it up, it has wonderful probiotic properties. My grandparents ate at least a tablespoon of raw sauerkraut per day. It is also really good with mashed potatoes (lots of garlic and butter) and, of course, sausage.

BTW, I pulled yt Serrano hot sauce today. The procedure is exactly the sme as sauerkraut. Just Serrano, salt, and water and it is just fantastic. Most complex sauce I've had, and I've had a lot.

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Now I will answer Anna later 'cause I have had a bottle of wine and really don't want to think my way thru a decent answer tonite, I have no idea what to do to make Serrano Hot Sause nor what to expect when I do. Isn't fermenting a kick? Ttogul, yes the kraut will keep for at least months in the reefer.

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Robert

Seattle

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Now I will answer Anna later 'cause I have had a bottle of wine and really don't want to think my way thru a decent answer tonite, I have no idea what to do to make Serrano Hot Sause nor what to expect when I do. Isn't fermenting a kick? Ttogul, yes the kraut will keep for at least months in the reefer.

While I wait for Robert's (sober) answer I have another question so don't rush, Robert! I have tasted my product and it is NOT sauerkraut. Needs lots more time to ferment so can I take it out of the fridge and let it do its thing at room temp or is it too late?

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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So here it is after 6 days at room temperature. And here is when I always have a crisis of courage! It looks like sauerkraut, smells like sauerkraut but... Well I will refrigerate it overnight and tomorrow see about tasting it.

attachicon.gifimage.jpg

Six days seems pretty quick. Shouldn't it be more translucent?

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Everything I've read says it should be around 4 to 6 weeks, but that it ultimately depends on the temperature, the cabbage, the salinity, and other factors unique to you. My understanding is that refrigerating it is ok as long as you were clean about tasting it (no double dipping?). Nothing I have says what would happen if you were not clean. At the farmers markets, I buy refrigerated raw sauerkraut, and they tell me that if I want it more sour to just leave it out at room temp for a few days.

I put my Serrano sauce on the sausage that I put the sauerkraut on, of course! What might be relevant to the sauerkraut is that my Serrano sauce was not the first to begin fermenting, but it was the first to seem done (about 10 days). In contrast to the others, it seemed listless - no bubbling, no hiss when I opened the jar, etc. the others, even older ones, are still quite lively. I'd guess one might be looking for something similar to tell whether sauerkraut is ready. Unfortunately mine is in a closed crock, so I have to wait.

Yes fermenting is a kick. You can buy a bunch of high quality veg and preserve it quite easily. I've even taken to fermenting my oatmeal to improve its digestability. Fermented black eyed pea cakes are out of this world good.

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what's the salt content on these sort of home-made beauties?

Ive been trying to cut down on salt. a pre-emptive strike of sorts ...

Im guessing if the salinity is too low, your 'kraut gets a lot of company.

:blink:

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what's the salt content on these sort of home-made beauties?

Ive been trying to cut down on salt. a pre-emptive strike of sorts ...

Im guessing if the salinity is too low, your 'kraut gets a lot of company.

:blink:

According to Sandor Katz (a guru of fermentation), salt is to taste. This includes the possibility of no salt. It seems unsalted kraut is not as crisp and not as sour because, yes, the usual bacteria have company that break the veg down more. Nothing pathogenic as I understand. (Raw kraut already has lots of company.) there are supposedly ways around this, like using celery seed or jump starting with a culture. I personally like 2% by weight for my salsas and krauts and about 4% brines by water weight for pickled veggies.

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Anna, pull the jar out onto the counter. It should start up again,if not, jump start it by putting 1/4 cup or so of a live yogurt in a small strainer with some cheese cloth and catch the whey. for you jar of cabbage I think 2-3 teaspoons of whey will kickstart it right back up.

Most of your querys [or is it queries?] are really answered in the book Ttogull refers to; The Art of Fermentation by Sandor Katz, wow, this is a read. At best, I can only paraphrase and then not with real surety. I must say that my low level Chem knowledge is overwhelmed but this guy can get it across even to my low skill set. BTW, most questions here are answered on Pg. 102 at least about how time and temp are done. Please note that the fermentation can be done totally without salt. The product will lack crispness but some even prefer this.

How do we use it; I do really get boring 'cause I do love it SAUTEED in butter. My wife braises it a bunch in beer,or apple juice w/ apple chunks, or w/ caraway seed just broken in the mortar.... I some times make beef short ribs braised in beer [usually a dark porter] with lots of kraut and potatoes[ baby reds...].

Kraut is stored summer goodness, I bet most can think up flavor pairings that are spectacular. Lastly, Katz says,"Salt also influences fermentation speed. I generally make ferments saltier in the summer heat to slow down the fermentation;less salty in winter." I hadn't caught that before.

I hope I have helped and think this 10 year old thread has shown some real gain in sophistication of the members of eG, I hope that I am amoung them.

  • Like 1

Robert

Seattle

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Anna, pull the jar out onto the counter. It should start up again,if not, jump start it by putting 1/4 cup or so of a live yogurt in a small strainer with some cheese cloth and catch the whey. for you jar of cabbage I think 2-3 teaspoons of whey will kickstart it right back up.

Most of your querys [or is it queries?] are really answered in the book Ttogull refers to; The Art of Fermentation by Sandor Katz, wow, this is a read. At best, I can only paraphrase and then not with real surety. I must say that my low level Chem knowledge is overwhelmed but this guy can get it across even to my low skill set. BTW, most questions here are answered on Pg. 102 at least about how time and temp are done. Please note that the fermentation can be done totally without salt. The product will lack crispness but some even prefer this.

How do we use it; I do really get boring 'cause I do love it SAUTEED in butter. My wife braises it a bunch in beer,or apple juice w/ apple chunks, or w/ caraway seed just broken in the mortar.... I some times make beef short ribs braised in beer [usually a dark porter] with lots of kraut and potatoes[ baby reds...].

Kraut is stored summer goodness, I bet most can think up flavor pairings that are spectacular. Lastly, Katz says,"Salt also influences fermentation speed. I generally make ferments saltier in the summer heat to slow down the fermentation;less salty in winter." I hadn't caught that before.

I hope I have helped and think this 10 year old thread has shown some real gain in sophistication of the members of eG, I hope that I am amoung them.

Thank you. The kraut is once again on the counter with its weight back in place and the lid replaced with muslin. I shall watch and if necessary add some yogourt whey.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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  • 2 weeks later...

OMG!!! I just pulled my cabbage from a Harsch pot after 3 weeks. I had to skim a lot of white mold from the top (I thought this would be unnecessary with the Harsch). Let's just say that this is without a doubt the very best sauerkraut I've ever had. Amazing! Crunchy, tart, just the right salt level.

Normally I'd let it go 6 weeks. But my instincts were screaming 3 weeks. Dunno why. Instincts were right this time.

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OMG!!! I just pulled my cabbage from a Harsch pot after 3 weeks. I had to skim a lot of white mold from the top (I thought this would be unnecessary with the Harsch). Let's just say that this is without a doubt the very best sauerkraut I've ever had. Amazing! Crunchy, tart, just the right salt level.

Normally I'd let it go 6 weeks. But my instincts were screaming 3 weeks. Dunno why. Instincts were right this time.

Congratulations! Mine is still sitting on the counter but it certainky does look more and more like sauerkraut. Guess I should start tasting it.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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