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No progress 1 month later.

 

Looks like kraut at the bottom. That hasn't changed in a month.

 

Thoughts (other than try again)?

 

Perhaps re-oxygenate it to restart things?

 

 

kraut.jpg

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Is the upper kraut completely covered with brine?

It doesn't look like it, but it's difficult to tell from the picture.

Edited by DiggingDogFarm (log)

~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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Hmmm....well...it's safe to say that the fermentation failed.

Toss it and start over.

It's best to cover it with about an inch of brine.

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~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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  • 5 months later...

*bump*

 

My darling bought a 2-gallon crock for me earlier this year, and I made my first batch of sauerkraut in it about 3 weeks ago.  The first surprise - it shouldn't have been a surprise, really - is that it's different trying to monitor the kraut in an opaque container.  (I know: 'duh'  :laugh: ).  I've been peering down past the covering plate, watching and sniffing.  Haven't seen a lot of bubbles or scum, and it's smelling pleasantly sour.  There never was much funky smell as described by others in this topic.  I think we'll be testing it soon. 

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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This is a bit late - but...  gfweb:  Sometimes you get a stuck ferment with no discernible reason.  I would taste and see if it's too salty (maybe you put too much in without realizing - I've done that!).  Fermentation is anaerobic, so technically you should not have to re-oxygenate.  This would just encourage spoilage organisms. There is an aerobic stage in some of these organisms but predominance of anaerobes occurs - maybe for some reason there were not enough of these (but I don't know why).  I think if it's not way too salty - get some more cabbage and add it to the mix - and mix the whole mixture as well.  This will reintroduce more lactic acid bacteria, and maybe get things moving again.  With an airlock, the brine cover is not as important - it's 100 percent humidity and no oxygen using this method. You do want brine to barely cover the cabbage but you should not need more. Even if this were an issue it should not be with 90 percent of the kraut.  The only other thing I could guess is a preservative (you only used cabbage and salt) or too hot (you did not use hot water?) or cold temps (looks like it's inside your house). Last year I made kraut in a food-safe bag - turned out great! I think carswell's post way back in 03 was perfect.  But I do like glass best - and the airlock method is great too - I use this in home-brewing.  The only time I've failed with saurkraut has been when I did not pack it down quickly enough after salting and mold set in.  Otherwise it has worked out very well. Most often I've grown the cabbage myself. Oh - and turnips or kohlrabi make wonderful kraut as well.  And garlic added makes a great Polish version.

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  • 1 year later...

*Bump* Is anyone else making sauerkraut these days?  I set up 2 crocks' worth - one green, one red - a little over 2 weeks ago.  I think red cabbage when cut is particularly beautiful:

 

Red cabbage beauty closeup.jpg

 

Isn't this beautiful stuff?  Here it is, sliced, mixed with salt, caraway and coriander seeds, and ready to pack in the crock:

 

Kraut red raw ready to mix.jpg

 

Last year's kraut fermentation stuck, and I got it going with the addition of more salt and a touch more water.  I had calculated 3% by weight for the salt, so this year I tried 4% from the outset.  It's a bit more than Sandor Katz recommends, but so far seems to be going properly.  Our tap water is more basic than most; that may account for needing more salt.  

 

The poor green cabbage got the same treatment, but like the homely child just didn't get as much photographic attention.  Nonetheless when this particular photo was taken, the green kraut was making better progress than the flashier red and had thrown off more water.  I added brine to both after this shot to ensure the liquid level stayed high enough, but it probably wasn't necessary for the green kraut.

 

Kraut Sept 2015 looking into crocks.jpg

 

Yesterday was the first taste test.  It has a way to go before it's done, but it's quite edible and nicely crunchy.

 

Kraut test Sept 2015 2 weeks.jpg

 

 

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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  • 5 years later...

I have waded through this entire topic again, and it's time to bump it up with a question: what has gone wrong when sauerkraut it mushy? I ask because last year's batch, and possibly the year's before, tasted more like salty cabbage than kraut (there was a bit of sour to it) but was absolutely limp. We ended up throwing it away. According to my notes I'd used the same proportions of salt by weight as in the earliest years.

 

Is it possible that red cabbage is to blame? I don't think I've kept notes on whether the red cabbage kraut has ever been satisfactory. I have another head staring at me from the refrigerator door this year. I need to decide whether to try to kraut it or do something else entirely.

 

If it isn't a difference between red and green cabbage, then where else should I look for that lack of crispness?

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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I'm not a home-fermenting maven, but it sounds to me like you had incomplete fermentation. It shouldn't be salty-tasting after the bacteria have done their thing.

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“Who loves a garden, loves a greenhouse too.” - William Cowper, The Task, Book Three

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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37 minutes ago, Smithy said:

I have waded through this entire topic again, and it's time to bump it up with a question: what has gone wrong when sauerkraut it mushy? I ask because last year's batch, and possibly the year's before, tasted more like salty cabbage than kraut (there was a bit of sour to it) but was absolutely limp. We ended up throwing it away. According to my notes I'd used the same proportions of salt by weight as in the earliest years.

 

Is it possible that red cabbage is to blame? I don't think I've kept notes on whether the red cabbage kraut has ever been satisfactory. I have another head staring at me from the refrigerator door this year. I need to decide whether to try to kraut it or do something else entirely.

 

If it isn't a difference between red and green cabbage, then where else should I look for that lack of crispness?

 

Nothing wrong with red.

A fermentation temperature that's too high can promote the wrong type of bacteria early on leading to a mushing texture.

 

 

Kraut.PNG

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~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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So we finish the eighteenth and he's gonna stiff me. And I say, "Hey, Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know." And he says, "Oh, uh, there won't be any money. But when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness."

So I got that goin' for me, which is nice.

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4 hours ago, DiggingDogFarm said:

 

Nothing wrong with red.

A fermentation temperature that's too high can promote the wrong type of bacteria early on leading to a mushing texture.

 

 

Thank you for this. Explains why stepmother's pickle attempt (before I was around) failed - total mush - she put the glass jar in the sun! Always thought it bizarre but she said that is how her mom did it....

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I do 66 degrees.

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~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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8 minutes ago, DiggingDogFarm said:

 

That's very clearly written. Thanks! After reading that article, and the comments above, I'm pretty sure I just haven't kept the kraut cool enough while it was fermenting.

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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OK, here's my next question, which has probably been answered elsewhere: wash the cabbage before shredding, or after? If before, it won't be as thorough although most of the microorganisms are on the outside leaves anyway. If after, that adds a lot of water that must be eliminated or accounted for in the salt weighing. What do y'all do? 

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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On 10/9/2020 at 12:18 AM, Smithy said:

OK, here's my next question, which has probably been answered elsewhere: wash the cabbage before shredding, or after? If before, it won't be as thorough although most of the microorganisms are on the outside leaves anyway. If after, that adds a lot of water that must be eliminated or accounted for in the salt weighing. What do y'all do? 

 

Wash the cabbage? 😄

 

I just peel off the outer leaves and have at it.

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It's almost never bad to feed someone.

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