I made my first batch of kraut and I am wondering if I need to give it more time to ferment. It has been 5 days, and it is really yummy. Thanks
5 days isn't very long for fermentation. 2 to 3 weeks is about normal. But if it tastes ok at this point to you then you can call it done.
The amount of time required depends on many things - the recipe you used, the amount of salt used, the amount of cabbage, the freshness of the cabbage, the temperature in the area where it is fermenting, crock/jar, etc. etc.
So without all that info then only you can determine when it is done to your taste preference.
Are you making fermented kraut? What is your recipe source? I started my first batch on March 17th. It is fermenting in my basement at 60 to 62 degrees and most instructions says it'll probably take 5 to 6 weeks to reach maturity at those temps.
From The National Center for Home Food Preservation:
"Store at 70ÃÂº to 75ÃÂºF while fermenting. At temperatures between 70ÃÂº and 75ÃÂºF, kraut will be fully fermented in about 3 to 4 weeks; at 60ÃÂº to 65ÃÂºF, fermentation may take 5 to 6 weeks. At temperatures lower than 60ÃÂºF, kraut may not ferment. Above 75ÃÂºF, kraut may become soft."
Hope this information is useful to you.
Here is a link that might be useful: Preparing and Canning Fermented Foods
It sounds more like a sort of fresh pickle, but as Dave said, if you enjoy it as it is currently, that's what matters.
I am not sure, though, if it's not fully fermented, that the keeping qualities will be the same.
I'm a Newbie too, but I'm on my third batch. I started my first batch around St. Paddy's day since cabbage was so cheap.
Mine is 10 days old and smelling good. It smells ready but I'm still seeing some bubbles.
I haven't tasted it yet even though it is tempting. I'm using the baggy with a salt water mix so I don't want to disturb it. I think I read somewhere that you shouldn't. Probably somewhere around here.
Dave and Carol have been a great help, so listen to them!
I did 5 lbs of cabbage to 3 T salt. and packed in jars with food grade glove on top. (I massaged and waited until lots of water came out of cabbage.
I might have made a mistake because when I tasted it ,I did pack the cabbage back down in the brine. I hope I did not ruin it?
Its in my dark basement storage room at about 65 to 70 degrees.
I think your right it does taste like a fresh pickle. I love fresh pickles, but sounds like it needs to go longer. I am guessing It will not have the health benefits if I dig into it now.
Thanks everyone for you help. Its so much fun, and so satisfying to learn how to preserve.
One more thing, so when I stop seeing bubbles and it tastes good, somewhere between 3 to 6 weeks, it should be done?
As i said above without all the details there simply isn't any way for us to know.
the recipe you used, the amount of salt used, the amount of cabbage, the freshness of the cabbage, the temperature in the area where it is fermenting, crock/jar, etc. etc.
There are many ways to make kraut. Some are good, some are bad. Some are safer than others, some are not. Some take much longer than others. Fermentation requires specific temps.
So if you would provide the details then we can better advise.
If you can see the bubbles then apparently you are using a clear glass jar? Hopefully it is covered and out of the direct sun.
The keeping qualities (what retains the freshness and retards spoilage and mold) are related to the development of lactic acid during the fermentation process. A less-than-fully-fermented product will not have the level of lactic acid you're wanting.
I'd recommend you check the document linked below and compare it with your own batch. It will answer a lot of question. Then you can post again if necessary for additional feedback.
Here is a link that might be useful: Make Your Own Sauerkraut
Apologies but for some reason i didn't see your above post with all the info when I last posted. So feel free to ignore me. :)
But I'd say yes, at that temp 3-6 weeks would be about normal.
The link Carol gave you is excellent for info.