Sauerkraut Spoilage Concerns
I've tried my hand at sauerkraut for the first time. I harvested 12 heads of cabbage, 8 were a "Flat Dutch" variety (the green ones) and averaged between 2 and 3 pounds each. The other four, a red cabbage, were around 1 pound a piece because they took a bit longer to mature. Once cleaned, I ended up with exactly 25 pounds.
I started off by making a brine solution on the stove in the event I didn't get enough "juice" to cover the cabbage. I put 6 qts. on to boil with 9 tbs. of salt and let that cool. I then did the prep work in 5 lb. batches. First quartering the heads and then shredding. Then I mixed in 3 tbs of salt thouroughly by hand. I let that wilt a few minutes while I got the next batch started and then packed it into my 10 gallon crock. Proctor Silex and I spent three hours shredding and salting down the cabbage.
I poured enough of the brine to cover the cabbage. Then I weighed it down with a couple of gallon sized Ziplocs full of brine water on top of a wood disc to keep the cabbage under the fluid. It was then moved to a room that is kept air conditioned at 72 degrees F.
This was June 25th.
Every few days, I'd scoop off some nasty looking scum or mold. Sometimes, It would be closer to a week. I'm guessing its about ready to can but I'm concerned about the scum. Since I didn't get around to it every day, is this stuff safe to eat? My wife thinks not. My thought is that it doesn't smell rotten and pressure canning should kill any bad bacteria.
Is my batch ruined or is this normal?