Sauerkraut brine question

riley17(5)July 25, 2010

The recipe that I have for sauerkraut calls for 2 tablespoons canning salt per 3 lbs cabbage. Then it says to let it wilt a few minutes and then pack it tightly in a crock until the juice comes to the surface. The cabbage has to be completely submerged in the brine I suppose? When I was packing my cabbage I didn't get enough juice from the cabbage to fill in all of the air spaces. Is this because maybe there wasn't enough salt, or because I'm not pressing hard enough? I tamped it down with my hands as hard as I could without bruising it. Am I supposed to add liquid? The recipe doesn't call for any liquid so I thought I'd ask on here first. What do you think I should do?

Thanks!

Holly

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annie1992

Holly, I even have an old wooden "tamper", I don't worry about bruising the cabbage at all. I normally get lots of brine but sometimes the cabbage is drier and then I have to add a brine made of 1 quart of water and 1 1/2 tbls of salt, boil and cool, then add to the sauerkraut.

My recipe is from Michigan State University, calls for 3 tablespoons of salt per 5 pounds of cabbage, and no added liquid.

The cabbage does need to be submerged in the brine, which is why it is topped with a plate and weights, or brine filled plastic bags, to hold the cabbage below the level of the brine.

Annie

    Bookmark   July 25, 2010 at 4:28PM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

If you haven't seen this publication before you might check it out. It answers a lot of the questions people have about sauerkraut.

Here is a link that might be useful: Make Your Own Sauerkraut

    Bookmark   July 25, 2010 at 5:55PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Carol - wrong link ;) just leads back to this post.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2010 at 6:14PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Don't know if this is the one Carol meant to link to but it is the one we use.

Dave

Here is a link that might be useful: Make Your Own Sauerkraut by Mennes

    Bookmark   July 25, 2010 at 6:21PM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

Sorry, I don't know how that happened. Thanks, Dave. That is the link I was thinking of.

Carol

    Bookmark   July 25, 2010 at 8:09PM
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riley17(5)

Thanks so much!!!!

    Bookmark   July 26, 2010 at 4:09PM
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stonethecrows555

Hi all, I have a related question: can I add brine at a later date? Upon checking my kraut after about a week, I found the crock must have a slow leak, and I'd lost a good amount of brine. It has been very cold here and I don't believe much fermentation has occurred. I'm hoping I can just add more liquid and not have to chuck 12 heads of cabbage. Any thoughts?- Thanks, Stoney

    Bookmark   February 18, 2011 at 5:51PM
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Linda_Lou(SW Wa.)

I say it is worth a try. Can you get it warmer ? I wonder if a heating pad on low would work to get it started fermenting ? How cold is it where you put the kraut ?

    Bookmark   February 18, 2011 at 9:22PM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

Yes,you can. If it's not too difficult, you may want to transfer the cabbage to a different container (glass or food-safe plastic) before continuing.

How cold is it? Can you move the kraut to a warmer location?

Carol

    Bookmark   February 18, 2011 at 10:30PM
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stonethecrows555

We're in No. California. I put the kraut up in the barn as we were having beautiful spring-like weather. Then 3 days ago,bang, snow up the wazoo! Have since brought it back down to the house and added more brine. I'll let you know if it works - Thanks, Stoney

    Bookmark   February 19, 2011 at 9:30PM
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John__ShowMe__USA(5/6)

For controlling the temp try putting in a cardboard box with a trouble light. Close the flaps, insert an indoor/outdoor thermometer probe and change bulb watts to vary temp.

If you are comfortable with simple wiring you could splice a cheap rheostat into an extension cord to change the heat output of a light bulb. I first used for precise control over temp for starting seeds in '93. Previous to that used a string of the old-time Christmas lights and would add or remove bulbs until got desired temp.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2011 at 2:35PM
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John__ShowMe__USA(5/6)

Bubbling nicely. It was at 76 degrees before I moved it for the picture. 78.3 degrees now. I followed the recipe from the link that Carol posted (thanks much!) except put one tablespoon kefir whey into the jar before adding the cabbage. First time have ever used that much salt. The glove just popped up into a full high five! (21 1/2 hours) It was completely deflated and tucked into the jar at the start.

Red/purple cabbage. First time have ever made w/o other ingredients such as juniper berries added.

Click thumbnail for larger...

    Bookmark   February 21, 2011 at 1:36PM
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