After canning, kraut isn't submerged in brine
I canned 14 quarts of crock-fermented kraut yesterday (in pints and half-pints) and am annoyed by what I ended up with: kraut that isn't submerged in brine. I made sure not to overload the jars with kraut, I made sure they all had lots of brine over the cabbage level, I got rid of as much air as I possibly could, I had proper headspace. But now the brine only comes up about half way in most jars, so there's tons of kraut that's not in brine.
Since I'm pretty sure I didn't leave that much air in every jar (I could imagine it happening in a few, but not dozens), I guess the cabbage soaked it up during processing. It didn't leak out of the jars. I tasted and smelled the processing water and it was neither acidic nor salty.
I haven't opened a jar yet, but will at lunchtime today.
Anyone else ever experience this? Is the kraut that's not under brine going to be OK since it's in a vacuum? Or do I need to get busy eating it and giving it away to ravenous kraut eaters right away?