Couple questions about sauerkraut fermenting

catherinet(5 IN)November 17, 2011


Couple questions:

I bought 2 heads of cabbage. I have a 3-4 gallon glass container and a 1 gallon. Is it best to push the cabbage into the 1 gallon, or should I put it in the larger container? In the larger container, it would be more likely that all the cabbage would be covered by the liquid. Is there some reason having it all spread out more be a problem? I wasn't sure how important air is. Seems like using the bigger container would give it more air.

Also........I know I'll have to put something on it to weight it down, but do I want to keep the glass lid on too?

Or is it important to use something like a towel, where the gas can escape?

Thanks for your help!

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dgkritch(Z8 OR)

I pack my shredded cabbage as tight as I can. Layered with salt. It creates its own juice, sometimes take a little while for the salt to pull enough water out to cover.

If you can fit all the cabbage into the one gallon jar, I'd do it. You don't need "air" for the fermentation to happen. You can fill a ziploc bag with salt/water solution and place on top to keep the cabbage under the liquid, then just lightly set the lid on it. Do Not tighten!! I actually spread a double layer of cheesecloth over the cabbage, then the ziploc bag. It keeps the wayward little pieces in there.

Place the jar on a cookie sheet or plate to catch extra juices.........just in case!

And wait....Depending on quantity, temperature, it can take anywhere from a week to 5 or 6. After a week or two, I start sampling. When it tastes like I want, I can it.


    Bookmark   November 17, 2011 at 6:05PM
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catherinet(5 IN)

Thanks Deanna!

    Bookmark   November 17, 2011 at 6:58PM
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catherinet(5 IN)

Oh....I meant to ask.......I know you're not supposed to ferment the cabbage in metal, but is it okay to mix it up with the salt with a metal spoon, in a metal container?

    Bookmark   November 18, 2011 at 9:54AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

No you really need to avoid using metal in any form. Food grade glass, ceramic, or plastic only.

As Deanna said you don't need air for fermentation. In fact you don't want ANY air. Contact with air outside the jar is the source of molds and other contaminants. That's why the fermenting foods need to be sealed off from air and is also why the food is packed tightly in the fermenting container - to remove as much air as possible.


PS: just in case you haven't read the fermentation guide I linked it below.

Here is a link that might be useful: NCHFP - Fermenting

    Bookmark   November 18, 2011 at 11:19AM
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dgkritch(Z8 OR)

Agree with Dave.
I just roughly mix the salt in with my hands. It gets layered with the cabbage.
As it creates its own juice, the salt will be distributed as well. No need to make sure every shred is salted.


    Bookmark   November 18, 2011 at 12:37PM
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catherinet(5 IN)

Okay Thanks.
But I'm going to clean my hands like a surgeon would before surgery! haha
I bought some organic carrots to add to it too (since the cabbage was organic). If I like the flavor of caraway seed, do I let it ferment with it, or do I add that later?
Thanks again.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2011 at 1:23PM
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