Thursday, April 3, 2014

A New Batch of Kraut in my Fermenting Crock

Apr 02 2014

I got some kraut going in my 5 liter crock today. I have done 3 batches in a gallon fermenting jug and this is my second in my crock; so I am still new at this. I thought I was pretty well read on making kraut but found I wasn’t.

Someone asked me about cutting back on the salt and I said I thought it was necessary for a good fermentation. I found you could make kraut without the salt; the salt just helps the cabbage give up its water to make lacto acids, which does the fermenting. The salt speeds up the fermentation and also extends the safe storage times and adds flavor. A 1% salt solution will keep up to 4 months in the fridge and a 2 % is up to 9 months. If you want to cut the salt or use less than 1 % you should read up on the storage life.

The standard salt content is 2 Tablespoons coarse salt per 5 pounds of cabbage; but some use 3 Tablespoons. I have gone with one tablespoon for each medium head of cabbage. A medium head will be 2 to 2 ½ pounds.

I found some nice organic cabbage at Krogers for this batch. I got four heads for close to 9 pounds of cabbage. I used some grey Celtic coarse sea salt. I use a mandolin slicer to shred it about 1/8 inch. I am getting my system down pretty well for shredding, adding the salt, pounding and adding to the crock.

I can do a half head of cabbage on my slicer and leave the core in for a safe handle and get most all the cabbage. I have a large tupper ware bowl I shred a half head, salt, pound do the other half and then let set for 10 to 15 minutes before adding to the crock. A good time for a beer break! It took me 3 hours to get it all done and in the crock.

After I got it all packed in the crock I used some of the outer cabbage leaves to cover before adding the stone weights. I wanted to add some apple juice but you need raw juice. I mixed up a quart of filtered water, 2 tablespoons of raw apple cider vinegar and a good pinch of salt and added that to cover the stones about a half inch. This should make some good happy sauerkraut in about 30 days.

Ready to make kraut

My bowl and stomper

All in the crock

Cabbage leaves added

Stone weights added and covered with water

Should be some good kraut in 30 days

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