Sunday, October 6, 2013

DIY Sauerkraut

Since I have a cabbage finishing up soon, I'm considering making sauerkraut out of it. First I'm going to make some from farmer's market cabbage to see if that is really what I want to do with it.
Growing Cabbage for sauerkraut
It's getting there
Sauerkraut materials
Most of the required supplies

Sauerkraut

5 lbs Raw Cabbage
2.5 tablespoons coarse salt (no iodine)

(Optional Ingredients (per 5 lbs)):
1 small Onion
1 1/2 tablespoons Caraway Seeds
2 Carrots

Mixing bowl
Cutting board
Knife
4 Quart sized Mason Jars
4 Short neck beer bottles

There are many other optional ingredients that you can add in for flavor; I only listed a few.

Step 1: Wash cabbage. Place onto cutting board and quarter it. Remove cores.
Cabbage before chopping
This one was 5 lbs
The knife
Take your knife
Cut the cabbage
Slice it in half
cabbage in half
Like so
Cabbage in 4ths
And slice it again
Core the cabbage
Remove the cores
Step 2: Slice the cabbage into strips or dice it. A food processor is ideal for this. Place shredded cabbage into a large bowl.
Slice it and dice it
Chop chop chop
Place into bowl
Place cabbage into bowl
Step 3: Add in the salt. This would be the step to add other ingredients like caraway seeds, onions, or carrots. Mix with hands. Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes.
Add salt to cabbage
The salt draws out the moisture in the cabbage
Step 4: Take cabbage and insert into mason jars. Once the jar is full, pack it down aggressively with a beer bottle or similar item.
Stuff into mason jar
Insert into jar
Force the moisture out
Compressing releases the moisture in the leaves
You want to get the liquid level in the jar to be up higher than the height of the cabbage. That way all the cabbage will ferment from lacto bacteria.
4 jars filled with cabbage
5 lbs of cabbage filled 4 of these quart sized mason jars
Place the jars in a dark, cool place. Since the bottles alone were not enough to bring the water level up, I added water into each of them. I covered each one with a towel to prevent any unwanted organisms from entering the jars and potentially altering the flavor.
Cool dark place
A closet is a cool, dark place
Brine level above
Brine level after adding water to the beer bottles
Cover the top
It's a little awkward to cover these jars with the beer bottle sticking out the top
Fermentation should take anywhere from 4-10 days. I'll be tasting it as it is being made, to see if it is ready to eat. If this is successful, I'll experiment adding other ingredients or using different varieties of cabbage. Otherwise, I think it's time for me to stock up on bratwurst.
Finished sauerkraut
Finished Jar

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