03 November 2008

Viva la Kraut!

Thanks to Paul at A posse ad esse, I was encouraged to try my hand at making saurkraut. I have been a reader of Weston Price material, and know that fermented food is great for health, I am a fan of yogurt, but like Paul, had never incorporated saurkraut in my diet. But I did put in a few cabbages this spring with the intention of trying a batch.

Like the apple cider vinegar, turning cabbages to saurkraut is really quite simple. I used the ratio I have seen in many blogs and books: 5lbs shreaded cabbage to 3 Tbsp salt. I had 7lbs of cabbage, cored, and sliced as thin as I could with a large knife. The cabbage is Early Jersey Wakefield, it's a summer cabbage dating back to the 1700's, and it is one of the only open pollinated varieties I can find up here in Canada. The heads will not store over the winter unless they are fermented.I tossed it with the salt, mixing it well, and packed it into a gallon jar, tamping it down with my fist until the juice started to run and fill most of the air pockets between the shreaded cabbage. Then to seal the cabbage from the air, and to keep it below the brine, a clean plastic bag filled with brine sits atop. Thanks Paul, for sharing that great tip!
It's alive! Within 24 hours my batch of saurkraut started bubbling and fermenting. I set it next to the fermenting apple juice, behind the stove. I'm not sure if the same micro-critters colonize the briny cabbage, but it's caught the fermentation fever. So now all I do is remove and rinse the bag once every week, and wait about 4 weeks for the taste test.


Susy said...

I'm making sauerkraut too, only mine is in a huge bowl (no big jars). If we like it I may look into getting a big jar to make it in.

P~ said...

Looking good! The second batch that I made is down in the cold storage at our place right now. Hope it works out well, I'll be waiting for the update.

Freija and Beringian Fritillary said...

susy, hope your kraut comes out good.

P~ I am hoping to store ours in the cold room too, instead of canning it and destroying the enzymes. I have read that it will keep for 3 months or longer at about 50F.

jeanna said...

I would love to try my hand at making Kraut.

You said to put a bag of brine on top of the cabbage/salt mixture, but what is the "brine" in the bag?

Sorry, I'm a completely novice in this stuff, but I'm learning so much!