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Posted By: Sherry
Date: Sunday, October 17, 2004 at 8:39 p.m.


To make a smaller quantity of sauerkraut, reduce the recipe
ingredients proportionately. Allow 2 ounces salt to each
6 pounds of cabbage.

48 lb. cabbage
1 lb. salt

Let cabbage heads stand at room temperature for about 24 hours
to wilt. This causes the leaves to soften slightly and become
less likely to break when cut. Wash the head and remove outer
leaves. Cut heads into quarters and remove the cores. With a
sharp knife, shred 5 pounds of cabbage 1/8 to 1/4-inch thick.
Place the shredded cabbage in a large mixing bowl and sprinkle
with about 3 tablespoons of the salt. Mix the salted cabbage
with your hands or with a stainless steel spoon and let it stand
3 to 5 minutes.

Wash a 10-gallon crock with soapy water, rinse and scale it with
boiling water. Pack salted cabbage into the crock. A brine will
form as you press the cabbage down. Repeat the shredding and
salting in 5-pound lots until the crock is filled to within no
more than 5 inches of the top. The brine should cover the cabbage.
If it does not, add additional brine by heating 1 1/2 tablespoons
of salt with 1 quart of water. Cool the brine to room temperature
before adding it to the crock.

To cover the cabbage and weight it down to keep it submerged in the
brine, fill a clean, large, heavy plastic bag, such as heavy-duty
trash bag, with water and lay it over the cabbage. Fit the bag snugly
against the inside walls of the crock to prevent the surface of the
cabbage from being exposed to air. This will prevent the growth of a
yeast film or mold. Add more water to the plastic bag, if necessary,
to keep the cabbage submerged. Seal the bag with a twist tie. Cover
the crock with plastic wrap.

Fermentation will take place from 3 to 6 weeks depending on the room
temperature. The ideal temperature is 75F. At 75F fermentation will
take about 3 weeks; at 70F, 4 weeks; at 65F, 5 weeks; and at 60F
allow about 6 weeks.

Tightly packed in covered containers, the kraut can be safely kept in
the refrigerator for several months. If you don't have space, can the

Canning the Sauerkraut
Bring the kraut to a simmer; do not boil. Pack it into clean, hot
jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace; seal. Process in a water bath canner
for 20 minutes for quarts or 15 minutes for pints. Start counting the
processing time when the water in canner starts to boil.

Yields 16 to 18 quarts.

Old-Time Sauerkraut Method
After packing the crock with salted cabbage, place a piece of thin,
white cloth (such as muslin) directly over the cabbage and tuck the
edges down against the inside of the container. Cover the cabbage
with a heavy plate that fits snugly inside the container so that the
cabbage is not exposed to air. Put a weight on top of the plate so
that the cabbage is fully immersed in the brine. A glass jar filled
with water makes a good weight. The brine should come up 2 inches
above the plate, making daily skimming easier.

Cover the crock with a clean terrycloth towel and top with plastic
wrap to prevent evaporation. Tie string around the crock to hold the
towel and plastic wrap in place. Remove the scum daily from the surface
with a scalded stainless steel spoon. Replace the cloth and plate with
a clean one. Cover the crock again with the towel and plastic wrap.
This method takes about the same length of time as the previous one.

The sauerkraut is done when bubbles stop rising to the surface. Taste
the kraut. When it suits your taste, remove it from the crock.
Refrigerate the kraut in covered containers or pack it into jars and
process as described above. Makes 16 to 18 quarts.
Homemade Sauerkraut


Serving Size : 1 Preparation Time :0:00

Categories : New Text Import

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method

-------- ------------ --------------------------------

15 Pounds (6-8 Firm Heads) Green Cabbage

3/4 Cup Kosher Or Pickling Salt

Wash the cabbage thoroughly and trim away any bruised or damaged

leaves. Quarter and cut away the core and discard. With a food

processor, mandoline or knife, cut the cabbage into uniformly fine

shreds. In a large plastic tub, place half the cabbage and sprinkle

with half the salt. Mix and "massage" the cabbage and then let it

stand for 5-10 minutes. Juices will begin to come out of the cabbage.

Place this in your fermenting tub. Repeat this process with remaining

cabbage and salt and pack into tub.

The cabbage must be covered by juices to prevent spoilage. If there is

not enough juice to cover, make up some additional brine by adding 4

tablespoons salt to 2 quarts water, pouring over just to cover.

Be sure to keep cabbage submerged during fermentation. Cover tub

securely with plastic wrap and then cover that with a clean towel to

keep out any errant contamination.

Store in a 65-75 degree room and don't uncover for at least 3 weeks.

Remove towel and plastic wrap. There should be no bubbles of CO2 gas

evident in the brine (gently tap tub to check). If there is, recover

and check again in 2-3 days.

The finished sauerkraut should have a clean appearance with no white

spots or unpleasant or off odors. Texture should be firm.

Pack finished sauerkraut into clean jars and store in refrigerator for

up to 6 months.

Yield: Approximately 6-8 quarts


Homemade Sauerkraut

firm heads of mature cabbage
canning salt

For best results weigh the cabbage and the salt using a ratio of
40 pounds of cabbage to 1 (one) pound of salt.

We use a kraut cutter and a crock which are over one hundred years
old. You can use a bread or cutting board and a large knife to
cut the cabbage.

Remove the outside green and dirty leaves. Cut the heads of cabbage
in half and remove as much of the core that you can. Now is the
time to weigh the head of cabbage. We keep a running total of the
cabbage we use to make sure that we use the right ratio of salt to
cabbage. When we find out the total amount of cabbage we are using
then we measure out the exact amount of salt needed. Shred the
cabbage using either a kraut cutter or a knife. We use a kitchen
scale to weigh the cabbage and salt.

Put about 5 pounds of cabbage and about 2 ounces of salt into a
large bowl and mix with your hands. Put into a crock and pack gently
with a potato masher and tamp the cabbage down until some juice
comes to the top. The first batch may not bring up juice but, after
putting in the second batch of cabbage and salt the juice should
easily come to the top. Repeat until you have used up all the
cabbage and the correct amount of salt. You must not store your
kraut in a metal container.

After the last shredded cabbage and salt are put in the crock work
the cabbage with the potato masher until juice comes to the top.
We use a piece of white cloth such as a piece of a sheet to cover
the kraut. Then we put boards on the cloth and a stone to weigh
the kraut down so the juice comes to the top. Some people use one
or more large plastic bags filled with water to weigh the kraut
down so it is under the juice. If you use plastic bags make sure
they are the kind that can be used with food. Garbage bags won't

During the curing process, kraut requires daily attention. Remove
scum as it forms and wash and scald the cloth often to keep it free
from scum and mold and wipe the side of the crock. Fermentation
will be complete in about three weeks. The kraut should be kept in
a place where the temperature is in the mid 50s to low 60s. It
needs just enough warmth to keep it working during the fermenting
process. Yet not so hot that it will spoil.

Kraut works from the top down. To check to see if the kraut is
ready wait about 2 weeks and dig down in the center of the kraut
about 5 or 8 inches. Take a little out and taste it. The kraut
should be firm but not crunchy and should have good kraut flavor.
If it is not ready let it sit for a few more days and then taste
it again.

The following is for canning the sauerkraut. As soon as kraut is
thoroughly cured, pack into clean canning jars, adding enough of
the kraut juice, or a weak brine made by dissolving 2 tablespoons
salt to a quart of water, fill jars to with 1/2 inch of top of jar.
Put on cap, screwing the band tight. Process in water bath for 15
minutes. This method cooks the kraut.

We use double bags (one bag inside of another) to pack the kraut
in and then we put it in the freezer. When using this method to
store the kraut you need to leave some space in the bags because
the kraut will continue to ferment until it is frozen. (We learned
this the hard way. Had Kraut spill out into the freezer. It really
smelled.) By freezing the kraut it is fresh when taken out of the
freezer and has not been cooked. I find that cooking the kraut
with the pork chops on a low temperature for three hours it turns
out the best. Kraut tastes good raw too.

It is not often that we add any sugar at the end of the cooking
time but, sometimes if the kraut seems too sour we will add a little

The main thing is to measure your salt and weigh your cabbage. The
ratio of 1 pound of salt to 40 pounds of cabbage is very important.
To little salt will make the kraut spoil and to much salt will make
the kraut to salty.

Hints: Weigh cabbage and salt to get the correct ratio. This is
important. Keep in a temperature where the kraut will work yet
not spoil. Check the kraut often and keep it clean. When the
kraut is ready remove about the first inch of kraut from the top
and throw it away. The top inch of the kraut usually is kind of
soft. You may find that at some time during the fermenting process
that there doesn't seem to be enough juice. Just add some plain
water. Don't put any more salt in the kraut.


Homemade Sauerkraut
This recipe makes 1 quart, a convenient amount if you do not have a
lot of storage space or if you just want to experiment. You can always
make larger quantities if you like.

4 cups of shredded cabbage
2 tsp. sea salt
2 Tbsp. whey (if not available, add an additional 1 tsp. salt)
1 cup filtered water (Don't use chlorinated tap water. The chlorine
can destroy the lactic microbial organisms and prevent fermentation.)
1/2 tsp. cumin seeds (optional)
1/2 tsp. mustard seeds (optional)

In a bowl, mix cabbage with the seeds. Mash or pound the mixture
with a wooden spoon for several minutes to release juices. Place
in a quart-sized wide-mouthed jar and pack down with the wooden spoon.
Mix water with salt and whey and pour into jar. Add more water if needed
to bring liquid to top of cabbage. There should be about one inch of
space between the top of the cabbage and the top of the jar. Place a
lid on the jar and close very tightly. Lacto-fermentation is an anaerobic
process and the presence of oxygen, once fermentation has begun, will
ruin the final product. Keep at room temperature for about three days.
Transfer to a root cellar or the top shelf of your refrigerator. The
sauerkraut can be eaten immediately but it improves with age.

This recipe was adapted from "Nourishing Traditions" by Sally Fallon


German Homemade Sauerkraut

2 pounds green cabbages, shredded
2 tbsp. coarse, kosher, or sea salt
1 tsp. sugar

Toss the cabbage, salt and sugar together in a large bowl. Let sit
at room temperature for 1 hour, or until the cabbage has released
a lot of water. If there is not enough brine, the sauerkraut will
go bad before it ferments. Place the cabbage in a large glass or
glazed earthenware jar or canister, first squeezing the liquid from
each handful back into the bowl. After you've added all the
sauerkraut, push it down with your fist to make it more compact.
Then pour in enough brine to cover the cabbage by at least 1 inch.
Insert a small plate, large enough to cover all the cabbage, inside
the jar to keep the cabbage submerged. Drape the canister with a
cloth and let sit at room temperature for 2-4 weeks. Check the
plate after a couple of days. If it's floating on the brine, place
another plate on top of the first to create more weight. It's ready
when it tastes like sauerkraut. Makes 5 cups.


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