Sauerkraut (Home Made)

two_MN_kids
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Post by two_MN_kids » Mon Apr 09, 2012 13:55

Four days ago I shredded another head of cabbage and mixed it into the existing batch. Also rinsed the whole outer leaves with distilled water and placed as a top layer; under a plate and brine bag as weight.

I never got it moved to the glass jars, but it is covered, with water seal in place.

There is very little activity as far as fermentation, but the color of the cabbage has changed from green to a faded yellow. The temperature in the kitchen has stayed steady at 66°F until dropping yesterday. Cold front has moved in, and furnace is in use for a few days.

Not giving up yet!

Jim
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Post by NorCal Kid » Mon Apr 09, 2012 14:51

We're expecting a weather change here-going from a gloriously Spring-like weekend to rainy days... Good new is temps will stabilize a bit & not have quite the dramatic swings that happen when its clear & sunny during the day, BUT it will be colder...

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Crock

Post by DLFL » Mon Apr 09, 2012 16:20

I had forgotten about a crock I had from my Grandfather. It is one gallon size. My next batch of cabbage will be made in this. Today I am going to see if I can locate a electronic scale locally.

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Re: And now its started....

Post by Dutch » Mon Apr 09, 2012 17:56

NorCal Kid wrote:There was a big sale on cabbage today at the local grocer (post St patty's day blow out) and they were clearing 'em out, so I brought home about six rather puny heads. Sliced 'em up, added the recommended amount of salt (25g salt per kilogram of cabbage) and packed up two clear glass gallon jars. I added caraway to one batch. I'm using ziploc bags full of water (same salinity as the kraut brine) to weigh down the cabbage. Already plenty of juice.

I discovered our walk-in pantry is a pretty consistent 62-68° & dark, so I tucked these two jars away in the back.

And now we wait...

Kevin

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Kevin- I have a couple of those 1 gal. jars w/lids and there is a brew shop not too far from where I live that carries those air locks. Could you explain the set up of the air locks on the lids?

In my minds eye, I'm seeing a grommet on the air lock tube; the air lock inserted through a hole drilled in the lid and another grommet on the airlock tube below the lid; and the grommets slid up or down to seal the hole in the lid. if this is the case, what size hole did you drill in the lid?

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Post by NorCal Kid » Mon Apr 09, 2012 18:55

Per the Marianski book, I used the pretty simple set-up:
I ordered the rubber grommets from Granger & drilled the hole through the metal lids so the grommets fit snugly and allow for a tight fit around the airlock stem.

Sorry I dont remember the exact size of the drill bit I wound up using. I drilled a few test holes through scrap wood so as to determine the correct diameter.

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Post by DLFL » Mon Apr 09, 2012 23:09

Found a scale and got it. I chopped two heads of cabbage today. It weighed 1559 g after cutting up. To this I added 35 g salt, mixed it up, and into the washed 1 gallon crock. We will see how this batch does.

I will do the glass and air lock system in the future.
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Post by ssorllih » Tue Apr 10, 2012 00:25

Dick, Enjoy the new scale. Play with it. weigh the coins in your pocket. Does a five dollar bill weight more than a one dollar bill? Does a nickle weigh five times as much as a penny?
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Post by DLFL » Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:30

LOL You are a card!
By the way I did not throw out my first batch of kraut. I soaked it and took out the extra salt. That took out too much so I made a brine and added it. The batch is now good to go. I am sure it isn't as good as if I had not over salted it to begin with.

I talked to a cousin and found out she has been raising her own cabbage and making it for years. She uses the old type crocks with out a lid. The only different thing she does is to mix a brine to cover the cabbage after packing it, instead of waiting for the brine to develop to cover the cabbage.
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Post by DLFL » Mon Apr 16, 2012 19:16

two_MN_kids, How is the kraut coming?

Today I started a small batch, 400g, of brussel sprouts. 2.5% salt and 3 cups water with 1 Tbs salt to cover. I left the heads whole.
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Post by two_MN_kids » Tue Apr 17, 2012 03:33

Hey Dick,

I don't know if this is going to work. It's been two weeks, and I haven't seen a hint of gas bubbles in the water seal. We were gone four days to Kansas City to meet new granddaughter. The house temperature dropped to 63° F, and I heard we had about a foot of snow overnight!

I plan on cracking the seal on Wednesday morning. Can one call it sauerkraut if it doesn't ferment?

Good Luck on your new project!

Jim
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Post by NorCal Kid » Tue Apr 17, 2012 22:40

two_MN_kids wrote:I don't know if this is going to work. It's been two weeks, and I haven't seen a hint of gas bubbles in the water seal....The house temperature dropped to 63° F, and I heard we had about a foot of snow overnight!

I plan on cracking the seal on Wednesday morning. Can one call it sauerkraut if it doesn't ferment?

Jim
Jim, I'm afraid I share a similar experience with my two gallon jars.

I processed on the first of April; the first week the temp was too low (60-63°) so i moved them to a warmer spot (63-72°) where they've resided for about 8-10 days...with no visible signs of fermentation YET. Just getting a bit paler in color. Fermentation can only take place in the absence of oxygen, so I need to double-check the gasket seals and make sure the cabbage is completely submerged....

This may take longer than expected.

Kevin
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Post by two_MN_kids » Thu Apr 19, 2012 00:26

I opened the sealed pail of kraut this morning. Everything was still submerged under the brine, and there was no indication of mold or other unwanted growth on the surface of the brine.

The smell was a pleasant and expected odor of sauerkraut! The color was light muted yellows and pale greens fading to translucent.

I reset the lid and water seal and will check again in another week.

Jim
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Post by DLFL » Thu Apr 19, 2012 00:41

Sounds as you have a good batch going!
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Post by NorCal Kid » Fri Apr 20, 2012 17:17

two_MN_kids wrote:I opened the sealed pail of kraut this morning. Everything was still submerged under the brine, and there was no indication of mold or other unwanted growth on the surface of the brine.

The smell was a pleasant and expected odor of sauerkraut! The color was light muted yellows and pale greens fading to translucent.

Jim
Encouraging News! We've had a bit of a warm 'heat spell' recently (upper 70s-low 80s), and so the two jars have been @ 68-72° for 4-5 days. I opened them last night & was pleased to experience what you did, Jim- the slightly sweet, pungent aroma of...sauerkraut!

This may just work out after all! Another week or so & we'll give it a try. :mrgreen:

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Post by DLFL » Fri Apr 20, 2012 18:41

I started a small batch of half sour pickles today. I am hoping they are similar to Claussen's.
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