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Posted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 19:02
by NorCal Kid
Pickles are still on my 'to-do' list....

Someone steered me to this site, which has some interesting items for pickling/food preservation.... ... crocks.htm

Good price on the stainless cabbage slicer, too. ... ndolin.htm

Posted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 15:23
by Baconologist
I have found that 65 degrees and 2% salt are perfect for sauerkraut if you can maintain the temperature and exclude oxygen.

I don't use an airlock, I fill the container (1/2 gallon canning jars) all the way to the very top then place on the lid (no ring) with a 1 pound weight on top.
There will be some burping, but DON'T open the container until the ferment is finished (about 3 weeks) It's always perfect, there's never a sign of kahm yeast or molds.

To get a great texture I shave the cabbage at no more than a couple mm on an imaginary plane that is parallel with the center of the core, this exposes the most cells and tames the tough lignins.
I salt the cabbage and let it sweat overnight before tightly packing into the fermenter, never pounding.

I have a tiny apartment fridge with a controller set at 65 degrees so I can ferment year-round.


Posted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 18:59
by two_MN_kids
Welcome to the forum, Bob.

I have heard of that process, and even tried it with dill pickles many years back. I just had a bad feeling about using an unsealed jar sitting on a shelf in the basement. They were probably fine, but I tossed the lot when it got rather cloudy looking.

I like the water seal process. It makes great pickles, so I thought it could do the same with sauerkraut. And it sure is less expensive using a plastic bucket rather than an expensive imported crock.

Thanks for the tip, I may just try a small batch to check it out.



Posted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 02:49
by Keymaster
This is my first try at making my own Kimchi. I purchased the Book " Sauerkraut, Kimchi, Pickles and Relish" By Stanley Marianski and His brother Adam.
Started out with 2 heads of napa Cabbage. I used the "Easy Kimchi" Recipe.


Then I made a brine of three cups of salt to 4 quarts of water and soaked the cabbage for three hours.


Then triple rinsed it in the salad spinner


Chopped up the cabbage in 2" slices and then cut the Scallions, Finely diced the ginger root, Red pepper powder, Crushed 3 cloves of garlic and got the salt and sugar ready for mixing.



Mixed in all the spices and goodness...


Put it in the homemade fermintation jar for a three day ride, or maybe more....


Posted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 06:43
by Dumoine
I too use 2% salt. I usually make sauerkraut in the fall when the fall/winter cabbage is in season. I set the furnace thermostat for the house at 65 degrees. After four or five weeks when most of the fermentation has taken place, I move the crock into the garage. My garage is insulated so it stays cool, but does not freeze during our Michigan winters. I leave the kraut in the crock and go out to the garage to fill up a jar to store in the fridge when I need some. This year the unseasonable warm temperatures in March hurt my batch. With the 80 degree temperatures it started fermenting again, it is still good to eat, but not as good as it was before the March heat wave.

Posted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 14:09
I like all the Kimchi types I have tasted. My wife's favorite is spring Kimchi as it is very mild. Wish I could remember what was in it. Will have to do a search.

Posted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 14:17
by ssorllih
Occasionally I read about a culture that prepares a mixture like that and then buries the covered crock in the ground. Until just now I didn't understand why anyone would do that. But the ground temperature remains quite constant so storing pickled food in that manner would be good.

Posted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 14:53
by Keymaster
Ross, I sure am glad Stanley and Adam did not call out for the kimchi to be buried in the backyard. I was chasing racoons off my back porch yesterday morning, they acted like they owned the place, someone in the neighborhood is feeding them and their used to people because they didn't even back down when I put my arms above my head like a big bear :mrgreen: I had to retreat back in the house.

Posted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 17:02
by ssorllih
Time to break out the .22.

Posted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 20:53
by NorCal Kid
One of our former pastors was half-Korean, and he used to recall his Korean mother (who came to the US when the pastor-to-be was a child) making kimchi at home on a regular basis. He didnt have fond memories of it-something to do with an off-putting smell that permeated his home. Made it quite uncomfortable for him to have friends over. :mrgreen:

I enjoy kimchi. It's on my list of fermented products to make.
I gotta have success with the 'kraut first.


Posted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 00:56
by Cabonaia
My priest is Korean. Like most Koreans, his family would never consider a meal at home without kimchi, and they make many varieties of it, always bringing some whenever they come over. It is the National Dish! I made it some years ago and it came out fine, but it's hard to get motivated to make any these days since our "presvytera" is always bringing over such fine stuff.

Posted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 12:47
Put my second batch of kraut in jars yesterday and into the refrigerator. Two heads of cabbage, a one gallon crock, two jars of sauerkraut. This time the salt was just right and the kraut is great. I will not be making this in the house with a crock in the future untill the windows are open again! :mrgreen: I might try in in a glass container with airlock if no one reports about strong smell always present doing it this way..


Posted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 13:03
by Keymaster
That Kraut looks pretty good Dick !! My Kimchi has been Burpin up a storm and I may have to try some tonight with some BBQ'd Pork ribs. So far when I come in the house there is just a hint of the smell Kimchi but very very faint.

Posted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 16:39
by redzed
We make 120 lbs of sauerkraut each year and only in the fall, when the late hard packed head variety is available. At that time it is crisp, full of liquids and sweet tasting. The results are not as good when you use cabbage that has been in cold storage for 8 months. We use a 15 gallon Medalta stone crock that I place on casters so that I can move it around in the garage. If it gets too ccol there, we move it into the house, and I love that smell! Each day I lift the cover off it and take inhale!

But now this kimchi post got me thinking about giving that a shot. Probably would go well with a batch of smoked oysters.

Posted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 17:27
by NorCal Kid
DLFL wrote:I might try in in a glass container with airlock if no one reports about strong smell always present doing it this way.
Dick, I'm happy to report that with the airlocks in place, there are no odors nor off-putting aroma present around the jars. To actually get a whiff, one has to unscrew the jar cap.

Nice job on the kraut! I've about another week before I sample the goods...