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Food Preservation

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Food Preservation

How-To's on putting food aside: canning, freezing, drying, much more...

Location: North Carolina
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Latest Activity: Sep 5

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Comment Wall

Comment by Harriet Fasenfest on July 21, 2011 at 9:13am
Aliza - blanch (or roast, though I have not done that) to remove skins of peaches if they bug you in the jar.  They do me.  It's a texture thing not a safety thing.
Comment by Kelli on July 22, 2011 at 1:14pm

PAT.....I've tried to email you about this, but it won't send for some reason. 

My buckets of kraut are cloudy and have some type of stuff growing around the bucket and the weight.  It looks like a tape worm.  I know it's not, but that's the best description I've got for it.  Today, for the first time, there was also some white stuff that looks like the moss that grows on trees.  Is this normal or have I done something wrong??

Comment by Pat Johnson on July 22, 2011 at 1:25pm
Hopefully the temperature is between 65 & 75 degrees plus or minus a couple. Your weight should be holding the kraut under the liquid. Its also best if the weight is also under the liquid because it allows you to more efficiently skim the top of the liquid should any scum or mold begin to form. If the wieght is only partially submerged you can still skim the top but have to be more careful. You may even be able to carefully remove the weight and skim the top and then replace the (washed) weight afterwards. It sounds as though you either have a temperature issue or you have allowed the kraut to rise above the surface. Still, don't dispair. Skim and continue. How long has it been fermenting?

I've been having trouble using the messageing portion of the site as well.
Comment by Kelli on July 22, 2011 at 2:19pm

It was 3 weeks Tuesday.  I've got plates on top of the kraut weighted with half gallon Golden Harvest jars filled with water.  There's 2-3 inches of liquid on top of the plates.  I've got the buckets in a spare bedroom that's just storage for my canned stuff.  I've got the vent closed a little, because I didn't want the A/C to be too cold for it.

So, just keep on keeping on and taste test next week, which is week 4?

Comment by Pat Johnson on July 22, 2011 at 2:35pm

Yes, keep on keeping on and you could taste test it right now if you'd like. It should already tates like sauerkraut. The longer you leave it the tangier it gets. You might think it tangy enough already.

By now the vigorous bubbling/fermenting will likely have finished and there should be plenty of acid to facilitate long term storage (the sauerkraut taste will be the proof of that). Scum and mold formation is a normal occurance and does not hurt the kraut. It can be kept to a minimum by eliminating the air in the fermentation chamber but I think that's more trouble than it's worth (I just skim daily and watch it ferment). It should look like sauerkraut and not be too cloudy. If it looks very cloudy it may have some contamination issues (but nothing that will cause you to die or get sick). I'm guessing that since you're fermenting in the buckets and can't actually see through the sides that you are seeing cloudy from the top and it may well be that the kraut is actually clear (if you could see it from the side). Try removing the jars that are holding the plates down, then skiming the surface and wiping the edges of the fermenter where thetop of the liquid is. Then dip out a ladle full and put it into a clear jar or bowl. Replace the plates, jar and fermenter top. Now you have a sample to see and to taste. By now it should be darned close to the finished product. Is it? Don't be shy, what is it like compared to real sauerkraut?

Comment by Kelli on July 22, 2011 at 7:06pm
Well, I don't think either bucket is ready. The one bucket with red cabbage is still bubbling. When I removed the plate from the other bucket with green cabbage, all the liquid disappeared. I'm making some brine to put on it. I did taste it, though, and I don't think it's ready either; it tasted like salty cabbage.
Comment by Pat Johnson on July 23, 2011 at 8:05am
Still bubbling is a sign that it is still fermenting. The one where the liquid dissapeared mystifies me a bit. Take a look at the following link and tell me if you followed those procedures exactly when you started....

http://msuextension.org/publications/HomeHealthandFamily/MT200902HR...
Comment by Kelli on July 23, 2011 at 3:23pm
I did that exact recipe, only it was in my Ball Complete book.  I had even cooked and cooled brine for both batches.  When I lifted the plate, I guess all the liquid went towards the bottom of the bucket and that it wasn't enough to begin with; or maybe it has evaporated.  I don't have a clue.  I cooked and cooled brine last night and put over it before I replaced the plate and weight.
Comment by Pat Johnson on July 24, 2011 at 8:48am
Could it be that your plates are so colse in size that they are not allowing any air or liquid to pass? The idea is only to hold the cabbage below the level of the liquid not for an airtight seal. You shoul dhave been skiming daily if needed and at least looking inside to see if it needed to me skimmed so I doubt it could have evaporated without you noticing it. If the liquid was not originally high enough you could have added salt water to help. Regardless, if you followed the instructions to the tee you should be tasting a sauerkraut taste by now. If the plates are too tight and forming a seal it could be having a negative affect and you could try to find a smaller weight.
Comment by Harriet Fasenfest on July 24, 2011 at 11:57am

Kelli,

Sorry I'm coming late to this conversation but did you first use salt, not brine, in preparing your cabbage for fermentation?

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