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I'm looking to turn my cabbage patch into sauerkraut. I've always heard a foolproof way to not have the cabbage spoil is to pack and ferment directly into canning jars. My folks always had the worst luck with using crocks, but I think I could apply homebrew techniques to keep things cleaner. Any thoughts?

Tags: recipe, sauerkraut

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the main thing is to keep all the cabbage submerged under the brine.
I always make my kraut in a glass pitcher so there's less surface space at the top to keep submerged. The whole thing needs to be able to breath a little, so you don't want to screw a lid on top. You need some kind of weight on top, like a canning jar full of water, or a big can of tomatoes in a plastic bag (the brine will eat the can)--then just check it every couple of days and give a push on the weight to keep the cabbage under water.
You could also use whey in your brine and as already stated it is most important to keep everything submerged. We just bought a crock from Goldmine and will be harvesting the first sauerkraut in a couple days. I'll let you know how it goes. My next batch I am going to put horseradish leaves on top.
Has anyone made kraut with bok choi? I am getting a ton of it in my CSA, and I don't think I can eat that much more of it straight. Most of the bok choi recipes I'm seeing are for kimchi, and I don't know how likely I am to get through that. I am thinking about bok choi + horseradish root + whey + fermented garlic as these are things that are kicking around my fridge. Do you think the bok choi flavor will hold up against that other stuff?
Megan: Why not try, at the worst you will have gained valuable experiance and compost... I can see no reason why this technique cannot apply to any dense leafed vegetable.

I go to the dollar store, get a food grade plastic cutting board, and cut it to the shape of the crock, and weight it down with a rock in a plastic bag... :)
Thanks, Trell! That's exactly what I figured that very day. I made it a little too salty, but it will definitely be eaten.

I'm not sure what the protocol is here re: posting web links, but I did blog about it if anyone wants to know how it turned out, and I wrote about how I get by without a crock (similar to Bonnie's technique, but with brine instead of a can), etc. If anyone wants to check it out, it's countrygirlbrooklyn on wordpress.
That's how I make it. Of course, I only make it a quart at a time, which lasts us a while. But I chop the cabbage, add salt and whey, pound the daylights out of it, and stuff it into a canning jar til the juice covers it. Let it sit out for a few days, and put it in the fridge. Never had a bad batch. I also add caraway seeds to mine.
A simple instructive video on making your own sauerkraut.

Thanks for the video! I've been reading around online and in some books, plus asking dear old Mom about how to make sauerkraut. I appreciated him explaining the ratio of salt-to-kraut, which for whatever reason I wasn't easily finding other places. I finally went ahead and made it a few minutes ago and it seems to have gone pretty well. I will try to remember to report back in a week or two if my kraut is becoming sauerkraut-y.

Good luck Annie! Congratulations on taking the kraut leap. I've been a bit less exact with my salt amounts and have been pretty happy with the results. I just salt enough for it to be noticeable, but not overwhelming. I also add garlic to the cabbage - makes a good stinky kraut! :)

Annie B said:

Thanks for the video! I've been reading around online and in some books, plus asking dear old Mom about how to make sauerkraut. I appreciated him explaining the ratio of salt-to-kraut, which for whatever reason I wasn't easily finding other places. I finally went ahead and made it a few minutes ago and it seems to have gone pretty well. I will try to remember to report back in a week or two if my kraut is becoming sauerkraut-y.

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