Friday, March 4, 2016

Fermented Foods: Making Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut Recipe Ingredients:

(Yields 3 to 4 quarts or 3.38 - 4.5 L)

10 Pounds (4.4kg) shredded green cabbage

6 tablespoons (90ml) canning or picking salt


Directions: Prepare 5 pounds (2.2kg) of cabbage at a time.

Discard outer leaves and any insect-damaged areas. Rinse heads under cold running water and drain. Cut heads in four wedges. Discard cores. Shred or slice to a thickness of a quarter. Put 5 pounds ((2.2kg) of shredded cabbage in a suitable fermentation container (preferably stainless steel), and add 3 tablespoons (45ml) of salt. Mix thoroughly, using clean hands. Pack firmly until salt draws juices from cabbage.

Repeat shredding, salting, and packing until all cabbage is in the container. Be sure the container is deep enough so that its rim is at least 4 or 5 inches (10-13 cm) above the cabbage. If juice does not cover cabbage add boiled and cooled brine (1 and a half tablespoons (22.5ml) of salt per quart of water).

Cabbage must be kept 1 to 2 inches (2.5-5.0 cm) under brine while fermenting. Insert a dinner plate or glass pie plate inside the fermentation container. The plate must be slightly smaller than the container opening, yet large enough to cover most of the shredded cabbage. To keep the plate under the brine, weigh it down with 2 to 3 sealed quart jars filled with water or a well cleaned rock. Covering the container opening with a clean, heavy bath towel helps prevent contamination from insects or mold. If you use jars as weight, check the kraut two to three times per week and remove scum if it forms.

Fully fermented kraut may be kept tightly covered in the refrigerator for several months. A 5 - gallon stone crock is the ideal size for fermenting about 25 pounds of fresh shredded cabbage.

Fermenting Temperatures and Times Temperatures Time Comments Below 55oF (13oC) -- Product may not ferment 55 - 65oF (18oC) 5-6 weeks -- 70-75oF (21oC - 24oC) 3-4 weeks Ideal Temperature Above 80oF (27oC) -- Product may soften or spoil