Sauerkraut [General]

2008 Jul 29
It's dirt-simple to make good kraut.

Chop or grate your cabbage medium to coarse.
Add salt into the bucket as you are grating.
"stomp" it to squish the cabbage and "bring up the pickle". i.e. it brings up a brine so all the cabbage is covered in it's own liquid.
Cover.
Let it spontaneously ferment for at least a month. There is a bacterium which lives on cabbage which accomplishes this task. The first week or 2 you skim anything off the surface like mold or whatever, should it form. After that the pH will be low enough to not worry about it.

I'll have to check my notes for the exact amount of salt because getting it close is kind of important. So you can't really make low-salt kraut because the bacterium needs a certain concentration to thrive. I seem to recall it's 1/4 cup per good sized head of cabbage. Which if I'm not mistaken works out to a full cup per about 18 litres. And you have to use kosher or pickling salt, no iodized table salt.

You can see the photo tour on my website here : www.bodensatz.com

I've left it ferment as long as 13 months after which it was just about the most amazing kraut I've ever had!

We can do a sauerkraut making party if anyone wants to.

Jul 23
I usually just chop the cabbage by hand especially for the small batches I am doing now, but even for larger batches that's what I've done. But I know guys who use mandolines and food processors.

Regarding salting yes by weight is better and 2% is usually recommended. I had a long discussion on this yesterday with some friends and as a result I'll probably be reducing my salt and going by weight from now on. I did some tests with my Starfrit kitchen scale and it seems capable enough at measuring in the 10g range when I'm making small batches.

The dosing I have above of 2.5ml per 100g is more in the 3% range. But still I don't find it very salty.