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September 12, 2010

Five weeks today and we jarred our first batch of sauerkraut.  The whole process of natural fermentation is still kind of a mystery to me but the proof is in the “kraut.”  It is so good…I know my days of buying store-bought sauerkraut are over.  It was really quite easy.  All we did was cut up 8-10 heads of cabbage, place them in an old, clean, crock with the directed amount of salt, a plate and some jars of water on top to pack it down, and then we stored the crock at about 70F or room temperature.  Two important NOTES: (1) make sure you skim off the scum everyday and (2) do not let the temperature drop too much.  If the temperature drops and the room becomes too cool  then the liquid disappears.  Again, I am not going to think about the science behind it all; however, once we moved it into a warmer room the liquid reappeared overnight.  We won’t make that mistake again…consistency is everything.  I do know that I enjoyed skimming the scum off most days because I could sample the product and it got better as time went by.  Once the bubbles stop forming the fermentation process is over and it is time to jar it. 

We decided to do the HOT PACK method by heating the sauerkraut and its’ brine over med-high heat.  Bernardin warns not to let it come to a boil so we didn’t…again, I am not sure why but we decided not to chance 5 weeks of skimming and something so delicious.  Then into hot sterilized jars and voila you’re done.  We did the hot pack method instead of raw pack  because we were afraid there wasn’t going to be enough liquid but don’t worry kids…the little bit that it created during the 5 weeks was plenty. 

We’ve got a second batch that is still bubbling but should be ready in another week or two.  Sausages with your sauerkraut…anyone!?!

Put up Total:

  • 6 x 1L wide mouth jars
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