Saturday, September 29, 2012

Fall is sauerkraut time. This morning I started the process by packing the shredded cabbage into a 2     gallon crock.

 You will need a 2 gallon crock or stainless steel pot, a stomper and a cabbage shredder. Since I am a woodturner, I made my stomper out of maple wood. If you do not have a stomper, you can fill a sealed quart canning jar with water and use that to stomp with. You can also shred the cabbage using a knife but that takes a lot longer.
 First I removed the outer green leaves from the head of cabbage and cut each head into quarters, then removed the core. I used 3 heads which will fill my 2 gallon crock 1/2 full which is just right.                             

Next the cabbage was finely shredded using a cabbage shredder set to cut 1/16 to 1/8 inch slices. There are always some pieces of cabbage that cannot be shredded using the shredder, so shred them using a knife or food processor with the shredding blade installed.

The cabbage is now finely shredded and ready to pack into the crock with 1/3 cup of pickling salt.

3 or 4 handfuls of cabbage with 1 tablespoon of salt is added to the crock and mixed, then stomped with the stomper until the moisture in the cabbage is released. I then repeat these steps until all of the cabbage is used up.When complete, the liquid should cover the cabbage in the crock. If not, mix 1 quart of water with 1 1/2 tablespoons pickling salt and heat on the stove to dissolve the salt. Let cool and add to the crock until the cabbage is covered.                                             

Next cover the kraut with a plastic storage bag filled 2/3 full with water and sealed. This keeps the kraut beneath the brine so the kraut does not spoil in the fermenting process.

The crock is covered with a clean tea towel and allowed to sit in my kitchen at 70 to 75 degrees F for 1 month. At the end of the month, remove the plastic bag and skim off any scum then drain and pack the kraut in glass jars with lids and keep in the refrigerator where it will last for several months. Enjoy!

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