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Let's talk about sauerkraut!
#6227 February 5th, 2007 at 01:11 AM
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I am suddenly obsessed with the idea of making sauerkraut! Never knew it was actually fermented in a brine, I guess I assumed it was made with vinegar. So...Im going to grow cabbage for the first time this year, and I will need something to do with the harvest! laugh Ok, let's hope they grow! wavey

Re: Let's talk about sauerkraut!
#6228 February 5th, 2007 at 02:16 AM
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I use a crock from an old Crock pot.

The general rule is 5 lbs cabbage and 4 Tbls spoon of pickling salt.

DON'T use salt with iodine, it will kill the fermentation. I did that once and all I got was salty cabbage.

I use the slicer attachment for the Kitchenaid Mixer to slice the cabbage. Then I use a cover from a cake carrier to mix it all together with. It works better if you do it in batches. Let it sit for 20 minutes so the brine starts to develop.

Pack the cabbage in your crock using a potato masher, place a 1 gallon zip top bag on top that is filled with a weak brine by dissolving 2 tablespoons of salt to a quart of water. Cover with a clean dish towel, and place out of the way somewhere. I put it in the extra bedroom.

You need to check it each day, if you see a scum on top remove it, if the brine level goes below the cabbage level add some more weak salt water solution to it,

It will give off an order for a week or two. I let mine sit for 6 to 8 weeks at room temperature. You can reach in and taste it from time to time.

After 6/8 weeks are it up I can in pint jars, using a water bath canner for 15 minutes. But you can store it in the back of the refrigerator. It is best eaten fresh.

Re: Let's talk about sauerkraut!
#6229 February 5th, 2007 at 01:13 PM
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Thanks Amigatec! I was hoping you'd find this thread.

I actually have a Kitchenaid, but not the slicer attachment. Duh Where does it go? On that little button thingie on the front that unscrews?

So is it pretty easy to tell when it's "ok"? The scum skimming part makes me nervous. Id be afraid I wouldnt get it all and have scary stuff growing along with it. sca

Doing some online research, I found this neat site that has a link to an online store that sells the old style crocks! Check it out....

http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art11364.asp

Re: Let's talk about sauerkraut!
#6230 February 5th, 2007 at 04:11 PM
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I have found that by using the bag method, the scum is much easier to handle, and if the bag is large enough, and covers the whole surface, there will be no scum at all. Also if you keep a lot of brine on top skimming the scum is easy.

I am not sure how big my crock is but I would guess about 16 pints, it handles 5 lbs of cabbage without a problem. (it fills it about 3/4 full) I picked it up at a garage sale for like 50 cents. It was just the crock no lid or cooker.

Yes the attachments go into the port on the front of the mixer.

I also noticed I said "It will give off an order for a week or two."
I meant to say "It will give off an odor for a week or two.", the odor isn't bad, but it does smell like cabbage.

Last fall i use store bought cabbage, and it just doesn't have enough juice in it. I had to make some brine for it. I tried it this time but placing the cabbage in pint jars and letting ferment that way, I won't do that again. But I did add some apples to two jars, and caraway seed two others.

This is my third batch, and I haven't tasted it yet.

Good Luck!!! and tell us how it turned out.

Re: Let's talk about sauerkraut!
#6231 February 9th, 2007 at 07:36 PM
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That crock will work fine. Imake kraut in mine after flowers were in it. I use kosher canning salt. shred the cabbage in the crock and add the salt mix it well and compact it the brine will form as your mixing and compacting My Dad put cheese cloth over it then a dinner plate with a gal jug of water on it. the cheese cloth will soak up the scum . rinse the chees cloth every day or 2 and WAIT.

Re: Let's talk about sauerkraut!
#6232 February 9th, 2007 at 08:55 PM
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I hadn't thought about the cheescloth. I will try that next time.

Re: Let's talk about sauerkraut!
#6233 March 14th, 2007 at 06:08 PM
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My great-grandma made hers in her butter churn! I was little so I don't remember much about it other than it STANK to high heavens (and I'm a kraut lover!)
I know that she wrapped the top of the handle in cloth and that she would not let my mom anywhere NEAR her while she was making it because it was her "time of the month" and she said it would spoil. I think it is a superstition. She was funny about that. I remember something about crying while you were cooking too being bad!!


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