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If you start a batch of saurkraut now. It should be ready for Oktoberfest. What tips and hints do you have?

I use 2 tsp of Kosher Salt to 1 pound of cabbage. And just normal large glass jars with a baggie filled with brine 3tablespoon salt to 1 cup water. To seal it. Overnight on the counter for 1 to 2 days..then in the fridge for 8 weeks or so.

Sam is a trusted home cook.

asked over 2 years ago
11 answers 1309 views
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Susan W

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added over 2 years ago

I love making sauerkraut. However, I leave it at room temp and only refrigerate after it's reached the fermentation that I like. I also tend to make it in fall or winter, so maybe you can't leave it out in the summer. I make 3 versions. Traditional with fennel seeds etc. Mexican with jalapenos, cumin seed and chili flakes and Asian with ginger, garlic and lime peel. Sandor Katz is my go to expert. I like the idea of the plastic bag to keep it submerged. I usually use a cabbage leaf and open the jar and punch it down ever day until it stays submerged. Now I want to make some. :0)

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Sam1148

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added over 2 years ago

My favorite bit of sauerkraut lore is that when you make it in the fall. You use a large bowl. And place it under an oak tree at the full moon to get it started.

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Susan W

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added over 2 years ago

Love the oak tree story. There is a heritage white oak right across the street from me. Totally doing it.

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Sam1148

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added over 2 years ago

I'm thinking there might be some science behind that oak tree thing.
San Francisco is famous for it's sourdough bread which uses natural yeasts to make the starter. The tree and moon folk lore could have something behind it- cool night and full moon might release some yeasty things in the air. But nevermind that...I think it's cool.

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Susan W

Susan W is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 2 years ago

Could be some science. I put mine in 50 ounce fido jars with the clamp lids, but maybe I'll start it with a cloth and rubber band cover like kombucha while it has a sleepover with the oak tree.

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Trena Heinrich

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added over 2 years ago

Sam - Just to add to the great advice Susan has already given, go ahead and taste the sauerkraut as its fermenting on the counter, when its tasty refrigerate it. Best of luck to you!

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Nancy

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added over 2 years ago

If you like hot/spicy/Korean flavors, start a batch of kimchi kimchee however you spell it at the same time - easy, 24 hr room temp, then in fridge, delicious!

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Susan W

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added over 2 years ago

I thought of something else I do. When I make sauerkraut, I start the cabbage and the salt in a big bowl and squish it with my hands to get it started. Walk away for a bit and then do it again. I think it helps speed up the process. Mine is always ready in 3 weeks at the most.

This year, I am going to add my preserved lemon peel to the traditional flavor.

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added over 2 years ago

Make sure after the first 1-3 days, you skim off the scum that rises to the top. It makes for a much refined product. I recommend Andre Soltners recipe from the Lutece Cookbook-remember to weigh down the cabbage so it stays immersed. Do not use any metal products of any kind to touch the sauerkraut, including the weight you use. That recipe is for from scratch kraut. An easier recipe, from the Veselka Cookbook, uses a good store bought sauerkraut as a fermentation starter, and then adds in fresh. Once started you can keep adding fresh cooked cabbage into the kraut to continuously rejuvenate it. This method is great in that the hard part-fermentation and the brine concentration are already handled for you. (Soltner also states this is a fine way to get it going, as this is where most people fall down. If it's good enough for Andre, its' good enough for me.) If you've ever had the sauerkraut at Veselkas it's awesome-very cabbagey and fresh tasting, he's been keeping it going for years.

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Sam1148

Sam is a trusted home cook.

added over 2 years ago

I've seen the methods that use room temp for weeks. All of those mention getting out the 'scum'.
My last batches I've put in the 'fridge after 1-2 days. It takes a much longer time, but not once have I had to deal with any 'scum' on it...it might also have something to with using a baggie filled with brine to make a very good seal on top of the cabbage that's completely submerged with brine.

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Susan W

Susan W is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 2 years ago

I have only made the room temp version. I used a cabbage leaf to seal it and punched it down with my fist every day or two until enough liquid covers everything. I have never had scum develop.