Homemade Sauerkraut

Latest Update 13th December 2015.


Homemade Sauerkraut

Ingredients
  • 600 grams of shredded cabbage.
  • 2 teaspoons of cooking salt.
Equipment
  • Wide necked quart size mason preserving jar.
  • Glass jar small enough to fit inside the preserving jar.Small clean pebbles.
Instructions
  • When fermenting anything it's best to encourage beneficial bacteria to get established quickly by thoroughly cleaning your hands, all containers and any implements used in the process to remove unwelcome micro organisms.
  • Discard any unsightly or damaged outer leaves from your cabbage.  Cut it into 4 pieces and remove the core.   Cut each piece again to make 8 equal sized segments.  Slice across each wedge to make very thin ribbons of cabbage.  Use a mixing bowl to combine the salt and cabbage.  Persist with this until the cabbage becomes watery and limp.
  • Pack the mixture into the mason jar tamping it down as you go to make it as compact as possible.  Add any liquid left in the mixing bowl to the sauerkraut mix, and place a clean outer cabbage leaf over the sauerkraut mix to stop bits floating to the top of the liquid.
  • Use the small glass jar to weigh down the sauerkraut inside the mason jar.  Use clean ballast of clean pebbles or just plain water to add to the weight of the small jar.  The aim is to submerge the sauerkraut beneath its own juices.
  • Cover the mouth of the mason jar with a small piece of clean cloth and secure it with a rubber band.  This protects the jars contents from insects and contaminants while allowing fresh air in. 
  • Periodically, press down the small jar to squeeze more liquid out of the sauerkraut.  Continue doing this during the first 24 hours.  If the sauerkraut is not totally immersed in the liquid after this time, add some salted water to make sure it is.  (1 tsp salt per cup of water).
  • As the mix ferments, keep the sauerkraut away from direct sunlight and at a cool room temperature (18 - 24 deg C). Check it daily and press it down if the sauerkraut is floating above the liquid.
  • Ferment the mixture for at least 3 days, but when the sauerkraut tastes good, remove the weight, screw on the cap, and refrigerate.
  • While it's fermenting, you may see foam or a scum developing on top of the liquid. This is a sign of a healthy fermentation process, and the scum can be skimmed off the top either during fermentation or before refrigeration.
  • Thoroughly remove any mold formed on the surface immediately after you see it and make sure your sauerkraut is fully submerged.  The Sauerkraut is quite edible providing you remove all the mold.
  • Sauerkraut will keep for at least 2 months.