10 Lbs. of Kraut!

Discussion in 'Side Items' started by pearlheartgtr, Dec 31, 2012.

  1. Whew! I just finished bagging up 10 lbs. of my latest batch of sauerkraut and am currently airing out the house.

    Took 8 weeks to ferment (last batch was about 5 lbs. and it went 6 weeks) but I let it go a few more days because I didn't have time to bag it. It's another winner! Perfect crunch and sourness. Made up 16 bags with just enough juice to add 1/2 cup to each. I used a 2 gallon glass cookie jar I bought for $10 at Wal-Mart -- though I think next time around, I'm going to get myself a small foodsafe bucket and plug one of my airlocks into it.

    Now all I have to do is get the propane tank filled and I can FINALLY try out the chedder brats I made last month. I waited for my kraut to be finished because I can't eat that nasty store bought stuff anymore and didn't want to sully a good brat with that.

  2. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Looks great!
  3. wes w

    wes w Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I didn't think anyone made kraut anymore.   My Mother used to make the best kraut.  I haven't had any in years.  Your right, the store stuff don't even come close.

  4. driedstick

    driedstick Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Very nice love fresh Kraut
  5. kathrynn

    kathrynn Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Looks great! I remember my Grandmother using a butter churn for kraut!
  6. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Love fresh.
    Aint nothing like it.
    Been meaning to do a batch of killians kraut.

    Great job.
    Thanks for sharing
  7. dougmays

    dougmays Limited Mod Group Lead

    This looks great purpleheartgtr! Do you have a recipe or method to share? i'd like to give this a shot
  8. Dougmays,

    It's actually pretty simple. 3 tbsp salt (Kosher or sea salt. I've used both and can't tell any difference in the end product) per 5 lbs of cabbage.

    Shred or thinly slice the cabbage, saving a few untorn outer leaves.

    I do a couple of heads at a time (or whatever can fit into the giant metal dough mixing bowl I have), sprinkle salt on the cabbage and squeeze it a bit to get the juices flowing. Once I can squeeze it and it wrings out like a damp towel, I start packing it into the crock (or in my case, glass cookie jar). Pack it as tightly as you can. I've tried various "packing" implements and have found that my fist does the best job. Do that with the next batch of cabbage and so on and so forth. You may want to use gloves when you're doing this. My knuckles would be red and raw afterward and stung like heck. The salt did no favors to my skin. You also discover cuts you didn't know you had.

    It's amazing how much cabbage you can pack in. Keep packing it down and you'll see the water level rise as you mash and the salt draws it out. Some people add a brine to it to raise the water level, but I've found it unnecessary. It all draws out eventually. When that's done, I turn the leaves I put aside inside-out and lay them on the cabbage to keep stray shreds from floating up and cover with a plate. A weight of some sort is necessary to keep everything under the water level. I use a 2 gallon zip lock freezer bag with a brine (1 tsp salt per 1 cup water) in it to weigh everything down and as my airlock. The brine is in case the bag leaks. Put the bag into the jar and fill with water until it seals around the rim.

    Do whatever you need to the lid to form an airtight seal where CO2 can escape but no Oxygen can get in. My next adventure (going for 25 lbs), I'm using a fermenting bucket with a proper airlock on it. It will make life so much easier.

    Next, put your infant kraut away in a dark place. Temperature wise, the room I ferment it in stays about 60-65F. Some people have said that was too high while others said it was too low. It works just fine for me. Check the kraut daily. With a paper towel, skim around the inside walls if there's any white scum. Pack it back down if needed. Taste the kraut. It is ready when you like it. Mine's ususally ready when I think it went bad. I like it somewhat crisp with a nice sour bite.

    I pack mine into zip locks with just enough juice to cover the kraut. A few bags stay in the fridge while the others go in the freezer.
  9. dougmays

    dougmays Limited Mod Group Lead

    This is great thanks! If you use a airlock will you not need to "scrap the scum" because having the airlock will not allow crud buildup?
  10. It still happens. My first batch needed to be scraped daily whereas this past one, maybe once a week.
  11. dougmays

    dougmays Limited Mod Group Lead

    awesome thanks for the info! this is my next project
  12. You're welcome!

    You'll never eat store bought sauerkraut again. I know I can't.
  13. dougmays

    dougmays Limited Mod Group Lead

    what are your thoughts on fermenting crocks? they are expensive on amazon
  14. lyle o

    lyle o Newbie

    we made 27 quart this year usually make 20 to 30 a year we put it in quart jars and hot water bath it we use 1 5 gallon bucket and a 5 gallon crock cant taste any difference between the two takes 10 to 12 heads of cabbage to make love kraut eat once a week
  15. Sorry this is a bit late (I never got a notification for the replies).

    I thought about a fermenting crock but they are too expensive for me. The 2 gallon glass jar from Walmart worked fine for me, just had to keep it in a dark place. About 2 weeks ago, I bought 30 lbs of cabbage and stuffed it into a 5 gallon food grade bucket with an airlock plugged into the lid. What amazed me was that about 25 lbs (after cores and outer leaves removed), it only filled the bucket about half way or so, but I packed it down to within an inch of its life.

    You can buy food grade buckets and lids from Lowe's for under $10. Drill a hole and add a rubber grommet in the lid and pop a fermentation airlock in it (you can buy those for a couple of dollars at any brew supply store).

    I usually bought my mead making supplies from Northern Brewer. Here's a page with a bucket and lid:

  16. Stupid question but do you add anything to assist the fermentation (lacto maybe), or is it all from wild organisms?
  17. Nope. I just rinse the cabbage, slice it up, add salt, and pack into the bucket. There really is no need to add any lacto bacteria. There's enough on the cabbage to start it off.
  18. mrh

    mrh Meat Mopper

    I bought the 20 liter one that had free shipping with the stones to weigh it down. Used it last summer after cabbage was done and made 48 pints of kraut.  It worked great! Before I had used a 10 gallon crock my Grandpa had with a relish tray on top and a bag with water for the airlock.  The fermenting crock was way handier!  I got this one and it was way cheaper when I got it :

    TSM Products Fermentation Pot, 20 Liter capacity

    Last edited: Mar 23, 2014
  19. oldcanalsmoke

    oldcanalsmoke Fire Starter

    Ask WalMart for old frosting buckets. Started my beer hobby that way. So if it did not turn out, I was ok to toss the buckets. I recently placed my kraut in jars and into the fridge. Easter will be awesome with the kraut and polish sausage!! I plan on making more kraut. Ill do the bucket and airlock idea. I have plenty of them!!

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