Sauerkraut

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Postby wheels » Tue Oct 23, 2012 11:07 pm

I've never done this, so should probably keep my mouth shut! However, I know that many guys use large plastic bags full of water (double thickness) on top of the cabbage to create a seal and weigh it down.

HTH

Phil
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Postby Kaiser Soze » Wed Oct 24, 2012 12:09 am

You want the cabbage to be submerged under the brine after about 24 hours, so wait it out and check in a days time.

I tend to punch the cabbage down which breaks a few of the cell walls on the cabbage and allows it to release more juice. But I find if you go to far you end up with soggy limp cabbage which is unappealing in itself. So if you've given it a bit of a pummelling and pushed it down hard (compacted it), leave it for a day and check back.

If after 24 hours there's no liquid covering the cabbage, you can make up a brine solution (around 5-6%) and add it sparingly until it just covers the top of the cabbage. You also want to have something weighing the cabbage down to submerge it below the brine, although it sounds like you have this already set up.

I've never had a problem with the cabbage producing enough liquid, but it does depend on how fresh the cabbage is. Older cabbages dry out a bit and produce less liquid, so if they've been sitting around a bit you may need to make up the brine.
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Postby Dogfish » Wed Oct 24, 2012 1:10 am

Thanks for the info. I'll wait a day and see. I saw a cabbage grater at an antique shop today but figured spending a fortune on what is essentially half-rotten cabbage just didn't make sense. Half-rotten grapes maybe but cabbage, no.
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Postby Dogfish » Sun Oct 28, 2012 10:20 pm

Five days and she's a beauty. Did 40 lbs of venison sausage so I'm thinking lunch today will be one Cox's Pippin, one sausage, some sauerkraut, homemade bread, and a couple white chantrelles sauteed in butter.
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Postby JerBear » Sun Oct 28, 2012 10:26 pm

I'm going to have to start a second batch before the first is done. I keep eating it by the small bowlful. My mom had some today and said it reminded her of a 'half-sour' pickle.
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Postby Dogfish » Sun Oct 28, 2012 11:46 pm

Yeah I think I'll have to start another batch asap. I get the feeling this'll be eaten pretty quick.
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Re: Sauerkraut

Postby Massimo Maddaloni » Wed Mar 13, 2013 5:36 pm

Regardless of the recipe, I cannot recommend enough the use of a starter. Texture, fragrance and aroma of final product as well as speed of preparation are unequalled. I use the Caldwell starter.
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Re: Sauerkraut

Postby Vindii » Wed Mar 13, 2013 8:01 pm

Good post. I just got a couple crocks from my grandpa. Unfortunately has cant remember how much salt he used to use. I'll be making kraut and sour heads soon.
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Re: Sauerkraut

Postby johngaltsmotor » Thu Mar 14, 2013 4:15 pm

One thing that can make your day easier - if you have a meat slicer use that to cut the cabbage. It's faster and more uniform than a knife.
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Re: Sauerkraut

Postby Vindii » Tue Aug 13, 2013 2:14 pm

Does anything need to be different if I want to make some sour heads of cabbage along with the kraut? I'm thinking I'll put 4-5 whole heads in with shredded cabbage around them? Will it take the same amount of time?
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Re: Sauerkraut

Postby Laripu » Wed Jan 01, 2014 11:58 pm

Kraut-chi
5.5 lbs red cabbage coarsely chopped, but the cores finely chopped
1 large onion chopped fine
1 large knob of ginger chopped fine
2 bunches of scallions cut in 1-inch pieces
1 large garlic chopped fine
1/3 cup Korean pepper flakes
2.2% kosher salt by weight

Everything that was chopped fine was chopped in a little manual circular chopper container, so it took very little time. The main cabbage was hand chopped.  I had plastic food-service gloves on while mixing and squishing the ingredients, and as they went into the glass gallon jar they got stomped down with a wooden cabbage stomper.  The point is to make the veggies release liquid, since mold and  yeast are aerobic at first...you want the natural lactobacillus to sour the veggies, preserving them, before mold and yeast can get established.  So it all needs to be under its own liquid.From start to the end of clean-up took two hours, while chatting with my wife, who was making meat loaf and potato salad.  We're both very grateful for dishwashers!

It will ferment at room temperature for a week, then at 65°F for two weeks. Three weeks from now we'll be gettin' all stinky wit' it... the kraut-chi, I mean. :)

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Re: Sauerkraut

Postby wheels » Sat Jan 04, 2014 4:05 pm

Nice recipe, thanks.

Phil
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Re: Sauerkraut

Postby Laripu » Wed Jan 15, 2014 4:08 am

wheels wrote:Nice recipe, thanks.

Phil

In 7 to 10 days I'll post how it turned out.

It's my second batch of kraut. The first turned out just fine. It was very simple: red cabbage and kosher salt.
Dort wo man Bücher verbrennt, verbrennt man auch am Ende Menschen. - Heinrich Heine.
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Re: Sauerkraut

Postby wheels » Wed Jan 15, 2014 1:35 pm

I've never made it, but the 'bag full of water' on top to create an airtight seal that one member uses (Big Guy?) seemed a good idea to me.

It's on my list of things to do.

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Re: Sauerkraut

Postby Laripu » Sun Jan 26, 2014 7:41 pm

The bag full of water trick works for many, but not for me. If I consume liquid that has been in long contact with plastic, I get very bad nocturnal cramps in my calves, to the point that I wake up in terrible pain. It's a personal sensitivity; I don't drink bottled water, for example, unless it comes from glass bottles. YMMV.

Also, the use of an airlock helps prevent mold (I've had none), and I'm used to using airlocks from my 23 years of homebrewing.

I transferred the kraut-chi to smaller containers yesterday, and tasted it. It was a great success with Mrs Laripu. It's spicy from the Korean red pepper flakes, garlic, and ginger. The ginger is a bit flowery too. But not quite as spicy as real kimchi.The important thing is that my wife likes it better than sauerkraut. I've been teasing her, saying that she's not a real German, because she prefers kimchi to sauerkraut, and doesn't drink beer. The fact that she likes it means I'll do something similar again. Maybe Brussels sprouts kimchi next time?

I don't know, but I do know that making fermented vegetables is easy, and it goes well with sausage.
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