Sunday, August 31, 2008

Running the Kraut Gauntlet

In case you were wondering, I'm still alive and feel fine except for a mild sore throat I got from Oscar...or he got from me. Eating the rotting cabbage seems to have had no ill effects on me.

As for the sauerkraut-making specifics, I used a plastic tupperware bowl. I mixed two teaspoons of salt with each pound of shredded cabbage and let it sit for a few hours. The salt drew a surprising amount of water out of the cabbage. Then, just to be safe I mixed two teaspoons of salt into a half cup of water and poured it over the cabbage to make sure it was completely submerged under brine. I added more salt just for good measure. Then I took a small plate and pressed the cabbage down to keep it submerged and to keep as much oxygen out of it as possible (the plate almost touches the sides of the tupperware, forming a kind of seal), and then sealed the plastic lid.

The stuff I found about how to make cabbage says I need to have a loosely fitting top, rather than a completely sealed top for some reason, probably to allow fermentation gasses to escape.

One guy I read about (who provided a video) simply used a five gallon bucket, a whole buttload of cabbage and a plate on top of the cabbage and salt to lightly seal it off and hold it below the brine. Others used mason jars with the flat lids sitting on the top.

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