Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Homemade Saurkraut in canning jars

First you start with a medium head of cabbage and wash out your quart and pint canning jars really good with hot water.  I also microwave them for about 20 seconds. The lids need to be really clean too, basically to be sure that what ferments is the cabbage and nothing else!

Next chop up the cabbage in wedges, then cut out the core and continue chopping thinly.  After all have been chopped in think strips, chop crosswise. Notice my fingertips tucked away from the blade?  Ok yes!

In a large bowl, I have the large black Tupperware bowl, put all cabbage and 1.5 Tbsp of canning salt in and begin tossing the cabbage together with the salt for about 10 minutes.  By this time the cabbage should begin to look limp and releasing it's water.
Fill the quart canning jar and the pint jars with the cabbage leaving about an 2 - 3 inch for the weight and waters needed for fermentation.

After the cabbage is packed into the jars, take smaller jars, fill them with either water or I used pie weights and place them one each in the cabbage jars.  Press down on the smaller jars forcing the cabbage water to rise above the level of the cabbage to completely submerge the cabbage in it's own water.

For the next day, keep an eye on the jars and press down on the weighted jars making sure that the cabbage is completely covered in water.  This will enable the cabbage to ferment properly and turn into saurkraut.  Within about 4 days, begin to taste the kraut to see how the fermentation is going and the flavor is developing.  Depending on your own personal taste, you may like it right off or let it go for up to 2 weeks.

As you can see in my pictures, as the cabbage ferments, keep a cotton cloth over the jars to keep air flowing, but bugs and other pests out.

When you are satisfied with the taste of the saurkraut, cover the jars with their properly fitted lids and refrigerate.  Your new saurkraut will last up to several months in the refrigerator.