Kraut Season 2008

Cheese, Kim Chee, and other fermented or pickled foods.

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Kraut Season 2008

Postby HotCookCpl » Tue Oct 21, 2008 11:51 am

Yup, it's that time of year again. Time to make sauerkraut. I've started two four gallon buckets. So far so good. They are a week apart and the first bucket smells awesome.

This is my second year doing this and this year I used the vegetable slicer on my kitchen-aid mixer to slice the cabbage. It came out much thinner and took a lot less time than using a knife.

I've read through a lot of recipes and the average kosher salt usage I found was 4 tablespoons to every five pounds of cabbage. Last year I used 5 tablespoons for every five pounds. This year I decided the lower salt would be worth a try, so four tablespoons it is.

Also, I sanitized EVERYTHING with Star-San, it worked last year.

I hope everyone else's kraut is going well.
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Re: Kraut Season 2008

Postby dresselbrew » Fri Oct 24, 2008 12:07 pm

Now that's a lot of kraut. When I make it I just pack it into quart jars. I make about 2-3 jars at a time. When it's done I just put it in the fridge with a lid on it. I think I use 2 or 3 teaspoons of salt per pound of cabbage and top off with a brine. The brine is 1 teaspoon per cup of water I think.

You can't beat homemade sauerkraut!
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Re: Kraut Season 2008

Postby MDixon » Fri Oct 24, 2008 2:00 pm

I cannot see any reason to sanitize anything when making kraut. The cabbage (or the air) provides the bacteria and the salt keeps the other nasties at bay. I once worked for a company where we made pickled products and we added nothing but salt brine to the tanks and used no cleaner/sanitizer other than water.

EDIT: Should mention I had over 15 acres of outdoor open tanks (over 1,000 of various sizes) and over 1 million bushels of capacity.
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Re: Kraut Season 2008

Postby dresselbrew » Sun Oct 26, 2008 8:46 am

MDixon wrote:I cannot see any reason to sanitize anything when making kraut. The cabbage (or the air) provides the bacteria and the salt keeps the other nasties at bay. I once worked for a company where we made pickled products and we added nothing but salt brine to the tanks and used no cleaner/sanitizer other than water.

EDIT: Should mention I had over 15 acres of outdoor open tanks (over 1,000 of various sizes) and over 1 million bushels of capacity.

I just filled the jars half full of water and boiled them in the microwave. Probably overkill but it doesn't take much to do. Good to know I don't need to do more than a simple clean though. Thanks.
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Re: Kraut Season 2008

Postby HotCookCpl » Tue Oct 28, 2008 12:34 pm

I think I use 2 or 3 teaspoons of salt per pound of cabbage and top off with a brine.


Wow, that seems like a lot of salt once you get the brine in there. My kraut is still young, but I like the salt level better this year.


As for sanitizing, every recipe I've read says to sanitize everything. Most recipes suggest the boil method, I use Star-San because I can. No infections so far and I'd rather be safe than sorry.


Good luck all!
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Re: Kraut Season 2008

Postby MDixon » Tue Oct 28, 2008 12:59 pm

Seriously, my grandmother has made pickled products since she was a kid and she turned 95 earlier this year. No sanitizer ever was or will be used.

You should get a copy of Wild Fermentations by Sandor Katz. Salt is the driving force keeping the undesirable microorganisms from causing issues. The only key is to keep the items being fermented submerged in brine to stop any mold from growing.

This isn't beer or wine, or even cheese, it's cabbage and salt... :wink:

Edit: Sandor's page http://www.wildfermentation.com/ (book reviews http://www.wildfermentation.com/books_w ... info_box_4)
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Re: Kraut Season 2008

Postby HotCookCpl » Thu Oct 30, 2008 4:54 am

Mabe I'll give that a try next year. I do realize in times past, sanitizing was not an easy thing to do. If things go well with this batch, I'll experiment more next year. Thanks for the reminder to keep things real and simple.
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