Kraut Question

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Kraut Question

Postby Stein » Sun Dec 11, 2005 9:52 pm

Ok, the kraut is going well, 1 week in the bucket.

I looked at it last night and noticed a few air pockets had formed. I also read that air=bad. So, I thumped on the side of the bucket which allowed the air to bubble up.

Is this something that needs to be done often, or should I just let it go? I haven't heard or read anything about releasing the fermentation gas.
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Postby Stein » Fri Dec 30, 2005 10:56 pm

Well, all of the worry was for naught. I canned the kraut tonight and it is truly spectacular. Now, I just have to get off my kester and get a few homemade brats going.
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Postby Stein » Mon Jan 16, 2006 5:01 pm

Well, bad news on the Kraut front.

During fermentation, it developed a small amount of mold, looked like white cotton candy. I removed it and it developed a second time. I removed that and it was ok until I canned it.

Everything went fine and it tasted great, but now I am reading a bunch of stuff about how moldy kraut can be dangerous unless you pressure can, which I didn't.

I read several university extension articles about how you need to dump kraut that molds.

SHOOT.

I think it had something to do with either the way I weighted the plate down (kraut water exposed to air), or the salt ratio (weighing method not so great).

The only thing to do is try it again.
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Postby aschylus » Tue Jan 17, 2006 11:24 am

Stein, Here's what I do:

My kraut vessel is an old 2 gallon hand made stoneware crock. Because it is hand made it is a bit out of round. This makes it impossible to use a plate and weigh it down. So what I do is fill a large freezer bag with about a gallon of water, seal it and just put it on top. It creates a kind of air lock, and leaves no gaps. It also acts as the weight. Works like a charm.

Sorry to hear your kraut may have gone funky. At least dumping $2.00 worth of cabbage is better that dumping a batch of beer!
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Postby Stein » Tue Jan 17, 2006 6:16 pm

No doubt there.

I am thinking along the same lines. After reading more on the subject, I found a food-safe plastic bag that fits my bucket. I will put a plate on top of the kraut, the bag over the plate and fill it with brine (in case of leakage). That way, the kraut water won't be in contact with air.

I am confident this will work. The kraut really does taste fantastic and it is very cheap and easy to make a years worth.

I bought a pressure canner and a cabbage slicer, so the next batch should be even easier.
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Postby Stein » Sat Jan 28, 2006 3:09 pm

Ok, back in action today.

If anyone cares, you can get a turkey roasting bag that fits EXACTLY perfectly in the B3 6 gallon bucket for about $1.50.

I now have a cabbage slicer and pressure cooker, so we are off to the races.

I am leaving now to go pick up the cabbage.
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Postby aschylus » Sun Jan 29, 2006 7:58 am

Awesome! My five pound batch is about two weeks old and is tasting good, but not sour enough for my taste. Funny that you should mention the turkey bags, that's what I starter using to seal/weigh my kraut down.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think sauerkraut being a high acid food only requires boil proccessing. Low acid foods like green beans or potatos require the 240+ temps involved in pressure canning.

Oh, well, I guess that's a moot point. You can do both types of proccessing in your pressure canner.
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Postby Stein » Sun Jan 29, 2006 11:22 am

Yeah, I since read that pressure canning wasn't too good for the flavor and boil canning is highly recommended. I was going to pressure just to be sure, but have changed my mind.

The seal I have now, should be good to enough to prevent mold. I was actually surprised at how difficult it was to get a good seal.

When I filled the turkey bag with water, it just floated in the juice and didn't seal the sides. So, I used 3, 2-gallon ziplocs, but they did a similar thing, but a little better.

Finally, I put a big plastic cup in the middle of the turkey bag and laid the three ziplocs around it which forced them to the outside. This looks like it should work the best. Four weeks to go.
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Postby Stein » Fri Feb 17, 2006 9:56 pm

One week to go. I also got the missing grinder blade for my Kitchenaid, so I will be doing sausage as well. Kitchenaid sent me the replacement for free, I was shocked.
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Postby wrplace » Sat Feb 18, 2006 11:14 am

I have some experience with moldy kraut from my undergrad microbiology classes. The students that had mold always had kraut in cotact with air. The liquid didn't seem to develop mold.

Stein, did you find mold on th liquid or did it just show up on the cabbage?

I'm thinking that you should make smaller batches of kraut. When I'm not brewing (summer haitus) I try to keep a couple 1 gal glass jars going. That way, I always have some fresh kraut when I want it. Canning it destroys the flavor and you end up with something like the stuff you buy at the store.
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Postby majorvices » Thu Jul 12, 2007 10:50 am

Stein (or whomever) can you direct me to this info that says mold is dangerous and bad on the kraut? Everything I have read just says "scrape it off." How bad can it be, this stuff has been around and made the same way for centuries.
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Postby CRAKSHOT » Wed Sep 19, 2007 8:36 am

I always water bath canned mine,10 mins.Doesnt seem to make it soft.This year I got lazy,and just double zip locked bagged it and froze it.Havent tried it yet.Tasted good right out of the crock though.I take a pyrex pie pan and lay it on top,with a ziplocked brick for weight on top of that.Then tie a t-towel on top of it.Skim it when I think to.When I process it I always discard the top inch or so.just to be on the safe side.
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Re: Kraut Question

Postby majorvices » Wed Mar 12, 2008 8:33 am

Bought 3 heads of cabbage to start up another batch of kraut - this time in the turkey bag as mentioned by stein. Gonna give it ago tonight. My last batch was good but I got skeered of it because there was a bit of mold.
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Re: Kraut Question

Postby Liquid Bread » Mon May 12, 2008 1:46 pm

I've read of people using acid whey to produce low sodium sauerkraut. Has anyone tried this? I'm making quark cheese today and will use the whey from that for the sauerkraut I'm starting tonight. My theory is that submerging the cabbage in the low acid whey will help prevent non-acid friendly bacteria and mold from growing. Basically I'm hoping it will help kick start the fermentation process kind of like building a yeast starter for beer.

Also, is there a good reason I shouldn't store the resulting sauerkraut in the fermentation vessel?
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Re: Kraut Question

Postby Liquid Bread » Tue May 13, 2008 10:28 am

Well, I went ahead and tried it anyway. The pH of the whey was about 5.0. We'll see what happens.
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