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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well I started my first batch of sauerkraut today. I have been watching the different videos on Youtube for the past few months and decided to give it a try.

I love sauerkraut on several different foods.

I started off with 2 heads of freshly cut cabbage. I peeled off the two outer leaves of each and set them aside.

I then cut each head in half and then in quarters. Next, I cut the core out.

I have a sterilized 4 gallon food grade bucket sitting on the kitchen chair waiting for the shredded cabbage.

I finely shredded a quarter head and layered it in the bucket with a sprinkle of sea salt over the top. I did this with each quarter.

Then I placed the 4 cabbage leaves, that I set aside, over the top of the shredded cabbage and placed a lid loosely over the top.

It will sit all night long and tomorrow night I will go to the next step. I will let you know how it goes.

God bless and keep on prepping.
 

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Well I started my first batch of sauerkraut today. I have been watching the different videos on Youtube for the past few months and decided to give it a try.

I love sauerkraut on several different foods.

I started off with 2 heads of freshly cut cabbage. I peeled off the two outer leaves of each and set them aside.

I then cut each head in half and then in quarters. Next, I cut the core out.

I have a sterilized 4 gallon food grade bucket sitting on the kitchen chair waiting for the shredded cabbage.

I finely shredded a quarter head and layered it in the bucket with a sprinkle of sea salt over the top. I did this with each quarter.

Then I placed the 4 cabbage leaves, that I set aside, over the top of the shredded cabbage and placed a lid loosely over the top.

It will sit all night long and tomorrow night I will go to the next step. I will let you know how it goes.

God bless and keep on prepping.

did you put anything on top to weight it down and keep the leaves submerged

and pics would be nice

but good job
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
1. I am not computer savy, so I don't know how to put pictures on the computer. One of these days I will get my friend over to show me. I have a hard enough time going to Wal-Mart and getting printouts.

The next step of the sauerkraut stage will be the bruising and the weighted plate. That wont happen until this evening. I'll let you know how it goes.
 

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I remember my family's first batch of kraut. We lived in Arizona at the time and I was just a kid. It was too warm there and the kraut stunk beyond belief. But the end result was pretty good! That led me to becoming interested and I've made a few batches of kraut and LOTS of kimchee over the years. I have come to prefer kimchee though. It's simpler, quicker, and tastier. I make a different kind every couple of weeks just for variety.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well, this evening I layered the shredded cabbage into 4 levels. I placed a slice of raw, organic horseradish (this is supose to keep the cabbage from molding) and fresh dill. Then I placed a socked foot into a 1 gallon freezer bag and stopped on each layer as it was placed in the bucket. I was able to get a lot of juice out of the cabbage.

I made a salt brine and covered the cabbage with the brine. Then I placed the 4 leaves over the cabbage and filled the freezer bag with more brine and am using the bag to hold the cabbage below the water level.

Supposedly the sauerkraut will not smell using this method. I will keep you informed.

MikeK, I have a Japanese friend that loves the kimchee that her Korean sister-in-law makes. I will be trying that next. I will want a recipie from you when I get to that point.

What I like about sauerkraut and kimchee is that fact they will stay good all winter in the frig.

I will let you know if it smells or molds.

God bless and keep on prepping.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hubby and I left yesterday for a doctors appointment 350 miles away. So I have not had an opportunity to check my sauerkraut for the past 36 hours.

It was warm but not hot in the house when we arrived home this evening. I couldn't smell anything funky as I walked in the kitchen.

I lifted my bucket of kraut off the floor and placed it on the dining table chair. Raising the lid and hoping for the best....God was on my side.

There is no atrocious smell to my fermenting. The bubbles are still there. It is not alot of bubbles. Just a smattering of bubbles around the rim of the bucket and brine.

I tasted a small slip of cabbage to find that there is a saur tast to the water and the cabbage. Not a lot, mind you, just enough to let me know that my project is getting along fine.

I am getting excited!

I found a youtube site for fermenting asian radishes. I might try that in a couple of days.

God bless and keep on prepping.
 

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Jihaadi GoBOOM
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Glad it's working, I found it easier to ferment cabbage than cucumbers, someone told me cabbage had some enzyme or other. I put half a cabbage in 5 gallons of pickles, seems to help. Main thing i found is like making beer, keep it clean. Real clean, like an operating room. BTW my daughter was up there this past summer. Said," Dad its like a town full of hippie survivalists, you'd like it..."
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
This is my 7th day into sauerkraut making. My first batch is turning out really good.

I opened the lid this morning to find that the kraut is working and bubbling. There is still no strong smell just a cabbage odor.

I did find a dark line of something? above the water line. So I removed it with a clean tissue.

I had my husband tast a small piece of cabbage. He said it was ok. I admit it was room temperature and limp. I am sure he will be more enthusiastic after it is ready for the refrigerator and chilled to the bone.

God bless and keep on prepping.
 

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Jihaadi GoBOOM
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Take care to keep the brine filled bag used to seal it clean when toy remove it to check. I always wash mine. Yes, you'll get a little mold there, just clean it off with a paper towel or newly washed cloth. Never use a paper/wire bag tie to seal your brine bag BTW, induces mold. I add a little more salt on top each time...
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Yes I wash my bag off every morning (no soap) in clean well water.

This morning I was greet with scum!!!! and big bubbles of SCUM!!!!!! But no sour smell was emitting from my bucket. I spent more time cleaning off the scum and cleaning my plate/bag before placing it back in the corner of the kitchen.

I figure it is working its magic.

God bless and keep on prepping.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I wasn't able to check my sauerkraut until this evening. We went grocery shopping 70 miles away at Costco. Picked up some more preps.

The scum that formed was not as bad as yesterday. I was able to clean it off well. When I first openned the lid it was the strongest smell so far. But by the time I had cleaned it all up, the smell was back to the normal cabbage smell.

So, I think everything is going along fine. I haven't ran across anymore of the dark marks after the first time.

God bless and keep on prepping.
 

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Glad it's working, I found it easier to ferment cabbage than cucumbers, someone told me cabbage had some enzyme or other. I put half a cabbage in 5 gallons of pickles, seems to help. Main thing i found is like making beer, keep it clean. Real clean, like an operating room. BTW my daughter was up there this past summer. Said," Dad its like a town full of hippie survivalists, you'd like it..."
Cabbage leaves have a 'good' bacteria growing on them called Lactobactillus which is what makes it ferment in the desireable way.
It's the same stuff in yogurt and a bunch of fermented foods (naturally and added). It thrives in salty conditions, unlike other bacterias, and also generally helps to prevent mould and other 'bad' bacteria, so it's effective on two levels.

There's a good How To and explaination here:
http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/2010/09/how-to-make-sauerkraut-at-home/
 

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I make kraut every year , have been doing so for the past 16 years. I use late flat Dutch cabbage which I grow for fall harvest. I use an old beer making bucket with a water filled j trap on top. I want gasses to escape but no out side air to enter during fermentation. I shred the cabbage and layer 2 lbs then salt each layer as I pack. Goes in my root cellar for 8 weeks and is perfect and ready for Christmas every year.

Opening your fermentation vessel can and will change the flavor of your finished product. Every time you open you allow air born yeasts to enter. Some may be good some may be bad. This is why if you want consistently good kraut don't peek! The j trap on top the bucket let's you know when it starts to ferment and when it is about done.

Temperature also plays a key role in flavor. To cold and it takes for ever to ferment and the kraut still has a salty taste. Some people prefer this. To hot and it gets sour fast but then breaks down rapidly and you have mushy kraut with an off taste. My root cellar never goes above 60 and never below 58 so for me the 8 week mark is perfect.

I'm no scientist just experienced
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Everyone, Thank you for all your advise and comments. They have been encouraging for me through this process.

This afternoon I checked my sauerkraut and it has stopped fermenting.

So I filtered the scum from the liquid on top of my plate. Then took 2 clean and steril jars and filled each jar with kraut. It is sour and crisp. It still has a salty tast, but not bad. I poured the filtered brine over each jar and put a lid on them. They are sitting in the refrigerator right now. Tomorrow I will have my own sauerkraut over hot dogs and I want to do a apple-kraut salad.

If anyone has some sauerkraut recipies, I would appreciate them.

Thank you again for all the encouragement.

God bless and keep on prepping.
 

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Jihaadi GoBOOM
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I just use cabbage and salt, maybe some Italian spices, chili seeds, sesame seeds, whatever comes to mind. Jalapenos are good too, halve w/o seeds and blanch quickly to sterilize first. Use water w/o chlorine. Let sit out overnite, the chlorine will dissipate. Keeping 4-6" extra inches of water over it makes it easier to clean the scum off. When I take it out, I put the 5 gallon bucket in the sink and pour a few gallons of new, weaker, brine thru a funnel with the end under the surface, so it gently pushes the crap on top out. Also cuts down on the salty taste later.
 

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Posted this somewhere on these boards before.
I've been making kraut for years. I make mine in a plastic 55 gallon drum on my deck. I grow "Hero" cabbage. Quarter and remove core. Pack into the drum to about 6" from the top. No need to use a stomper or mash to get the juice up. Just press it in as tightly as you can with hand pressure. Leave 6" or so of room at the top. Toss on some salt. I use about a half cup for a barrel. Stretch an opaque plastic bag over the top of the drum and fill with water to make an air seal. I use a second bag over the first to keep the bugs from breeding in the standing water. After 8 weeks remove the bags and water. There will be a thin layer of brown kraut on the top, just skim it off and compost it. Makes the whole process really simple. it's a zero maintenance method. :thumb:
Of course you could use a 5 gallon bucket. Just cut back on the amount of salt you use up front. If you want a saltier kraut just add some when you use it.
 

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For the record, salt is not required to make sauerkraut, or any other lacto-fermentation for that matter. You can substitute other spices in place of salt for those with hypertension and need to stay away from sodium. My father ferments kale in plain water, and though it can be an acquired taste, it is really delicious.

Refrigeration is important here as the ferment will continue until it is no good, but it will keep in the fridge for about a month.
 
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