Home Made Sauerkraut
Stone, plastic or stainless steel crock - at least 2 gallons
9 pound cabbage (about 4 small heads)
6 tablespoons pickling salt
2½% brine solution, 1½ tablespoons salt per quart water
Note: This dish may be made with red cabbage instead of ordinary
cabbage. Recipe is shown for a two gallon crock. Scale as needed. Takes 4
to 6 weeks.
Let the cabbage stand for several hours at room temperature. Work with
5 pounds at a time. Cut the cabbage into quarters and remove the core and
outer leaves. Shred the cabbage to the thickness of a dime. In a large
pan, mix 5 pound of cabbage with 3 tablespoons of salt .
Pack the cabbage into the crock. Press down firmly with a potato masher
to draw juice from the cabbage and remove air bubbles. Continue with the
next (if any) five pound segment. Do not fill the crock beyond 2 inches
from the top.
Cover the cabbage so that no air is in contact with the cabbage. One
method is to partially fill one or more plastic bags with 2½% brine
solution (in case of leaks) and place it (them) on top of the cabbage,
covering it completely and snug against the sides of the crock. The
traditional method is to cover the cabbage with several layers of
cheesecloth and then weigh down the top with a heavy weighed plate,
however this is not air tight and requires rinsing the cloth and plate
every day, as well as skimming off any scum.
Check after 24 hours. If not enough juice has formed to cover the
cabbage, add sufficient 2½% brine solution to cover.
Place the crock in an area that remains between 65º and 75º. Check
every few days for scum, but if the top is air tight, this should not
happen. If it does, skim off the scum. Add 2½% brine solution if needed.
After 4 to 6 weeks, the kraut should be ready (however, a thickly
sliced cabbage or a colder room will delay the process). It then can be
refrigerated and will keep indefinitely, or it can be canned.
Canning directions follow. Note that different directions and times are
to be used for a steam canner.