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First Attempt at Fermenting Sauerkraut

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    First Attempt at Fermenting Sauerkraut

    I have never liked sauerkraut and I'm not sure why. So, in an effort to learn to liked it, I thought the best chance for that was with homemade kraut, because homemade! I am just making 1 head of cabbage worth. The shredded weight was just under a kilo. I didn't ask any flavorings, just cabbage and salt. I'm really keeping my fingers crossed🤞 that I like it. Although, if, I don't, Barbara surely will and it won't go to waste. Her mother makes an Istrian dish called jota with pork, potatoes and sauerkraut that her whole family is gaga for.
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    #2
    We have company in the next town over that makes the best sauerkraut. Even people who've never liked kraut like this stuff.

    Comment


      #3
      Good luck! I've made sauerkraut several times and home made is definitely better. I've made Jota too - based on a Northern Italy recipe from Friuli (it uses beans instead of potatoes) - wonderful.

      Comment


      • Dewesq55
        Dewesq55 commented
        Editing a comment
        Northern Italy has a large Istrian community/diaspora. In fact Lidia Bastianich, the Italian celebrity chef, is Istrian originally. In fact, she is allegedly "goomba" to Barbara's mother's family.

      • 58limited
        58limited commented
        Editing a comment
        I think the potatoes would be good in this.

      • Mr. Bones
        Mr. Bones commented
        Editing a comment
        Taters? Pork? Kraut? What could possibly be wrong with this lineup? (Might toss in some onion, y'all!)

      #4
      Looking good. I'll check back on your post in three weeks to hear how it turned out.

      Comment


        #5
        Thanks for mentioning jota. I've never heard of it. I looked it up and it sounds awesome. I'm adding it to the to-do list!

        Comment


          #6
          So a couple things, first is your first batch will possibly fail. It's no big deal and it happens don't get discouraged . Second is, home made kraut is like home made bacon. It's VERY different from the store. For most people it's a good thing, for my wife she wouldn't touch it even though she loves the pickled stuff they sell in stores. I personally love it.

          After you figure out your slicing size preference and you get your measurements and timing down, you can start adding stuff like dill or juniper or even smoke!

          Finally the most important thing is where you store it. I messed up the first time and used a cabinet on an exterior wall. While the house is kept below 78, that cabinet was too warm in the summer and too cold in the winter. Best place I found is a hall closet, wife isn't happy for a month when I make it, but it comes out perfect.

          Good luck!

          Comment


            #7
            Just be careful of them rocks! Chipped teeth are hard to replace!!

            Comment


              #8
              So, keep it at a reasonable room temp that's consistent. Try it a week or two in - at some point it will start to be like sauerkraut to you. You can let it ferment more and just try it until it'd where you want it. Then pop it in the fridge. It will keep fermenting there but MUCH slower.

              Comment


                #9
                I'm still traumatized by the time when I was 11 or 12 and my mother had a five gallon crock of sauerkraut go bad. The entire garage reeked for a very long time.

                Comment


                • smokin fool
                  smokin fool commented
                  Editing a comment
                  My father gave it a shot twice, after two clay crock pot ruptures in two years sauerkraut making was outlawed in our house.
                  Ours was in the basement, we may never be able to sell the place.

                • Willy
                  Willy commented
                  Editing a comment
                  smokin fool : How did the crocks rupture?

                • smokin fool
                  smokin fool commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Willy I was pretty young so don't know all of the details but am guessing there was no venting for the gases produced during "fermentation".
                  One of the crocks hung around for decades as a decoration, there was a sizable crack in it considering the walls were quite thick. The other one apparently shattered.

                #10
                To address concerns about 'kraut going bad (usually when "bad" bacteria get in there and take over the ferment before the "good" bacteria can get a foothold), I've heard it suggested that you "prime" a new batch by adding in some good-bacteria-rich liquid saved from a previous successful batch. Haven't tried it myself ... but like so many other seemingly good ideas, it's on my list (I guess I really should try actually making that "list" I keep citing, too ).

                Comment


                • Willy
                  Willy commented
                  Editing a comment
                  LOL! We all have long lists...

                • Mr. Bones
                  Mr. Bones commented
                  Editing a comment
                  So, mebbe, when ya make yer first successful batch, might ya send me some "Good Bacteria", help a Brother git started Krautin, an such?
                  Last edited by Mr. Bones; April 13, 2021, 06:27 AM. Reason: +"

                #11
                Like ItsAllGoneToTheDogs wrote : don't be discouraged if your first batch fails. One weakness in your approach is that you aren't sealed from the atmosphere, hence "bad" bacteria can get into the cabbage mixture. I'd recommend a water-sealed ceramic crock such as in the first link below. I'm sure there are numerous brands, so I'm not specifically recommending Gartoph. I'd guess that perhaps a sealed plastic bucket with a cheap airlock like what is used in home brewing might work as well, but so many caution about "chemicals" leaching into the cabbage--not sure if that is a realistic concern, especially if the bucket is food safe. See the second link below:

                https://www.amazon.com/Schmitt-Garto.../dp/B01MEE7LJ8

                https://www.makesauerkraut.com/fermentation-crocks/

                Comment


                • ofelles
                  ofelles commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Great stuff. Thank you.

                • smokin fool
                  smokin fool commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Don't know what they're called but the glass tube like rigs you use for wine making.
                  Fill the tube with water and gases can leech from the crock but no air can pass in.

                • Dewesq55
                  Dewesq55 commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Willy - I appreciate your contribution to the discussion, but there is a less than zero chance that I will be buying an $80 piece of equipment for making something there is a reasonable chance I won't even like. I actually don't expect my first attempt to fail. I have used a sufficient amount of salt, I have taken steps to keep the cabbage completely submerged in the brine and my kitchen temperature is comfortably in the mid-60's.

                #12
                Another way to protect the fermentation is to use a tight lid with an airlock, e.g. https://shop.culturesforhealth.com/p...r-mouth-4-pack

                Comment


                • jumbo7676
                  jumbo7676 commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I use these and have had success. The only fail was when I forgot to check on my jar for too long and liquid was below the cabbage, so it started to mold on top. I must have pinched the top open somehow and had the liquid start to evaporate from the jar.

                  I have 3 jars going right now, one green cabbage with caraway, one red cabbage. with juniper, and one mixed with the leftovers (about 75 red/25 green) without any added flavors.

                #13
                Watching this thread. Definitely something I want to try.

                Comment


                • ItsAllGoneToTheDogs
                  ItsAllGoneToTheDogs commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Just do it, I've only had 2 failed batches. It's obvious if it happens. Oh no you're out a $3 head of cabbage and some salt. I've gotten better at kraut than brisket just because the time and costs are so insignificant. Then there's other things it opens you up to like kombucha and what not (stuff I have no interest in, but I could do it comfortably now if I wanted)

                #14
                I like good Irish sauerkraut, made in France and rolled up in seaweed, raw fish--sushi

                Comment


                  #15
                  REPORTING BACK!

                  So, it's been 3 weeks. My first attempt at sauerkraut came out great to me, but then again, I've never liked kraut, so who am I to judge. Nicely sour, not a hint of mold or off flavor or odor. Not too salty. I think it's good for a first try. I'll have to see what Barbara thinks when she gets home. To try it out, I put some on a "dirty water" style Hebrew National hot dog with spicy brown deli mustard. I liked it.

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                  Comment


                  • Willy
                    Willy commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Nice!

                  • rickgregory
                    rickgregory commented
                    Editing a comment
                    If you want, try this... split that into two smaller jars. Put one in the fridge. It will ferment but very slowly so, unless you let it sit in there for months, it will taste basically like it does now. Leave the other jar out for another week. Try both... see which you prefer. IF you like the direction it's going, leave another week (this all assumes that the room temp is reasonable. If it's 95F... don't do this).

                    Some people like younger, just ready kraut, some the stuff that's fermented more

                  • Dewesq55
                    Dewesq55 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    rickgregory - Thanks. I might try that.

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