Fermenting Kraut.....part 2 follow-up 7-30-14

Discussion in 'Canning & Storage' started by daveomak, Jan 5, 2013.

  1. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Below is the original thread... How I started.... 


    Original Recipe

    That color is awesome....  In 3 weeks I will taste test it.....   This is my first attempt at Kraut....

    Everything was wiped down with vinegar ... Hopefully to kill all foreign bacteria and keep the 

    fermenting process "sanitary", for lack of a better word.....  I added 4% salt, 56 gms, to the crushed

    veggies in my first attempt..... several recipes suggested 2%.....  Some don't even give a 

    percentage, just a volume measurement for the salt....  So, to be somewhat technical, I weighed 

    everything in grams to make duplicating this recipe easy and any future changes necessary

    easy to calculate......    

    See you in 3-4 weeks......    

    PS... the original recipe called for Jalapenos..... I didn't have any 

    fresh and the store was out of them.....  I thought a few Anaheim and Bananas might be good.......  

    Three weeks has gone by....  The aroma was intriguing... different than anything I have smelled before....  Earthy, umami, very pleasing... 

    How it sat for 3+ weeks..... 


    The scum I saw on the jug... not much....

    The crock..... not much scum.... 

    The stone (cutting board).... not much scum.... 

    Darn if that don't look good..... 

    This is my first fermented kraut.... Never made it.... Never tasted it....   

    It is very crunchy.... a little salty... maybe I should cut down on the salt.... 4% by weight was added to the veggies....

    When I bit into a hunk of garlic, I knew it, and it was good..... very mild....

    Haven't noticed any Anaheim or Banana Peppers  though......

    Bride said the peppers were just right.... I didn't taste any.... Maybe I don't know what to expect....

    Transfer to cold storage when sour enough for your liking and use within 9 months.... 

    That is from the recipe....  It doesn't taste sour now... but then I do like sour stuff so maybe I don't know what "real" sour is...

    Next batch maybe 3% salt and I will try Himalayan(fpnmf: type) or some sea salt instead of pickling salt....  

    Anyone want to suggest an amount of, or type of salt ???

    Maybe a little rice, malt or balsamic vinegar added to the dish at eating time.... maybe a pinch of sugar.... 

    The flavor is interesting, very interesting... Bride says, "It ain't fermented long enough... Grandma's took months"....

    Now it has been confirmed... "I don't know sh+t", by bride.... but I knew that... 

    I recommend this fermenting stuff to anyone interested in something different....

    Last edited: Jul 30, 2014
  2. damon555

    damon555 Smoking Fanatic

    Dave, that sure look great! I just made my very first batch and I used 3 TBS of sea salt for about 6 pounds of cabbage. I tasted it on thursday after 6 days and I think I nailed the salt content. I'm not sure what the percentage is because I didn't weigh the salt but from what I've read it's around 2.25-2.5%

    I can't wait to taste the final product in a few weeks! My lovely wife bought me this fermenting crock for Christmas. After those 6 days there was no scum and no smell. The seal trough seems to work perfectly.

  3. Looks great, Dave.
    Any non-iodized salt will work.
    I use 2% Mediterranean sea salt.
    I ferment at 65 degrees F.
    Good lacto-fermentation happens in stages.
    It takes at least a month for all stages to complete.
    I ferment a minimum of 6 weeks.

    Last edited: Jan 5, 2013
  4. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Damon, I'm waiting for your results....  Nice crock....    
    Hey Martin... I fermented at 65 ish... I think the sea salt will be better next time..     I'm going to try 2% also.....  

    As good as I think this is going to be, 1 head of cabbage won't be enough... I think the crock will hold 3 head for next batch.......
  5. damon555

    damon555 Smoking Fanatic

    Dave, I'm not sure how big your crock is but mine is a 5 liter....I used 2 heads just to see if I even like the stuff (which I'm sure I will) and it only filled the crock about 1/3 of the way. I think it could easily hold 4 and still have enough head space.
  6. That crock should hold quite a bit.
    I can get a good amount in just a 1/2 gallon canning jar when well packed....close to 4 lbs.
    I like to start a new batch every couple weeks.

  7. damon555

    damon555 Smoking Fanatic

    Did a 2 week test today Dave....Still tastes super fresh and crispy. I sure hope it stays this crispy all the way to the end. It's just starting to sour up a bit. So far so good.

    Have you tested your batch again?
  8. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Nope.... If I keep testing it, it will never get to the sour stage.... It will be GONE........   I don't want that to happen..... The crispness now is amazing....really good....  Now I have got to get to ferment stage.... Maybe the 17th...5 weeks... 1 more taste then...  
  9. damon555

    damon555 Smoking Fanatic

    Did it make it to the end Dave or have you eaten it all?

    I tried mine today....4 weeks in and it tastes great. Still crispy and really getting tangy. There is no saltiness left. 

    I pulled a sample and decided to have some with dinner......

    The picture really doesn't do it justice...The red cabbage sure has faded and the green stuff has taken on a tan color. It will go great with the brats that I smoked today.

    I was going to pull the whole batch and put it in jars in the fridge but since it's the first go around I'm going to let it keep going. I want to know how tangy I can get it before it starts going bad....but I'm sure it won't make it that long!
  10. mr t 59874

    mr t 59874 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    I don't know if this will help but my 10L Gartopf will hold 12#s of cabbage.
  11. Dave, you can leave your kraut in the crock you ferment it in as long as the juices cover the top. You can even store it there.I have a friend who does a lot of things like this and I plan on starting some kraut tomorrow using his method. That is take shredded cabbage and mix with the salt in small batches to ensure even coverage. Pack into a 5 gal bucket, place a dinner plate on top, with a weighted plate on top of that to keep cabbage pressed below liquid. Drill a small hole in the center of the bucket lid and insert a piece of 1/4" tubing. make the fit very tight.Run the tubing down and into a quart jar about half full of water sitting in the floor beside the bucket, making sure that the tube is in the water. That will create an air lock so that the ferment gases can escape but no air or anything else can get in.He said you can leave it like that for 6 months, opening the bucket to clean it up only about once a month. With no air getting inside, it will cut down big time on any mold growth. I have some savoy cabbage in the garden right now that I plan on using to make basic kraut and, some of my families version of chow chow. Will let you know how it goes, and hope this helps. 

    Dammon, from what my friend tells me, it will not spoil it only ages.
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2013
  12. maple sticks

    maple sticks Smoking Fanatic

    I make Sauerkraut in a plastic food grade 5 gallon bucket. Use a stainless smaller pan to smash it and add salt. Mash it a little more when I put it in the plastic bucket but be careful you don't bust the bucket. I tie a turkey bag into a not at the sealed end then fill with water and tie off. Reason for the knot at sealed end they leak very easy and that would be bad. Sit the water bag in to the bucket and everything is sealed. About six weeks crunchy sauerkraut thats excellent with cut up brats.
  13. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Here it is..... 6 weeks today and it is AWESOME ...  Not salty, tangy, incredible..... not like any other Kraut I have ever tasted..... No more store bought for me.....   So I put what was left after all the tasting in quart jars and in the refer..... going to the store tomorrow to start another batch.....    Going to add more peppers... more garlic.... and onions....  It did not lose any color, I'm surprised at how deep dark the cabbage is....    

    Now for the big question.....   should I add some of this cabbage to the next batch as a starter culture type thing ??  

    Fermenting other stuff they do, so that is my question for the day.....   seems logical to me, but then I do not think in a rational direction usually..... 

           .........  Holy Cow ...... that cabbage is gorgeous.....   wish the pic was better....  

  14. mr t 59874

    mr t 59874 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member


    Cabbage and cucumbers are the two vegetables that will start fermenting on there own,  Adding ferment juice to a new batch will help though in getting the new batch going. I normally add 1 cup to 12#  of cabbage or 1/2 cup to a gallon jar.

    Last edited: Jan 25, 2013
  15. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    One more question......  I have the canning jar "white plastic lids" on the jars..... should they be tight, or a little loose to allow for "off gassing" of the fermented cabbage....  when stored in the refer.......    thanks for listening to my "new bee" questions on this subject....
  16. I usually ferment for at least 6 weeks, then put white lids on the jars, tight, and put the jars in the fridge.

  17. I believe refrigeration stops the fermenting, so it really won't matter how tight. as long as it stays submerged in liquid it should be good for extremely long time......If you stay out of it.
  18. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks ....   the jar that has no liquid in it won't be there long....  The other jar  will be there for maybe 2 weeks....    I gotta get to the store for more supplies.....   [​IMG]
  19. mr t 59874

    mr t 59874 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Dave, Happy to help.

    Maybe it would be better if I went into the process that I use. The following starts the process.


    There are two phases of fermentation.  The first phase is the foundation and must take place quickly without interruption. The ideal temperature for sauerkraut is 68-72°.  after two days the second phase begins and must not be rushed. This is when acid producing bacteria starts to eliminate all other bacteria.  Lower the temperature to 59-64°.  when fermentation stops after two to three weeks place in a cool place ideally 45-50°.

     If using a fermentation crock such as a Harsch, or other air lock type container, it is important not to open before the end of fermentation.  This prevents the carbon dioxide which prevents yeast formation from escaping. If you use jars with twist lids, put them in a cool place 45-50° for ten days without opening them.   If using an open container, the kahm (the scum like stuff on top) layer should be removed every 10 to 14 days along with the top layer of kraut.

    Acid formation only takes place during the first phase. Aroma develops during the cool period. To develop the aroma, bacteria need sugar and other nutrients. If all the sugar present has been used up during an overly long warm fermentation, your product will be well preserved, but will taste sour.

    Now to answer your question.  If fermentation is completed there should be no gasses continuing to build, so tighten the lid.  If you suspect additional gasses, when opening, do it over a sink.  If you are referring to the second phase, tighten the lid but when eventually opening, do so over a sink, just in case.

    Hope this helps,

    Last edited: Jan 25, 2013
  20. maple sticks

    maple sticks Smoking Fanatic

    I store my kraut in freezer bags. squeeze out the air and seal. will be enjoying most the year.

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