Originally Posted by Clyde79
been making it for my whole life, german grandparents and we were the labor 45 gallons once a year ,end result well worth it. if most people saw the funk that grows on top of the batch they would never eat it.i like big casino's trick but grandpa kraut said the funk was necessary for flavor and what he said was law
if you use the water bag method of sealing, you will not have the "funk" on top of the kraut. it is important to never peek though, it is an air tight seal and gasses will push up out and around the bag. i always have my containers filled with firmly tamped cabbage 3-4 inches from the top. then using double bags which i get from the meat market... they are food grade and are called venison bags up here. and fill them with brine (1.5 tablespoons canning/pickling or kosher salt to quart of water) untill they are kind of bulging over the rim of container. the reason for the brine in the bag is just in case you develop a leak, which is highly unlikly with the double bagging but sure hate to dilute a batch of kraut... will provide some links that have pics...
Originally Posted by solaryellow
I actually punched it down and it is very very tight but based on your raking description that sounds about right. 3/4 cup kosher salt for 17 lbs of cabbage. I have had to add one quart of salt water (4tsp of salt/quart) back to the brine last week due to evaporation. Ambient temp is 66* F.
have never had to add water to mine, dont even look at it until 6-8 weeks have passed and i am ready to put it up in canning jars for storage. at this time i will make some brine to put in the kettle i use to heat the kraut up in before transferring to jars, purpose so you have some liquid there and keep the kraut from scorching.
Originally Posted by SausageBoy
From a look at your pics i can see it's a bit chunky, it does take longer to finish than that which is sliced thin and in a way that exposes the most cells.
If it's shaved at about 1mm and parallel with the core it's finished in 2-3 weeks.
I salt it and let it sweat before packing it into the fermenter. Packed as tight as possible but never pounded like some folks do, that can ruin the texture. Crispiness is good.
Reserve some of the brine from this batch for your next batch, that'll jump start it a bit.
agree with the sliced thin, but for real good flavor must set longer, 6-8 weeks to let the fermented flavor develop. but i do have a question about saving some brine for sausage boy... guessing this is kinda like sourdough starter. but how do you store the brine and is it feasibble to store from one year to the next.
have included some links from kraut threads i have done in past along with one of my favorite recipes you all need to try out when you get your kraut done,
2008 kraut making
2008 kraut canning
2010 kraut making/canning
pierogi skillet, if you need a recipie to use some kraut in... personally i would double the bacon...
love it you are going through the effort of making your own. if it works out you will be rewarded!Edited by erain - 2/6/12 at 7:37am