Basic Fermentation: Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut is really easy to make and very healthy for your gut. Darcy over at Stumbling Homestead blog posted this article, “Easy Sauerkraut, last year and I planted cabbage this year especially to try it. I setup my first batch last night and it came together really fast. I’ll be excited to see the results.

  • First I sterilized some quart mason jars
  • Next I shredded some cabbage with a mandolin slicer and the dicing insert. A plain old knife would work fine too, just take a bit longer
  • Stuff the cabbage into the jars and pack it down hard. Fill it up to just below the threads
  • Add a tablespoon to 1.5 tablespoons of salt. Make sure to use pickling salt or natural, unmodified, sea salt. In short, you do not want iodized salt.
  • Heat up some water to not quite boiling (Darcy suggests using filtered water, however I decided to use heated water as a friend suggested to me)
  • Ladle the water until it covers the cabbage
  • Put the lid on VERY loose so that air can vent
  • Now is where it gets interesting… my friend claims 6 weeks of fermentation for good Sauerkraut, however Darcy claims it is ready within a few weeks. The bottom line is you should go down and sample some from time to time and get a feel for what you think will taste best.
  • Ok, so it is the way you like it… great! At this point you can tighten the lids down and now you can choose one of two options to preserver it and stop the fermentation:
    1. Process the jars in a hot water bath (boiling water) for 30 minutes. It should keep for 9 months or more.
    2. Place in refridgerator and consume it as with any other pershiable.

Personally I will be canning some and eating some. It would be interesting to learn if the canning process negativately impacts the beneficial bacteria within the Sauerkraut.

Also Darcy points out in his article that he didn’t even like Kraut and is now addicted, so even if you don’t like store bought you might just want to give this cheap and easy method a try.

A mandolin makes quick work of cabbage
Make sure to use salt with no iodine
Ready for fermentation

Author: Nick-LaDieu

Webmaster of Budding skill enthusiast and modern survivalist. When nick isn't plotting his next project he is probably running with his dogs, riding his mountain bike, or fiddling with his home theater.