Wednesday, June 06, 2012

The great sauerkraut experiment

I searched the Internet for various ways to make kraut.  Some sites would tell me, "Making kraut is so EASY," and then they would proceed to make it complicated.  I understood the crock method, but I didn't want to have to stay home and skim off the scum every day.  This morning I found a crock method that said skim off every three days, but then it gave an option:  Put three quarts of water in a food-grade plastic bag with 4 1/2 tablespoons of salt mixed in (why the salt, I have no idea, since it isn't actually in contact with the kraut) and put that atop the plate that is holding the kraut down in the brine.  I guess because it makes such a tight seal, I don't have to skim the scum.  Who knows.  
I was amazed to find out that when you put salt on cut-up cabbage, liquid comes out of it, enough liquid to completely cover all the cabbage in brine without adding any water!  

Here's the crock with the salt-water-filled bag.  The bag is a crock-pot liner, and I tied it at the top with a piece of dental floss.  I will throw a towel over this and ignore it for thirty days; supposedly it will be kraut at that time.  
I have some reservations:  Because I was only guessing at how much the cabbage in the crock weighed, I think I may have used too much salt.  I don't know if that will matter or not, in the end.  But as I told Cliff, what have we got to lose?  I planted the cabbage from seeds leftover from last year rather than buying expensive plants.  So there isn't much money involved.  We have plenty of time.  And it's a fun experiment.  
Cliff, by the way, came in and cut the cabbage for me.  

I also did two quarts by the easiest method ever:  Fill the jar with cabbage, add one teaspoon of sugar and one of salt, fill with boiling water, and seal.  It's done in two to six weeks.  
I'm skeptical.  It just seems too easy to be true.  


Forty Pound Sack said...

Can't wait to hear how this all comes out, LOL. Never thought about making kraut, but sure love to eat it ~

ingasmile said...

I have used this same method and mine came out way, way too salty. I also realized that I did not beat the cabbage enough needed more juices. I also did this in the fall when the temps were cooler and it took forever to even resemble kraut. We had to toss the whole lot. I think the bag needs salt to make a brine in case it develops a leak it won't hurt the kraut.

Be sure to tell us how it goes, my heads are almost ready and I am going to try again. I also made Amish freezer slaw and it was really tasty too. Even when you would thaw out a bag it still had crunch!


I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

I hope it turns out for you. Sauerkraut is good! My grandmother used to make it in a crock but I never saw how she did it. I only remember seeing the crock sitting in her fruit cellar with a plate on top of it for a lid.

kcmeesha said...

If the kraut is too salty you can try to rinse it before eating. I always salt by taste anyway.
I like a simple salad made with kraut: boil and chop some potatoes, add kraut, salt, pepper, chopped onion, oil. That's it.


Sometimes Easy surprises you. The fact you made such an effort to get this kraut right is good enough. Experimenting often gets the best results, without using a recipe. Hope the end result satisfies your taste buds.