Sauerkraut is very easy to make even if you don’t have an old crock. Here are the items you will need to get started:
- Crock or a 5 gallon plastic food grade bucket. Make sure it’s rated as food grade otherwise it will have industrial solvents. We just asked our local grocery store to save us one. If that is not an option order one online.
- Shredder of some sort manual or electric.
- Food Scale
- Large bowl
- Chopping board
- Large knife
- Dinner plate
- A gallon ziploc bag 3/4 full of water set inside another bag or a rock.
Now that you have everything you need let’s make some Sauerkraut!
Peel off outside of cabbage leaves if they need but do not wash them. Cabbage has a natural bacteria you want. Start cutting your cabbage into four quarters. Once you have it in quarters put it on the food scale and pile high until you reach 5lbs. For every 5lbs of shredded cabbage you need to mix 3Tbls of salt. Here you can see the pile started.
Now that you have weighed 5lbs, you cut the quarters as small as you need for whatever type of shredder you will be using. Place your big bowl under your choice machine or hand tool and shred your 5lb pile of cabbage until it is all in the bowl. Now add your 3Tbls of salt and mix it in with your hands. Once each 5lbs of cabbage is shredded and mixed with salt, empty it into your crock or 5 gallon bucket. Pound down with a wooden pounder or another tool. The salt and cabbage when pounded down will start to make its own brine. Repeat this process until you have the desired amount of shredded cabbage you want.
Once your bucket or crock is filled with the desired amount and it has been pressed down check to see if it has enough brine to cover the cabbage. If not you need to make and add some brine.
For every quart of water add 1 1/2 Tbls of salt. Bring brine to a boil and cool. Whisk until the salt is disolved.Now pour the brine over the shredded cabbage in crock or bucket just until it is covered.Next step is to add a dinner plate. It seems to be the perfect size when using a bucket.
Last step before letting it sit is to fill your ziploc bag of water and place in another bag so it does not leak any water out. Set this on top of the dinner plate or use a rock to keep weight on the cabbage so it will remain covered in brine.It takes 3-6 weeks until fermentation is complete. Formation of gas bubbles indicates fermentation is taking place. Remove and discard scum formation each day. Store container in a cool place. Taste and check sauerkraut after 3 weeks to see when it will be ready to can.
And there you have it. How to make sauerkraut. Look later for a video on canning to see the end result.