Tuesday, August 19, 2008

FYI: How to make Sauerkraut


1) Remove damaged outer leaves from cabbage and rinse whole heads with cold water;

2) Cut cabbage in half, remove the interior of the core (stem) and save for the hogs or compost pile;

3) Shred cabbage with knife, mandolin or, food processor or if you are really lucky one of these http://tinyurl.com/6xucnf;

4) Weigh the shredded cabbage periodically and add salt at a rate of 0.32 oz per pound cabbage or 2%;

5) Place the salted shredded cabbage in a ceramic crock or barrel, put a plate or some other flat thing on top and weight it so the cabbage stays depressed during fermentation. Cover with a cheesecloth to prevent flies from fouling your work (Flies love sauerkraut.) Place in a cool place -a cellar, for example- to ferment;

6) Wait a day or two and if the cabbage appears dry, add cold water to cover. If you work at a place that makes cheese and you are impatient to see the cabbage ferment, you can dump in some whey which will be loaded with the lactic acid producing bacteria (naturally present on the cabbage, of course) that is required to produce the sauer of the kraut.

13 comments:

redman said...

awesome, thanks for posting, Bob

Love the picture!

boberica said...

I'm officially spoiled, the brewery-kitchen that I'm working in, in Portland, Oregon has a massive Hobart mixer with the shredder attachment. We do about 200 pounds of cabbage for kraut a week, plus that much for coleslaw. Good on you for getting the most out of the much more affordable v-mandoline.
I am more grateful for the grinder attachment, however. Thanks for the pics, bob

Bob del Grosso said...

yo boberica!
It's been a while, glad to hear from you!

MessyONE said...

I grew up making this stuff - it's kind of funny to see it taken so seriously. Good sauerkraut is terrific stuff, of course. Now that I only have access to supermarket (sorry, deli varieties just aren't the same) variety, I miss what I thought was a horrible thing to make when I was a kid.

We had a device that looked like a massive mandolin for cutting up the cabbages. It was essentially an extremely sharp blade set into a wood frame. I think you can still buy them online. It's not as easy as a machine, but it beats a knife.

meesha.v said...

I like Russian-style sauerkraut -crunchy and not mouth-puckering sour. not sure why Americans are stuck eating German-style kraut.

Tags said...

Would you change anything if you were using Napa?

Bob del Grosso said...

meesha.v
What's Russian-style sauerkraut?

Anonymous said...

Russian sauerkraut is in my opinion a little more flavorful. The Germans seem to like a very heavy vinegar flavor, and the only vegetable they use is cabbage. I always feel as if my entire face is contorted when I eat that stuff. They also tend not to let it ferment as long as the Russians do.

The Russians tend towards more salt, less vinegar and add onions and garlic. Some people add pepper, but not a lot. Just enough to get a taste of black pepper, but not a lot of heat. It's mellower in general, and I think the vegetable flavors come through more.

The problem with letting sauerkraut ferment for a longer time is that you risk it going over in a big way. There are not many stenches that can rival rotten sauerkraut....

meesha.v said...

I think the process you described will yield what I call "Russian-style". It's noticeably whiter, so crunchy you can hear the other person eat it, not very salty and not sour. Carrots are optional. Some people put few cranberries in. I usually make it by mixing cabbage with salt, the mix should taste slightly saltier than you'd like to eat, then press it into a jar until the juice comes out and leave it for 2-3 days on the counter with some weight on, I use a can of peaches or something. Once in a while you have to get a skewer and poke all the way to the bottom so the gas can come out or it may be bitter (or so I've been told). I taste mine every day after few days in order not to let it go too sour. On the other hand, German style tastes like vinegar to me. Any Russian store will have sauerkraut and other pickled products:half-sour pickles,apples, watermelons, tomatoes red and green.

Anonymous said...

Once it is as sour as you'd like it to be, do you then can or freeze it?

Crazy Raven Productions said...

You rule! A neighbor gave us a jar of homemade saurkraut last year (a friend had made it and they didn't really dig it) and I loved it. Now I can make my own! Glee!

Bob del Grosso said...

anonymous II
We put it in plastic bags and sell it out of a refrigerated case in our retail store at the farm. I would not can it. I've had canned sauerkraut and it was too mushy. Freezing would work well.

Anonymous said...

This stuff must make a person fart like a madman.

How about you Bob ? Does it make you fart like a sonofabitch?

If so, any rememdies or anecdotes you can dispense to us ?