a semi-rural, mini-homestead on 1/2 acre in Vermont's Green Mountains

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Thursday, August 5, 2010

Making Sauerkraut

 Sauerkrat Update #2 Total Failure!!!
  Finally had the courage at around week 3.5 to open the crock and take a whiff. Now, I know sauerkraut smells kind of ripe, but this was downright stinky and spoiled smelling. Glynn was brave enough to try it-and immediately spit it out and pronounced it no good. We gave it all to the chickens who scarfed it down like it was manna from heaven. I don't know what went wrong. I followed the recipe exactly. I'd like to try it again, but not until I figure out the problem.

Sauerkraut Update:  Just as I was about to relegate this glass cookie jar to the basement I had an "A-HA" moment and realized that it would be a perfect sauerkraut crock. Cabbage went in on Aug. 12th with the salted brine, and a saltwater filled bag on top to keep the cabbage under the brine. It is sitting quietly on my counter, hopefully fermenting as it should. I haven't opened the lid to take a sniff- I don't know what it should smell like anyway- and there is no odor escaping. So, we'll see what happens!


I don't know if I will even like sauerkraut-the only kind I have ever had came out of a can. It's okay but nothing I would go out of my way to eat. But  my friend Jodi loves the artisian sauerkraut she buys at the health food store, and I need to know how to store cabbage. So I am going to try to make some. I have some beautiful heads of cabbage out in the garden, the best I have ever grown. I am going to try the mason jar method first, but I would love to find some nice crocks!


  1. Oh I've never tried sauerkraut!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. You can find more info about the pattern I'm using on this post


    Happy stitching- it's addictive and fun!

  2. I LOVE sauerkraut ... homemade sauerkraut, that is. I can't stand that watery limp stuff they sell in cans. Like you, though, I was so nervous the first time I made it. All of those recipes make it sound so complicated.

    What I found is that it doesn't have to be difficult, and a friend gave me the following recipe, which is so wicked easy ... and so yummy!

    1. Shred cabbage (or other vegetable like carrots, beets, turnips or garlic) and tightly pack into a pint-sized wide-mouth canning jar leaving 1/2" of headspace.
    2. Add 1/2 tsp each of salt and sugar per pint. Top with boiling water. *make sure all of the cabbage is under the water.
    3. Loosely cover (to keep the bugs out, but let in air) and allow to ferment for 24 hours.
    4. Top off with more boiling water, being sure to leave 1/2" head space, seal tightly, and place jars in a warm place for three days - a sunny window works well. *when I did it during the summer, I actually took my jars outside and put them in the sun.
    5. Process in a boiling water bath and don't eat for three weeks.

    The processing kills the live bacteria, and so you don't have the benefits associated with lacto-fermented foods, but it's delicious and easy to make, and will preserved the cabbage harvest.

    Nice cabbage, by the way! I've never grown anything quite so impressive looking in my garden :).