Making Sauerkraut has become an annual fall event for our family. Last year we processed 130 LBS of cabbage into sauerkraut. We used Grandma June’s recipe she used for many years. Let sit in a 20 gallon crock, for approx. 6 weeks, in a warm room, about 75 degrees. If the room is cooler plan for a longer fermenting time. The room needs to be warm for the process of turning cabbage to kraut to happen.
Recipe and method:
Plan for every 10 lbs of shredded cabbage you need 1/2 cup of kosher or canning salt
Weigh cabbage to be accurate!
Shred cabbage with a food processor using a 2mm blade. the cabbage will be shredded to the prefect size. We pre cut and clean the cabbage of bad leaves before we place into the processor.
Place cabbage into crock and add 1/2 cup of salt, tamp down to get juices flowing.
Continue this process until the cabbage is gone. Pack the crock tightly.
Place a clean dish towel over cabbage, tucking the edges down along the cabbage and crock, this will seal and keep the kraut free of bugs. Place a plate over dish towel, and place a heavy jar on top of the plate. This pushes the kraut down so the liquid that forms will come to the surface and seal the kraut during fermenting. This also keeps air out of the fermenting kraut, important for tasty kraut!
Now just sit and wait! Foamy liquid will form onto of dish towel, that means the process is working. Be patient! it will happen. after about 5 weeks, remove the towel, and check the kraut. It should taste like kraut and be slightly crunchy. If it is mushy it may have fermented too long. Remove any rotten kraut and hot water bath can or place in a jar in the refrigerator, where it will keep.
The clean canning jars were packed fairly tightly, to the top of the jar, leaving 1/2 inch from the top. Leave some of the juice on the top of the jars. I like the wide mouth jars because they are easier to pack tightly. A hot water bather method was used for canning. I set the jars in warm water, then brought up to a slow boil. After about 30 minutes (for pints) the water was turned off and the jars removed from the water bath and let cool on a wire rack. You will hear the jars seal as they cool. They make a pop sound.
These can be stored for a couple of years in a cool, dark area like a basement or root cellar. Enjoy!