How to Make Sauerkraut

Homemade Sauerkraut: Tips and Recipes

how-to-make-sauerkraut

Learn how to make a delicicous bowl of sauerkraut from fresh cabbage.

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Sauerkraut made at home has no peer in a can at a deli counter. Follow these tips on how to make homemade sauerkraut of your own!

Tips Before You Start

  • Sauerkraut is prepared entirely in a brining crock. Don’t worry about going out and buying an expensive stoneware crock—”crocks” can be any unchipped enamel pot or large glass jar. The gallon, wide-mouth jars that restaurants use to buy pickles in work beautifully. 
  • If you have an old crock you want to use, don’t use it if there is a white film on the inside that disappears when wet and reappears upon drying. That crock has been used for waterglassing eggs; there is no way to remove it and it will ruin your sauerkraut. 
  • The old jingle “A hand in the pot spoils the lot” is completely true. Keep your hands, and any metal object, out of the crock. Use wooden spoons and mashers and glass or crockery for dipping and weighting. 
  • The best and freshest ingredients will yield the best sauerkraut. You can make relish with your old, tough cabbage, but use your young, fresh, tender cabbage for your sauerkraut.

How to Make Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut has many uses; from piling it on sandwiches to covering bratwurst  to even making a cake with it, you will have no trouble finding uses for your homemade sauerkraut.

  • For a 1-gallon container, core and shred 5 pounds of cabbage. Measure out 3 tablespoons of pickling (or kosher or dairy) salt.
  • Alternate layers of cabbage with a sprinkling of salt, tapping each layer with a wooden spoon or potato masher. The top layer should be salt. This will not seem like it’s enough salt, but it will give you a 2 ½ percent solution, the perfect strength for fermentation. 
  • Boil an old dish towel or piece of sheeting for 5 minutes and cover the crock with it. Weight this down with a flat plate the size of the inside of the crock and weight it down with a canning jar full of water. If you’re using a glass jar, you won’t need to weight it down. Let it sit for a day. 
  • If you used fresh and tender cabbage, by the next day you should have enough brine to cover the cabbage. If you don’t, make more brine by adding 1 ½ teaspoons to a cup of water and add enough to cover.
  • In 2 or 3 days, white scum will form on the top. Skim this off, replace the cloth with a newly boiled one, wash the plate, and replace it all. Repeat this skimming (a 5-minute job) each day until the bubbles stop rising, or for about 2 weeks. Then your sauerkraut is done!
  • At this point, simply keep the cabbage below the brine with the plate, cover the crock tightly, and store at 40°F to 50°F. If your cellar isn’t that cool, heat the sauerkraut just to simmering, pack in canning jars, seal, and process in a water bath 20 minutes for quarts, 15 minutes for pints.

Recipes with Sauerkraut

Try your freshly made sauerkraut in these recipes!

When to make sauerkraut? Some folks swear that the best days are by the Moon’s sign. See our Best Days timetable.

How did your sauerkraut come out?

Source: 

The Forgotten Arts, Book Five, 1982

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Reader Comments

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Hi,

Hi,
How do I keep the cabbage under the brine? I know this sounds silly, but if I put the cloth down and tge plate and Mason jar on the top, won't the cloth wick all of the brine and keep the top exposed?

Erik, use a 1 gallon crock,

Erik, use a 1 gallon crock, place as many saucers on top of shredded cabbage as you have heads of cabbage. Place an 8 pound weight on the cabbage. 3 heads of cabbage means 3 saucers. This allows enough room for juice to accumulate for fermentation and should keep juice from overflowing. I use a 4 liter wine bottle mostly filled with water as a weight. Wrap with plastic wrap, punch 1 small hole in plastic for gas to escape, wait 3 weeks.......sauerkraut.

We made a very large batch of

We made a very large batch of sourkraut and used a granite slab to hold down the mix. At the end of the 6 weeks the brine had disolved part of the stone turning it into a sand like feel. Was this a bad idea and should I discard this batch and start over.?

Tips

GREAT TIPS - First, Use Morton Natural Sea Salt !!! It is like pickling salt, no additives or caking agents, HUGE DIFFERENCE !!! NON-IODIZED SALT with NO ADDITIVES. 2nd, add a teaspoon of sugar in the bottom, it kick starts the fermentation, and converts to harmless alcohol. Third, if you have a little juice from a good batch, throw that in, its called a "mother" and it also kicks start the fermentation. All natural mother please, no vinegar. Happy, happy, happy...

Aye-aye, Captain. We’ll run

Aye-aye, Captain. We’ll run this up the flagpole to readers. (Salt is a critical ingredient, readers, so be careful to use the proper type.)

Thanks for the advice! Smooth sailing!

 

sauerkraut

i made some sauerkraut and it the water is real cloudy, do you think it is OK? it smells like it is gone bad, can that happen? in the be gaining i added some water because it was starting to smell, is that why?

Cloudy is seldom a good sign.

Cloudy is seldom a good sign.  Plus, if it smells bad, Gary, if probably is bad (sorry it took us so long to get back to you).

White curds on sauerkraut scum

I make my sauerkraut in a 15 gallon crock, and then can it. This year it got white curds on the sterilized sheeting, between tamping and cleaning the scum off. I never had those before. Is my sauerkraut still going to be o.k.? It smells good and is probably almost ready to can. I also sterilized my cloth, plate, and weight (a big rock), in my microwave on high for 3 minutes, which worked great.

Sorry to be so late in

Sorry to be so late in responding, but we are not certain about your method, especially “sterilized sheeting.” The white sediment may be the result of the salt you used; or it could be yeasts. It may have developed because the kraut was not submerged in the brine. It should not be a problem/harmful.

Sauerkraut

I have a stone crock but no lid to fit in it to cover the kraut. Can I make one from wood.

You do need a lid. Anything

You do need a lid. Anything that covers the opening is fine. We’d suggest a heat-proof plate or serving platter.  Or, you could cut a double layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil so that it’s a little larger than the width of your slow cooker. Lay the foil over the top and crimp it gently around the sides of your slow cooker for a tighter fit. Don’t turn on the heat until the lid is secure.

caraway seed

I would like to add caraway seed when making the sauerkraut. Do you have any suggestions regarding this idea?

getting carried away with caraway in your kraut

That’s a good thing, Jeanne. Caraway is a common addition to sauerkraut. Add it to the cabbage before you pack the mixture into jars. Estimate about a tablespoon of caraway per head of cabbage. Call us when it’s ready!

Taste is in juice

Do not add a brine. It will dilute the taste plus add unnecessary salt. The taste of kraut is in the juice. Instead, I use a 1 gallon crock with the weight a 4 liter wine bottle half filled. Place a saucer on the cabbage then the wine bottle, leave alone for 3 to 5 weeks. 3 weeks gives the sourest and crunchiest kraut.

water, salt, brine

If no water is added at the beginning of the process how does the brine form?

The salt draws liquid from

The salt draws liquid from the fresh cabbage. If you use fresh and tender cabbage, by the 2nd day you should have enough brine to cover the cabbage. If you don’t, make more brine by adding 1-½ teaspoons to a cup of water and add enough to cover.

SAUERKRAUT

So, there's no water added to the mix? Just chopped cabbage in layers with salt on each layer?
Where does the liquid come from or is that part of the fermenting process?

Learning how to fermenting foods.

Does anybody know any other recipes for fermenting foods.

I am fairly new to krauting.

I am fairly new to krauting. I obtained a two gallon crock and filled it with salted cabbage on the 25th of last month (7 days ago). It foamed nicely for the first 5 days and then precipitously dropped off. I am wondering what the change means and how long I should expect this larger batch to take before it is ready. Thanks in advance for the advice!

It’s OK that it stopped

It’s OK that it stopped foaming. You can taste the suerkraut and decide if you need to wait a little longer. Don’t go past 2 weeks.

I have used a method with

I have used a method with some leftover cabbage leaf's shoved on top to hold the kraut under the brine. When I store the kraut in the refrigerator, do I remove that cabbage leaf from top? Or does the kraut have to stay submerged under brine even in the fridge? Thanks!

Yes, when the sauerkraut is

Yes, when the sauerkraut is done and you store it in the fridge, the cabbage leaf should be removed.

thank you and one comment

Thank you for your answer...please understand I am not familiar with this process but I want to learn so I checked out other sites...naturally not everyone says the same things and it can be confusing. Some others use their hands to rub the salt into the cabbage....I am assuming there might be a good reason you say to keep hands of the crock...so as not to transfer bacteria that may be under your nails? Also I need to discuss a previous question regarding heating the sauerkraut in the caner...I read that heat will destroy the lactic acid which is what makes the kraut a specially good food....but your answer is different...do you mean it will not affect the other nutritional value, or the lactic acid as well? (beneficial lactobacillus)...thank you......Gisele

Sauerkraut

The Sauerkraut recipe says to store in a cool basement...why not in the fridge? Also won't the simmering and processing in the caner kill the desirable fermenting elements which make Sauerkraut a special good food....and why not place the product in smaller individual glass jars after it is done rather than to leave it in the crock...wouldn't it be more sanitary? and how long will it last at correct storage temperature if not processed (simmered and canned).........also it says to use a potato masher but that is metal and it had just said not to use metal........any sensible answers to my many questions please?......Gisele

You can store the fermented

You can store the fermented sauerkraut in the refrigerator using smaller containers than the crock. It will be good for 6 months to 1 year. The hot water canning process is not going to hurt the taste or nutrition value of the sauerkraut. We do say in the introduction to only use wooden spoons or mashers. Do not use your metal masher.

Sour Kraut

My first attempt at make this Involved 50# of Cabbage. we slice it on a meat slicer into shreds. I went to the wine making section at the hardware store bought a 6# gal bucket w/ lid (food grade) and a wine fermenting water check. I also bought a Nylon bag. I salted and packed my cabbage into this bag in the bucket. this bucket and bag allowed me to twist the bag down tight, The brine just covered the bag. The whole bag wanted to float so I used a old glazed stone plate up side down and a Large zip lock bag filled clear sterile brine. to hold everything down. Snapped the lid on, filled my water check, and placed the hole mess on the entry landing. After about 2 months we opened it up No Mold present and the fermenting process was done. but we had over salted the cabbage. so we took out some and rinsed it with cold water and used it as normal what a great taste crunchy and tart. That bucket sat on the landing for 3yrs we would take out what we needed and close it back up. now about the third year it was getting a bit strong in taste so we opted to toss the remainder to the chickens who thought they was in heaven.

Now this brings us to this year, I used the same process. I have used less salt, today is 12/31/2015, we have just opened it up from its sleep on the landing. This is the finest batch so far great taste and not salty. I feel blessed. now this year we used the last pick of the garden and there was several heads of purple cabbage the color of the brine is purple and the Kraut is a light pink purple. now that's exciting that the color came out that way. expected some but not all of this. So people stay strong don't give up and don't be afraid to try different things. Happy New Year! Enjoy!

No brine, but turned out OK

My first time making sauerkraut. I don't have a big jar so I decided to cut out the brine part. What I did was to marinade the chopped cabbage for half an hour with lots of salt, then wash it off completely. The cabbage tastes slightly salty and looked a bit limp but still holds its shape. I packed the lot tightly into an air-tight "Glasslock" without adding any liquid. No towel or plate needed. I could see cabbage liquid coming up half way the glasslock. Left it untouched for 3 days. The kraut came out nice colour, crip and suitably sour. No scum. I guess as long as the cabbage is initially made salty, there is no need to use brine or weight for the fermentation to take place? Is this true?

Which type of cabbage is best to use??

I know there are several different kinds of cabbage, but which is best for making sauerkraut?? Does one type give it a more sour taste than other types??

Most mid to late-season

Most mid to late-season cabbages that produce big heads without splitting are excellent for saurekraut. As long as the heads are firm and fresh. One variety, Kaitlin, is superior for sauerkraut and is bred for that purpose.

Bottled sauerkraut keeps forever!

I just found an old jar of sauerkraut in my cellar. It was made by PEK in Poland, and the lid said Best Before February 1998. The kraut was a little darker than normal, but it was the best I've ever, ever, ever tasted!

Sauerkraut

Sorry this is a question, Can I use a stainless steel milk can that I got from a local farmer to make sauerkraut? please let me know ASAP.

Thanks,

Stainless steel, glass, or

Stainless steel, glass, or food-grade plastic containers are all suitable for making sauerkraut.

I have made a batch of kraut

I have made a batch of kraut using green and red cabbage together and the colour is darker pink/purple on the top couole of inches.
It is still under brine and tastes and smells like kraut but just checking if this is normal and ok to eat?
Thanks

Hi Annette, I'm surprised

Hi Annette,
I'm surprised that more people don't use red cabbage. It makes such a pretty sauerkraut and tastes about the same as green. If your sauerkraut tastes and smells normal it should be fine to eat.

This is my first time making

This is my first time making kraut, my question is as long as we can it we shouldn't have to worry about any bad effects? Had some mold on top twice in three weeks, pulled it off and removed any discolored cabbage from the top. Tastes fine, just want to be sure no one gets sick, thanks for any and all input.

Mold takes advantage of any

Mold takes advantage of any air-contact space on the top of the brine. Scrape it off. The sauerkraut is still edible

my husband has been making

my husband has been making kraut for years and instead of using a plate he puts water into a large heavy plastic bag to put on top and it seals better than a plate. It works better for us! He uses a large crock and when done we bag it up and put in freezer.

So many recipes call for the

So many recipes call for the use of a layer of olive oil floating on top of the brine to block out oxygen which is supposed to cause the brine to become aerobic thereby stopping the fermenting process. Is the use of oil a necessary step? Will I get good sauerkraut without the oil float?
Thank You... Doc

Our recipe above does not use

Our recipe above does not use olive oil. It uses a towel and weights to push the sauerkraut down into the brine. This method has worked for many generations and makes delicious saurekraut.

Never did I hear of 'Olive

Never did I hear of 'Olive Oil' in Germany and we had been making Sauerkraut for Centuries. So O,O.! is definately a product of someones fantasy and is to be discarded.!

Never did I hear of 'Olive

Never did I hear of 'Olive Oil' in Germany and we had been making Sauerkraut for Centuries. So O,O.! is definately a product of someones fantasy and is to be discarded.!

Just tried a sample from my

Just tried a sample from my first ever batch of sauerkraut and it's great. Thanks for posting your instructions. Mine fermented for about eleven days with the crock sitting on the concrete floor in the basement. Thanks also to the person who suggested placing an apple in the bottom of the crock. Will be making more of this soon.

Hi, first batch here and in

Hi, first batch here and in the very first few days. Using the boiled towels with a plate and quart canning jar on top. What I've noticed is that the towel seems to be wicking up the brine over night so that I have to put in up to 1/2 gallon new brine the next day to cover cabbage and replace towel. Is this normal? Should I be losing brine this fast? Should I just keep the towel on top for a while? I don't see any white film forming since I keep adding brine mix. Thanks in advance.

Try removing the towel. Make

Try removing the towel. Make sure that the plate you have sitting on top of the cabbage fits snugly in the crock and does not allow air to pass through. After putting the weight on top of the plate, cover the entire thing with a towel or cloth of some sort to keep dust out of your crock.

Okay, so I am trying this for

Okay, so I am trying this for the first time, in your directions you say to boil a dish towel for 5 minutes, does this towel then need to be wrung out and cooled before using it and does it get placed directly onto the cabbage?

It is not necessary to wring

It is not necessary to wring out the towel, but you can certainly remove some of the water if you are afraid of making a mess. Yes, you would place it on the cabbage.

Well I'm stumped. Nobody

Well I'm stumped. Nobody anywhere has any insight into the problem of dark brown brine (not yellow, not golden but dark brown). I'm coming to the conclusion that I might as well dump this batch as it has never really fermented and remained a salt lick in spite of everything. It's discouraging the absolutely nobody knows anything about this problem. What a shame that this effort had yielded nothing but waste.

We checked a food chemistry

We checked a food chemistry book and the only suggestion we can offer is that your kraut may have experienced oxidation.

Could it be caused by iodine

Could it be caused by iodine in iodized salt?

brown kraut

Had this happen to me with one of my crocks.Glaze could be thin and if crock is brown inside it could be leaching in the brine . I personally wouldnt use that crock.

Okay, I see you don't respond

Okay, I see you don't respond to "replies" to existing posts, so I'll repost my question from June 26, 2015 up here as a new one:

Thanks for the response! In the time between my May post and my first June post, my sauerkraut brine began to turn brown. Still no bubbling. All the cabbage has been nicely submerged and there is no mold anywhere. The works smells vaguely like sauerkraut, but the cabbage is crunchy and tastes like salt. This batch has been on the go for ten weeks and the darkening brine is bothering me greatly. Any insight?

My husband taught me the old

My husband taught me the old way of making kraut, by using a crock, the first thing you do is take an apple and cut it in half ( I take the seeds out) and place it on the bottom of the crock. It has been many years since I have make homemade sauerkraut but (his mother also used this recipe for many many years) Awesome tasting, after it is fermented you discard the apple.

Hey, guys! You've got a few

Hey, guys! You've got a few new posts here over the last couple of months, one of them in May from me, and we're all eager for responses. Any takers?

No bubbling means you packed

No bubbling means you packed your cabbage as dense as possible, which is not a problem. If you followed the recipe, didn't use too little or too much salt, didn't use tap water, and you are keeping temperatures between 65 and 70 degrees, everything should be fine. You can also taste the kraut to see if it is fermenting. Make sure you are keeping it covered and keeping the cover weighted down.

Thanks for the response! In

Thanks for the response! In the time between my May post and my first June post, my sauerkraut brine began to turn brown. Still no bubbling. All the cabbage has been nicely submerged and there is no mold anywhere. The works smells vaguely like sauerkraut, but the cabbage is crunchy and tastes like salt. This batch has been on the go for ten weeks and the darkening brine is bothering me greatly. Any insight?

My Krauth has been fermenting

My Krauth has been fermenting for four weeks , so we checked it today and it is kind of dry and brownish color on top. Is this a normal thing or a problem? This is my first batch. So any advice is welcomed.

Hi Donna, If the sauerkraut

Hi Donna,
If the sauerkraut is dry on the top it has not been submerged in the brine. Remove the dry brown layer and make sure there is no mold or bad smell in the jar.

Hi there from Vietnam, where

Hi there from Vietnam, where the temperature is around 30°C/86°F day and night…

I know you said: less then 70°F/22°C

But with my kind of temperature, do I have any chance of making any sauerkraut?

Would my last possibility be the refrigerator? (I cannot adjust it, and it is just above freezing point)

Or put it in my bedroom with air conditioning on (and sleep with the smell) for one month ($50 extra electricity)?

I also thought covering my jar with a heavy wet beach towel, and put a fan on it… That could be a bit cool.

Well, maybe in the "winter months" the temperature will drop enough, let's say, around 25-28° C/77-80°F

Waiting for a suggestion before going to the market…

Thanks!

bury it in the ground where

bury it in the ground where the temp is much cooler,the locals and Koreans use this method for Kimchi as well.
Hope this helps.

I mix 1 cup of white

I mix 1 cup of white vinegar,3/4 cup of pickling salt in a gallon jug. I put my cut up cabbage in either quart or 1/2 gallon jars,not packing it too hard,and pour the mixture in the jars over the cabbage.Put lids on and set in dark cool place.Be ready to eat in 4 to 6 wks.You do not have to seal the lids. (Sorry i forgot to say,fill your gal.of salt and vinegar with distilled water.Make sure it is mixed good).

Parris do I need to boil the

Parris do I need to boil the mixture before pouring it over the cabbage?

I have kraut that was started

I have kraut that was started 8 days ago & for the first 4 days was working & skimming every day. Cabbage is below liquid but not bubbling any more. The crock was really packed tight to start, can it be packed too tight???

Hi Jimmy, Taste the kraut. It

Hi Jimmy,
Taste the kraut. It may be done fermenting. If you like the taste put the crock in a cool place or in a refrigerator.

Similar problem here, except

Similar problem here, except that the batch I started eight days ago doesn't seem to be doing much at all. The green of the cabbage is facing and there's plenty of brine, but I only occasionally see any trace of separation and there's no bubbling at all. No scum, no haze... just fading. It's sitting stable on the kitchen counter, no drafts, away from direct light, at temps 67-70 degrees F. Is anything happening?

Is there a book that have

Is there a book that have more than 1 way to make sauerkraut? apple, garlic, any other.

Hi Gary, You can experiment

Hi Gary,
You can experiment by adding garlic or bite-size veggies to the crock or jar.
Cauliflower, carrots, zucchini, chillies, celery, cucumbers, baby eggplants, bell peppers, and green tomatoes are all good additions. Add spice like fennel or cumin seeds, bay leaves, thyme, rosemary, or sage.

What do you think about using

What do you think about using celery juice in place of some of the brine? I tried it and my kraut tastes good but it's a light brown color. I wonder if the celery juice affected the color?

Is it normal for salt

Is it normal for salt crystals to form on the outside of the crock when making home made sauerkraut

It sounds like you may have

It sounds like you may have dripped some brine on your container. This shouldn't pose a problem.

I have a batch of sauerkraut

I have a batch of sauerkraut on the go right now. Made it a week ago and for the first few days the brine kept overflowing because I filled the cabbage almost to the top of the crock. I wasn't concerned because the cabbage was below the level of the brine. But now the brine level has gone down enough that some of the cabbage is exposed. Should I add more brine at this stage? It was happily bubbling and smelling wonderful but now the activity seems to have slowed down. Most advice I have read says it won't be done for 3 or 4 weeks but if there doesn't seem to be much going on should I still leave it for another 2 or 3 weeks? It looks great and I have been resisting the urge to eat it all week long!

Add enough boiled and cooled

Add enough boiled and cooled brine made from 1-1/2 tablespoons of salt per quart of water to cover.

This is the first time I've

This is the first time I've made sauerkraut. I have never tasted it before so I don't know what it's meant to smell like Taste like or look like lol help please

It tastes like cabbage with a

It tastes like cabbage with a sour or pickled taste and good kraut should be crunchy not limp.

This is our first time making

This is our first time making sauerkraut. It has never really bubbled at all. It's in a glass jar. It looks like sauerkraut. Never really formed any scum on top. One time the towel covering it got some mold growing on top. I did have to top up with extra brine at the beginning. Will it be okay? Also, the jar has a lid. Can I use that instead of the towel and plate?

Have you tasted the

Have you tasted the sauerkraut? Is the brine clear or cloudy? Did you use pickling or kosher salt? While fermanting you need to use a plate or similar to puch the cabbage down into the brine. When done you can use the lid but you may need to process the jar in a water bath before storing it.
 

My family always made kraut

My family always made kraut every year close to x mas, I havent had fresh for about 15 yrs now so I just whipped up a batch 80lbs of cabbage, my father always ued a hard cabbage from new york state we cored and took off heavy splines and cut it with a cabbage cutter with steel blades which were always thoroly cleaned , we also put in salt with each layer and fresh horseradish too to keep it crisp, we used a wooden masher made from a 8 inch cut of log probably oak idk on a broom handle, we covered the top with some old oak boards very clean, sat a big rock on top and covered with a clean sheet, we always had water before we got to the top that was the victory! As kids we all took our turn tamping. Kraut was always good! Yes was also cleaned of scum foam as it fermented

I set a crock of kraut about

I set a crock of kraut about two weeks ago according to your directions. Opened it up tonight and it no longer is covered w brine however it tastes alright. I took some out to cook and when I dug into the middle thie brine seemed cloudy and a bit thick. Enough that it's a little stringy when lifted. Is it ok?
I covered and reset it. No mold no scum.

Remove any cabbage that looks

Remove any cabbage that looks suspicious, then add enough boiled and cooled brine made from 1-1/2 tablespoons of salt per quart of water to cover.

My last batch of cabbage

My last batch of cabbage didn't really form any scum to speak of ... Even after 6 weeks. The cabbage tasted too 'fresh' nor like sauerkraut. The cabbage came from my garden... Too young? Bought a head fr farmers market & same issue 1-1/2 weeks later. I have followed the recipe precisely.

Did you use the right kind of

Did you use the right kind of salt? Also, when fermenting the cabbage, it must be kept cooler than 70 degrees F.

I live at 6,700 ft. Altitude

I live at 6,700 ft. Altitude and wanted my cabbages to get as big as possible so I just picked them a month ago. I used my food sealing bags to store them, but the bags have inflated and the heads smell like the beginning of sauerkraut . Is there a way I can slice them with a plastic knife and begin the brining process now? I hate to throw them out after all the babying I did this summer, but don't want to poison the family either.

It's recommended to store a

It's recommended to store a whole head of cabbage in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 weeks. The older it gets, the stronger the flavor and odor will be. Remove the cabbage from the bag, cut off any parts that are soft or discolored. Only use fresh crisp parts of the cabbage for sauerkraut.

Thank you for all your

Thank you for all your comments. I'm new at making Sauerkraut and looking forward to trying the recipe listed on The Old Farmer's Almanac.

I made sauerkraut this year.

I made sauerkraut this year. I used 6 5 gallon plastic bucket, food grade and weighted the kraut with a glass plate and lidded canning jars filled with water. Three buckets turned out pretty and light cloudy water....However 3 have white kraut, but the water on top is more of a dark tan... Is it still good to eat or not...?? Smells wonderful, pretty and white, but the liquid gives me pause.....

You have us stumped, Donna.

You have us stumped, Donna. We have not heard of this problem before, nor were we able to find you a succinct answer. We suggest contacting your local cooperative extension service and asking if they have a canning/pickling expert on staff. Use this link to find your state's office:
http://www.almanac.com/content...

I have scraped off the moldy

I have scraped off the moldy substance, but I am afraid of the liquid that is left. The kraut smells o.k., but the cloudy liquid scares me.
Is this alright to eat?

Cloudy brine is normal. If

Cloudy brine is normal. If you let the liquid sit for awhile, eventually it will settle to the bottom making your brine clear.

Ours has mold on top every

Ours has mold on top every year & we just scoop it off. Nobody has died yet, lol. Also we bash the daylights out of it with a wooden baseball bat to make more juice before it sits for 7-10 days.

I have 17 large heads of

I have 17 large heads of cabbage & just bought a 15 gallon crock. Is it ok to make my sauerkraut in that large of a quantity by just adding more & more layers of the cabbage & salt until the cabbage is all in or the crock is full?

Hi Al, Yes you can use the 15

Hi Al,
Yes you can use the 15 gallon crock to make sauerkraut. The crock can hold about 75 lbs. of prepared cabbage. Before you start filling the crock put it in the spot where you are going to keep it as it will be heavy to move later. Just make sure to leave at least 4 to 5 inches of space between the cabbage and the top of the crock.

A 5-gallon container will hold about 25 pounds of prepare

Great post. I have

Great post. I have experimented with using mason jars but find using a fido-style jar along with fermentation weights such as Pickle Pebbles (available at masontops.com and ebay and amazon) take the guesswork out of making sauerkraut at home. Since I made the change I have never had a batch go bad on me.

I always make my sour kraut

I always make my sour kraut by the signs,Can you tell me when will it be the best time to make it in July

Yes! See our Best Days

Yes! See our Best Days timetable which always shows the current next month and includes making kraut: www.almanac.com/bestdays/timet...

Is it alright to use a

Is it alright to use a plastic 5 gallon container such as those sold at Home Depot if one cannot find a crock or some large pottery or ceramic vessel.???

You can use a plastic

You can use a plastic container, but be sure it is food-grade plastic and has not previously held non-food substances.
Also keep in mind that a plastic container can leach chemicals and is more prone to scratches that can harbor harmful bacteria.
If you have a slow cooker, you can use the stoneware insert.

O.K. so the curtido that my

O.K. so the curtido that my ex-mother-in-law makes has nothing to do with sauerkraut as it is fresh cabbage with vinegar and herbs and spices. It is delicious, especially on pupusas.
My question: Does it still have probiotics or not?

If you use organic apple

If you use organic apple cider vinegar, it has plenty of probiotics that would be added to your salad. Braggs is our favorite brand!

We made saurkraut and the top

We made saurkraut and the top formed with a green mold. We took the top off and underneath it smelled fine.
Is this safe to eat?

Boy, I really don't know, I

Boy, I really don't know, I have never had green or any other mold on my kraut, I would be really afraid to eat it, the only thing I ever have on my kraut is a light gray scum that skims right off about every other day, for safety sake I would start over, really clean out the container you used and try again.

Thanks for that advice. I

Thanks for that advice. I was thinking it might be alright, but if no one else has had this problem it might be better to start over.

I have made delicious kraut

I have made delicious kraut for 2 years, and this time I have a green mold on top. I have wiped it once, and it is back again. It doesn't really touch the kraut, but I think I am going to remove the kraut, clean the crock and proceed with fermentation.

Mold takes advantage of any

Mold takes advantage of any air-contact space on the top of the brine. Scrape it off. The sauerkraut is still edible.

good recipe for

good recipe for Sauerkraut.

Regarding creamy slaw i use this one , which always comes out nice.

-In a large bowl, toss the cabbage with the salt.
-Let stand until cabbage begins to soften, about 15 minutes.
-Add the sour cream, lemon juice and pickled jalapeno and toss well.
-Add the scallions and cilantro and toss again.
-Season with salt.
-Serve immediately, or refrigerate for up to 2 hours.

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I want to make cream slaw but

I want to make cream slaw but I don't have a recipe. Do you have one?

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