How to Make Home made Sauerkraut in a Mason Jar
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- 1 medium head green cabbage (about 3 pounds) n
- 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 1 tablespoons caraway seeds (optional, for flavor)
1Equipment: Never use aluminium utensils! Cutting board, Chef's knife, Mixing bowl, 2-quart wide mouth canning jar (or two quart mason jars),Canning funnel (optional),Smaller jelly jar that fits inside the larger mason jar,Clean stones, marbles, or other weights for weighing the jelly jar, Cloth for covering the jar,Rubber band or twine for securing the cloth
2Clean everything: When fermenting anything, it's best to give the good, beneficial bacteria every chance of succeeding by starting off with as clean an environment as possible. Make sure your mason jar and jelly jar are washed and rinsed of all soap residue. You'll be using your hands to massage the salt into the cabbage, so give those a good wash, too.
Slice the cabbage: Discard the wilted, limp outer leaves of the cabbage. Cut the cabbage into quarters and trim out the core. Slice each quarter down its length, making 8 wedges. Slice each wedge crosswise into very thin ribbons.
3Mix, with wooden spoon or very clean hands, shredded cabbage with the Kosher salt (pickling salt will do but changes the flavor a bit - do not use table salt!) and toss and mix thoroughly until salt dissolves!
4When juice starts to form on cabbage from tossing - Pack the cabbage firmly and evenly int container. Press firmly to encourage juice formation. Make sure juice covers the cabbage completely! (This does not always happen unless the cabbage is fresh from the garden) I prepare additional brine by putting 1 1/2 Tablespoons of kosher salt into 1 quart of boiling water. Dissolve salt and cool brine to room temperature before adding to the cabbage.
5Once cabbage is immersed in brine water, place the filled jelly jar on top to weigh down the cabbage. The cabbage must be well sealed under the brine so no air can get in and contaminate the sauerkraut with unwanted yeasts or molds!
6Now cover the container with plastic wrap, then a heavy towel or cloth and tie securely into place. Do not remove this until fermenting is complete!
7Put in an area where the temperature will not be above 75 degrees. Fermentation will begin within a day, depending upon the room temperature.
If room temperature is 75 degrees allow 3 weeks for fermentation. If temperature is 70 degrees allow 4 weeks. If temperature is 65 degrees allow 5 weeks. If temperature is 60 degrees allow 6 weeks.NOTE: If temperature is above 75 or 76 degrees, the sauerkraut may not ferment and could spoil! Once fermented taste to see if your required tartness exists. Can be eaten immediately if you desire!
To refrigerate only rinse and toss with cold water to attain the tartness desired!