Sauerkraut Part 2

October 5, 2015 , In: Cultures, Preserving, Vegetables , With: No Comments
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Click here for Part 1. 

So, I fermented 2 buckets of sauerkraut; 1 for a week, and 1 for a month. They’ve been stinking up my shed for a while now, so it’s time for some canning!

“Is your house just completely full of mason jars?”

Pretty much, yeah.

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Mmmmm, stanky

After sitting for more than a month, there have been a couple spots of mould showing up on top of the water. I used a fine mesh strainer to strain them off, being careful not to break them apart. The smell of the cabbage by this point is quite pungent, so most of this is best done outside.

Step 1: Un-funk the cabbage

Strain off the scum at the top, making sure to not stir it in to the brine. Remove the weights, and pour off some of the excess liquid.

Step 2: Sterilize the jars

Take the Giant Canning Pot of Doom™ and boil the jars and lids you’re going to use for about 5 minutes to sterilize them. Remove the jars and bring them out to your sauerkraut.

Step 3: Fill the jars

I HIGHLY recommend using gloves for this part, or your hands will stank. Grab a handful of the kraut at a time, and put them in the jars. Gently press down each layer, until you fill about 1/4″from the top. With a clean cloth, wipe off the rims of the jars, and place the lids on, but don’t screw them on all the way, but enough so they stay in place.

Step 4: Give them a hot water bath

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Boil hard to ensure the cabbage stops fermenting

If you’re planning to eat the sauerkraut right away, you can skip this part. It’s great to eat fresh, and you get all the beneficial bacteria. But to preserve it, you will need to do this.

Using a tall pot, put the jars into a pot of boiling water. I leave the rims slightly unscrewed to allow the expanding gas to escape.

Boil them hard for 15 minutes to stop the fermentation process and seal the jars. If you live at a higher altitude, boil an additional 5 minutes for every 3,000 feet of altitude.

Step 5: Make sure they seal

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So much sauerkraut

Unlike jam, or pickles, these may seal properly with the lids popping in, and then unseal a few days later. If it keeps fermenting, it will keep releasing gas, and unseal the jars. If this happens, boil them again to ensure they seal, and keep an eye on them. If nothing happens for a week, you can throw them into storage.

 

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