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.
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
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
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
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.
Loving the city, but longing for the farm, Melissa has made a hobby and a habit out of living sustainably, and DIYing, all while enjoying the perks of living in the big city. From Vancouver BC, she posts about making your own homestead from the smallest condo, and bringing farm living to rapid transit.
Copyright © Josephine 2015. All rights reserved.