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Old 09-18-2009, 04:57 PM   #1
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Default Anyone make sauerkraut?

I had some homemade sauerkraut last weekend while visiting family, and it was delicious. I already make my own beer, cheese, bread, sauces, etc, so I thought it would be fun to add another thing to the list. I was reading up online though, and it looks like sauerkraut is just naturally fermented? Kind of goes against my tendencies as a sanitation-crazed brewer. Anyone here make their own sauerkraut and have any good recipes?

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Old 09-18-2009, 05:06 PM   #2
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Alton Brown did a show on it once - I'd start there.

I haven't tried it - thought about it; but I only eat kraut maybe once a year.

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Old 09-18-2009, 05:31 PM   #3
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I have tried it, mine never got quite sour enough. I will likely try again, it is extremely easy, just cabbage and salt.

Here is a link:
http://www.wildfermentation.com/resources.php?page=sauerkraut

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Old 09-18-2009, 06:11 PM   #4
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I haven't make sauerkraut, but I started some dill pickles last night after watching this:


He briefly mentions sauerkraut refering to the quick fermentation process because of the surface to mass ratio blah, blah blah...
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Old 09-19-2009, 12:48 PM   #5
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Other than it just being something fun to do, it's not really that practical to make your own kraut unless you have a big vegetable garden that produces way more cabbage than you can ever get rid of.

You need crocks or jars to make it in, and then when it's done you need to put it up in mason jars. It smells bad while it's working in the crocks.

The end result, while certainly good, is not really any better than what you can get in stores, since it's all just cabbage, salt and sometimes caraway seeds.

If you really want to do it, though, it can be fun.

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Old 09-19-2009, 01:11 PM   #6
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Uhh, one of the regulars in chat makes it in his kitchen, in smaller amounts and does not can it. He just keeps on eating it until it's gone, and the older it gets, the better.

I have crocks and all, but with cheese, salsa and beer, another current hobby thing is hard to swing right now-but I'm darn close to starting.

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Old 09-19-2009, 03:15 PM   #7
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I make sauerkraut fairly regularly. The rest of my family doesn't like cabbage, so when it started showing up in the CSA box I had to do something with it. Unlike the poster above, my kraut is significantly better than store bought. It stays crunchy, and you can control the level of souring and fermentation simply by putting it in the fridge when it's about where you want it. I ferment in 4qt lexan containers, available at any restaurant supply, but any non reactive vessel with a wide opening will work. I use a zip-top bag filled with brine as a weight to keep the cabbage submerged. Using a brine bag you don't even have to skim. Nothing simpler.

The National Center for Home Food Preservation has a sauerkraut page that is worth reading.

I've never had a problem with pickles, sauerkraut, sausages, cheese or other fermented food cross-contaminating my beer with unwanted organisms.

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Old 09-19-2009, 06:11 PM   #8
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My GF's dad has a farm in the middle of nowhere, and he and my GF's step-mom do a large food garden. She makes sauerkraut from almost all the cabbage they grow-- not sure how much, but a lot!

I'll tell you this.. it's far better than anything you can buy in the store. If you have the room to do it, even if you don't grow your own cabbage, do it...it's worth it for the taste and texture alone.

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Old 09-19-2009, 07:12 PM   #9
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Just watched that Alton Brown episode and I am totally going to make pickles now!! Thanks. I've wanted to try this for a long time. I want to make pickled beets too.

EDIT - Wow! Crocks are expensive!

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Old 09-24-2009, 12:05 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Henry Hill View Post
Uhh, one of the regulars in chat makes it in his kitchen, in smaller amounts and does not can it. He just keeps on eating it until it's gone, and the older it gets, the better.

I have crocks and all, but with cheese, salsa and beer, another current hobby thing is hard to swing right now-but I'm darn close to starting.
Yeah that would be me, I just do it my kitchen. Same goes with any other wild ferments: kimchee, kvass, unprocessed oats, sourdough, etc....
All come out wonderful. And as long as you're sanitary and keep your kraut (or other) equipment separate from your brewing equipment the odds of souring your beer is minimal to non existent.

I just jarred up some my sauerkraut today you can see some pics here.
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