How do I make a brine for sauerkraut and beets?

Image Packing Cabbage Beets and cabbage are two vegetables that make their own brine, unlike others (cucumber pickles, green beans, cauliflower, garlic, etc.) for which you must make and add a brine.

When beets and cabbage are sliced, diced, shredded or cut, and then layered with salt, the salt extracts water (“macerates”), stored in the cell of the cabbage or beets, which make their own brine.

When you’re packing the cut beets or cabbage into the Pickl-It, it is important to layer them with salt, and then gently press with a wooden mallet, French rolling pin, or wooden dowel. This helps to extract the water from the vegetable, as well as press oxygen out, creating the desired anaerobic environment.

The basic brine formula: 5 lbs vegetables for 3 T unrefined sea salt

Check your beets and cabbage during refrigeration storage, because they may turn dry, the brine appearing to evaporate. Before adding brine, gently press the kraut or beets with a wooden dowel, wooden mallet or the end of a French rolling pin. Often the brine has simply been drawn back into the cell walls of the cabbage or beets, and gentle coaxing will extract it once again.

If you don’t have at least 1/2-inch of brine on the surface of the vegetables, then add more according to these instructions.