Sauerkraut Tips

Image Red Cabbage KrautHelpful Review of Key Points:

  • Don’t forget to place water in your Pickl-It airlock! That’s an important part of the Pickl-It fermentation system.
  • Temperatures between 68 and 72F are ideal for making sauerkraut. Any warmer, and fermentation happens too quickly. Any cooler, and fermentation slows down.
  • “Older” cabbages – those not fresh from harvest – make better sauerkraut, because they’ve had time to age, creating more sugar which is good for feeding the lactic-acid bacteria.
  • We like cabbages in the 3-4 pound range. Any larger, they may taste more bitter, making a “spicier” sauerkraut that children don’t like as well.
  • Weigh your cabbage AFTER you’ve sliced it.
  • Select the correct size Pickl-It based on capacity
  • A good salt-to-cabbage ratio: 3 tablespoons of salt for every 5-pounds of sliced cabbage.
  • The best cut is a “thread” cut – thin strands of cabbage of equal widths.
  • We highly recommend either a 3-blade authentic cabbage cutter, or a stainless steel mandolin in either an angled or horizontal-fixed blade.
  • Mandolin cutting techniques are described here.
  • We also recommend not reducing, or eliminating the use of salt. Lactic-acid bacteria benefit from the minerals in unrefined, high-quality sea salt.
  • Do not use salt that is refined, or contains anti-caking agents.
  • Keep all food under the brine, using this technique.
  • Sometimes, a harmless fungus – a translucent, waxy “pancake” formation – develops on top your kraut. Simply scoop it off, or it will negatively affect the flavor.
  • Pack cabbage tightly: No matter which vessel you use for lacto-fermenting, your cabbage into sauerkraut, always, always, always pack the cabbage tightly, which pushes out air and immediately begins the lacto-fermentation process. Image Reminder Airlock
  • Storing kraut in non-Pickl-It container: If you are NOT using a Pickl-It wire-bail container with a built-in Plug’R, you will need to MANUALLY RELEASE the carbon dioxide that will continue to build up, even during refrigeration. If you do not, you risk exploding jars.
  • Storing kraut in Pickl-It container: If you are ARE storing your lacto-fermented foods in a Pickl-It wire-bail container that has includes a Plug’R in the lid, remember to check up on your ferment, just in case the “Plug’R” was forced out of the by carbon dioxide build-up. If you need to order more “Plug’R”, order here.
  • Please remember to always cover the Pickl-It to block out light, but be sure to leave the airlock uncovered.

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To Learn More Graphic

Creating Sauerkraut Thread-Cuts With a Mandolin

– More information on proper cutting techniques.

What are the sizes and capacities of the Pickl-It?

How do I keep grated and sliced vegetables under the brine?

What size should I slice cabbage, used for making sauerkraut?

Great Sauerkraut Begins with the Cut

How do I make a brine for sauerkraut and beets?

Why are there so many Pickl-It sizes?

How much brine should be above the Dunk'R?

Is there a maximum limit when filling the Pickl-It?

Why should I cover my Pickl-It container during fermentation?