Helpful 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.
- 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.
– More information on proper cutting techniques.
|by Kathleen in Tips | Permalink|
Did you know...
Sauerkraut was brought to Germany in the 13th Century on the backs of Genghis Kahn’s Mongolian marauding horses, its Vitamin C protecting his army from scurvy.
—How Germans Acquired Sauerkraut
Don’t give up on getting children to eat more lacto-fermented veggies than pickled cucumbers! Out of the mouth of my 4 1/2-year-old, Daniel, my most avid fermented food avoider, as he was eating his lunch earlier today, “Oh, bother! I forgot to have a bite of kraut!”
… and yes, I gave him some kraut as I tried to very subtly pick my jaw up off the floor …