Sauerkraut: Ten Easy Steps
|Image © copyright Estonian Private Collection
||Edmonton Estonian Society Brine Method
- Select large firm heads of cabbage. Remove dry or damaged outer leaves and cut heads in halves or quarters, depending on size. Save some outer leaves for later use.
- Shred finely and evenly into a crock.
- Tamp each layer gently to crush and release juices.
- In a bowl, prepare a mix of 1 cup pickling salt to 1/4 teaspoon of caraway seed (more or less to taste).
- Sprinkle a small amount of salt (to taste, but be sure to use enough to create a brine solution) over each layer as the tamping progresses and the crock fills.
- Fill the crock to 2/3 full (do not overfill as the kraut expands during fermentation). Push down to pull the brine over the kraut as it is important that the shreds be submerged in liquid. Cover this surface with some large outer leaves to keep it clean. Lay a cutting board on top of the leaves and set a large clean rock as weight on top of the board. Cover the crock with a cloth or towel to screen from fruit flies.
- Leave crock to ferment in a warm (room temperature) place for 7-10 days. During fermentation juices will rise and foam with appear. When the juice recedes, the kraut is ready.
- Remove the top layer, excess cloudy juices, foam and mold.
- Pack kraut firmly into jars with enough brine to cover. Or pack into freezer bags to freeze.
- To can and seal, process the jars in gently simmering water for 30 minutes. Jars will keep for 2-3 years.