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Granny’s Sauerkraut

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Fermenting food (which is pickling in brine) is tasty, adding a delicious condiment to many dishes or on its own.  Healthy, tasty and good for the digestive system, Sauerkraut is an age old way of restoring the balance of bacteria in the gut.  It provides important vitamins and is rich in enzymes and helps to absorb all the nutrients we take in each day.  Some people swear by sauerkraut as something they have daily.

I love this recipe!  In this recipe even though it called for 25 pounds of cabbage, it was made with only 8 pounds, and only 1/4 cup of canning and pickling salt was used, although it said 1 cup.  Perhaps with a bit of experimentation you will find the perfect measure…

Here is the recipe:

After peeling the outer leaves from my cabbage, removing the stem end, and weighing it, slicing thinly… you want your cabbage about 1/16 inch thick)…
I put it all in a food grade plastic bucket (I used a 5 gallon bucket even though I only had about a gallon of cabbage)

I mixed the 1/4 cup of canning and pickling salt thoroughly into the shredded cabbage. If I had followed the full 25 pounds of cabbage recipe, I would have worked in 5 pound batches at a time, layering cabbage, then salt and working it in as I went along, waiting about 15 minutes between layers.
After I had mixed the salt into the cabbage well, I let it sit for about 15 minutes and checked to make sure   there was enough juice flowing to cover the cabbage. If the water was enough to cover the cabbage I would have moved on to the next step, however, my cabbage wasn’t producing enough of its own juices so I mixed up a batch of brine using 4-1/2 teaspoons of pickling salt to 4 cups of water, heating it on medium high to allow the salt to dissolve, then letting it cool to room temperature. I added the brine to the cabbage in the bucket.
The cabbage needs to remain submerged under an inch or two of water.

 

I covered the bucket loosely with a dish towel and put the bucket lid over top, loosely. I placed the bucket of sauerkraut in a consistently cool place…
And then you wait…

… and let it ferment…

I checked the mixture every day and removed any scum that had formed. During fermentation, gas bubbles will form. When the bubbling ceases, fermentation is complete.

Once fermentation is complete (took my sauerkraut about three weeks), and scum is removed, it’s time to can it up

I decided to hot pack my sauerkraut, so I poured it from the bucket into a large stockpot to heat it up, bringing it to a simmer over medium-high heat, but not to a boil.
Once my sauerkraut was heated through and my jars and lids were hot, I packed the hot sauerkraut and brine into the hot jars, leaving a half inch of headspace.

I removed any air bubbles and adjusted headspace, if necessary by adding more brine. I wiped the jar rims…

I placed the jars into my canner, ensuring they were completely covered with water. I brought the water to a boil and processed the pint jars in the boiling water bath for 10 minutes (quarts would be processed for 15 minutes)

All ready!

Recipe and images via canninggranny

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