For the past year or so I have been fermenting my own sauerkraut and in that time I have had a few inquiry into my process and recipe so I figured that while it is a standard process and recipe I would post about it anyways.
Items I use:
- Sharp knife (http://amzn.com/B008M5U1C2)
- Potato masher (http://amzn.com/B00004OCJK)
- Big boll
- A big cutting board
- Some kind of weight that will fit in your fermentation pot, if you get a Harsch it will come with some stones that fit inside.
- and the most import item, a fermentation pot. There are a number of different types and sizes, I have a 10 liter Harsch Fermenting Crock Pot, but you can get something cheaper that works just as good, for example you can pick up a Pickle-Pro vegetable Fermenting top and a canning jar with the correct sized top. I haven’t used the Pickle-Pro but you can read a review of a number of different fermentation pots at nourishingtreasures.com
My recipe is very basic, I use salt (I like to use Himalayan salt), caraway seed and cabbage, that is all. I plan on making my next batch with cumin seed and I also plan on making a batch using juniper berries but as of yet I haven’t used anything other then caraway seed.
- Peel a few of the big leaves off the cabbage and save them for later use.
- I cut all the cabbage up into thin slices and put it in a bowl (I use about 5 big green cabbages to fill my 10 liter pot).
- After all the cabbage is cut I put a handful in my fermentation pot, I add salt (about 2 tablespoons, it is safer to add more then not to have added enough) and some of the caraway seed (about 1/2 tablespoon).
- I then use my hands and mix it up.
- After the salt, seed, and cabbage is mixed up I use the potato masher to pack the cabbage to the bottom of the pot.
- Repeat steps 3-5 tell the pot is about 3/4 to 5/6 of the way full.
- Put the big leaves you set aside in step 1 so that they cover the cabbage in the pot and then put the weight on top of them.
- At this point, depending on the type of cabbage you used, you may have enough water, from the cabbage, to have covered the weight by about an inch. If you don’t have enough water in the pot then add enough cold water to cover the weight by about an inch and add more salt.
- Scrape any floating debris off the surface of the water and discard.
- Seal the pot and put in a dark cool place and let sit and if your pot has a sealing well then keep it filled with water.
I let my batches sit for 4 to 8 weeks.