Homemade Sauerkraut

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Preserving Method: Water Bath Canning

STAGE 1:

 

  1. CUT cabbage into thin shreds, about 1/16 inch thick, in a food processor fitted with a slicing attachment, working in batches as necessary. This can also be done with a sharp knife or mandoline. Remove any large pieces and discard.
  2. WORKING in 5-lb batches, combine shredded cabbage and 3 Tbsp pickling salt in a large stone crock or glass or food-grade plastic container. Mix thoroughly. Let stand for 15 minutes or until juices start to flow and cabbage wilts slightly. Using a wooden spoon or your hands, press down firmly on the cabbage until the juice comes to the surface. Repeat four times, until all the cabbage is used up, leaving at least 4 inches of space between cabbage and rim of container. Sprinkle remaining pickling salt on top. If not enough juice has been produced to cover cabbage, add brine*.
  3. PLACE a large clean inverted plate over the cabbage mixture and weigh down with two or three quart jars filled with water and capped. (Keep cabbage under brine by 1 to 2 inches throughout fermentation.) Cover with a clean heavy towel. Let stand in a cool place. Every day, remove and discard any scum that has formed. During fermentation, gas bubbles will form. When bubbling ceases, fermentation is complete. Fermentation may take up to 6 weeks, depending on atmoshpheric conditions and variations in the cabbage itself.

 

*To make brine, combine 4-1/2 tsp pickling or preserving salt and 4 cups water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve salt. Let cool to room temperature, then ladle over sauerkraut to cover.

STAGE 2:
Raw-Pack Method:

  1. PREPARE boiling water canner. Heat jars in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil.  Wash lids in warm soapy water and set bands aside.
  2. PACK sauerkraut, with brine, into hot jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding brine. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Apply band until fit is fingertip tight. Place jar in boiling water canner. Repeat until all jars are filled.
  3. PROCESS quart jars in a boiling water canner for 25 minutes and pints 20 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed.

Hot-Pack Method:

  1. PREPARE boiling water canner. Heat jars in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil.  Wash lids in warm soapy water and set bands aside.
  2. BRING sauerkraut, with brine, to a simmer over medium-high heat in a large stainless steel saucepan. Do not boil. Pack hot sauerkraut and brine into hot jars leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding more brine. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Apply band until fit is fingertip tight. Place jar in boiling water canner. Repeat until all jars are filled.
  3. PROCESS quart jars in a boiling water canner for 15 minutes and pint jars for 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed.
Homemade Sauerkraut | Sauerkraut Recipe - Ball® Fresh Preserving is rated 4.5 out of 5 by 11.
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Delicious but two pints broke :( This is my third year of canning lots of garden harvest and my first year making sauerkraut. Its delicious! After 6 weeks of fermenting (I added caraway seeds as he only alteration) I used the raw pack method to can 7 pints and one quart in the hot water bath. One pint broke in the first couple mins and another shortly after. Not sure if I packed too tight; or if there was a temp problem with my raw pack method...or if my jars which were all reused were poor quality. It was sad though... will definitely be trying again next cabbage harvest.
Date published: 2017-09-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Krispy Krunchy Kraut I have been making sauerkraut for over 20 years -- sometimes perfect, sometimes awful mostly good. I discovered this recipe and every batch has turned up amazing. We love kraut and here in Ecuador it is fun to share this new flavor. Our Ecuadorian friends love the kraut. I usually make a double batch to hand out to friends. Thank you Ball you are the best.
Date published: 2016-01-17
Rated 2 out of 5 by from killing the kraut. If you hot process it like the article says, you kill the kraut. You lose the active cultures, which is the primary reason for making it in the first place! {ok, it IS tastier than the store bought stuff} Far better to make small batches and just store in the fridge until eaten. One good sized head of cabbage makes a quart jar of kraut.
Date published: 2015-10-31
Rated 3 out of 5 by from No need to waterbath I make the kraut with 2-1/2 T salt to 5 lbs cabbage (trying to cut the salt for health reasons and taste). That is enough salt for a good result. I've tried to fudge it down less, but then a brie cheese-looking scum forms over the top, and the kraut doesn't taste as good. A mushy top 1/2 inch may happen to anyone any time, but just spoon it out and toss it. No worries regardless, as harmful microbes don't live in that low of a pH and high salinity anyway. I thoroughly mix in the salt, not layer it, then press it down into a gallon glass jar or one of those removable crocks from the crockpot. Then I cut a clean piece of cheesecloth (hard to find at Walmart and the kids working there didn't even know what it was!). I lay the cheesecloth directly onto the top of the salted cabbage and weight it down, wrap a dark colored towel around the jar to keep the light out so other organisms don't colonize in there too and make the flavor funky. Then the crock or jar goes into a cool corner of the garage, and I write it on my calendar to go peep in on it in 2-3 weeks. You can taste a little and cover it back up if it's not sour enough. When it's done, it will keep indefinitely in the fridge as is, or you can pack it into jars, put them in your waterbath canner and barely bring the canner to a simmer. Then I pull the jars out, let them cool. I've done it this way for years, given lots of it away, and no one is dead yet. If we wanted mushy kraut, we could buy that canned stuff at the store. God bless the Ball people for their overkill approach. I took enough microbiology in college to know where the food safety dangers lurk, I'm also a dietitian and food service sanitation inspector, and kraut-making is not scary- too much salt and acid.
Date published: 2015-09-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Not sure what happened I cut up and processed 10-15 lbs of cabbage, it fermented in a 5 gallon bucket, covered with a turkey roasting bag (I read below that someone had the same idea[great minds think alike]). After 8 weeks it tasted great, I canned it and all the lids were indented... then within 24 hours they were all popped out. This is the first batch I've ever made. Does this mean that it was not done fermenting? I was afraid to let it go longer. I ended up putting it all in freezer safe bags for now, but would like to know what happened.
Date published: 2015-08-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Health Food At It's Finest I have made kraut before but following this recipe was easy and straight forward. I use white food grade plastic pails to ferment the shredded cabbage in. A tip for covering the pails for fermentation is to use turkey roasting bags to cover the pails. It fits nicely over the top of the pail and when pushed down to get the air out over the kraut all you have to do is pour a gallon or so of water in the bag which does the same thing as holding the fermenting cabbage down as weighted plates completely sealed from the outside invironment and allows fermentation gases to escape. No skimming is required with this method.
Date published: 2015-08-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Split the recipe into raw and hot pack I'm a huge sauerkraut fan and grew weary of paying $8.00 a pint or more for Bubbies and the commercial brands are just OK. After reading all of the reviews on here, I gave it a try. I only made three batches, instead of 5. My Cuisinart food processor was a hassle so I just hand cut approximately 15 pounds of cabbage on Easter. Packing the jars as tight as I could, I covered the kraut with cabbage leaves, and then put full wine bottles on top of the leaves to hold the kraut in place below. Watching the process over the past 3 weeks was interesting, although, today, when I noticed no more bubbles and 'harvested' the kraut to process, there was little to no brine left in the jars. (Perhaps next batch I will make extra brine to ensure kraut is topped off for an entire 6 weeks). Since I enjoy the Bubbies kraut so much, I prepared 6 pints of "raw" sauerkraut and processed for 20+ minutes. All jars are sealed nicely after just an hour. The remainder I "hot" processed while the 'raw' jars were in the hot water bath. I'm enjoying the plate full of 'hot' sauerkraut right now. It is crunchy and not too salty. My only concern is it may not have fermented long enough due to the brine going dry in the jars. It tastes great however and I'm looking forward to sharing! Great recipe and products. Easy to follow procedure.
Date published: 2015-04-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Good recipe I liked the recipe the only trouble I had was that when sealing in the water bath canner the jars floated. They still sealed fine. I used pint jars and they might not have been heavy enough.
Date published: 2015-01-23
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