Lacto-Fermented Sauerkraut

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worth1
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Re: Lacto-Fermented Sauerkraut

#41

Post: # 67858Unread post worth1
Fri Apr 15, 2022 2:33 pm

Danny wrote: Thu Apr 14, 2022 10:27 am Sure hope we end up liking sauerkraut as a friend is bringing us about 45 to 50 small to medium sized heads of cabbages tonight !! We do LIKE cabbage many ways, but yikes!! It is a sin to waste food though, so will have to experiment and try making the 'kraut. Maybe two batches, one with carrots and apples like worths above and one with cabbage, onions and caraway.
I used the carrots for a filler because I didn't have enough cabbage to fill up a half gallon jar.
Normally I use a sweet apple. cabbage and caraway seeds.
But it all comes out good in the end no matter what you do.
Good luck.
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JRinPA
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Re: Lacto-Fermented Sauerkraut

#42

Post: # 74638Unread post JRinPA
Mon Jul 25, 2022 12:22 am

@Danny how did you like it?



So for the first time I planted proper cabbage starts and kept them watered and sprayed with BT. Now I don't know what to do with them. We eat some fresh but don't have a big storage fridge or cool room. I was planning on sauerkraut but never looked closely at the requirements. There is not a place in this house during the summer that stays consistent temp below 75F. Let alone 72F....ah that would be nice. The basement hovers around 80.

I am about to the point I want to build a cold room with an AC and couple temp controllers. Sort of like a coolbot was before they had to be smartphone controlled and $419 price tag. But alas I haven't pulled that trigger.

I do have a small fridge downstairs, a Magic Chef, like a dorm fridge. Sometimes used for bait or curing meat or extra fridge space. I'm thinking I could hook up one of my heat mat controllers in front of it. I have one that is heating and cooling. Put the lead through the door and into the crock, and set it to turn ON at 73 and OFF at 65. And plug in the fridge to the COOLING outlet.

Would it be better to keep a tighter tolerance, 72-68F?

My only real concern is damaging the fridge - will turning it off mid cycle and then back on be a problem?

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Re: Lacto-Fermented Sauerkraut

#43

Post: # 74700Unread post worth1
Tue Jul 26, 2022 5:57 am

@JRinPA
Why not just try the fermenting at what the normal temperature is as long as it doesn't get above 80F.
It will ferment faster and what have you got to lose.
Worth
25 miles southeast of Liverpool.

There are no dead end jobs, only dead end people.

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Re: Lacto-Fermented Sauerkraut

#44

Post: # 75333Unread post JRinPA
Wed Aug 03, 2022 2:25 pm

I just cut the next head of Bravo, 12lb 2 oz, plus some baby heads. I'll probably use 3/4 of the head for my first run. I think I'll do it straight, maybe carrots or pears next time.

I'd rather not tempt mold in the humid, hot basement. Without a controller the fridge on warmest setting is around 55F.
The temp controller in front of the mini fridge seems to works great. I have tested for a few days with temp probe in a quart of water.
Set at 68/72 (68+4offset, on at 72 and off at 68) the water temp varies from 72 down to 65 but holds at the 65 for a long while. The thermal load dips it well below target.
I upped it to 70/72 so it ranges from 72 to 67.
I'll start the fermentation at the warmer range and then lower both target and offset to hold a lower range after that.

This thread has been very helpful; I just should have read it earlier. I had a knowledge source planned, but unexpected war drums in that marriage have cut me off. I know the grandfather made it in the fall, but that is about all I know for sure. I expect it was a big barrel in the basement.

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Re: Lacto-Fermented Sauerkraut

#45

Post: # 76326Unread post JRinPA
Tue Aug 16, 2022 1:43 am

The mini fridge at 70/72 is working well for a summer heat ferment. With the mass of the crock in there, it seems to hold about 69F to 72F. It has been 11 days and it is starting to taste pretty good. No sign of mold or anything. I checked it after 6 days but it was not progressed far.

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Re: Lacto-Fermented Sauerkraut

#46

Post: # 78072Unread post JRinPA
Tue Sep 06, 2022 10:22 pm

That first sauerkraut was well done to my mouth after about 20+ days. Still hot downstairs so I'm doing round 2 the same way. This time instead of hand slicing I ran it through the slicer disc on the food processor. It is much finer, and I did a better job of distributing the salt.

At the end of the prep I ran some of the old sauerkraut juice through a coffee filter and added it the new batch. That seemed like the thing to do, to inoculate it. Does anyone else do that? Use some of the old brine as a starter?

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Re: Lacto-Fermented Sauerkraut

#47

Post: # 78080Unread post worth1
Wed Sep 07, 2022 5:25 am

It's called back slopping.
What happens is it bypasses the first lacto bacteria and moves directly to another bacteria that takes over in the later stages of fermentation.
This can change the flavor of the product.
I have a bottle of 3 month fermentation juice from a hot pepper fermentation in the refrigerator for such use.
20 days may or may not have been long enough for the other bacteria to take over.
Because it depends on the acidity where one dies out and the other takes over.
Worth
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There are no dead end jobs, only dead end people.

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Re: Lacto-Fermented Sauerkraut

#48

Post: # 79185Unread post JRinPA
Thu Sep 22, 2022 10:24 pm

I pulled that crock out today. I think it was 18 days. Tastes good to me, I moved it to the regular fridge. The first batch was finished off last week.

I just pulled the last two of my summer cabbage, 10-12 lb each. Eating some fresh fried and coleslaw, but I might start some more sauerkraut downstairs in the mini fridge. I have a bunch more on the way for the fall...we're gonna need a bigger crock.

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Re: Lacto-Fermented Sauerkraut

#49

Post: # 79191Unread post worth1
Fri Sep 23, 2022 5:16 am

15 liters would be a good start.
Worth
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Re: Lacto-Fermented Sauerkraut

#50

Post: # 79204Unread post JRinPA
Fri Sep 23, 2022 8:43 am

Yeah... after coming out of the 7 qt crock stolen from crock pot it only makes 3 qt jars + a bit for a tupperware dish. And the crock pot of course is unusable at the time.

It would be nice to have a big dedicated crock for the cooler months.

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Re: Lacto-Fermented Sauerkraut

#51

Post: # 86310Unread post JRinPA
Thu Jan 05, 2023 7:53 pm

I figured out I could just use a 5 gal food grade bucket. That promptly ended my search for a huge crock.

So, I used a bunch of heads from the fall cabbage for this last batch, #4 to fill near 5 gallons. I chopped 2 or 3 lb at a time and added the minimum salt. On top, I had cabbage leaves and a gallon ziplock filled with brine over the leaves. It came out really nice. I guess it is at least 6 weeks in....who writes these things down...times, dates, bah!

I know it was really cold when I started it and I put heat mat under it with the probe taped to the side 1/2 way up and set for 70F. Then a week later it was almost hot outside. The warmest we set the heat to is 68F. So it was probably running quite a bit warmer on the bottom to get 70F on the probe. It was on the heat at 70 for a week or so, then I dropped it to 68 for another week. After probably two weeks with supplemental heat I unplugged the heat mat but left the probe taped on the outside of the bucket. The reading generally fluctuates from 68 down to 64. I added some more brine at that time to make sure it was covered well, and put the towel back over it.

Tonight we needed some sauerkraut for reubens (my batch #3 ran out) so I removed the brine bag, and the leaves, and a single spot of mold on top and dug in...wow it is really good. More sour than batch 3 and less salty.

I removed about a gallon+ and filled 3 qt jars for the fridge and the rest into a tupperware for first use. I pitched the leaves and rinsed the brine bag and it seems like it is enough weight with just the bag to keep the liquid up. I might move the bucket downstairs where it is 55F - it seems good to go.
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Re: Lacto-Fermented Sauerkraut

#52

Post: # 86336Unread post GoDawgs
Fri Jan 06, 2023 9:22 am

Good job, JR! It should keep well down in that 55 degrees.

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