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Jul 30, 2012 10:07 AM

Sauerkraut -- like from the barrels

Back in the days of my childhood in Brooklyn, we'd buy sauerkraut from the neighborhood appetizing store in much the same way we bought sour pickles -- right from the barrels. I'd love to be able to put up a crock of sauerkraut and have it turn out tasting like it was straight from the barrel. For purposes of comparison, BaTampte sauerkraut (in the jar, not in the plastic bag) is as close a product as I've ever been able to find. Does anyone have a recipe that will yield something similar to this? Thanks!

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  1. Sauerkraut is super simple to make and as far as I know it is all made the same way. Salt,Cabbage and Time.

    Here is a link to detailed instructions

    2 Replies
    1. re: chefj

      I can't imagine why they give canning instructions, why would I want to kill what I spent so much effort to grow.

      1. re: rasputina

        Mostly because you do not want it to continue for too long or it get rather weird and very sour.
        Mostly only an issue if you are making large batches. Same goes for Kim Chi the really old stuff is not very good to eat straight up but is fine for soups and stews.
        I have always found make Sauerkraut pretty effortless.

    2. Slice the cabbage ( I use a mandoline), layer with salt ( I use the 3T salt for every 5 pounds of cabbage) pound the cabbage to release the juices. Tightly pack the jar, if the cabbage is not covered with liquid top off with a 2% salt brine ( made with filtered unchlorinate water). I put a couple of pieces of cabbage leaves over the top and then put the weight on to keep everything submerged. Since it's hot here most of the time and I don't have a cellar I put the jar in an ice chest with just enough ice in the bottom to maintain and ambient temp between 68-72 degrees for 7-10 days. I use the pickl-it jars with an airlock to create the anaerobic environment that is ideal for lactic acid fermentation. After the 7-10 days I put the jar in the fridge and age the kraut for 8 weeks. I make sure to pay attention to the water level in the airlock and top it up if needed. Jar should also stay out of direct sunlight.

      This is the recipe from the pickl-it site. Best kraut I've ever made hands down.

      1. Thanks to both of you! This sounds easy enough, and the step-by-step instructions on the UW page are clear and well-written. I'll let you know how it turns out.

        1. We lived on a farm and my mother would make it from scratch.

          Later when we moved off the farm, my mother used Silver Floss brand. This past year I made a batch and discovered the B & G brand in a gallon jar at a local market. It turned out to be the best yet.

          It's easy to make and I'm sure you have already been given many good recipes. However, in a pinch, the two above have been pretty good.