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Thread: 'Kraut help needed please!

  1. #1
    Senior Member Winnie's Avatar
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    Default 'Kraut help needed please!

    I make a mean, if genteel, Cabbage Kraut, but I recently saw a recipe for Carolina Coleslaw. This called for the ingredients to be fermented as for Sauerkraut and once it's done it's thing you then dress it up.
    Anyhoo, I followed the recipe and not a lot happened. It hardly got moving at all and it was difficult to determine if it was fermenting. I had a batch of Red Sauerkraut on the go at the same time and that fermented away like good 'un so I can discount weather conditions.
    My question is, is this Carolina Slaw recipe suitable to ferment or is there not enough good fermentors in there to do the job?
    The recipe is as follows.

    1 pound cabbage, 1 large onion, 1 large green bell pepper, 1 large carrot, 4 ounces celery root optional 1/2 apple(I didn't use it) and 4 teaspoons salt. The method is as for ordinary Sauerkraut.
    Any ideas what I may have done wrong?
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    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    What are you using for the "juice"?.....My kraut, only uses the cabbage juice of the mashed cabbage after it's been "wilted" by the salt.

    Possibility the "juice" isn't strong enough the pickle the veggies?
    Are the veggies whole , sliced, or mashed as well?
    Last edited by hunter63; 07-30-2014 at 07:14 PM. Reason: splin'
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    Senior Member gryffynklm's Avatar
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    Like Hunter said.

    My Kraut is 5 lbs of cabbage and 3 tbs of sea salt. Mix and press to wilt and release liquid. Saucer on top to keep the kraut down under the liquid. I 3 tbs of sea salt to one cup (236ml) of distilled water if the level of the juice doesn't cover the saucer. I add other things like bay leaf and caraway but the basic recipe should work for your batch.

    5lbs veg matter and 3 tbsp salt.

    Things to be careful of.

    Clean hands container and utensils. I do a final rinse with vinegar. it doesn't disturb the fermentation. Using chlorinated tap water in the US can effect fermentation.
    Karl

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    Senior Member Winnie's Avatar
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    Nope, I don't use any extra 'juice' either Hunter, just what comes out during the wilting process. Basically, the veg were cut as for Sauerkraut, the process being exactly the same. It tasted OK, but not 'Sauer' so I erred on the side of caution and filed it under 'R'.
    I don't make big batches of Sauerkraut as I'm the only one that likes it, but I had hopes for this as it's mixed veg and can be dressed up.
    I'll defo bear in mind the chlorine effect though.
    Last edited by Winnie; 07-31-2014 at 04:08 AM.
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    Senior Member nell67's Avatar
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    When I make sauerkraut, I do it as my mother and grandmother did it, chopping or shredding cabbage as desired, and pack into clean sterile jars, add 1 teaspoon of salt ( your choice, doesn't matter) on top of cabbage, and add boiling water, ( again your choice distilled, tap mine IS chlorinated, still no problems with it fermenting , it does not matter, I use from the tap, but boiled for 5 minutes, growing up we used spring fed well water) make sure to relieve any trapped air by using a wooden spoon handle or similar poked into the depths of jars at various points, and then add a little more water to top of cabbage. place one steril flat on and FINGER tighten the ring down, it must remain loose or the fermenting process will cause the jar to explode. Never had a jar fail to ferment. you must place the jars in a cool dark area to ferment, as light will darken (but not hurt) the kraut.
    Sometimes grandma used the old crock to ferment the kraut, using the methods the guys have mentioned here, no water used in that process, but she preferred to use the jars.
    Adding peppers and onions produced what she called chow-chow which was consumed when eating beans.
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    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    nell....That's DW's style recipe....in the jars......works well....but we never tried the veggies.
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    Senior Member Old GI's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=nell67;438015]When I make sauerkraut, I do it as my mother and grandmother did it, chopping or shredding cabbage as desired, and pack into clean sterile jars, add 1 teaspoon of salt ( your choice, doesn't matter) on top of cabbage, and add boiling water, ( again your choice distilled, tap mine IS chlorinated, still no problems with it fermenting , it does not matter, I use from the tap, but boiled for 5 minutes, growing up we used spring fed well water) make sure to relieve any trapped air by using a wooden spoon handle or similar poked into the depths of jars at various points, and then add a little more water to top of cabbage. place one steril flat on and FINGER tighten the ring down, it must remain loose or the fermenting process will cause the jar to explode. Never had a jar fail to ferment. you must place the jars in a cool dark area to ferment, as light will darken (but not hurt) the kraut.
    Sometimes grandma used the old crock to ferment the kraut, using the methods the guys have mentioned here, no water used in that process, but she preferred to use the jars.

    "Old Crock"???? I'm confused, that's what my Grandmother called my Grandfather. There were probably a few more that little ears didn't hear.
    Adding peppers and onions produced what she called chow-chow which was consumed when eating beans.
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    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    Just a few comments about "old crocks".
    I had a batch or two of kraut go bad....but not in old crocks....but newer purchased crocks.

    Seems like the glazing is thinner, and had tiny egg crate cracks, like maybe it happened over the winter by freezing?
    One lost some of the pickle juice thru the sides on a batch of crock pickles.

    Never had that problem on the older crocks maybe with thicker graze?

    I would always wash out the crocks with hot boiling water before use.......and keep clean and covered when not in use.
    But they were stored in an unheated garage.

    Pickles are now made, (when I make them) in a food grade 2-1/2 or 5 ga plastic bucket.

    Kinda cut down on pickling as I not supposed to have a lot of salt.
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    Senior Member gryffynklm's Avatar
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    Chlorine will dissipate from the water over 12 to 24 hours in an open container. Boiling will release the chlorine as it bubbles. Winnie all your ingredients should kraut (sour) nicely. Hmmm?
    Karl

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    Senior Member Winnie's Avatar
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    I ferment in a big jar then decant into smaller jars once the sauerkraut is ready and pasteurise for storage.
    Anyhoo, I have had one thought... the veg was packed down pretty tight, would that make any difference?

    Nell, what size jars do you use and about how much cabbage goes in each jar. All this stuff is pretty new to me.
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    Senior Member gryffynklm's Avatar
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    I mixed the salt with the shredded vegetables in a bowl before I packed the 3 gal Crock.
    Karl

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    Senior Member Winnie's Avatar
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    That's what I do too, Gryff. the Sauerkraut I've made thus far has not used any extra liquid, the juice flowing from the cabbage has been enough and it's been great. It's just this veg mix. Maybe I'll have another try. Watch this space!
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    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    I need to go check my Carla Emery's Cook Book....but did find this one line.

    This has carrots added and uses it's own juice.....
    http://inthekitchenkeepinitreal.com/...ander-kraut-2/

    Looks good and makes a gal....might even try this one my self.
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    Senior Member nell67's Avatar
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    Winnie, I make the kraut in pint and quart size jars,PACKED in tight, then use the wooden handle of a spoon ( they do make things to aerate them though, usually plastic and comes with a new canning kit) once they are done fermenting or "working" ( they spew when they ferment or work) we wash the outside of the jars and store them in the cupboard. We set them outside to ferment for a minimum of a month, however they are ready to eat after 14 to 21 days.. COvering them is for aesthetic purposes and most people know kraut as being white, the green color usually fades a tiny bit as it ferments. But should it turn brown in the jar it is still fine to eat. It COULD be that that the water didn't make it completely through the tightly packed veggies Winnie, but I think if the salt leached down through them they will still ferment they salt reacting with the veggie juice is the key.

    Old GI yea her old crocks were really old having been passed down through a couple of generations. All of mine are older, having been purchased from lovely old basements ( the kind that would give little kids the willies, and maybe even nightmares) at estate sales I want to do some kraut in them but since they haven't been tested so I have no idea if they leak.
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