Fresh, Crisp and Crunchy. Just a few of the reasons that we enjoy making homemade sauerkraut. On top of those three things. Making your own fresh sauerkraut is super simple requires very basic equipment and just a few ingredients. It is one of the first foods enthusiasts dive into when venturing into the fermented foods department because it is virtually a guaranteed success!! Small batch preparations also allow you to make an educated decision on whether or not you wish to pursue the recipe into a larger production. Here’s how we made ours:
Serves 2 x 500ml Mason Jars
Make your own fresh homemade sauerkraut using small batch preparations. Then once you learn the basic techniques involved, you can decide if you would like to take on a larger scale production.
1 Tbsp. Unrefined Salt (we used pink himalayan salt)
The Fun Parts
In a very clean plastic bowl (or crock) large enough to hold the ingredients, add the fresh cabbage, onion, carrot. Mix well to evenly incorporate everything.
Add the unrefined salt and begin to 'massage' the cabbage by hand for approximately 5-10 minutes. At first you might think that there is not enough salt. After 5 minutes or so the cabbage will begin to release its moisture and you will have a consistency that is more of a coleslaw than raw cabbage.
Transfer the mixed and massaged cabbage mixture to your jars. Be sure to add the excess cabbage moisture into the jar(s) that you are using. You should have enough liquid (now brine) to cover the cabbage in the jar. if you do not, simply dissolve 1 tsp. of salt in water and top up the jar(s) with that
Cover the jar(s) with a breathable material such as cheesecloth and leave them on the counter at room temperature for 1 - 3 days. since this is a very small batch, the fermentation process will be very short, probably just a few hours. You can also put them directly into the fridge loosely covered if you wish. It will just slow the process down. No harm no foul.
Periodically during the fermentation, check your jar(s) to make sure the cabbage mixture is completely covered with the brine. Pack the cabbage down if needed.
While the cabbage is "out on the counter" (covered) you will need to periodically taste the fermenting cabbage. The longer it is unrefrigerated, the flavours will continue to build. Once you have your desired flavour profile, the process is complete and ready to be refrigerated. You can tightly fasten the lids to the jars. Be sure to check the jars 1 or two times per day, in case the jars need 'burping.'
1. Your equipment does not need to be sterilized. But working clean is important. Wash all equipment and hands well before and after preparing.
2. The 24 hour cook time, is the time allowed for fermentation. Fermentation will vary based on the size of the batch.
3. Fermentation can take place on the counter, in a cold cellar, or in the fridge. Room temperature is ideal, the colder the storage, the slower the process will take is all.