1. Place the shredded cabbage in a large bowl. Sprinkle salt over the cabbage and massage by squeezing handfuls between your palms and fingers with a medium firm pressure. Do this for about 5 minutes. (The purpose of the massage is to help release juice from the cabbage. The longer you do so, the more cabbage juice will be released.)
2. Add in the caraway seeds and place mixture into a quart-size, wide-mouth mason jar. Use a wooden spoon, pestle, or the end of a rolling pin to temper down the cabbage. Be sure to leave at lease 2 inches (5 cm) of clearance from the top of the cabbage and the opening of the jar. If you have time, let the mixture stand for 24 hours to help build up more liquid (see Note). This will help prevent overflow later.
3. Place Kraut Source onto the jar. Allow to ferment for 7 - 14 days in a cool spot, away from direct sunlight. Check every few days that there is water in the moat, and top off as needed.
4. Replace Kraut Source with the standard mason jar lid and ring. Transfer to the refrigerator.
Note: Depending on the quality of the cabbage, you may or may not get a lot of juice. Add more brine* to cover the vegetables by 1 inch (2.5 cm), if needed.
*Brine ratio = 1 teaspoon (5 ml) sea salt dissolved in 1 cup (240 ml) hot filtered water. Allow to cool before using.
Hi! Very excited to make my first batch of kraut!! Just wanted to confirm that I’m step 2 when we let it sit for 24 hours, this is at room temperature with a dust cover or in the refrigerator? Thanks!!
@Bethany: Even if you followed the recipe exactly the same each time, no two batches will ever be the same because you have many variables like the quality and age of your cabbage and salt, quality of water (if you used any), the temperature of the room, and of course, the length of time. That is the beauty of fermentation; it’s a chemical reaction that will always change based on the conditions of your variables. I’d say don’t worry about it, and just keep making adjustments each time you ferment. For your batch that is overly salty, you can mix it with rice or other foods, add to soups, or you can rinse it with water. I hope this helps! Thanks.
I made this recipe for the first time about a year ago. I fermented for 7 days, and the result was very delicious. Two weeks ago, I decided to make another batch, this time fermenting for two weeks to see if it made it extra delicious. I tasted it yesterday, and the result was, not good. There was no noticeable tang, but it was incredibly salty. It tasted like cabbage soaked in ocean water. To my knowledge, I followed the recipe correctly both times. Is it possible that the extra week of fermentation is what cause the extreme saltiness? Or is that not possible and it’s more likely I made a mistake?
@JOHN: the 2" clearance is between the cabbage and the opening of the jar. Ideally you want to end up with 1" of brine above the cabbage during the fermentation period. If your cabbage is very moist and produces more than 1" of liquid, feel free to open and pour off the excess.
So do we want 2” air space over the water or just the cabbage? 1 cabbage comes within 2 inches, I produced a ton of water, have to drain quite a bit off. Is that ok? I am starting the 24hr rest, I mostly want to know how much water to leave.
@HOLLY: You can put your kraut anywhere else in your house that is out of direct sunlight. During the initial fermenting period you don’t want to put the kraut in your fridge. The cold temperature will slow down the fermentation and it’ll take a long a time for the beneficial bacteria to develop. Only store in fridge after at least 7 days, or once it’s achieved the taste that you like.
I don’t really have a place out of direct sunlight in my kitchen. I suppose I could put it in a cupboard.. would it work to place it in the refrigerator while it’s fermenting?
@LISA: Step #2 and the Note in the recipe clearly explain that the cabbage may produce enough liquid on its own, in which case the brine is not needed. The brine ratio there is guideline for if your cabbage does not produce enough liquid.
The recipe gives the brine ratio, but it never tells you to add the brine to the cabbage or if it was not needed at all. I say this because I have never done any of this and I feel this would be a very important step.
@MARY SCRANTON: The extra silicone gasket is a replacement for the one on your moat, in case that one breaks or gets misplaced.
Is there an extra rubber seal in the kit or did I do something wrong?
@BRUCE BALSAM: You can cover with a kitchen towel or Kraut Source; it’s just to prevent debris/dust from falling into your jar.
When you let the jar full of cabbage stand for the initial 24 hours, ‘if you have time’, should the jar be uncovered, covered by the Kraut Source, something else?
@ RENE: If you decide to wash the cabbage, you don’t need to use any special liquid; just plain water will do. But keep in mind that that water will increase the overall moisture level of your ferment, so you’ll need to keep an eye on the brine level to mitigate an overflow. The beneficial bacteria is developed during the fermenting process; washing the cabbage beforehand won’t affect that. Hope this helps!
Do you wash the cabbage before preparing the sauerkraut? If so, do you know if washing the cabbage with vegetable wash (grapefruit seed-based) wash away the beneficial bacteria? Thanks so much for your help!
@ELIZABETH LEE: Kimchi without the chili will not be considered kimchi. That is the distinct characteristic of kimchi. You can make a similar ferment with our Classic Kimchi recipe and omit the chili flakes, it just won’t have the same flavor or heat: https://www.krautsource.com/blogs/recipes/traditional-kimchi
You can check out Cultures for Health for kefir and yogurt recipes:
I hope this helps. Thank you.
easy receipt sauerkraut please.
kefir better or yoghurt, how to make receipt?
Kimchi without chilli receipt
While this was not my first foray into fermenting, the previous attempts have been less than encouraging. Whether it was the techniques or the equipment used, I had only been about 50% successful. So when I heard about the Kraut Source system, I thought “how brilliantly simple”! I started with this classic sauerkraut recipe, and like Michael said, it came out perfectly – and it only took 7-10 days. The flavor is delicious and even more complex than the store bought stuff. The finished product is a little crunchier than the commercial kraut, but that’s because the store bought stuff has been cooked (and therefore sterilized) which kills all the probiotic bacteria that’s so beneficial to our gut health and immune systems. The Kraut Source system not only gives you a great tasting sauerkraut in an amazingly short time, but the end product is teeming with that good bacteria. I am so glad I made the investment, and I am recommending this product to everyone interested in fermented foods.
This recipe was my first foray into fermenting foods. It came out perfectly; I was very pleased. I have learned that you can trust Karen’s recipes because they work.
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December 24, 2021
@Michael: The 24-hour sitting period is at room temperature. You don’t need a dust cover as the Kraut Source system keeps things pretty sealed.