Old Fashioned Lacto-Fermented Sauerkraut
Image Source: Pheonix Helix
- 5 pounds cabbage (about two heads, preferably organic)
- 3 ½ tablespoons coarse sea salt (unrefined)
- Mason jar
- You will need a crock or a large non-reactive bowl (glass), a plate that fits snugly inside and something to weigh the plate down. A food grade plastic bucket, a mason jar, or a jug are all options.
- Shred the cabbage and place in the bowl or crock you will be fermenting in. Toss with the salt and cover with some kitchen towels. Leave for 15 minutes to an hour to allow the salt to draw out the juices of the cabbage.
- Using a mallet, or whatever you have on hand gently pound the cabbage down so that it’s tight fitting in the bowl. Place the clean plate on top and weigh it down with whatever you are using for the purpose. Press down gently, but firmly. The liquid from the cabbage should rise to the top. You will want the liquid to cover the plate with room to spare within in 12-24 hours. If it hasn’t risen above the plate by that point, make up some salt water by mixing one cup of filtered water with one teaspoon of sea salt and use as much as you need. Cover with kitchen towels or a clean pillowcase to protect it from flies and dust.
- Each day you will remove the plate, and rinse it. If there is any “scum” on the surface of the water, remove as you much of it as you can with a spoon. Start tasting the sauerkraut after a few days. It will start to sour within a few days and will continue to “ripen” as the days go on. How quickly it ferments will depend on the temperature of your house. We like it after about ten days.The lovely thing is that you can stop the fermentation process when it tastes good to you.
- When it’s fermented enough for your taste, Bottle it up in clean mason jars, and place in the refrigerator where it will keep for a long time.