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Cabbage: Sauerkraut in Two Weeks

Updated on October 25, 2015

A Old Wooden Kraut Cutter

This is a six bladed wooden cabbage cutter. The wooden blades are positioned over a crock and the wooden box holds the cabbage steady while you slice.
This is a six bladed wooden cabbage cutter. The wooden blades are positioned over a crock and the wooden box holds the cabbage steady while you slice. | Source

Making Homemade Sauerkraut

My family introduced me to sauerkraut and how they made it some thirty years ago. I have tried to make it in the past and was moderately successful. We have wooden sauerkraut cutter and we have a large Redwing crock and we have grown our own cabbage upon occasion.

It is a lot of work doing it the old fashioned way.

Well. Today I decided to try something different. I bought three bags of pre-shredded coleslaw mix. I bought it from my local grocery store. I already had some canning salt at home and I had a gallon size Sun Tea maker just sitting on a shelf.

In years past, we used to make pickles in the crock and then one day someone found out that you could take an ice cream pail and use it for your crock. Worked the same. Pickles became pickles. Everyone was happy. Yes. You have to eat the ice cream before you start. If you DO NOT like ice cream, give me a call.... I'll help you out.

So. I looked at the recipe in my Saving the Harvest book and it said that you needed to take 5 pounds of sliced cabbage and put 3 tablespoons of canning salt on it and let it work.

By work, they mean that when you put salt on the cabbage, it draws the juice from the cabbage and the cabbage then sits in its own juices.


Can I Call it Cheating?

I bought three bags of the pre-cut coleslaw mix. I thought to myself, how perfect. It's sliced exactly the size I needed it. It was already sliced and I had salt to put on it. How ideal!!

So. I cut the bag open and drained the cabbage into my jar. The book said to add 3 tablespoons of salt to 5 pounds of cabbage, but I only bought 3 pounds. I put one tablespoon of salt into the jar and shook it down through the cabbage. I started to stir and flip it over with a wooden spoon. It occurred to me that I could put the cover on the jar and shake it around to let the salt coat the cabbage.

Then, I added the next two bags of cabbage one at a time, adding a tablespoon of salt in between each bag.

It says that the cabbage needs time to work. It started to get watery after a few minutes. As I sit and type this, it is getting more and more translucent. So, it is working. I will tamp it down in a bit after I let it wilt for a while.

The New Way I Tried to Make Kraut

This is a Sun Tea jar.
This is a Sun Tea jar. | Source

Three Bags of Pre Sliced Coleslaw Mix

Shredded already!!
Shredded already!! | Source

First Bag into my Jar

In goes the first bag
In goes the first bag | Source

In Goes my Canning Salt

One tablespoon per bag of cabbage
One tablespoon per bag of cabbage | Source

Stir It and Mix the Salt Around

Wooden spoon has a nice long handle
Wooden spoon has a nice long handle | Source

Turn Jar Sideways and Flip The Cabbage Over

Flip, Flip, Flip
Flip, Flip, Flip | Source

Put Cover on and Shake it Too

Shake to Left, Shake to Right
Shake to Left, Shake to Right | Source

3 Bags Filled the Jar Very Nicely

It will wilt down.
It will wilt down. | Source

It's WORKING

It's making juice. It will be done November 18
It's making juice. It will be done November 18 | Source

To Summarize

One tablespoon per pound of cabbage. Let work. Let sit at 68 - 72 degrees for 6 weeks. The recipe says that I need to put a plastic bag filled with water in the top of the jar to seal air from the working cabbage.

How About You?

Have you made homemade sauerkraut?

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