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Enzymes Probiotics: Sauerkraut, Four Things To Remember When Making This Probiotic And Enzyme Powerhouse

Updated on March 7, 2016
the rawspirit profile image

Robert Morgan "Bobby" is a holistic practioner, master herbalist, iridologist, colonic therapist, author, and international lecturer.

I have made hundreds of gallons of sauerkraut. Come on and try it. It could be a life changer.
I have made hundreds of gallons of sauerkraut. Come on and try it. It could be a life changer. | Source

I Speak From Experience

Over the year's I have had a hand in making 100's of gallons of raw live sauerkraut. Its has played a significant role in helping me provide powerfull, yet inexpensive probiotics and enzymes, that I have been able to use, to help my clients on their journies to wellness. I believe, I have probably used almost every method known to man when it comes to making sauerkraut. If you have a recipe, you think I missed, make sure you send it to me or just put it in the comments section. The most important thing you can do is to make some homemade sauerkraut and thereby bring a new level of health to yourself and your family.

The highest nutrient levels are found in the fourth stage of fermentation.
The highest nutrient levels are found in the fourth stage of fermentation. | Source

Don't Be In A Hurry To Refrigerate Your Sauerkraut

First things first. When I was recently helping one of the major national natural health institutes, revamp their program, the first thing I noticed was that they were refrigerating their sauerkraut on the same schedule as they did their rejuvelac. Because of their inexperience, their guests were missing out on vast quantities of prebiotics, probiotic, enzymes and bioavailable nutrients.

So, let me make this as clear as possible. Don't refrigerate early.

You need to let the three steps of the fermentation process happen naturally. Always keep in mind, the length of time required for the completion of the three stages of the fermentation process. The longer out of the fridge, the more powerful the sauerkraut, up to a point. (Note: I have never gone more than 30 days leaving the kraut to ferment.) The process is dependent on the average room temperature and proper temperature control during the fermentation stages will ensure a safe and healthy product.

Most of our homes temperatures vary with the season. So, we must be aware of our thermostat settings unless we are fermenting the sauerkraut or any other cultured food in a controlled environment, like a closet.

The Sauerkraut like all of our cultured and fermented foods does best, in stage one, started at temperatures of between 65 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit or 18 and 22 Celsius. These proper temperature settings ensure that the sauerkraut enters into the first step in the all important fermentation process. Once the sauerkraut has moved passed the first stage its time to move it to a warmer place.

Stage one fermentation should always be between 65 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit. Seventy-two degrees is my choice for optimum fermentation and timing.
Stage one fermentation should always be between 65 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit. Seventy-two degrees is my choice for optimum fermentation and timing.

Stage One Of The Sauerkraut Fermentation Process

By having temperatures set in the right fermentation zone, of between 65 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit or 18 and 22 Celsius. You are assuring that the first step in the fermenting process takes place in the right amount of time and has the proper effect on the fermenting process.

By adhering to the temperature, requirements for the first stage, we are ensuring that the Leuconostoc mesenteroides will begin producing carbon dioxide, thus replacing the oxygen in your sauerkraut. It's a crucial step, and if the temperature is too cold or too hot, the replacement of the oxygen by the carbon dioxide may not be adequate, ruining your sauerkraut. This is also when the lactic, acetic, formic and succinic acids are being formed and released and by the 3rd day the enzymes are in full force and the Leuconostoc mesenteroides bacteria have died off, changing the environment into anaerobic thereby decreasing the chances of spoilage, and setting the stage for the next phase of the fermentation process.

I know that this step in the process can be speeded up, even reduced to a single day by raising the room temperature, but you risk, spoiling your sauerkraut. I would suggest you become proficient in fermenting and culturing, before implementing shortcuts.

I have been making sauerkraut for many years, and even with my extensive experience, I still need to keep an eye on the temperature. I am always making sure each stage of the fermentation process is monitored to ensure having that we are eating the healthiest sauerkraut possible.

In Stage two, the four different strains of Lactobacillus in the sauerkraut grow faster, and requireing temperatures of between 72 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit, or 22 and 32 Celsius.
In Stage two, the four different strains of Lactobacillus in the sauerkraut grow faster, and requireing temperatures of between 72 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit, or 22 and 32 Celsius.

Stage Two Of The Sauerkraut Fermentation Process

So, we know the first stage of fermentation lasts between one and three days, depending on the room temperature, with three days providing the best insurance that step one is complete. Some fermenters keep their sauerkraut in this stage for a longer period, but I have never found it necessary to do so.

Moving into stage two; now it's time to turn up the temperature. We will need to move the sauerkraut to a warmer place in the house unless you like a to live in a hot house.

Both stages two and three require higher temperatures than stage one. The four different strains of Lactobacillus in the sauerkraut now need to grow faster, and that requires temperatures of between 72 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit, or 22 and 32 Celsius. Missing this stage and this temperature range will cause the pH levels to not adequately rise, and the level may be too low to preserve the sauerkraut.

As we move through the three-four days of the fermentation process of the second stage, we begin to see an increase in the number of Lactobacillus strains along with a rise in lactic and acetic acids levels. Oxygen levels continue to decrease. Vitamin bioavailability increases and stabilizes, on or about the fifth or sixth day, since starting the sauerkraut.

Special Note: I have always made sauerkraut, using Dr. Ann Wigmores basic recipe. We never add salt during the fermenting process, as it inhibited the growth of the pre and probiotics. We also never let the sauerkraut get too hot because we never wanted to lose potent enzymes, inherent to the sauerkraut fermentation process. Remember fermentation creates its heat, so never ferment your sauerkraut during stages two and three, in a space that is more than 90 degrees.

As we ferment the pH levels drop and the bio-availability of the nutrients, prebiotics, probiotics and enzymes go up. I love using starters fermentation starters like Rejuvelac to shorten the fermentation time.
As we ferment the pH levels drop and the bio-availability of the nutrients, prebiotics, probiotics and enzymes go up. I love using starters fermentation starters like Rejuvelac to shorten the fermentation time. | Source

Sage Three Of The Sauerkraut Fermentation Process

The temperature of the area where the sauerkraut is being kept should still be between 72 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit, or 22 and 32 Celcius. The lower the temperature, the longer the sauerkraut will need to ferment.

This third stage of the sauerkrauts fermentation process lasts from five to seven days, again depending on the temperature. During this period, the pH levels in the sauerkraut will significantly drop, and the Lactobacillus will continue to increase until the level of lactic acid is high enough to stop their growth.

Bubbles will appear on the sides and top of your jar as the most of the sugars and carbohydrates morph into mainly lactic acid. It's at this point where most of the fermenters stop, when making sauerkraut, because from here they pasteurize it. We believe this kills way too many of the probiotics, all the enzymes and reduces the nutrients. We believe stage 4 is the answer.

Taking your fermentation process to the stage four level provides your body with the highest levels of prebiotics, probiotics, enzymes and nutrients.
Taking your fermentation process to the stage four level provides your body with the highest levels of prebiotics, probiotics, enzymes and nutrients. | Source

Stage Four Of The Sauerkraut Fermentation Process

Stage four represents the pinnacle of culturing sauerkraut. It's the level Dr. Ann Wigmore wanted us to bring all of our sauerkrauts and other fermented and cultured foods. Stage four sets those of us who follow the living foods lifestyle apart from the rest of the world.

Remember we never used salt when we started the sauerkraut and we will not pasteurize it now. During this final stage, the sauerkraut will be transformed into a true superfood, superior in every way to its dead cousin.

For an extra 48 hours, the sauerkraut is kept on the kitchen counter at room temperature, as long as the temperature does not go above ninety degrees Fahrenheit or 32 degrees Celsius.

This extra time allows for additional formations of lactobacillus and heterofermentative species to devour any remaining sugars. This process opens fortifies the sauerkraut and brings its nutrients to the highest bioavailability.

Our blessed Dr. Ann, knew in her spirit fifty years ago, what science is just coming around to proving to themselves and the world.
Our blessed Dr. Ann, knew in her spirit fifty years ago, what science is just coming around to proving to themselves and the world.

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My Take On Dr Ann's Favorite Vegekraut-Sauerkraut Recipe

Dr. Ann Wigmores Favourite Vegekraut, With Onions And Optional Herbs

It's always nice to have a food processor, but it's not necessary. You will need a sharp knife, crock pot or large jar, wooden spoon, plate and a weight, like a heavy rock that can be set on the plate during the fermentation process.

  • 1 Average Green Cabbage - Cabbage should feel solid. Save outer leaves
  • 1 Average Purple Cabbage - Cabbage should feel solid, Save outer leaves
  • 6 Medium Carrots - Peal grate the carrots
  • 1 Large Red Apple - Do not peal, but grate the apple
  • 1 Large Sweet Red Onion - Chop the onion into tiny pieces
  • 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice or Rejuvelac (The rejuvelac helps speed the fermentation process)
  • Optional Seasonings to taste (garlic, cayenne, herbs, caraway seeds) – optional. Dr, Ann never used any of these in her krauts. She felt that most herbs, especially onions and garlic's unbalanced the bodies systems.


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DIRECTIONS:

Use a food processor or knife to chop finely the cabbage and the (onions, apple & carrots) vegetables. You need to make this a very fine cut, as you will need to press down the cabbage and veggies together to keep out the air.

One thing that helps ensure that your kraut will not go bad is to PRESS in layer after 2-inch layer, of sliced vegetables and cabbage into the crockpot, the pressing should create juice. Add in any juice left over from processing the cabbage onto the layers of veggies and kraut. I usually will juice another small cabbage and use the juices to fill in, to ensure no air gets into the mix. If you are using, seasonings don't forget to mix them in at each level.

Cover the top outside with cabbage leaves. Place a large plate and weight on top (we use a large stone). Press down to remove air from vegekraut. Leave at room temperature around 72 degrees for three days or until it is sour enough for your taste. Now place in a warm room or closet. The temperature should be around 80-90 degrees. Leave for 4-7 days let bubbles rise. Move the veggie kraut into a glass jar with a lid and refrigerate. It will keep up to for several weeks. Eat at least a ½ cup a day with meals and enjoy the excellent flavor and nutritional benefits of this super food!

"Living bodies need living foods"
"Living bodies need living foods" | Source

About the Author

Robert "Bobby" Morgan, is a certified holistic practitioner and living food advocate. He is dedicated to sharing the health and healing protocols of Dr. Ann Wigmore and the other great natural healers who have shared with us how to live healthier and more fulfilled lives.

Medical Disclaimer

Any medicinal references mentioned here are strictly for educational purposes based on my research through study, empirical evidence, personal use and herbal lore but not intended as medical advice of any kind. Herbs can be helpful allies in creating and maintaining good health, but they can also be powerful medications that should be treated with respect. Used improperly, they can cause adverse reactions or interfere with pharmaceuticals.

This website contains general information about medical conditions and treatments. The information is not advice, and should not be treated as such. It is for educational and entertainment purposes only.

The medical information on this website is provided “as is” without any representations or warranties, express or implied. Robert Morgan nor Sue Meisheri makes no representations or warranties in relation to the medical information on this website.

Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing paragraph, Robert Morgan or Sue Meisheri does not warrant that the medical information on this website will be constantly available, or available at all; or the medical information on this website is complete, true, accurate, up-to-date, or non-misleading.

You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter, you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider.

If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition you should seek immediate medical attention. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website.


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    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 24 months ago from USA

      I will share this with my dad who is a food scientist and loves to make his own kraut. We all know when he's doing it because we can smell it fermenting. He will love reading this.

    • the rawspirit profile image
      Author

      Robert Morgan 24 months ago from Hutchinson Island, FL - Myrtle Beach, SC - Scottsdale AZ

      Glad you liked it, Audrey. I will be by a little later to check out more of your great hubs. Blessings, Bobby.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 24 months ago from California

      Fabulous article on fermentation! My pleasure to follow you!

    • Babbyii profile image

      Barb Johnson 2 years ago from Alaska's Kenai Peninsula

      Thanks Bobby! I'm more apt to do the basic recipe quicker than the other. Love and blessings right back at you and yours. Barb

    • the rawspirit profile image
      Author

      Robert Morgan 2 years ago from Hutchinson Island, FL - Myrtle Beach, SC - Scottsdale AZ

      Hi Barb, Glad you like the article. You're so right about our making sure we get the best living foods possible As Dr. Ann always said, a living body needs living foods. Here is her basic veggie kraut recipe. Sending love and blessing to you and your loved ones. Bobby.

      Dr. Ann Wigmores Live Food Basic Veggie Kraut

      1 green cabbage

      1 purple cabbage

      6 carrots

      Dr. Ann would make this without onions or spices. About a half cup was eaten with every meal.

    • Babbyii profile image

      Barb Johnson 2 years ago from Alaska's Kenai Peninsula

      This is great Bobby! Never thought about making my own. I'm scratching my head trying to recall coming across Ann's recipe. I have her Wheat grass and Sprouting books. She always mentioned Rejuvelac. It was like a staple to her and rightly so, but I don't remember the sauerkraut. I've become lax. I appreciate the reminder in the form of an article. Good health these days as in the past, takes a little extra effort on our part. Thank you!

    • the rawspirit profile image
      Author

      Robert Morgan 2 years ago from Hutchinson Island, FL - Myrtle Beach, SC - Scottsdale AZ

      Thanks, Larry, appreciate your kind comment. Making it is easy we just need to watch the temperature, like making good beer, lol.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      I enjoyed learning about this involved process.

      Great hub!

    • the rawspirit profile image
      Author

      Robert Morgan 2 years ago from Hutchinson Island, FL - Myrtle Beach, SC - Scottsdale AZ

      Hi Suzanne, glad you had a chance to read this hub. I feel cultured foods have to once again become a daily part of our diets if we are going to build our immune defenses in our polluted world. I love making non-dairy coconut yogurts and cheeses as well. Give the sauerkraut a try. I know you will love it. Blessings, Bobby

    • justmesuzanne profile image

      justmesuzanne 2 years ago from Texas

      I make my own yogurt, but I have not tried making sauerkraut. Perhaps I will! :D Voted up and interesting!

    • the rawspirit profile image
      Author

      Robert Morgan 2 years ago from Hutchinson Island, FL - Myrtle Beach, SC - Scottsdale AZ

      Good morning Ms. Faith, thank you for your kind words. raw living sauerkraut is a food that all of us cancer "SURTHRIVORS" should try to eat on a daily basis. Raw Living Sauerkraut contains super powerful glucosinolates, that have been proven to knock out cancer cells and protect your DNA. I tell my clients a CUP a day keeps the cancer away :) Sending health and blessings to you and your family. Bobby.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

      Another interesting hub, Bobby! I never thought about making sauerkraut. Thank you for sharing your knowledge.

      Blessings

      Up +++ tweeting, pinning, G+ and sharing

    • the rawspirit profile image
      Author

      Robert Morgan 2 years ago from Hutchinson Island, FL - Myrtle Beach, SC - Scottsdale AZ

      Thank you, Alicia, I appreciate your kind comment. Being a cancer survivor and actually what I term a "Surthrivor" can partial be contributed to the health and healing benefits of raw living sauerkraut. I hope to see more of you. Thanks again for taking the time to read my hub. I will be by to read some of yours. Blessings, Bobby

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is a very interesting hub. I love eating natural sauerkraut, but I've never tried to make it myself. Thanks for sharing the instructions.

    • the rawspirit profile image
      Author

      Robert Morgan 2 years ago from Hutchinson Island, FL - Myrtle Beach, SC - Scottsdale AZ

      Thanks for coming by and taking a read of the hub. You can use any cabbage you like. I always love to add purple cabbage because of the high levels of phytonutrients. Thanks again for all the help you have given me and the other Hubbers. Best to you.

    • Buildreps profile image

      Buildreps 2 years ago from Europe

      Interesting way of preparing sauerkraut, Robert. Can it also made from white cabbage? I fully agree with you that "living bodies need living food".

      We are certainly going to try this. Thanks!