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Food Safety: Keeping Food Fresh Ideas relating to canning all types of foods, can also cover freezing for preservation, long term storage, avoiding spoilage and other safety concerns.

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Old 07-18-2003, 03:57 AM
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Sauerkraut in Jars

Originally posted by Jole Blond in June 2003 WFD

Sauerkraut in Jars
If anyone has any questions about any of this feel free to pm me & I'll anser to the best of my ability. This sounds complicated, but it really is not difficult. It will smell up the room that you have it in, but the odor goes away very quickly once it has finished fermenting. I get five quarts from one batch. One other note; I always rinse mine before I use it. It is too salty for us straight out of the jar.

Ingredients for one batch:
5 lbs cabbage, shredded
4 Tbls CANNING SALT (table salt will turn it cloudybad. Ask me how I know!)
Water as needed to finish filling jars
You will need a large bowl either plastic, glass or stainless steel or an enameled pan or bowl. Do not use aluminum. This must be a non-reactive container.

Shred cabbage & mix well with salt. I usually add some of the salt with each batch that I empty out of my food processor and mix each time. You can shred with a hand shredder or salad maker, or even cut it with a sharp knife. The shreds need to be fairly uniform in size and be sure not to use the core of the cabbage.
After it is mixed well, let it set for a couple of hours, stirring every once in a while. Pack into jars ( I use wide mouth quarts), firmly, but not real tight, it needs to be able to work all the way through. Divide the water that the salt has pulled out of the cabbage as evenly as you can between all of the jars. Finish filling the jars with water to about 1/2 inch from the top edge. I use old lids from the jars that I have opened before to cover the jars, since these lids will not be used for the final processing, add a ring to keep you lid in place, but only screw it down about 1 full turn, because this will bubble out as it is fermenting. Set your jars on a thick layer of towels or some other absorbent cloths, you will have to change these a couple of times. You need to put this where the temp will stay pretty level. I put it in my pantry out of the way and check it each day to see if I need to change the towels. When it stops fermenting, remove the lids & rings, add some more water if the kraut is not still covered, you will leave about 1/2 in headspace, wipe the jar rims and the sides, put on your new lids & rings, tighten the rings just finger tight. Put the jars into the water bath kettle and cover them at least 1" above the top of the jars, bring to a slow boil and process for 90 min. afer it comes to a boil. Use your jar lifter to remove them to a towel covered counter, out of a draft, & put a dish towel or such over them to keep them from cooling down to quickly. Listen for the ping of the lids sealing. I have been told that you do not have to process kraut because of the extreme acidity that it builds up, but I process mine anyhow. I usually let it set for any where from 2-6 weeks before I use it. I don't know that it is necessary, but that is what my grandmother did. Now if I have not thoroughly confused you, it's not because I didn't try.
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