How to make homemade sauerkraut

  1. Choose a firm, organic green or red head of cabbage
  2. Peel off the loose outer leaves
  3. Cut in quarters
  4. Notice that the cabbage has a “grain” similar to the grain in cuts of meat. Whether you cut your cabbage by hand or use a mandolin, be sure to cut it in the direction to get nice long strands of cabbage that will soften into yummy sauerkraut!
  5. You need to weigh your cut cabbage so that you can calculate the weight of the salt to be kneaded into it.
  6. My method: put a large bowl on your kitchen scale set to ounces. Tare that weight to bring your scale down to zero again so that you can dump your sliced cabbage into the bowl on the scale and get an accurate cabbage weight. Multiply the weight in grams by .02 to give you the amount of grams of salt you should add to your cabbage. This will give you a 2% salinity for your cabbage to ferment into sauerkraut. I find the 2% is much more mild than adding 3% or 4% salt.
  7. Knead your cabbage for up to five minutes. Don’t be afraid to put some energy into it! Wait 15 minutes to a half an hour for the cabbage to release its juices.
  8. I usually mix up an additional 2 cups of brine to pour over the top of the packed cabbage in the jar. This is because it’s very important to submerge the cabbage completely under the brine. The cabbage doesn’t always make enough of its own juice to submerge it. So again, 16 ounces of water converts to 450 grams, times .02 will give you the gram weight of salt to mix into your 2 cups of water for that additional 2% brine. You will mix 9 grams of salt into your water. If you need 4 cups of water, that would initially be of course 32 ounces and convert to 900 grams of water. Mix 18 grams of salt into your water for your 2% brine.
  9. Pack the cabbage in a glass container as tightly as you can. If you’re using a canning jar, don’t pack it any higher than the top of the shoulders before the shoulders curve in to the top of the jar. Pour whatever brine into the jar that is necessary to submerge your cabbage. Then you need to weigh the cabbage down so that no floaty’s will come to the top. There are several ways to do this: you can use glass weights especially made for fermentation and sold on places like Amazon. You can also use ceramic pie weights put into a BPA free plastic bag over the top of the cabbage to uniformly push it down below the brine.
  10. Cover the top of your container and then place your container in a bowl to catch any juices that might overflow during the fermentation process. You should set your container in a dark cool place and date it when it was made.
  11. After two to three weeks you can taste the sauerkraut to see if you like it. It doesn’t hurt to give it a taste and call the fermentation process quits whenever you’re happy with the finished product , giving it that 2 to 3 weeks to ferment properly.