Saturday, November 5, 2011

Homemade Sauerkraut

Sauer-kraut Day 2011

Once a year, the first Saturday in November we gather together to make Sauer-kraut. It's a blast and We have homemade kraut all year long!
We start with some Coffee and Irish Creme and move on to wine and beer...Yummy food, great friends and fun.
But here is how the process is done.
Remove the outer leaves of the cabbage heads and wash and let dry.
Each person in our group has a job. So the process is made easier. We pass the cabbage along from station to station.
This year my station was with the kids. haha And taking pictures. Oh and enjoying the coffee. :)
Once the cabbage is washed and dried remove the core and cut into quarters.
We do 50 lbs of Cabbage per family. Three families so we process 150 lbs of Kraut each year.
Papa Baer was in charge of quartering the cabbage. He's sporting his "Pink Hat" (Ok it was supposed to be baby Baer's pink hat but he has claimed it. LOL)
Shred your cabbage thin. We use an old wooden slider and it's set at 1/4 inch. You could use a regular grater or shredder but this makes the process super easy.
We shred it into the large red tub and use the wall to push against. :) Always little tricks and tips to make it easier.
You will weigh out the Cabbage to: 5 lb Or food grade bucket can be used as well the 5 gallon ones will hold approx 20-25 lbs of cabbage)
Layer the Cabbage into the crock and for each 5 lbs you will place 3 tablespoons of canning salt and then tamper it down with the wooden mallet.
Little Baer helping daddy tamper down the cabbage. (sorry for the darkness of the pics. For some reason the lighting was off and my camera wasn't helping. We weren't working in the dark though)
Tamper each 5 lbs layer till the liquid is coming up from the bottom. And then repeat the process of layers until the entire container or crock is full.
Once the Crock is full place a layer of cheese cloth over top and then lay a heavy plate on the top as to cause some pressure.
Store for 5-6 weeks in a room with temps around 68-72 degrees. We use the basement. A garage would work. You don't want to use your house though. One, it's too warm and stinks.
Once the process sets each week check on it and add water if needed. (It should be liquidy) Once complete (We have ours ready by New Years) you will need to skim off the top few inches of "slim" lol as I call it. And then you can can it, freeze it, cook it...or whatever you would like! Check back in January for how we do ours.
If canning (For reference) 50lbs of Cabbage will yeild approx. 18 Quarts of Kraut.

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