Sauerkraut Making:Fermentation fun at home take two

Ann Arbor Food I was thinking sauerkraut again when I saw a purple cabbage at the Ann Ann Farmer’s Market. You might recall in the previous post, fermentation fun at home, how some ravenous red cabbage seeking fiend aced me out of my red cabbage last time. I was lucky this time and was able to score some of the red.

My fermentation luck continued as readers might also recall when I was having Breakfast at Selma, and I eyed some shiso in Jeff and Lisa’s front yard. Jeff hooked me up, and the rest is fermentation history.

I usually use a one gallon glass jug to weigh down my kraut, but I have since forked out the extra bucks for some nice ceramic crocks. I used my one gallon crock as a weight inside my two gallon crock where my last batch of kraut is being fermented.

Then I thought to myself, “Self! Why can’t I make another batch and put that one in the one gallon crock and use that for the weight for the two gallon?” Brilliant! I can ferment two batches of kraut in the same space at once. I have yet to test the limits of this stacking method. Can I use a five gallon crock, with a four gallon inside, with a three inside that, and a two inside that, followed by a one gallon crock, with this process continuing and ending with a pint size batch? I call this the Russian Doll Method of fermentation.

Here is a 1/2 gallon recipe. This recipe is a quick summary of the sauerkraut making process. Please refer to my previous post for a full description of the process before you make a batch.

Purple Cabbage, Turnip, garlic and Shiso Seed/leave Sauerkraut: Make 1/2 gallon

1 medium size purple cabbage (2-3 pounds)

2-3 medium sized turnips, washed, and grated

1 1/2 Tablespoons of kosher salt

3-4 cloves of garlic, left whole*

small bunch of Shiso (beefsteak) seeds pods and leafs**

*I put in whole garlic, but they can be smashed or minced for a stronger flavor. Ginger can be substituted or included in this recipe. I wanted to use ginger in fact, but I did not have any, so I used garlic, but you can add other ingredients at anytime.

**Go easy on Shiro seed because they have a powerful fragrance, and can over power the kraut, so that you think you are eating perfume. Shiso Leaf, and shiso powder can be found in some asian markets and use for good results. The fresh seed pods that I am using are not as easy to come by. Here is where being a home gardener comes in handy.

Shredding the cabbage

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Grating the Turnip

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Adding the Aromatics (Shiso seed pod, leaf and garlic): I use whole garlic cloves to reserve them and eat them whole when I feel a cold coming on as a home remedy in winter.

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Shiso plant with seeds

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All of the ingredients in the crock

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Mashing up the Kraut

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After mashing down the kraut, about half the volume

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Putting a plate on top of the kraut, inside the one gallon crock. Put a filled one quart jar on top of the plate, then put the one gallon crock inside the two gallon crock, and top with a towel

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Fermentation Resources: Wild Fermentation By Sandor Katz

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