Too Much Sauerkraut?

by Katy on November 30, 2023 · 18 comments

Remember my $1.69 bag of red/purple cabbage from the Dented Vegetable Store™?

You know, the bag that contained all this cabbage?!

I used it to to create two half-gallon jars of purple sauerkraut. I even added carrots and chives for variety, as I had them on hand.

I don’t own proper fermentation weights, so I put glass marbles into new Ziploc bags to weigh everything down, (which is a commonly suggested internet “hack.”) This ensures that the fermenting sauerkraut stays safely below the salt water solution.

I topped one of the canning jars with a lid that’s designed to be used with a straw; and then lay a bandana under a canning ring for the other one. This allows for the bubbling fermentation action without a buildup of pressure.

Then I decided that maybe I shouldn’t be so laissez-faire about food safety and went on Amazon to order a proper kit. There were almost endless choices, but they all boasted the same four-and-a-half star reviews, so I just bought a basic one without an excess of research. I did choose a “used” one, as I try to avoid buying new whenever possible. This way I can bypass my purchase prompting the manufacture of a brand new item. Also, it was cheaper.

I’ll switch out the lids and weights when this comes in the mail.

At this point you may be wondering “Why so much sauerkraut?” Well . . . I like to try out new things and the $1.69 cabbage was too big of a bargain to resist! It’ll last for ages and I can share with friends and family should they be so brave.

Have you made your own sauerkraut from scratch? Please share your tips, tricks and stories in the comments section below.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

K D December 1, 2023 at 3:32 am

I have been intrigued by the thought of making sauerkraut but have never done so, like yogurt. I am not a huge fan but know fermented food is really good for us and feeds the guy bacteria.

That is an impressive amount of cabbage Katy, I understand why you bought it


A. Marie December 1, 2023 at 3:50 am

As I think I’ve mentioned earlier, I made sauerkraut a few times several years ago, following Sandor Ellix Katz’s simplest instructions. I used a thoroughly scrubbed garden rock for the jar weight, and simply opened the jar slightly a few times to prevent the pressure buildup. (And you think *you’re* laissez-faire about food safety, Katy?! However, it didn’t kill us–and DH particularly enjoyed it.)

But now that DH is gone and I’m supposed to be watching my salt intake, I don’t make it any more.


Ruby December 1, 2023 at 8:04 am

I have not made it, being the only person in the house who eats it. A small jar will last me quite a while. It sure is good on a sandwich.

When my son was little, he was prescribed a diet high in a certain micronutrient found in turkey, along with a few other foods, so I made our own turkey breakfast sausage from ground turkey as turkey sausage was not readily had where we lived. People used to look at me funny if I mentioned it. 😀


Amy December 1, 2023 at 9:25 am

I make it once a year. I use fresh cabbage from a local market. I let it sit a few days and then soak them, so any bugs make a run for it. Then I shred using a mandolin slicer. I put them in 2 crocks, one 2 gal and 1 3 gal. I let the cabbage let off water and add the brine. I fill a 2-gallon zip loc with the water and get all the air out of it. Put them in out barely heated garage. Wait 4 weeks and bring them in. Decant into different jars and give to family and friends.

If I ever stop, they will probably revolt.


mary in maryland December 1, 2023 at 11:08 am

Too much sauerkraut really isn’t a thing at our house. I used to do crocks full, but the lifting got to be too much, and I never felt like experimenting with the huge lots. Then I met Holy Howe via google. She suggests quart batches and has several fabulous recipes. We are particularly fond of the cabbage/beet/ginger/apple and the cabbage/carrot/ginger/garlic.
Howe has clear instructions—for best fermentation use at least 75% cabbage and add salt equal to two per cent of the weight of all non-salt ingredients. We eat a lot of kraut as a garnish with meals. The one with garlic enlivens a salad quite a bit. My favorite post-Katz book is “Fermented Vegetables” by the Shockeys. They introduced me to fermented garlic paste. The paste is milder than raw garlic and means I don’t have to peel and crush a clove every time I make a composed salad. .
I’m giving designer krauts as holiday gifts this year. In a lot of Bonne Mamam jars I collected via Buy Nothing. I did have a batch that came out with a trace of musty undertaste. We’re eating it in salads dressed with a mustardy vinaigrette—no ill effects yet. I’m not even sure it’s bad—I think it’s just not as good as the recent blends. I use the Ball jar metal springs to press things down and their lids with the tiny one way valves. They were one of the less expensive options and work well.


mary in maryland December 1, 2023 at 11:10 am

I had bad luck with a batch I tried in the winter basement–chilly enough that mold outran the lacto bacilli. However, in the summer the basement is perfect and the kitchen counter is so warm that the ferment gets squishy before it reaches peak flavor. I like things quite sour and usually start sampling at four weeks and harvest at six. .


Ava December 1, 2023 at 1:15 pm

I have made it a couple of times and it was very good. I thinking just followed a simple internet recipe. Chopped the cabbage, salted it, massaged it, packed it into quart jars. I don’t think I put a weight on it. It was very good. I need to do it again.


Maureen December 1, 2023 at 2:41 pm

I don’t make it but our friends do and gift us. I then love using in recipes. Such as on rueben’s; with chicken sausages, apples and onions; in a rueben dip with cream cheese, shredded swiss cheese, thousand island, corned been and dip with pretzels or on rye crackers; or as a hotdish.


Selena December 1, 2023 at 7:15 pm

Not a fan of rye bread so I only eat Reuben’s at home (aka not on rye). The dip/hot dish sounds really tasty.


Julia December 1, 2023 at 5:35 pm

I made sauerkraut once. Very improve like yours. Turned out great! And it was fun.


Kathy G December 1, 2023 at 6:28 pm

I used to make sauerkraut regularly, but when we moved there wasn’t a spot in the kitchen to stash the repurposed Crock Pot crock. Then two years ago I was gifted a Korean fermentation box and fell in love. Although the plastic container isn’t something I would buy, the inner vacuum lid keeps the cabbage submerged in the brine much better than my old plate/rock system. The outer sealing lid keeps the smell at bay.

In addition to sauerkraut, I’ve used the box during the summer to make batches of watermelon rind kimchi and a couple other pickles.


Terri C December 2, 2023 at 8:47 am

No, I haven’t but the point that interested me the most was the option to buy used from Amazon, something I do very often. I don’t think many people even realize that you can. Most of these items were returned or ripped packaging that are completely like new and undamaged. And they are slightly less costly than the ‘new’ item.


Katy December 2, 2023 at 11:21 am

It came in the mail and my “used” fermenting kit came with ripply water damaged cardboard packaging, but everything inside was sealed in plastic and perfectly new.


Heidi Louise December 2, 2023 at 3:38 pm

This isn’t my food interest, but I mention that a friend makes “Kapustnyak”….Sauerkraut soup


Katy December 3, 2023 at 6:13 pm

I’ll look that up, thanks!


texasilver December 3, 2023 at 6:29 pm

How did the 1st batch of sauerkraut turn out?
I also wondered what you would make from the matza flour. Do you use this like regular flour to bake with?


Katy December 3, 2023 at 9:56 pm

The first batch turned out pretty good, although I should have let it ferment for longer before I put it in the fridge. And I’ll make some matzah ball soup with the matzah flour.


Heidi December 4, 2023 at 4:59 pm

I found a recipe for a quart-size wide mouth canning jar of sauerkraut. I just make sure there’s lots of brine in it, put the lid on but not too tight, stash it in the “pantry” (closet between the garage and kitchen) and check on it every other day, pressing it down as needed. It turns out delicious, without anything funky growing on top, and so far no one has gotten sick from it. So easy.


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