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Kevin EarthSoul
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I've been doing a low-carb paleo diet for a while, and have been dropping pounds and bringing my blood sugars under control.

I decided to start a batch of sauerkraut (made with some shredded carrot, too). I figure that eating a couple ounces of it in the evening with my protein meal would help digestion and keep my bowels moving well.

I got my batch started by adding whey off the top of some Greek Yogurt as well as some pickle juice to my water. I didn't salt it heavily. I'm wondering how long I should let it ferment at room temp.
 
Judith Browning
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I got my batch started by adding whey off the top of some Greek Yogurt as well as some pickle juice to my water. I didn't salt it heavily. I'm wondering how long I should let it ferment at room temp.


I made some just last week the same way. I used about 4 TBS whey and 1 TBS sea salt per quart...no pickle juice and just enough water to cover the cabbage after pounding to bring out the juice.
I ended up with it in a glass gallon jar and the only thing I could weight it with was a plastic bag full of water. I slipped a sleeve over the jar to keep it in the dark and I set it on the shelf above our wood stove. It was really tasty in just five or six days. We've been eating it fast enough that I need to start another batch tomorrow, I think. I might let it go longer, but we liked the flavor and the crunch after just a few days. I think the whey might cause it to ferment a little faster. That's a good idea to add carrots. I'll have to try that.
 
Kevin EarthSoul
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Okay. It may be good to get started on it then.

Did you get much gas in the ferment? In the first 2 days, mine put out a fair amount of gas.
 
Judith Browning
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I noticed it smelling like kraut fairly soon....I didn't check it very often I guess and I was surprised that it was 'done' so quickly. Our room temp is pretty cool depending on outside temperatures but above the stove it is a pretty constant above 70 and into the 80's.
 
Kevin EarthSoul
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I opened my sauerkraut today. It's good. I didn't shred the cabbage into long strands, but grated it into smaller bits. I like it better that way, I think. It's mild and tasty. I think the carrot added to it adds a bit more sweetness. I think I fermented about 10 days.
 
Roy Hinkley
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The amount of salt and the temperature have a large effect on fermentation. I leave mine at room temp for at least a month, sometimes 2 before moving to the fridge - if I can wait that long....it only seems to get better with age.
I'm now using 1.5 tbsp of salt per head of cabbage, nothing else. I usually add a lot of carrot( 7 or 8 large ), always an onion, bay leaves, peppercorns too.
And use your box grater for hard stuff like carrots, very fast and uniform cuts.

I don't keep mine in the dark - never had a problem in glass. I've had less problems since using glass, no scum or mold to skim off.
Never had to add liquid either, the tall narrow shape makes the best use of what brine comes naturally.
 
Julia Winter
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It's nice to add some fresh ginger as well. I made a "pinkchi" which wasn't really kimchi because it didn't have enough hot pepper, but it was a lovely pink color because I used some purple carrots and purple cabbage. As it got acidic, the color changed to pink.

Purple cabbage gives you a visual of the pH, which is cool.
 
Donna Woodard
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I made mine with salt only. In this jar and kept in paper sack on counter. About 3 weeks maybe 4.
I got mold in the exhaust thing on top.
See picture.
Can I eat my kraut?
I smells right and there was no mold on the cabbage or in jar. Color good and no film.
image.jpg
[Thumbnail for image.jpg]
Fermentation jar
image.jpg
[Thumbnail for image.jpg]
The mold
 
Julia Winter
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Yes, you can eat the sauerkraut. Even if there is some mold on the surface of the liquid, you can pull that off and throw it away. It doesn't ruin the whole batch.

Now, if you taste it and it tastes bad, then don't eat it, but nobody has ever been hospitalized or died from eating "bad" home-fermented food.
 
dara finnegan
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You can read up on mistakes in fermentation at foodrenegade.com And mold on your sauerkraut can kill you,weeks later. Even if you scrape it off.
 
Julia Winter
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Here's the page on sauerkraut at foodrenegade.com

It's a decent page, it's got this nice video with Sandor Katz who knows quite a bit about fermenting. He wrote the book, literally!:


But no, there's nothing about mold on fermented food killing people. Not on the day, not weeks later.
 
John Saltveit
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Botulism in canning has killed people. That's not the same as mold in fermented vegetables.

With sauerkraut, it's important to understand the difference between mold and kalm yeast, which is a probiotic.

I have some fermentation vessels that have a water tight seal, and so I don't get kalm yeast, or almost none.

Other vessels are open, with just a cloth on top. On the open ones, I almost always get kalm yeast. I scrape it off, even though it is good for you, because I don't want it to turn into mold. I'll still get some kalm yeast, which is good for you. They look different. Mold is hairy,and it turns blue and green. It looks like you have mold in your sauerkraut. Mold isn't good for you in general. (Tempeh is an exception). I would take it off.

Thin, white kalm yeast, which is a film and is not hairy, is not a problem. Never throw it out because it has kalm yeast.

Sandor Katz talked about the lack of dangers with fermented vegetables. I think he said that no one has ever died from fermented vegetables, and they are actually safer than non-fermented vegetables. The fermentations are so acidic that most dangerous microbes are killed in them and can't survive.
John S
PDX OR
 
Tobias Ber
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heya....

i ll start sauerkraut for the first time.
i ve got non-organic cabbage, so i think about doing a "starter" to get the right bacteria in there.
i tried to get fresh sauerkraut (as starter culture) at the market, but it was all sold out.


i ll try yoghurt for one batch. and "brot trunk" for another. brot trunk means "bread drink" and is lactic sour fermented sour dough in water. i bought it at the supermarket, it is not pastuerized, so it should contain good bacteria.

blesses and have a nice weekend
tobias
 
Tobias Ber
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day 4 ... all 3 glasses (2 with starter cultures, 1 without) are bubbling.

Does anybody know what kind of gas these bacterias will produce?
 
Julia Winter
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Carbon dioxide, I believe. Non-toxic, I'm sure.
 
Mike Harmon
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Miss Donna,

From your picture of your airlock and jar lid, it looks like your ferment was making a lot of gas and "belched" thru the airlock along with small pieces of cabbage. Maybe you had jar packed to close to opening of airlock OR a combination of a lot of gas being generated caused your kraut to rise until it got into your airlock. The mold most likely was on actual pieces of cabbage. Try using vinager in your airlock. Keep your cabbage levels down a little more in jar.

The surface skim or bloom some call it, is a white "dusty" looking buildup on surface of liquid and is no problem. The mold that attacks fermenting contents themselves are sometimes not so forgiving.

Play like the air is fire, any piece of food stuff protruding thru your brine is a fuse and your fermentor contents is a barrel of gunpowder
 
Tobias Ber
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Julia Winter wrote:Carbon dioxide, I believe. Non-toxic, I'm sure.


hey Julia. thank you. i read elsewhere that it s co².
the sauerkraut is good, but too mushy. i used a kitchen machine to first cut it into small slices and then whack it with a blunt blade (which is normally used for kneading dough).

i ll use the brine to jumpstart new batches with bigger pieces of kraut. i hope it ll stay more crunchy.

i used the brine to start batches with other veggies. does that make sense or are the strains too specific?

thank you and blesses

tobias
 
Mike Harmon
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Mr Tobias Ber,

I had trouble with a batch once that was just to old and I think had little sugar content. It took forever for the kraut to color correctly.
People do use kraut juice as a probiotic drink and it would work as a starter as well.
Yes CO2 is the gas.

Check this video to see a little about pressure generated in a fermenting jar. The common 3 piece airlock releases at something less than .1 psi as far as I could tell.
This was to be a test of various waterless airlocks that are gaining popularity in fermentation. Sadly tho our gauge did not register low enough to check the pressure relase point of the 3 piece airlock and the duckbill valves were just not any good.



There is not much information on pressure generated during a ferment or what effects that increased pressure can play on final taste of ferment. Since some people use a fermenting jar with no airlock and rely on the added pressure to allow CO2 escape through the lid seal, I am assuming that the small psi of the unit in the video would not be a problem.
 
John Saltveit
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Larger pieces of sauerkraut are ok. That's what I usually do. I don't grate or shred them, I just cut them into bite sized pieces.

Mushy is a less desired texture, but not problematic in itself. Mine almost never get mushy until they're really old.
John S
PDX OR
 
Julia Winter
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It's counter-intuitive, but from my experience you get crunchier veggies when you DON'T use a starter.

You might want to use dechlorinated water (meaning, your tap water might have enough chlorine to inhibit the lactobacilli) for cucumbers, carrots, beets but I get my best kraut with nothing but cabbage and salt. OK, maybe caraway seeds or garlic, or ginger.

Grape leaves help make cucumber pickles stay crunchy. Carrot pickles stay crunchy - I've only made them once, but they seemed just about as crunchy as raw.

Taste your kraut often, and stick it in the fridge when you like the flavor. The longer it's been going, the softer it will be. Also, fermenting at a lower temperature will probably help it stay crunchier.
 
John Saltveit
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I agree on the grape leaves and I have also found oak leaves to be effective in keeping the sauerkraut crunchy. I agree with Julia that you get more time before the sauerkraut becomes mushy or eventually slimy if you don't use a starter. I don't have proof, but I would guess that you are getting additional microbiology from the grape leaves or oak leaves as well as a positive.

However, I find that the frequency of the sauerkraut not turning out right is lower when you don't use a starter, so you have to balance that. Mushiness or sliminess is usually more of a problem in summer.
John S
PDX OR
 
Tobias Ber
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hmmm .... oak leaves. oak is very resistant to rotting and as far as i remember the bark is used for tanning leather. maybe they slow down the bacteria.

today we often want a quick sauerkraut. we buy cabbage and ferment it at room-temperature. it ll be good in a few days ... a quick fix of pleasure and health...


earlier it was used more as a kind of preservation. like when you have a good cabbage harvest and want to keep it over the winter (vitamins !!!) until the greens become available in spring. or you want sauerkraut onboard a vessel to prevent scarvy ... then you will want a slower fermentation to keep it fresh longer
 
Mike Harmon
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The leaves help stop the destruction of pectin which hold the cell walls together with cellulose. They do contain tannic acid which I am assuming is the actual thing that keeps the pickles and kraut crunchy.
 
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