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My saurkraut tastes fine but smells a little off.  RSS feed

 
                                
Posts: 34
Location: Pacific Northwest
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I have eaten about a quart of it...not ill effects. Its crunchy and

tasty but the smell is a little off I think. It could just be the way

cabbage smells...anyway...there was some mold on the top of the brine

when I went to jar it, but there was a good inch and a half of brine

covering the cabbage. I'm wondering if the odor might have infused down into the cabbage?

 
Chris Fitt
Posts: 115
Location: Eastern Shore VA
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The old kitchen adage is "when in doubt, throw it out."  Mold on top of something is usually like an iceberg, there's a whole lot more under the surface.  It is weird that it is sauerkraut and that is brined.  Is this a proven recipe or technique? 

I do hate trying to smell food to see if it went bad.  A lot of food smells weird when you really concentrate on it, especially cabbage.
 
                                
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Well, my recipe is -shredded cabbage, salt, tamp -shredded cabbage, salt, tamp- repeat.

It could be that my room was too warm. It stays in the mid-60's in there.
 
Chris Fitt
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How long did it ferment?
Did you refrigerate it afterward?
 
Jami McBride
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Some batches can smell off - it can be a cabbage thing.

I might eat it myself, because as you say it tastes okay and it was under the brine.  But each has to make their own judgment call.

Remove that mold, refrigerate and see how it goes.  If it continues as is - fine, but if it smell worse or starts to taste different then out with it!

All the best....
 
                                
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Yeah, I went for four weeks, more or less. I had it plated with a jar of water

weighing the plate down. I didn't want to do any tamping after the first few days

because it's pretty normal for junk to grow on top and I didn't want to carry that down to the cabbage

via the tamper. I jarred it out of the crock and refrigerated it. I've had about a quart of it

with no ill effect. I just want my next batch to be better so I'm wondering how to avoid

this in the future.

For instance, how often do you skim your batch? I did mine once in the second week

and then not again.

Also, the plate I used is an old salad plate. It's glass but it has those ornamental

ridges and I wonder if a little air got trapped. Even so, that should not have been enough

to cause any problems.

I also mixed dill and cayenne it with the cabbage, so it is spicy.

I'm going to hope it was a temperature thing. Maybe it was warm enough that some unwanted yeasts

were encouraged.
 
Leila Rich
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Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
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Unlike misfit, I'm more from the "what don't kill you will make you stronger" school...
Whch won't make anyone feel better!
Whenever I've made cabbagey things, they smell a bit ...intense...
there's a world of difference between the sulpherous whiff of lactic-fermented brassica and plain rotten stuff.
If you've been willing and able to eat it *despite* it smelling a bit high, I reckon it's  ok.
Early cabbage tends to be a lot milder: is it your own?
As soon as I consider the kraut ready to eat, I jar it up and 'fridge it: I'm not wild about it when it gets really strong.
Sandor Katz gives really clear instructions on dealing with mould and as far as I'm concerned, it's all a matter of taste
btw: I'm just an internet construct, so please use my advice advisedly!
 
Chris Fitt
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Leila wrote:
Unlike misfit, I'm more from the "what don't kill you will make you stronger" school...


I agree with that school as well.  I eat all kinds of questionable stuff, especially if I made it.  I hate to waste food.  Hell I drank three batches of soured beer I made just to not waste it.  I just wouldn't necessarily advise someone else to do that. 

I feel like we all have our breaking points when it comes to food.  If there was something in my fridge or pantry that made me wonder if it was good to eat or not, I would probably feed it to chickens, pigs, or compost.  I think we are hard wired to reject food that won't agree with us, and that we should pay attention to that instinct.

IMO mold+off smell=maybe not

I would want to see it
 
                                
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Leila wrote:
I'm just an internet construct, so please use my advice advisedly!


Does this mean you are a 'bot?
 
Leila Rich
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Matthew, nah, not a bot, just trying to be smart and missing the mark as usual!
 
Chris Fitt
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I've been thinking about this ever since you posted it.  At first it didn't make sense to me as to how a brine could mold and if it did that would not be good.  Now I think I got it, it is not the brine that is molding but the scum on top.  I don't think your choice of plate would add air to the kraut.  Maybe to avoid it next time, skim it more thoroughly.  I guess the only real risk would be if you got mold from the surface or the sides of the crock into the sauerkraut when you were taking it out.
 
Jami McBride
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Exactly what I was thinking misfit - you have put it so well   

Deal with the scum a little more and you should have a better time of it.

 
Moody Vaden
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Matthew wrote:
I didn't want to do any tamping after the first few days

because it's pretty normal for junk to grow on top and I didn't want to carry that down to the cabbage

via the tamper.


You were tamping as it was fermenting?
 
                        
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I've gotten some mold growth on my kraut but skimmed it off the top of the brine with paper towels and had no problem with the kraut underneath.  Just make sure that all the kraut is below the brine.  I think 60 degrees is too warm to keep it for a long period, at least your going to get faster mold growth and have to skim it far more often at warmer temps.    If the kraut still smells off after you have jarred it, well that would defiantly be a judgment call in my opinion, error on the side of safety.
 
                                                
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Matthew wrote:
I have eaten about a quart of it...not ill effects. Its crunchy and

tasty but the smell is a little off I think. It could just be the way

cabbage smells...anyway...there was some mold on the top of the brine

when I went to jar it, but there was a good inch and a half of brine

covering the cabbage. I'm wondering if the odor might have infused down into the cabbage?




Always clean the mold off the top befor canning.  We've gone as far a rinsing the kraut off if the salt contenn was to high.
 
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