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Sauerkraut Questions

  1. Sauerkraut was too dry; I couldn't get much juice when pounding it.

  2. My sauerkraut is crunchy, not soft.

  3. The brine starts to leak out of the jar.

  1. Sauerkraut was too dry; I couldn't get much juice when pounding it.


    There could be two probable causes. Cabbage storage could have dried out the cabbage. The best way to choose cabbage is to pick it up; it should feel heavy for its size. If it doesn’t, don’t pickle it. If you cut open and there is a lot of space between leaves near the core, it is better to not pickle, or use this cabbage in the salt-brine recipes.

    There are two main growing seasons for cabbage, spring and fall. The preferred season to make sauerkraut is fall, where shortening days and cool temperature produce sweet, densely packed leaves. Spring cabbage is ripening in longer, warmer days which can dry it in the fields.

    If you did not get enough juice from salting and pounding your cabbage, you can moisten it a little with a brine, using a 1/2 tablespoon unrefined sea salt with 1 cup of filtered water. Or if you have a little brine left over from a batch of kraut or vegetables use that. Use just enough to moisten so that when you push down on the spacer lid you will see the brine exude from the cabbage. Then follow the steps on page 8-9 of the instruction book to complete.



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  2. My sauerkraut is crunchy, not soft.


    This traditional low-salt fermentation keeps your cabbage crisp. It will soften a bit over time, but it will always be a bit crunchy.

    If you like to make it less crunchy, use a mandoline style slicer set at 1/8-inch or less. It is nearly impossible to hand-cut such a fine shred.

    The sauerkraut will soften if you cook, but it will lose the enzymes and beneficial bacteria.



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  3. This is a common problem, the jar of Sauerkraut expands  rapidly in the early cycle of fermentation and it starts or climb up the lock.
     
    Open the kit, remove 2 forkfuls of Sauerkraut (2 TBS.) then pour the brine from the cup back into the jar. 
    Reseal the kit. Although the brine is overfilling the cup, it will all be reabsorbed by the finished Sauerkraut

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