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  • #16
    Short answer: don't use a French press

    Long answer: (see answer below, I posted this on another thread here and copied it to this thread...)

    If you want to make true sauerkraut, you need: a big-ass glazed crock (5 gal), about 8-10 heads of cabbage, 4 onions, a big-ass knife, a microplane grater (+1 if you find an oldie in an antique store), pickling salt, mason jars, a heavy object to "stomp" the cabbage, and cheesecloth.

    1 - clean the cabbage
    2 - Cut the hearts from the cabbage (save for eating raw if desired), grate the cabbage to desired texture
    3 - Place grated cabbage in a large bowl
    4 - Cut the onion into thin slices
    5 - Place about 1/4 of the total cabbage in the crock, place 1 onion's worth of slices on top and 1 tbsp of pickling salt.
    6 - Take your stomper and mash the mixture down into the crock (you're releasing the juices)
    7 - Once you get a fair amount of juice on the top and it's difficult to stomp anymore, repeat the process.
    8 - Repeat the stomping of the cabbage/onion/salt layers until you're a few inches from the top of your crock (not really an exact science)
    9 - There should be a good amount of liquid completely covering the top layer
    10 - add a plate and a weight on the top of the cabbage. Helps keep the cabbage itself from floating up. The plate should be submerged.
    11 - If there's not enough water at the top, make a brine of 1/2 c salt & qt of water then pour it atop the mix.
    12 - Cover the whole crock with cheesecloth and band it around the sides
    13 - wait 6 weeks or so
    14 - Prepare canning supplies - pint or quart jars, lids, bands, pressure cooker - place hot water in the clean jars to warm them, then drain just before adding sauerkraut
    15 - Remove the cheesecloth from the crock
    16 - You'll see some wanky looking moldy junk on the top (and it will STINK like nothing else), scoop off the mold and the top juice layer, then remove your plate & weight
    17 - Scoop off the first 1-2 inches of fermented cabbage - it's usually the real dark stuff.
    18 - Dump the hot water from your canning jars and put in the kraut. Top off each with a bit of water.
    19 - Add some water into your pressure cooker, place in the jars and pressure cook per recommended cooker time/pressure
    20 - remove, place onto towels / racks and allow cool. Mark them with the date and voila you've got sauerkraut
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    • #17
      Sauerkraut is actually very easy to make, I do it all the time. You do want to use a non-reactive vessel, though. I mash mine in an enamel bowl then pack it in a very large glass mason jar.

      Shred the cabbage finely, and place in large bowl. Add kosher or sea salt (1 TB. at a time) and mix well, tasting until it tastes CLEARLY salty but not enough to be unpleasant. Mash the mixture with a pestle or wooden meat mallet (very clean!) until the cabbage releases a fair amount of juice--enough to cover the solid cabbage. If you can't get enough moisture out of it, you can add filtered water with more salt diluted into it (brine---again, salty enough to taste distinctly salty but not enough to make you gag.)

      Place the saurkraut/brine mixture into your mason jar, making sure the cabbage is covered by liquid. If it's well-covered, just place the lid on lightly and leave undisturbed at room temp. If you have to weight the cabbage down, place a (nonreactive) weight on it so it is covered).

      Check the jar daily for bubbling. Once you see bubbles, taste it! when it's as sour as you like, refrigerate. It will keep for a very long time cold, v-e-r-y slowly getting more sour.

      Sooze

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      • #18
        Mainer -

        How do you hold down the cabbage in the wide mouth jars? I'm making/made some now and that's the rough part - keeping the cabbage submerged.

        For others - just make your own. Cheap and easy. Definitely more 'tangy' then the standard store bought variety.
        Never, never, never quit! -- Winston Churchill

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        • #19
          I want to try this. Does anyone have a good recipe for fermented Curtido? I like the spiciness better than sauerkraut.

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          • #20
            Where can I get one of those large crocks at a fairly reasonable price. All the fermenting crocks that I've found have been hundreds of dollars! I also want to use it to make kimchee.

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            • #21
              Ace Hardware sells a nice size enamel crock for about $25. You might have to order it through a local branch. Or try online!

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              • #22
                Thanks!

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                • #23
                  You don't want to cook sauerkraut or you will kill the good stuff. I try to leave some out to get to room temperature to eat instead of heating it.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by fyrespryte View Post
                    Where can I get one of those large crocks at a fairly reasonable price. All the fermenting crocks that I've found have been hundreds of dollars! I also want to use it to make kimchee.
                    Cultures for Health sells a great glass jar with a system that make your fermentation process 100% air tight.

                    I bought the bigger version and I'm really happy with it and it's big enough for my needs.
                    Get great paleo diet lifestyle tricks, recipes and cooking tips. My contribution to the paleo movement.

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                    • #25
                      Egoldstein--ttp://www.whats4eats.com/salads/curtido-recipe check the reference to vinagre de pin~a.

                      Frespryte--I pickle most any vegetable, some fruits, and eggs. I use the glass gallon jars that normally hold bulk quantities of pickles, olives, whatever. For times when weights are required I have some tiles that were cut to fit into the jars and I have some weights that were meant to be fancy kitchen things in Japan for making tofu. Look like lions. You can use a polished stone, a can from the supermarket, a brick, whatever makes your fermenting special for you.
                      Tayatha om bekandze

                      Bekandze maha bekandze

                      Randza samu gate soha

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                      • #26
                        Thanks for all replies. I shall have great fun trying this. I won't pressure cook it - surely that will kill all of the beneficial bacteria - which I considered to be the point of the exercise?

                        I have some nice (unused!) heavy glass ashtrays which I think will be perfect for keeping the cabbage submerged. Does anyone use whey, as recommended by Sally Fallon? Or just salt / veg??

                        Can't wait to get going with this!

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