Old Fashioned Sauerkraut–Lacto-fermented, THM FP

Fermented foods, such as sauerkraut have a long history in German culture. Sauerkraut is finely cut raw cabbage that is salted, packed into crocks, and allowed to ferment for a number of weeks. I learned to make sauerkraut in a large 10 gallon crock from my late mother-in-law. She would slice as many as 50 head of cabbage by hand on sauerkraut making day.

Our family has continued the tradition of making sauerkraut but use electric slicers to finely slice the cabbage. We still pack it by hand into large crocks or heavy 5-gallon buckets. This lacto-fermented cabbage supplies probiotics that improve digestion, gut health, and improves immune functions. Sauerkraut is low in calories, high in fiber, Vitamins A, C, and K, and has lot of minerals.

I have found through trial and error that the finer the cabbage is sliced the tighter it can pack it into crocks. This makes for a much better flavored sauerkraut.

Old Fashioned Sauerkraut – Lacto-fermented, THM FP

  • 8 pounds thinly sliced cabbage (70 pounds)
  • 4 tablespoons Pickling/Canning salt (2 cups salt)
  • fermenting crock
  • cabbage leaves
  • *Placed cabbage into a large dishpan/tub. Sprinkle the salt over the cabbage. With your hands mix the salt and the cabbage together. Take a handful of cabbage and rub it through your hands like the video below shows. This will bring out the juices in the cabbage and will make it much easier to pack into your crock or jar. Take a handful of cabbage and start to pack it into your crock. Squeeze a bit of the juice out of each handfull as you continue to pack the cabbage in the crock very tightly. Continue packing the cabbage unto it is all packed into the crock.* There should be liquid left over in your dishpan when you are finished. Lay cabbage leaves over the top of the sliced cabbage. Tuck the leaves down around the edges of the crock.* Lay your weights on top of the leaves. Pour enough of liquid into the crock to cover the weights by 1 inch. Cover the crock with the lid and add water into the lip to seal the crock. Allow to ferment for 2-6 weeks.
  • The larger your crock of sauerkraut the longer it will take until it is fully fermented. I allow the 10 gallon crock to ferment for 6 weeks before I open it.
  • The amount in parentheses will fill a 5 gallon crock. Place your crock in an outside building where it can stay undisturbed for 6 weeks to allow the cabbage to ferment. Follow the directions from *to*. As you layer cabbage into the crock remove as much liquid from the crock as you can with a small cup. The tighter you can pack the cabbage the better it will be. After the cabbage is all used up; place a double layer of cabbage leaves over the packed cabbage. Next place a large glass dinner plate. Pour liquid from the cabbage into the crock to cover the plate about 1/2 inch–you will have extra liquid you will discard. Fill a 2 gallon ziploc bag with water. Lay that on top of the dinner plate to seal the edges. Cover with a cotton cloth and secure it tightly around the crock. Allow the crock to set undisturbed for weeks. After 6 weeks are up, the crock is ready to be opened. Remove the cloth, water bag, and then dinner plate. Carefully remove the cabbage leaves and any soft sauerkraut. To can…pack sauerkraut in quart jar and hot water bath for 25 minutes. To store fresh–repack into gallon jars–I store it in my extra fridge.
  • I love to use the Slicer/shredder attachment for my Bosch Mixer to finely slice the cabbage. I have found the thinner it is sliced, the tighter you can pack it. Your sauerkraut will have a much better flavor when it is packed tightly.
  • Be sure to use canning/pickling salt. My favorite is Mrs Wages Pickling Salt.
This cabbage has the salt worked into it. You can see how the cabbage looks glassy/clear. See all the liquid it makes!
My cabbage is packed tightly in my Polish Fermenting Crock. There is a layer of leaves over the sliced cabbage.
The weights are laid over the cabbage leaves.

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This is the shredder attachment I use for my Bosch Mixer to slice cabbage.
Fermenting Jar
10 gallon crock

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Homemade Sauerkraut THM-FP, Lacto-fermented

Author Glenda Groff

Ingredients

  • 8 pounds thinly sliced cabbage 70 pounds
  • 4 tablespoons salt 2 cups salt
  • fermenting crock
  • cabbage leaves

Instructions

  1. *Placed cabbage into a large dishpan/tub. Sprinkle the salt over the cabbage. With your hands mix the salt and the cabbage together. Take a handful of cabbage and rub it through your hands like the video below shows. This will bring out the juices in the cabbage and will make it much easier to pack into your crock or jar. Take a handful of cabbage and start to pack it into your crock. Squeeze a bit of the juice out of each handfull as you continue to pack the cabbage in the crock very tightly. Continue packing the cabbage unto it is all packed into the crock.* There should be liquid left over in your dishpan when you are finished. Lay cabbage leaves over the top of the sliced cabbage. Tuck the leaves down around the edges of the crock.* Lay your weights on top of the leaves. Pour enough of liquid into the crock to cover the weights by 1 inch. Cover the crock with the lid and add water into the lip to seal the crock. Allow to ferment for 2-6 weeks.
  2. The larger your crock of sauerkraut the longer it will take until it is fully fermented. I allow the 10 gallon crock to ferment for 6 weeks before I open it.
  3. The amount in parentheses will fill a 5 gallon crock. Place your crock in an outside building where it can stay undisturbed for 6 weeks to allow the cabbage to ferment. Follow the directions from *to*. As you layer cabbage into the crock remove as much liquid from the crock as you can with a small cup. The tighter you can pack the cabbage the better it will be. After the cabbage is all used up; place a double layer of cabbage leaves over the packed cabbage. Next place a large glass dinner plate. Pour liquid from the cabbage into the crock to cover the plate about 1/2 inch–you will have extra liquid that you will discard. Fill a 2 gallon ziploc bag with water. Lay that on top of the dinner plate to seal the edges. Cover with a cotton cloth and secure it tightly around the crock. Allow the crock to set undisturbed for weeks. After 6 weeks are up, the crock is ready to be opened. Remove the cloth, water bag, and then dinner plate. Carefully remove the cabbage leaves and any soft sauerkraut. To can…pack sauerkraut in quart jar and hot water bath for 25 minutes. To store fresh–repack into gallon jars–I store it in my extra fridge.

  4. I love to use the Slicer/shredder attachment for my Bosch Mixer to finely slice the cabbage. I have found the thinner it is sliced, the tighter you can pack it. Your sauerkraut will have a much better flavor when it is packed tightly.

There are many more preserving and sugar-free canning recipes in  Around the Family Table Cookbook which features over 600 pages or recipes from a Mennonite mother of eight who loves to cook. These recipes are styled after the Trim Healthy Mama way of eating and are labeled with the correct fuels. There is also DIY recipes for Baking Mix and Sweetener that are more economical. You may also request a FREE jar of sourdough starter with a cookbook purchase.

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