Homemade Sauerkraut

Source: Creating Nirvana


Recipe from Blue Book Guide to Preserving pp 48-49

(yield: about 12 pints of 6 quarts)
[] indicate notes

20 pounds cabbage
¼ cup canning salt


To Ferment:
Remove outer leaves and any undesirable portions from firm, mature heads of cabbage; wash and drain. Cut into halves or quarters; remove core. Use a food processor or sharp knife to cut cabbage into thin shreds about 1/16-inch thick. Combine 3 tablespoons salt and 5 pounds shredded cabbage in a large bowl; mixing thoroughly. Let salted cabbage stand for several minutes to wilt slightly; this allows packing without excessive breaking or bruising of the shreds. Pack salted cabbage firmly and evenly into a large clean pickling container [I used plastic bowls.] Use a wooden spoon, tamper or hands to press down firmly until juice comes to the surface. Repeat shredding, salting and packing of cabbage until the container is filled to within 3 to 4 inches from the top. If juice does not cover cabbage, add brine. Make brine using 1 ½ tablespoons salt to 1 quart water; bring brine to a boil; cool. Cover cabbage with muslin or cheesecloth and tuck edges down against the inside container. Weight cabbage under brine [I used a gallon size plastic bag filled with water.] Formation fo gas bubbles indicates fermentation is taking place. Remove and discard scum formation each day. Store container in a cool place. Fermentation is usually complete in 3 to 6 weeks [mine took 5 weeks.]

To can:
Bring sauerkraut to a simmer (180 degrees F) in a large saucepot. Do not boil. Pack hot sauerkraut into hot jars, leaving 1/2 –inch head space. Ladle hot liquid over sauerkraut leaving ½-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Adjust two-piece caps. Process pints 15 minutes, quarts 20 minutes, in a boiling water canner.

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