This last lot of sauerkraut I am making has produced so much liquid that it has come right up the sides and is spilling out top and all over the floor.
I'm not sure if its because we have filled this one to just below the neck of the crock- a good 2 inches below the top of the crock.
With the earlier ones we made we only had enough cabbage to fill it 3/4's full.
The type of crock I'm using has the lip to put water in around the top so that the contents are effectively sealed from air,(when the lid is put on it sits in this water).
My worry is that with the liquid right up to the top at the same level as the water seal, that bacteria could just travel from the outside through the liquid into the crock.
Mum used to do it in an old wine barrel, before converting to a 20 litre plastic container.
She used a river rock to keep the cabbage submerged and covered the top with a table clothe...she wanted it too breathe.
I remember a huge stink and a white floating mould on top.
I cant ask for details,she is dead now, but that's what I remember as a kid.
The lactobacilli should sort out any nasty bacteria naturally for you. Use your nose to be the judge of whether it's turned out OK.
It's not liquid but gases that drive level up. You should press it as Grasshopper said. Cloth is for easy removal of white mater which is formed on surface. The type of crock you have is for fermenting, there is no need to bee airtight for sauerkraut.
I did press it as I laid each layer in, then covered it with some whole cabbage leaves.
Then pressed those down to make sure they were completely covered and popped the weights ontop.
I moved these to the edges and pressed those down, moving them around the barrel and doing it again.
These are (in my absolutely biased opinion) the best cabbages ever and juicy.
The problem isnt whether or not the juice covers the cabbage, it does, or whether or not the kahm yeast can set up shop- it shouldnt because everything is covered and there is a water filled lip that the lid sits in to keep air out....
Its the liquid has come up so far its spilling out the top and on the floor ....and will this allow bacteria to travel through to ruin the cabbage.
Actually, I decided that bacteria could travel through the liquid and cause problems so I tilted the crock over with a towel handy to soak up the excess then decided that I had better take a look just to make sure everything looked okay, cleaned the water ring of cabbage juice and re filled it with boiled water.
I guess I dont understand how there got to be so much liquid in the crock.
I just had another peck just now and the liquid is again just under the rim of the crock....
for goodness sake,it was at least an inch below yesterday, where is it all coming from.
The gases are trapped inside the cabbage, try pressing with hand to allow them to come up. Don't use water!!!! Sauerkraut is just juice from cabbage!!
This is how i make it: fill in some 5-7 cm of chopped cabbage than sprinkle with salt and pres with fist until it start releasing juice. Repeat to the end and there should be 1-2 cm of juice on top and no air inside. Then press it with weight and all the rest. It goes 1-1.5% salt.
Last year I made sauerkraut with spring cabbage, and to save ti from summer heat I pact it in glass jars and pasteurize in boiling water for half hour. It was delicious.
Last edited by Dzionik; 28-02-2012 at 08:09 PM.
I think I will bottle it this year too, but I will store most of the juice in the freezer so I dont lose all that yummy goodness that heat treating will kill off.
Gases develop and displace the juice, so it rises. Try to leave a good amount of space at the top.
or increase the weight put on top.
Covering the top with cabbage leaves will aid in trapping the gas.
Preserving the Sauerkraut with heat will kill off the good bacteria.
Try to keep as much as possible in the fridge.
I believe in Mulch.
Sounds like a catch 22.
My sauerkraut book tells me to cover with whole leaves to make sure the cabbage stays under the juice.
It didnt say how full to fill the crock tho and I was thrilled to actually fill it all the way up for a change.
It is behaving itself now that I have let some juice out.
When I said I had put the water in, I meant that I had put it in the depression around the top edge of the crock that the lid sits in, not in the crock with the cabbage.
That is there so the air cant get in.
Learnt from a friend who knows some Dutch people that, if you dont have a crock and want to use a large glass jar, what they do is have a bit of muslin bunched up and jammed in ontop.
This gets washed out everyday which washes out any kahm yeast that tries to form on the top.
Information on where to buy a fermenting crock in australia
Looking to buy a fermenting crock, the only supplier I could find in Australia charges 3x the price of the US retailer - but the US retailer wont export to Aus (retail licencing agreements on the product I believe) When you can pay the retail price with shipping for a single unit and still get it 50% cheaper at a time when the $AUD is doing okay it just means we are being ripped. Any help would be appreciated. PS:- I'm useless so making anything by myself is probably out of the question. Cheers Dean