I am expanding my kitchen skills to include long-overdue fermenting. I would like to know if I can ferment in a gallon sized jar and then pack away the kraut for storage in my fridge into smaller jars or if it would be better to ferment right in the smaller jars?
I appreciate your words of wisdom on this question - it's the main one keeping me from chopping up the cabbage now!
Sure you can. Just make sure that your tools and jars are clean when you're repacking. Evenly distribute the liquid between your final jars.
I don't know that you really want to do so much at once though, if you're just starting out. I'd start with a smaller amount and go from there. IME, a medium sized cabbage will actually fit in a quart jar once it's salted and pounded. And that's plenty for a beginner.
Once you have your technique/recipe down, and have it all figured out, and know how quickly you'll go through it, then you can start making bigger batches. But I've found that storing kraut for a long time actually causes it's own problems. Older kraut has a higher bacteria count, and more than a bite of it in a meal sends us running for the bathroom, so it's better for me to just make fresh more regularly.
Thank you and thanks for the other tips - I will go ahead and start small! :)
thank you too for that advice ... i didn't want to buy a large fermenting pot since it's only going to be me eating it .... now I won't feel so bad about making it in a much smaller jar !
ok, I mixed sliced chinese cabbage with sliced fennel and some onion and one clove of garlic
I cannot remember which spices I put in (cumin maybe ?)
with salt, in a large bowl, "massaged it" after about 30 min so that there would be enough liquid
it sat for 7 days in two largish glass jar, with a large piece of chinese cabbage leaf on top to keep the sliced stuff from rising too much
I threw away the first layer (and a bit, to be on the safe side) and packed it in smaller screw top jars & put these in the fridge, after 7 days at room temperature
today, lunchtime, I had about a soup spoon worth of the stuff ... BUT not idea what it's supposed to taste like .... (am doing it to help with gut issues)
am sure DH will NOT want to try it (he's dubious about stuff I make myself//not safe as from the store ....)
really wish i would know people IRL who also do that ... am a bit worried ...( of the "what if I missed one step/messed up big way without noticing" style ....)
Isa - for me, the best way to know what's going on is to taste it. Taste it when you make it, before you put it in the jars for fermentation. At that point it should taste slightly too salty. Not unpleasantly so, but it should be a noticeable saltiness. Then as it's fermenting and you want to know if it's ready or not, taste it again (every few days). When that saltiness has gone away (it turns almost sweet), it's "ready" to be transferred to the fridge, although it can be taken past that point (I know someone who regularly ferments her kraut for about 6 weeks), it just gets more savory/tangy the longer it stands at room temp.
As for the safety of stuff you're making yourself - has he not read of all the food poisoning that has happened in recent months from store-bought food? Store bought is not a guarantee of safety.
I honestly don't tell my DH what's a home ferment and what's not. If we're eating sausages or something of the sort, he gets kraut on his plate. Sometimes it's purchased, sometimes it's homemade. He can't tell the difference, and doesn't ask.
thank you for the re-assurance about the process
i think it still tastes salty (but then, i am a salt addict of sorts ... so not sure my palate is accurate/average ...)
i only had it once so far (when life gets hectif with kids, my healthy eating plan does get disturbed ....)
am planning on having a table spoon of it twice a day if I can ....
DH is past praying for am afraid ... the food mostly also needs to look like packaged food (= what he's been braught up with .....)
although i do put germinated mung beens or lentils in mixed salads these days
and there's such a variety of veggies in there that he doesn't "see" them ..... (but then he uses salad as sort of condiment
or "decoration" on the plate, not a very large portion ...)
i usually do a large batch and then transfer to fridge when fermentation is about 10-14 days along in sterilized glass jars. i sometimes pound, sometimes just massage and press, but either way, at 14 days it's usually still to crisp and fresh for our tastes, but the flavors really settle after about 2 months in cool storage (basement or fridge as we've moved a lot)
so far, 2 years of no problems.
as for husband, i feel you there! took years over here. i was buying kraut for a while for me during pregnancy to help balance gut/digestion. he didn't touch it (hated kraut from childhood) for months, then started eating it, and then was eating all my stash. i made it, but it didn't taste right to him. so, stopped fermenting for him and fermented for me. led to kimchi b/c i love garlic/ginger. and kids were devouring it all. when our baby was shoving fistfuls of fermented veggies in day after day (i still bought him his own special raw kraut) he finally tried it, and though each batch is a new experience of trust/panic/worry/flavor shift, he's totally hooked now on the fresh homemade stuff.
since my kids eat bugs, dirt, dog food, and anything else they find, and seem to have no major problems, the carefully fermented veggies seem less scary than when i first started. my doc thinks it's hilarious that 3 out of 4 kids list kimchi and kraut as their favorite foods (and one is still non-verbal). and my husband can see the kids health and tastes (more diverse than his own) and actually respects that in them and encourages it.
i have two 1 gallon jars and a 5 gallon jar to ferment in these days, and it's actually rare when they're both empty. i pack in pint, quart and half gallon jars depending on who they're for. a pint is one serving at my dinner table, a quart is nice to travel with, and a half gallon lasts us for a month and a half or so. my favorite thing is that i always have veggies on hand even if i don't want to cook. and my kids will eat them on any meal- hamburgers, stir-fry, pizza, sandwiches, basically any savory dish can have a small side (or a large one) of fermented veggies.
thanks for that further reassurance
am going to let my new batches ferment longer
yesterday I did one jar (i suspect it's a US quart size but not sure ....) of red cabbage and carrots and half a red onion, with cumin powder
one jar of celery root and one half onion, with coriander powder
.... and one smaller jar of both mixtures together (leftovers !)
If the extra kraut starts to over-ferment, you can "switch off" further fermenting by putting it in the freezer. When you need it, defrost slowly and eat as usual.
good to know about the freezer trick ....
i had to look up that post since i didn't write down when exactly i put these veggies to ferment
so, it's been 3 weeks
have been collecting smaller screw tops glass jars so that i can transfer
am going to do it today
hope it tastes all right !!!!
my new goal = since i'm an emotional eater, if I try for the next 2 weeks to ONLY snack on these fermented veggies in between meals ... maybe i'll manage to loose a little bit of weight ???
Since I'm Korean, I've been eating fermented cabbage my whole life.
I always have some small batch fermenting away, and a few jars waiting for me in the fridge.
It's a lot easier than people think.
Jenna Ahn, how long do you ferment your cabbage for ?
i suppose you like it very spicy ?
have been wondering if strong spices are neccary for the fermenting process (in order to ward off, or kill whatever ????) or if it is just a matter of taste ?
do some Korean people eat fermented cabbage that is NOT reddish// not spicy ?
am asking just out of curiosity....
+ how much i tablespoon do you eat per day ? what with ?