Making sauerkraut is fun and a great way to get your vitamins like C and K. A cup of sauerkraut will supply a whole day's needs of vitamin C. This will be important if there isn't commercial pills available to take.
Lets do it!!
Large mixing bowl
six gallon food grade bucket(generally free at restaurants)
Canning equipment (lids, jars, rings, etc.)
Cloth, old dinner plate, and an empty milk jug(you will add water to this later)
Get enough cabbage heads so that you will have about five pounds of shredded cabbage when you are finished cleaning and peeling the outer layer off of the heads.
Shred the cabbage and fill the large bowl. Add one tablespoon of canning salt(non Iodized)and mix well.
Repeat this process until you have all of the cabbage shredded and salted.
Next take all of the cabbage and pack into the 6 gallon plastic bucket. Be careful not to crush the cabbage. Pack carefully.
Now you need to cover the bucket with the cloth. Put the cloth in and put the plate on top of the cloth. Fill the milk jug about half full of water and put it on top of the plate. Put the bucket in a dark area at room temperature.
From this point on you will have to check the process daily. As the sauerkraut cures(ferments) it forms a scum on the top and this has to be removed every day. Wash and scald the cloth often, or use a new one to re-cover the bucket.
The fermentation process should be done in about twelve or so days. You will know it's done when the scum and bubbles stop forming.
You are ready to can (hot water bath process) the sauerkraut in jars. You can use any size jars. I personally use pint jars.
Sterilize the jars, lids and rings in boiling water for ten minutes. Pack the kraut into the jars leaving about one half inch at the top. If there isn't enough juice to cover, add brine made by dissolving two tablespoons pickling salt in one quart water and filling to one quarter inch from the top.
Screw lids on tight and process in a boiling-water bath (large metal pot) for 30 minutes. Make sure the jars don't touch the bottom of the pot directly, they may break if they touch. Canning supply houses have grills you can put in the bottoms for this purpose.
Remove after 30 minutes and put on newspapers on the counter top. Let the jars cool. As they cool you will hear a "POP." This tells you if they have sealed or not. Press down in the middle of the lid for a final check. I the lid moves up and down the jar is not sealed and you will have to re-process or have kraut and franks for dinner.
Once cool and sealed, remove the rings, clean the jars and take to storage.
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