Sauerkraut is not only a German birthright, it’s also a heavy-hitting super food. Whether you are German or not, making your own sauerkraut in small batches at home is a satisfying and engaging process. If you’re new to fermenting, make sure to read our guide to How To Make Sauerkraut to make you understanding the elements of this age-old, slow food, preservation practice.
2 glass 1-litre jars with glass lid and rubber seal (flip top or Weck style with clamps)
Before you start, sterilise your clean jars and glass lids by placing them in a cold oven and sterilise them for 20 minutes at 130°C. No need to preheat your oven. Ideally, do this a few hours before you begin as the jars need to be cool before filling.
Start by removing any spoilt outer leaves and place in compost. Remove 2 leaves, wash and cut out two round discs slightly smaller than the 1 litre lids. Set aside. Wash the cabbage head and quarter through the core.
Using the mandolin, slice up each cabbage segment. Finely chop the remainder of the cut out leaves. Weight into a large bowl.
Add 1.4% salt (measure out 14g per kg). For a crunchy sauerkraut, toss the salt through. For a softer sauerkraut, toss the salt through, then massage the cabbage. Set aside for 20 minutes.
Add 1 ½ tsp caraway seeds and toss through the cabbage.
Fill approximately 770g of cabbage into each jar, adding a small amount at a time and pressing down several times firmly with your fist to remove any air bubbles in between layers.
Insert a cabbage disc into each jar, first making sure that the wall are clean of cabbage. Press down firmly. Put the small jar on top with the opening up. This is your weight. The cabbage and seeds need to be fully submerged to avoid contact with oxygen during fermentation. Seal the jars.
Place in a cool room and ferment for approximately two weeks. The liquid level will increase and may overflow, so place jars on a plate or tray. Do not disturb jars during fermentation.
Once the main ferment is complete, remove and discard the weights and leaves. Seal again and store in the fridge for up to 6 months.