Years ago I learned about the health benefits of lacto-fermentation. For a time I had raw milk kefir grains going- lovely as a breakfast smoothie. Then it was kombucha- refreshing beverage. Then I tried my hand at sauerkraut- only to end up with something pink (that shouldn’t be pink!), and was too hesitant to try again. Until now.
Thanks to L.D. and a favorite YouTube channel “Offgrid with Doug and Stacy” I was once again sufficiently inspired, and determined, to leave expensive store bought ferments behind for homemade.
There are all sorts of fermenting tools out there. I usually prefer my kitchen tools to be multi-taskers. But in the case of lacto-fermenting, I wanted task specific within reason. Masontops™ makes some really nifty ones, but my zeal to get started overflowed before my tools could get ordered so with a little imagination I used what I had. A stainless steel water bottle filled with water became a kraut pounder (see photo); a plastic baggie with water in it became the weight; and my fermenting vessel was the ever-versatile glass Mason jar with lid.
Using organic cabbage, caraway seeds, and Real™ sea salt my first batch of sauerkraut came together nicely. There were a couple of issues: bubbling continually leaked the juice out of the jar despite ‘burping’ the lid daily, sometimes even twice a day, this also meant the need to add more water. There are things I now know could have prevented these. In any case, seven days later we enjoyed homemade kraut with dinner. Delicious! What a great feeling!!!
Any day my handy dandy fermenting tools will arrive from Cultures for Health (except I will always use glass jars as the vessel). Organic green and red cabbage stand at the ready to start two new batches of kraut. Ideas are swirling around in my brain for future combinations. I really need a root cellar. Sigh.
This is going to be a lovely, lifelong adventure with lacto-fermentation!