It's Sweet!
It's Sweet!

Kislaya Kapusta (Russian Sauerkraut)

By The Krautfather  

September 24, 2012

Combine the shredded cabbage with the carrots, loganberries or cranberries, and apples in a very large bowl or bucket.
Use your fingers to toss thoroughly with the salt and sugar, making sure it is evenly distributed.
Let stand for 1 hour.
Transfer the vegetables and the accumulated liquid into a 2- gallon jar with a wide mouth or a small nonreactive bucket.
Cover with the reserved cabbage leaf.
Place a saucer on the cabbage leaf and weight with a large can filled with water or a small work-out weight.
The cabbage should be completely submerged in liquid.
Place a double layer of clean wet cheesecloth over the mouth of the jar and tie securely with kitchen string.
Place in a well-ventilated place, at about 65* to 75* F.
Every day for the next four days, remove and rinse out the cheesecloth.
Before replacing it, remove any scum that might appear on the cabbage leaf and top of the shredded cabbage.
Then pierce the shredded cabbage to the bottom of the jar in several places to release the gases.
Also, make sure the cabbage is totally submerged in the brine.
If it isn't, add enough water to cover.
Taste the cabbage, and if it seems well on its way to fermentation, transfer it to a cooler spot (a garage or dry basement might be ideal).
The sauerkraut will take a total of 10 to 12 days until it is fully fermented.
Be sure to check and taste it daily.
After that time, transfer the sauerkraut to individual sterilized jars, add the brining liquid, and seal.
It will keep for up to 3 months in the refrigerator.
Notes: I make my sauerkraut in a big gallon-sized glass jar, with a wide mouth.
The mouth of the jar is just the right size for a narrow quart-jar full of water to fit down in it as a weight.
When I make this recipe, I find that the veggies never throw off enough liquid to completely cover them.
When I make mine, I want at least 1 inch of liquid above the cabbage.
When you have the kraut in the jar, if you need more liquid to cover, add more *brine.* This is important!: use about 1 tsp.
salt to 1 cup cold water--don't use just plain water, as it will lower the salinity and may make the sauerkraut unsafe! Also, I find that it takes considerably longer than 10-12 days for the sauerkraut to be ready.
Mine usually takes about a month.
I also leave it in the kitchen the entire time rather than finding a cool place for it.
However, after the 10th day, you can pretty much leave it to its own devices, just checking every couple days to make sure the water level is okay.
Nor do you need to taste it every time you check it; your nose should be able to tell you when it is ready.
It will have the tangy smell of good kraut.

Ingredients

5 lb. green cabbage, shredded, about 16 cups

1 large whole cabbage leaf, reserved

4 large carrots, peeled and grated

1 cup fresh lingonberries or cranberries

2 medium tart apples, 1/2" dice

3-1/2 TB coarse Kosher salt

1 tsp. sugar

Directions

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Nutrition Facts

Serving Size1 gallon

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