Instructions - Jar Top Fermenter
Adding real sauerkraut and other lactic acid fermented vegetables to your diet is a fantastic source of living, beneficial probiotics. The challenge is that store-bought sauerkraut is pasteurized and has no probiotic benefits and before now the only truly good option to make your own was to make large batches of fermented vegetables in expensive purpose built ceramic fermenting crocks. For many people the expense, the large quantity or both were impractical.
- 1 air lock unit (stem unit, inverted cup float, cap)
- 1 plastic disk lid with center grommet
- 1 plastic lid sealing ring
- 1 stainless steel cup
- 1 jar lid (ring & lid)
- 1 Instruction sheet.
Overview of How Lactic Acid Fermentation Works:
- Make sure that the bulk of what you ferment is green cabbage, if not exclusively green cabbage.
- Peel the outer leaves off and rinse, but do not rinse the interior leaves, before or after shredding.
- Give shredded leaves an extra good pounding. You want to squeeze plenty of juice from the cabbage to include in the brine.
- Use the recommended full measure of salt, especially on this first batch. The salt acts as a bridge to allow the lactic acid forming bacteria time to take hold. This is especially important when fermenting this first batch without a starter culture.
- Carefully examine your first batch when it’s done. Watch for signs of rot, sliminess or uncharacteristic odor. The presence of any indicates that the lactic acid didn’t reach critical mass in time, and you should discard the spoiled batch and start again.
- A successful batch will carry the unmistakable, pungent sauerkraut smell.
- If your first batch fails, include a little lemon juice or vinegar to increase the initial acidity of the brine as an additional help on your next try. You can also puree one of the outer leaves with a little water and add to the brine to increase the initial amount of starter probiotics.
- Chlorine free water (filtered or boiled and cooled)
- Iodine free salt (sea salt)
- One or two large bowls
- Kitchen knife or cabbage shredder
- Optional: Kraut pounder or meat mallet
- Wide mouth canning jar (1 or 2 quart size as you prefer)
- Green Cabbage (1 or 2 heads)
- Handy Pantry Jar Top Fermenter
- Optional Spices: garlic cloves, shredded horseradish, black pepper corns, juniper berries, caraway seeds, dill, bay leaves, wasabi, sage, rosemary, thyme, fresh jalapeno, curry, kimchi spice.
Making Other Fermented (Pickled) Vegetables
- Cut the vegetables into bite-sized pieces and use instead of cabbage. The vegetables don’t need to be bruised like cabbage. Vegetables suitable for lactic acid fermentation include: celery, cauliflower, broccoli, boc-choi, napa cabbage, green cabbage, red cabbage, carrots, radishes, green tomatoes, green beans, cucumbers, turnips, yams, beets, kohlrabi, rutabaga, peppers etc… Experiment with different combinations.
- Without green cabbage in the mix, it is possible but more difficult to get a wild lactic acid culture established. Adding a table spoon or two of juice from a prior batch of sauerkraut or fermented vegetables will be very helpful. You can also use whey as described on the start culture section above.