Homemade Sauerkraut

by Ivory Soap

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Timeframe: 1 week

Special Equipment:

  • One-gallon jar, preferably a fermenter
  • Plasticware lid that can be folded through the mouth and expands approximately to width of jar

Ingredients (for 1 gallon):

  • 5 pounds cabbage
  • 3 tablespoons sea salt
  • Boiled and cooled tap water
  • Optional splash of Bubbies juice or other lactofermeted liquid


  1. Chop or grate cabbage.
  2. Layer into the jar, sprinkling in layers of salt.
  3. Pack it down hard to force the water out of the cabbage.
  4. Insert plasticware lid to hold down the cabbage.
  5. Wait a few hours for the cabbage juices to come out.
  6. Fill the jar to the rim with water.  Otherwise, a mold bloom may happen on the surface of the water.  The kraut is protected, however, so if you neglect to fill it to the rim and you get a bloom, just remove it as best you can and don’t worry.
  7. Cover LOOSELY (gas needs to escape) or with a fermenter lid and leave for a week.
  8. Chill and enjoy.  Keeps for ages in the fridge.



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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Christi S June 11, 2011 at 2:16 pm

Does this stink as it is fermenting? My husband said that cabbage does stink while fermenting (but neither he or his mom made it so he could be wrong). Anyway he said I need to do those recipes that are tightly sealed because we don’t really have any place outside that it can sit and not cook (Texas summers you know). I tried a lactofermented recipe that worked but it had WAY too much caraway and I like the idea of topping it off with water to be sure there is enough liquid.

Then again homemade vinegar is supposed to stink up the house but it doesn’t seem to do very much either. Maybe that warning is just for people with a very strong sense of smell.

So in your opinion, does it stink?

Brandy June 11, 2011 at 10:28 pm

After step 5, do I need to drain off the cabbage juice or just add the water to the juice?

Ivory Soap June 12, 2011 at 4:04 am

Don’t drain off the juice. Just make up the rest of the space in the jar with water.

Ivory Soap June 12, 2011 at 4:06 am

There is no smell. I ferment it on the kitchen counter and since the whole process takes place under the surface of the water, there’s no smell at all.

jan June 12, 2011 at 6:29 am

My grandmother used to make her own sauerkraut . She used a large crock container and a heavy plate on top to press the kraut down. I think she had some kind of a weight on the plate also. Wow! It was the best stuff! Brings back good memories. Wish I had some of her kraut right now.

Monkeyfister June 16, 2011 at 5:22 pm

I just put some into the pantry to ferment. I have a block of Oyster mushrooms close to fruiting, and a pile of onions drying from the garden. I’m going to make some Pierogi!

First Cabbages of the year are the BEST!

I am really getting into Lactofermentation. I’ve made “3-day” Pickles all my life (never seem to make it to day three, strangely enough. I planted some Napa Cabbage and Bok Choy this year, for Kimchi’s.

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