A few weeks ago, I wrote about our Cabbage harvest and using some of it to make Sauerkraut.
After leaving the kraut in the crock for a couple of weeks and checking it often, I scooped a bit out for the Gman to do a taste test. He found it to be delicious and mild, which he likes.
So it was then time to finish off the preserving of the Sauerkraut. We could just put the crock as is down in our Cold Room and use it as desired. We keep our Cold Room between 32 and 40F, and this temperature would be fine for the Sauerkraut.
We chose to can it instead – so should you if you cannot keep the crock in a cool enough place. Here’s how I did it:
Heat the Sauerkraut – you want it to gently simmer, don’t boil it. Add a bit of the juice. Make a brine, in case you don’t have enough juice in the crock.
You’re going to Hot Water Bath the Sauerkraut, so wash your jars and then set them into your boiling water canner and keep them there for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile you can get your seals and rings ready. Pour boiling water over them and let them sit until you need them. I’m using Tattler lids for some of the jars – I should have ordered more!
Use 1 1/2 tablespoons of salt for each 1 quart of water. Heat this brine on the stove.
Once you get your Sauerkraut warmed up, hot pack it into jars. I use pint jars but you can use quarts if you like.
Leave 1/2 inch of headroom in the jars. Add the warm liquid and use the brine, if you need to. Leave 1/2 inch of headroom and wipe the tops of each jar.
If you are using Tattler lids and seals, there is a slightly different process to follow and you can read it here. It is very important to let the contents vent during the processing.
Place your jars in the Boiling Water Bath and once the water comes back to a boil, set your timer for 15 minutes for pints. If I had used quarts, the processing time would be 25 minutes. I have to add 5 minutes because of our altitude (2800 ft). Make sure you always take your elevation into account when you do canning, it is very important.
Once the time is up, remove your jars and leave them alone for 24 hours. After that, you can wipe the jars down, remove the metal bands if you like, and place the jars on your pantry shelf.
I have a very handy Canning kit (Presto) that includes jar lifter, seal grabber, a funnel, a measuring gauge that allows you to easily figure out the headspace and more. These items are almost a necessity when canning. You can order one of these Canning kits here.
Enjoy your Sauerkraut! The Gman has already enjoyed one meal of Bratwurts and Sauerkraut along with Perogies, and is looking forward to many more.
We ended up with 17 pints of Sauerkraut using a 3 gallon crock, which held a total of 15 pounds of cabbage.