If you have done home canning but no fermenting yet, then the thought of making something even as simple as sauerkraut can be intimidating. Many people — especially conscientious safe home canners — are worried about the idea of deliberately letting bacteria grow in their food.
This method, however, produces delicious sauerkraut (which means “sour cabbage”) whose safety you can trust. It’s the USDA’s method. It’s also taught by the National Center for Home Food Preservation, the Cooperative Extension Service, Bernardin and Ball.
For added “side bar” pointers, we draw on Linda Ziedrich, the trusted author of the Joy of Pickling. She spends 15 pages on the topic of sauerkraut in glorious, aromatic, crunchy detail, covering even special tools to cut the cabbage with and spices you may wish to consider adding.
The real work in making sauerkraut is in “squishing” the cabbage to bruise it to make it release its liquid. The USDA directions are very deceptive; they just say “Pack firmly until salt draws juices from cabbage.” Most of us think of “pack” as a single action — like, pack your suitcase and then you’re done — so the use of the verb “pack” there is very misleading. What they really mean is “crush repeatedly.” If you have arthritis in your hands, you may find this work difficult and may need help with this stage.
You really probably should have a kitchen scale to make this recipe, as the ratios are dependent upon you having reasonably accurate weights to go by. The good news is, these days on Amazon, etc, kitchen scales are as cheap as chips.
An average supermarket cabbage head weighs about 1 kg (2 ish lbs).
Here are the directions for preparing the sauerkraut. See further down the page for the four different options for storing the finished product, including home-canning it.
This proportion of ingredients will make 2 quarts / litres. We’d recommend you consider at least doubling it, as the larger the batch, the less your chance of any spoilage happening. (The USDA’s full batch is actually 10 kg / 25 lbs of cabbage and 275 g / 3/4 cup / 9 oz pickling salt: see Recipe Notes further down.)
Home canned sauerkraut
Take cabbage, discard outer leaves.
Wash heads under running water, shake excess water off.
With a large knife such as a French knife, quarter the cabbage heads.
Cut out and discard the cores.
Slice the quartered cabbage into slices about 2 mm (.07 inches) thick (the thickness of a US / Cdn quarter or a 10 p piece.)
Put cabbage either into a very large bowl or directly into the container you are going to use to ferment it in - whatever you prefer to be working in.
Sprinkle the salt over and mix in.
Some sources say to let it stand a bit so the salt will start drawing at least a bit of liquid out. Some suggest 10 minutes; the All New Ball says cover it and let stand for an hour.
Begin pounding / crushing the cabbage, and keep on crushing it until a good amount of liquid has been released from the leaves.
Ideally, you are going to be aiming for enough released liquid to cover the cabbage once in the fermenting container, but you may rarely get it at this point -- don't worry.
Add to fermenting container, if it's not already.
If you are doubling, tripling or quadrupling the recipe, start the next batch of cabbage now, then add to container.
Repeat until you have prepped all the cabbage you planned to.
When you are finished crushing, if the cabbage is not already in the fermentation container, move it all there.
Be sure to leave a gap of 10 to 12 cm (4 to 5 inches) between the cabbage in the container, and the top rim of the container as headspace.
If you have more cabbage than that, you'll need another container.
If the juice you were able to produce was not sufficient to cover the cabbage, then make a brine (see directions below) and use that to top up with. (To be clear: you are not aiming to fill the container to the top rim with liquid; you are after enough liquid to completely submerge all the cabbage by 2 to 5 cm / 1 to 2 inches.) FIRST, though, see Linda Ziedrich suggestion in Brine section: she suggests waiting 24 hours to see if it will produce enough juice on its own before adding the extra brine.
Cover cabbage with some sort of weight (see Weights Options below) to keep it safely below the surface of the liquid.
Cover container with a large towel.
Let ferment for 3 to 4 weeks or until cabbage is translucent.
During fermentation, you may or may not need to check the cabbage frequently. It depends on the weights you use (see Weights Options below).
If you wish to make a huge batch yielding 9 litre / quart jars of sauerkraut, change ingredient measurements to 10 kg (25 lbs) of cabbage and 275 g (3 /4 cup / 9 oz) of pickling salt. That, by the way, is the default measurement that most sources give (then breaking it down into ratios of 2 kg (5 lbs) cabbage and 3 tablespoons salt.
For smaller batch advice, see the excellent Wisconsin Extension Sauerkraut leaflet, page 5.
Remove outer leaves. They are coarse, and may harbour insecticide and / or dust. (See Cabbage Leaf Covering below.)
Rinse whole head. Don’t rinse the internal leaves; that’s where the bacteria you will want for fermentation are.
Some people suggest using a food processor, but others say that can turn your sauerkraut into a weird mush with the wrong texture.
When is it ready? Linda Ziedrich says, “Start tasting the sauerkraut after two weeks. The sauerkraut will be fully fermented in 2 to 4 weeks at 70 to 75 F (21 to 24 C), or in 5 to 6 weeks at 60 F (16 C). It will have a pale golden colour and a tart, full flavour. Within two days after fermentation is complete, little bubbles will have stopped rising to the surface.” Ziedrich, Linda. The Joy of Pickling. Boston, Massachusetts: The Harvard Common Press. 2016. Third Edition. Page 217.
You can use any variety of cabbage. But the sweeter your cabbage, the more sugars the bacteria have to work with. Some suggest to let your cabbage sit in the garden till the first touch of frost, to sweeten it. Of course, you have no control over that when buying your cabbages.
Wisconsin Extension says,
The composition (amount of natural sugars, etc) of cabbage differs with the variety and conditions of its growth. Fully mature, large-headed types weighing 6 to 15 pounds [3 to 7 kg] per head with a solid, white interior are the most desirable for kraut. The larger the head, the sweeter it is. This is particularly true later in the fall after a few light frosts. However, smaller heads can be used.” Mennes, Mary E. Make your own sauerkraut. University of Wisconsin Extension. 1994. B2087. Page 1.
Growing your own cabbage for sauerkraut? Wisconsin Extension suggests varieties such as Bravo, Krautman, Sanibel and Wisconsin All-Seasons.
Red cabbage is fine, too, and can make a beautiful looking hot-pink kraut, but it is a bit more work according to Linda Ziedrich: “Red cabbage isn’t generally used for kraut because it doesn’t release juice as readily as white cabbage does. You want to shred the cabbage very fine – using a kraut board or even a food processor, if possible, rather than a knife – and pound the cabbage especially hard.” The Joy of Pickling. 2016. Page 225.
Linda Ziedrich, in her Joy of Pickling (2016), writes
The basic recipe for sauerkraut is very simple, since there are only two ingredients: cabbage and salt. Few Americans add anything else. In the past, though, added flavourings were common – juniper berries, caraway, bay, garlic, onions and wine have all made sauerkraut more interesting….. If you’re going to the trouble of making your own kraut, you may well prefer to make it special.” The Joy of Pickling. 2016. Page 216.
She also notes some historical flavourings:
According to Mark Kurlansky (Salt: A World History, 2002) by the sixteenth century tradespeople in Alsace called Surkrutschneider were slicing cabbage and salting it in barrels with such seasons as anise seeds, bay leaves, elderberries, fennel, horseradish, savory, cloves, and cumin.” The Joy of Pickling. 2016. Page 222.
How does the magic work
How does the magic transformation of cabbage into sauerkraut happen?
The University of Wisconsin Extension says, “The juice extracted from shredded cabbage by adding salt contains fermentable sugars. Cabbage’s natural flora cause fermentation to take place.” Make your own sauerkraut. Page 1. In more precise terms, bacteria on the cabbage leaves convert the sugars in the cabbage leaves to lactic-acid.
Ziedrich gives more detailed information:
Full-flavoured sauerkraut ferments in stages: Leuconostoc mesenteroides produces carbon dioxide to create anaerobic conditions for Lactobacillus plantarium, which produces a lot of acid and removes a bitter-flavoured compound (mannitol) produced by Leuconostoc. Many other bacteria may contribute to the process, too, depending on temperature, salt concentration, and how long fermentation is allowed to continue. All this happens with remarkably little intervention on the part of the sauerkraut maker.” The Joy of Pickling. 2016. Page 221.
Boil water, let cool. To 1 litre (quart / 4 cups / 32 oz) of cooled water, add 1 1/2 tablespoons of pickling salt. Use for top up or putting in plastic bag.
How soon to top up with extra brine, if you didn’t get enough juice out of the cabbage? Most sources seem to suggest right away. Linda Ziedrich, for the record, differs. She suggests weighting it all down, and then checking in 24 hours to see if the salt has managed to draw out more juice to make enough. If not, then add the extra brine: “Within 24 hours, the cabbage should be submerged in its own brine. If it isn’t, then dissolve 1 1/2 tablespoons pickling salt in 1 quart (litre) water and pour as much of that as you need over the cabbage.” The Joy of Pickling. 2016. Page 217.
The All New Ball Book goes further, and advises giving it 36 hours to produce enough juice before giving up and adding top-up brine.
This thinking could be useful to those who don’t want to dilute the acidity or be adding yet more salt to the mixture.
If something happens during fermentation to allow some of the brine to evaporate away, exposing the cabbage, PennState advises the following: “Remove any dried, discolored leaves or any showing signs of mold growth. Then add enough boiled and cooled brine made from 1 1/2 tablespoons of salt per quart [litre] of water to cover.” Penn State Extension. Canning and Freezing Questions and Answers. Accessed December 2017.
Options for weighing the sauerkraut down
You absolutely have to weigh the sauerkraut down below the surface of the liquid in its fermenting container. The University of Wisconsin Extension says, “It is absolutely essential that you cover the cabbage and liquid to exclude air, since the fermentation process requires anaerobic conditions (without oxygen.)” Make your own sauerkraut. Page 3.
Plate with weights
“A heavy plate or glass lid that fits down inside the container can be used. If extra weight is needed, a glass jar(s) filled with water and sealed can be set on top of the plate or lid.” Andress, Elizabeth L. and Judy A. Harrison. So Easy to Preserve. University of Georgia Cooperative Extension. Bulletin 989. Sixth Edition. 2014. Page 127
Note: So Easy to Preserve says, “If you use jars as weights you will have to check the kraut 2 to 3 times each week and remove scum if it forms. ” So Easy to Preserve. 2014. Page 150 Many other sources suggest in fact that daily could be needed.
You can use a super large, heavy-duty freezer bag filled with salted water. Make the salted water in the following proportions as for the Brine mentioned above. Though this may not have the charm of rustic ceramic weights, etc, by all accounts it is pretty much the superior way.
It drastically reduces any chance of spoilage. And while other methods require you to skim scum off the sauerkraut frequently (sometimes daily), with the water bag approach you set it and forget it, not touching the sauerkraut until it is ready weeks later.
The USDA Complete Guide says,
Fine quality fermented vegetables are also obtained when the plate is weighted down with a very large clean, plastic bag filled with 3 quarts [litres] of water containing 4-1/2 tablespoons of canning or pickling salt. Be sure to seal the plastic bag. Freezer bags sold for packaging turkeys are suitable for use with 5-gallon [20 litre] containers.” United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Complete guide to home canning. Agriculture information bulletin No. 539. 2015. Page 6-6.
So Easy to Preserve says double-bag it:
Another option for submerging the vegetables in brine is to place one food-grade plastic bag inside another and fill the inside bag with some of the pickling brine. Freezer bags sold for packaging turkeys are the right size for 5-gallon [20 litre] containers. Close the end securely. Then use this filled bag as the weight on top of the vegetables. Filling the bag with brine is a precaution, in case the bags are accidentally punctured… If you weight the cabbage down with a brine-filled bag, do not disturb the crock until normal fermentation is completed (when bubbling ceases.) So Easy to Preserve. Pages 127 and 150
Wisconsin points out that using a bag reduces the need to be vigilant about scum:
A water-filled plastic bag is one of the easiest and best ways to both cover and weight down the cabbage…. it results in the least spoilage…. (As well), scum is less likely to form when you use the water-filled bag as a cover and weight.” Make your own sauerkraut. Pages 2-3.
When you are using just about any weight technique other than the brine-filled bag (above), you have to deal with the question of scum (often Kahm’s yeast) forming.
Linda Ziedrich gives this tip about how to make it easier to deal with the scum:
Some people cover the shredded cabbage with whole cabbage leaves before adding the plate, and some use a clean piece of muslin or two layers of cheesecloth. These are optional measures, but they are helpful if the brine gets scummy: you can replace the leaves or cloth with fresh ones instead of trying to skim off the scum.” The Joy of Pickling. 2016. Page 217.
The All New Ball Book of Canning and Preserving (2016, page 252) also advises the cabbage leaf covering.
If you are using the plastic bag weight method, the floating surface cabbage leaves are redundant; completely not needed.
Covering the container
Regardless of the weight method you use (and whether you floated a cabbage leaf on top or not), you then need to cover the actual whole container. The USDA, Ball, Bernardin and So Easy to Preserve all say to use a large bath towel.
Linda Ziedrich says, “Cover the container with its lid (if it has one), with a board, or with a towel or other cloth.” The Joy of Pickling. 2016. Page 217.
The idea is to keep pests and dust out, but still allow gases to escape, so you don’t want air tight.
Suitable fermenting containers for sauerkraut
For each 2 kg (5 lbs) of cabbage that you are making into sauerkraut, you will need 4 litres (4 quarts / 1 gallon) of capacity in your fermenting container.
We’re going to refer you to the The National Center for Home Food Preservation for their succinct advice on fermenting containers.
Note: they do warn that batches in small containers, such as Mason jars, can be prone to spoilage.
The Ball / Bernardin Complete Book says,
A 4-quart (4 litre) container is needed for every 5 pounds (2.3 kg) of fresh vegetables. Thus, when making sauerkraut with 25 lbs (11.4 kg) of cabbage, you will need a 20-quart (20 litre) container such as a stone crock or glass or food-grade plastic container. We do not recommend using multiple smaller containers, because there will be greater spoilage loss.” Ball / Bernardin Complete. 2015. Page 344.
Scum on sauerkraut
If all is going well, scum you see on the top of your sauerkraut is likely to be white kahm yeast. It’s a part of life when you are fermenting stuff. It’s not harmful, but don’t want to eat it. Just skim it off.
Desirable fermentation temperature ranges
The USDA Complete Guide says,
For obtaining a good quality sauerkraut at home, the USDA recommendation is to store at 70º to 75ºF [21º to 24º C] while fermenting. At temperatures between 70º and 75ºF [21º to 24º C], kraut will be fully fermented in about 3 to 4 weeks; at 60º to 65ºF [16º to 18ºC], fermentation may take 5 to 6 weeks. At temperatures lower than 60ºF [16º], kraut may not ferment. Above 75ºF [24º C], kraut may become soft.” USDA Complete Guide. 2015. Page 6-8.
Linda Ziedrich says, “Set the container out of direct sunlight at cool room temperature, no higher than 75º F (24º C)…. Sauerkraut that ferments at cooler temperatures – 65º F (18º C) or lower – has the best flavour and colour and highest vitamin C levels.” The Joy of Pickling. 2016. Page 217 and 221.
Wisconsin Extension says if the temperature gets too cold, all is not lost: “If the temperature drops below freezing, fermentation will stop, but will start again when the temperature rises into a favourable range.” Make your own sauerkraut. Page 3
About the salt
Use only salt with no additives
The salt you use must be non-iodized. “Use a non-iodized salt, because iodine will prevent the bacterial fermentation necessary to change cabbage into sauerkraut. Use bulk pickling or canning salt, available at most supermarkets, in making sauerkraut.” Make your own sauerkraut. Page 1.
Make sure as well that there’s no anti-caking agent (added to keep table salt free flowing in shakers) in the salt, as that can turn your sauerkraut cloudy.
If you use pickling / canning salt, you are covered on both accounts.
Yes, kosher and sea salt in theory should work too, provided they are free of additives, though depending on the crystal size they may measure differently if you are measuring by volume. But salt labelled as pickling / canning is often cheaper than those “fancier” salts anyway.
The role of the salt
Wisconsin Extension says,
Salt… helps control the flora of the fermentation by favouring the lactic acid-producing bacteria and inhibiting the undesirable competitors…. Using too little salt not only softens the cabbage tissue, but also yields a product lacking in flavour. Too much salt delays the natural fermentation and, depending on the degree of oversalting, may cause an acrid flavour, darken the colour or allow pink pigment-producing yeasts to grow.” Make your own sauerkraut. Page 2.
It is absolutely true that sauerkraut is a salty food.
Wisconsin Extension says, “Because of the salt necessary to regulate the fermentation, sauerkraut is a high-sodium food, containing about 1.5 grams (1,500 mg) sodium per cup.” Make your own sauerkraut. Page 1. [Ed: sodium levels in commercial brands vary between 800 mg and 1500 mg per 150 g / 1 cup]
However, do NOT reduce or increase the salt! The amounts indicated are absolutely needed for safety.
The salt used in making fermented sauerkraut…. not only provides characteristic flavor but also is vital to safety and texture. In fermented foods, salt favors the growth of desirable bacteria while inhibiting the growth of others. Caution: Do not attempt to make sauerkraut… by cutting back on the salt required.” USDA Complete Guide. 2015. Page 1-28.
If you find the finished product too salty for your liking, simply rinse it before consuming. (Note though that rinsing it will also reduce the tartness.)
To be clear: rinse just before eating. Not before storing the sauerkraut, and particularly not before canning.
PennState Extension says,
Q: Can it be rinsed and then packed into jars and then add clear water before processing in a boiling water bath?
A: No. Sauerkraut should not be rinsed before processing since that would also rinse away natural acids in the brine. Heat destruction of harmful microbes is slower under less acid conditions so [that] would be creating a food safety risk. Process the salty kraut as it is now. To reduce saltiness, rinse only after the jars are processed and opened.” Penn State Extension. Canning and Freezing Questions and Answers.
Can you add extra salt
You don’t want to add more salt than called for. That brings its own problems.
Linda Ziedrich says that doing so may turn the top part of your fermenting cabbage a pink colour. The Joy of Pickling. 2016. Page 224.
Wisconsin Extension explains that the pink colour comes from the excess salt having encouraged the wrong kind of fermenting activity in the cabbage:
Too much salt delays the natural fermentation and, depending on the degree of oversalting, may cause an acrid flavour, darken the colour or allow pink pigment-producing yeast to grow.” Make your own sauerkraut. Page 2.
Storing the sauerkraut
Pack into plastic containers or straight-sided glass Mason jars, leaving 4 cm (1 1/2 inches) headspace, or into sealed freezer bags.
Linda Ziedrich says:
…you can freeze it, in either plastic freezer bags or rigid containers; freezing may preserve the vitamin C content better than canning, and it doesn’t harm the texture much.” The Joy of Pickling. 2016. Page 217.
If you have a very cool storage area, you can keep the sauerkraut in a crock or in the fermentation container.
But, Linda Ziedrich says, it must be a very cool place, far cooler than where you fermented it:
When the sauerkraut is ready, you can store it, tightly covered, in… another very cool place (at about 38º F or 3º C.)” The Joy of Pickling. 2016. Page 217.
If you try to store it in the same area where you fermented it, it will keep on fermenting past the optimal point, and you run the risk of a lot of surface yeast forming and causing the top of the sauerkraut to be wasted.
If you do have an appropriate cool place just above freezing, then cellaring it could be an option you want to consider. Wisconsin Extension advises to just continue to make sure that the cabbage is never exposed to air. After removing portions, re-cover and re-weigh it down. If a small amount of surface spoilage appears after each opening, just skim that out the next time you go in there. Make your own sauerkraut. Page 4
Pack into jars, put lids on, refrigerate for up to several months.
Sauerkraut is safe for home canning because it is naturally high-acid on its own, even without the addition of vinegar: “The microorganisms on cabbage leaves will produce between 1.5 and 2 percent acid (chiefly lactic acid) and thereby preserve the cabbage.” Make your own sauerkraut. Page 1.
Heads up: As the Ball / Bernardin Complete says, “Different-sized jars and raw-pack or hot-pack methods affect processing time.” Ball / Bernardin Complete. 2015. Page 344.
Jar size choices: Either 1/2 litre (1 US pint) OR 1 litre (1 US quart)
Processing method: Water bath or steam canning
Headspace: 2 cm (1/2 inch)
Processing time: varies
Raw pack: pack juice and cabbage into heated jars. Leave 2 cm (1/2 inch) headspace. (Note: USDA does not specify whether to heat the jar or not. Ball / Bernardin Complete and Bernardin Guide say for raw pack, heat the jars.)
Hot pack: put juice and cabbage into a large pot, bring slowly to the boil. Stir often. Pack heated jars firmly with cabbage and liquid. Leave 2 cm (1/2 inch) headspace.
Note: University of Wisconsin Extension says, “If there is not enough sauerkraut juice to cover all the kraut in the jars, use a boiling hot, weak brine — 2 tablespoons salt for each quart / litre of water.” Make your own sauerkraut. Page 4.
Either pack type: Debubble. Wipe rims, put lids on. Process choosing correct processing time for your pack type and altitude.
Hot pack processing times
|Required processing time in minutes per altitude|
|Jar Size||0 - 300 m / 0 - 1,000 ft||301 - 900 m / 1,001 - 3,000 ft||901 - 1,800 m / 3,001 - 6,000 ft||Above 1,800 m / 6,000|
|1/2 litre (US pint)||10 min||15 min||15 min||20 min|
|1 litre (US quart)||15 min||20 min||20 min||25 min|
Raw pack processing times
|Required processing time in minutes per altitude|
|Jar Size||0 - 300 m / 0 - 1,000 ft||301 - 900 m / 1,001 - 3,000 ft||901 - 1,800 m / 3,001 - 6,000 ft||Above 1,800 m / 6,000|
|1/2 litre (US pint)||20 min||25 min||30 min||35 min|
|1 litre (US quart)||25 min||30 min||35 min||40 min|
Processing time variations
Ball / Bernardin Complete, Bernardin Guide, So Easy to Preserve. Same as USDA above, which is : Hot pack pints (half litres) 10 minutes, quarts (litres) 15 minutes. Raw pack pints (half-litres) 20 minutes, quarts (litres) 25 minutes.
Ball Blue Book, University of Wisconsin Extension: Hot pack pints (half litres) 15 minutes, quarts (litres) 20 minutes. (Wisconsin Extension says, “Start to count processing time as soon as the hot jars are placed in actively boiling water.”) No raw pack option provided by either.
For the record, The Joy of Pickling omits hot pack and gives USDA raw pack processing times.
Remember for all, adjust time for your altitude!
How to water bath process.
How to steam can.
When water-bath canning or steam canning, you must adjust the processing time for your altitude.
Per 1 cup (150 g / 5 oz)
- 38 calories, 852 mg sodium.
- Weight Watchers PointsPlus®: 1 point
- Weight Watchers SmartPoints®: 1 point
(Based on Polonia brand sauerkraut information provided by MyFitnessPal.)
* Nutrition info provided by MyFitnessPal
* PointsPlus™ and SmartPoints™ calculated by healthycanning.com. Not endorsed by Weight Watchers® International, Inc, which is the owner of the PointsPlus® and SmartPoints® registered trademarks.
University of Alaska Fairbanks Extension Service
Cornell University Extension Service
Sauerkraut. In: United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Complete guide to home canning. Agriculture information bulletin No. 539. 2015. Page 6-8.
Modifications: The USDA recipe is based on 25 lbs (10 kg) of cabbage and 3/4 cup (275 g) of salt, preparing that in batches of 5 lbs (2 kg) of cabbage and 3 tablespoons of salt. We went with the 5 lbs (2 kg) / 3 tablespoons measurements, to show people that smaller batches are possible.
If you just want a small batch, we’d suggest that if all at possible you at least do a double batch of 10 lbs (4 kg) and 6 tablespoons of salt, in order to avoid the fermentation issues that everyone warns of with very small batches. That much will only give you 4 quart / litre jars anyway, which would probably be in little danger of lingering for years if there are sauerkraut lovers in the house.
Also found in:
Ball / Bernardin Complete Book of Home Preserving. Judi Kingry and Lauren Devine. Toronto: Robert Rose. 2015. Page 344.
Ball Blue Book. Muncie, Indiana: Healthmark LLC / Jarden Home Brands. Edition 37. 2014. Page 76.
Bernardin Guide to Home Preserving. Toronto, Canada: Bernardin Ltd. 2013. Page 92.
So Easy to Preserve. University of Georgia Cooperative Extension. Elizabeth L. Andress and Judy A. Harrison. Bulletin 989. Sixth Edition. 2014. Pp 149-150.
A minor variation occurs in: All New Ball Book of Canning and Preserving. Meredith L. Butcher, Ed. New York: Oxmoor House. 2016. Page 252.
The Ball All New allows for a smaller batch of 1 kg (2 1/2 lbs) of cabbage and 1 1/2 tablespoons of salt. It contradicts the advice of all the others by advising you to ferment it in 2 x 1 litre (quart) jars. The Ball Complete, for instance, directly says you are running the risk of spoilage in doing just that. The All New does, however, have the interesting advice (seen in some folk sources) of taking the removed outer leaves, washing them, and placing them on top the sauerkraut (along with the usual weight etc) to help cover the sauerkraut further. This could also help with scum cleaning, particularly if you use their weights suggestion instead of the filled plastic bag. (See: Cabbage-leaf sub-covering above.)
Laborde, Luke. Sauerkraut. PennState Extension. Dec 2017. Accessed Dec 2017.
Mennes, Mary E. Make your own sauerkraut. University of Wisconsin Extension. B2087. 1994. (Also has troubleshooting section at end. Note: processing times don’t match USDA.)
Zepp, Martha. Time to make sauerkraut. PennState Extension. Dec 2017. Accessed Dec 2017.
Linda Ziedrich has an excellent section on Sauerkraut in her Joy of Pickling (2016), pages 215 to 231. She covers flavouring options such as adding white wine, sugar, shredded apple, as well as Kraut cutting boards. She also provides ideas for using and cooking with sauerkraut on page 226.
References [ + ]
|1.||↑||Ziedrich, Linda. The Joy of Pickling. Boston, Massachusetts: The Harvard Common Press. 2016. Third Edition. Page 217.|
|2.||↑||Mennes, Mary E. Make your own sauerkraut. University of Wisconsin Extension. 1994. B2087. Page 1.|
|3.||↑||The Joy of Pickling. 2016. Page 225.|
|4.||↑||The Joy of Pickling. 2016. Page 216.|
|5.||↑||The Joy of Pickling. 2016. Page 222|
|6.||↑||Make your own sauerkraut. Page 1.|
|7.||↑||The Joy of Pickling. 2016. Page 221.|
|8.||↑||The Joy of Pickling. 2016. Page 217.|
|9.||↑||Penn State Extension. Canning and Freezing Questions and Answers. Accessed December 2017.|
|10.||↑||Make your own sauerkraut. Page 3.|
|11.||↑||Andress, Elizabeth L. and Judy A. Harrison. So Easy to Preserve. University of Georgia Cooperative Extension. Bulletin 989. Sixth Edition. 2014. Page 127|
|12.||↑||So Easy to Preserve. 2014. Page 150|
|13.||↑||United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Complete guide to home canning. Agriculture information bulletin No. 539. 2015. Page 6-6.|
|14.||↑||So Easy to Preserve. Pages 127 and 150|
|15.||↑||Make your own sauerkraut. Pages 2-3.|
|16.||↑||The Joy of Pickling. 2016. Page 217.|
|17.||↑||The Joy of Pickling. 2016. Page 217.|
|18.||↑||Ball / Bernardin Complete. 2015. Page 344.|
|19.||↑||USDA Complete Guide. 2015. Page 6-8.|
|20.||↑||The Joy of Pickling. 2016. Page 217 and 221.|
|21.||↑||Make your own sauerkraut. Page 3|
|22.||↑||Make your own sauerkraut. Page 1.|
|23.||↑||Make your own sauerkraut. Page 2.|
|24.||↑||Make your own sauerkraut. Page 1.|
|25.||↑||USDA Complete Guide. 2015. Page 1-28.|
|26.||↑||Penn State Extension. Canning and Freezing Questions and Answers.|
|27.||↑||The Joy of Pickling. 2016. Page 224.|
|28.||↑||Make your own sauerkraut. Page 2.|
|29.||↑||The Joy of Pickling. 2016. Page 217.|
|30.||↑||The Joy of Pickling. 2016. Page 217.|
|31.||↑||Make your own sauerkraut. Page 4|
|32.||↑||Make your own sauerkraut. Page 1.|
|33.||↑||Ball / Bernardin Complete. 2015. Page 344.|
|34.||↑||Make your own sauerkraut. Page 4.|