My 3-week fermented sauerkraut went down the drain today. This was my second unsuccessful attempt at making homemade kraut. I’m not quitting though! There are no failures, only opportunities for learning so while I was not successfull in the usual sense, I did succeed in learning something valuable.
1. The cabbage must be completely covered with brine at all times. First batch was not covered. It was not good.
2. Air is sauerkraut’s enemy. Second batch had something interesting going on. Although I carefully pressed the air out and made sure it was completely covered with brine, I kept finding that air bubbles were rising up each time checked it. I kept packing it down and each time some bubbles would rise. I thought this weird until last Friday I found the cause. My crock was not water tight. The exterior was saturated with brine and beginning to mold. In an attempt to save the batch, I transferred it to a large glass container, packed it in and put it back under a fresh dish towel. After cleaning the “crock”, I looked closely and found the interior glaze was crazed. I don’t know if it was like that when I started of if it was damaged by the brine. In any case, today my check revealed a nasty smell, murkey brine and mold. Use glass.
Yeah. It was pretty gross so down the sink it went. (should have taken it to compost but it was pouring rain and I just wanted it gone).
No worries. I will get more cabbage and try it again. In glass. Covered in brine. Perhaps I will eat freshly fermented kraut this time or maybe I will learn another lesson. Either way, its progress!