Homemade Sauerkraut Results

After almost four months of waiting, the New Year’s Eve half-gallon sauerkraut batch results are in. Drumroll, please….

Kelly proclaims the sauerkraut, ‘perfect,’ ‘fabulous,’ and ‘just the way sauerkraut should be.’ There is none of that is-it-my-imagination-or-is-this-slightly-rotten taste we experienced when we broke into the smaller spicy sauerkraut batch just a few weeks into January. I’ve picked up the same questionable flavor in most of the homemade krauts I’ve tasted that are less aged. Despite our trepidations, we ate the spicy kraut for a few weeks until Kelly decided it didn’t agree with her guts, and I began to feel queasy after indulging in my morning spoonfuls.

With this four-months-aged kraut, I do detect what might be described as a subtle fish tank flavor, but Kelly hasn’t picked up on it, and it’s really just aquatic tasting rather than fermented/rotten tasting.

Mostly, though, it’s satisfyingly sour, with a good crunch. The kraut toward the top of the jar is slightly discolored, but we can’t tell a taste difference between the top kraut and the stuff lower in the jar.

Secretly, I had all but given up on this batch of sauerkraut, eyeing its slightly browned contents with distrust. It had lived on the kitchen counter since New Year’s, in plain sight, but we had avoided actually opening it for a taste when the three-month mark recommended in the recipe came and went. Opening the air lock lid tonight, we were braced for disappointment.

Having finally tasted a mature sauerkraut, we’re now convinced we should be more patient with all of our lacto-fermented veggies.

With success still fresh, and being my annoyingly overenthusiastic self, I immediately suggested harvesting a few of the cabbages currently in residence outside and starting a new batch, but Kelly insists this half-gallon jar will last forever.

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After taking out the little jar that had been weighing down the kraut...

After taking out the little jar that had been weighing down the kraut…

6 Responses to Homemade Sauerkraut Results

  1. Congrats!
    I’m jealous.

  2. You’ve obviously survived to tell the tale but I’d stick with Kelly’s thought that the current batch might last forever! From your photos it certainly looks like the real McCoy so congratulations on another success. I have to ask though Sarah, when did you last sip from a fish tank??

    A few months ago I was given a small jar of pickled red cabbage and after a quick taste decided it best to tuck it away to the back of the cupboard for a while. You’ve now got me feeling brave enough to give it another go…. I’ll let you know!!

    • Ha! Thankfully, I have never sipped from a fish tank, but the smell was reminiscent. I hope your pickled red cabbage has aged well. It’s amazing how sometimes these fermented foods come into their prime long after we have all but forgotten about them.

  3. Since I’m working my way through pickled beetroot and rhubarb and date chutney I’ve decided to leave the pickled red cabbage where it sits, at the back of the cupboard. Just not brave enough to attempt it at the moment!

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