Sauerkraut For Beginners | Ancestral Evolution | Skillshare

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Project and Materials


    • 3.

      The Science of Sauerkraut


    • 4.

      Cabbage Preparation


    • 5.

      Salt Calculation


    • 6.

      Salting and Packing Jars


    • 7.

      How to Manage Your Ferment


    • 8.

      Final Thoughts/Recipe Variations


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About This Class

Welcome! In this class, you will learn everything you need to know to make your very own batch of sauerkraut. There are so many reasons to learn to make your own sauerkraut!

Homemade sauerkraut is:

  • Easy to make
  • Great for you (tons of probiotics and more accessible nutrients, especially vitamin C, K, and folate)
  • Way less expensive than buying it
  • A great way to preserve cabbage and other vegetables
  • Easily customizable to your unique taste buds
  • Delicious!

This class is geared toward the beginner student. No experience or prior knowledge is necessary!

This class covers both a basic salt-cabbage sauerkraut and guidelines on how to successfully jazz up your recipe. In addition you will learn:

  • The science of sauerkraut (why cabbage+salt+time=saurkraut)
  • How to properly prepare your cabbage and other veggies
  • How to calculate how much salt to use
  • How to properly pack your jars
  • How to manage your sauerkraut over the fermentation process and how to store your sauerkraut

Hope you come along and join us in this class!

Music Credit: "Treat Yourself" by Dyalla

Meet Your Teacher

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Ancestral Evolution

Traditional skills for the modern world


Hello, we are Eliza and Dave! Join us on our adventures with homesteading, the ketogenic diet, and science of natural living. We run a small farm with a flock of fiber animals made up of several different kinds of sheep and a guard llama named "Banjo." We look forward to sharing what we've learned along the way with the Skillshare community. Whether you are thinking about starting a small farm or just embarking on a journey into fiber, we hope to have something for you!

See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction: Hey there, I'm ELISA with ancestral evolution, and today I'm gonna teach you how to make my favorite simple ferment, and that is sour cracked. There's so many reasons to make your own sauerkraut at help. First, it's really secondly, sauerkraut is great for you. Not only does it have a bunch of great probiotics to help your gets be as healthy as they can, it also has higher levels of some nutrients. For instance, red raw red cabbage has about 50 milligrams of vitamin C in it, where, as a cup of sauerkraut from red cabbage can have up to 700 kilograms. So we're harnessing the power of microbes to make some super nutrient dense food. Next, homemade sauerkraut is super tasty. Not only that, you can customize your sauerkraut to meet your own personal taste. You can add in extra flavours or different vegetables. You can also choose to ferment your sauerkraut less or more depending on your personal taste. Next, while you can buy raw sauerkraut, most of what you see in grocery store is going to be pasteurized, which means it doesn't have all of the good probiotics that your homemade sauerkraut is gonna have Also, divine mint content of some of that pasteurized sauerkraut is not gonna be nearly as much. And thirdly, getting good quality sauerkraut is expensive, so making your own sauerkraut home is going to be a lot better on your wallet, too. Finally, it's a great way to preserve seasonal vegetables. Properly cured Sarah crap can keep for months and months in the fridge or in a root cellar , so this could be a great way to preserve your extra cash. Just in this class, you'll learn all the basics to get you started and to be successful making your own batch of sour craft. Bruce will talk about the science. It's our craft, why it works, what kind of microbes we have going on and what prevents us from getting sick from sour craft. Next, we'll talk about how to properly prepare the vegetables in the cabbage that we're gonna be using in our recipe. Next, I'll be teaching you how to calculate the amount of salt we're gonna need. They don't show you how to properly pack your jars so we get the best ferment possible. Finally, we're gonna talk about how to manage your sauerkraut over the fermentation process. How to tell when it's done and also have a story. All right. Hope you come along and join me for this class. 2. Project and Materials: your project for this class is to create your own batch of sour craft. It could be as simple or as complicated as you want. Just take a picture of it and posted in the projects tab. Also tell me a little bit about what your experience was making this our craft. How long did you let it ferment? Did you like the taste? Did you like the level of salt in it? Would you do something different next time? Love, You know, let's talk about some of the things we're gonna need to get started first. Informers, we're going to need something to do. I a fermentation in. For the purposes of this class, I suggest using a wide mouth canning jar. I think these jars are great. They are very versatile and they come in different sizes. If you wanna make a really small batch of several craft, you can do it in a pint sized yard or a court size. Or if you're making a bunch, you can do 1/2 gallon or even a gallon. So I think that these are great for the beginner. They're also really accessible. You can find them anywhere. They're very easy to clean. Finally, and I think this is a big deal, especially for beginners, is you can see exactly what's going on in your fermentation vessel. It's not a mysterious black hole that you reach into in a couple weeks and see what's in there. I think being able to see what's going on is a huge thing, especially when you're starting out in terms of comfort level with your sauerkraut. A fermentation crop works great. Two. For the purposes of this class, I'm gonna be demonstrating with a mason jar. I really like using these glass fermentation weights. You can get them pretty inexpensively online, various places, but especially the ones with handles. They fit really nicely in the wide mouth Mason jars, and they're very easy to clean and easy to deal with. There's not a lot of mess. He's a great If you don't have one of these, you can use something like a smaller mason jar weighted down with some clean marbles or you've been some clean rocks and sit this in the top of your fermentation vessel. You could also use a ramic in with the similar kind of set up, or even like a silicon muffin tin. If you have none of these items, you can even use a Ziploc bag with some brine in it. And just use that as your fermentation weight. If you're gonna be making sauerkraut with any kind of regularity, though, I do suggest investing in some of these. Like I said, they're pretty inexpensive, and they will make your life a lot easier. Next, you're going to need a cover of some kind for your firm it. I like using these plastic wide mouth covers. You could also use a coffee filter or some fine mesh cheesecloth or really any kind of cloth with a rubber band over it would work fine. You want to be able to let the gas escape out of your fermentation vessel, but you don't want to let the fruit flies in. You're gonna need a bowl of some kind or pot to mix your veggies and your salt in. You're gonna need a cutting board and a knife. A scale is not absolutely necessary, but it is very helpful. I'm going to be showing you a recipe with the use of a scale and without the use of the scale, so If you don't have one, it's OK if you plan to be making a lot of sauerkraut on a regular basis. I highly I suggest you invest in one of these kitchen scales. They're pretty cheap and easy to find, and they make things a lot of here. Next, let's talk a little bit about salt to my first choice for salt win. Doing sauerkraut and other fermented vegetables is something like Redman's real salt or a Himalayan pink salt. I think these air the highest quality salts without some of the contamination that is in other salts. Just regular sea salt can be a good option two. But I think there is some concern about contamination with some chemicals and plastic in that sea salt. So that's why I prefer the Redman's or heavily insult. You could also use something like just the canning and pickling salt. This salt does not have any additives or anti caking agents in it, so this would be a fine salt to use. It just doesn't have as many of the trace minerals and other things that, for instance, Redman's and Himalayan salt do left monopolies do not use iodized table salt this salt has anti caking agents in it and some other additives, which can mess up your fermentation a little bit. Steer clear of iodized table salt. Last but not least, you're gonna need some cabbage now. I suggest using the freshest possible cabbage that you confined. Also, if you confined it local organic, that's the best you could use. Green cabbage. You could use red cabbage. You can use Napa cabbage pretty much. All of these would work. We'll talk about just the basics of how to make a salt and cabbage Onley sauerkraut, and at the end, we'll talk about some other variations to the of this recipe if you want toe jazz things up a little bit. 3. The Science of Sauerkraut: to Let's talk a little bit about this science of celebrate. Why does it work? Why do we get sauerkraut when we ferment cabbage and salt? And why don't we end up getting some of the bad bacteria in there that can cause us to get sick? There are two main things that prevent the growth of so called bad bacteria. You know our fermentation vessels. The first is having adequate salt, and the second is having a fermentation vessel that is free of oxygen. So this is what's called an anaerobic environment. Both of these factors set up a situation where the lactic acid producing bacteria can really thrive and get going. Once these bacteria produce enough lactic acid, they actually lower the pH of the sauerkraut. And this prevents the growth of things like E. Coli salmonella and prevents botulism. So pretty important stuff. Now you may ask way, Or do these lactic acid producing bacteria come from well, there are a bunch already on your cabbage. You don't need to worry about adding any extra cultures to your cabbage. Now, some places do sell like several crap cultures. Teoh get those bacteria going a little bit faster and those air fine to use, but they're not necessary. All you need is your cabbage and your salt pretty much. 4. Cabbage Preparation: So let's talk about how to properly prepare your cabbage and your vegetables for making sour craft. So you're gonna take your head of cabbage first, and you are going to you take off some of these outer leaves just to now. You do not want to throw these leaves away. We're gonna save them. So pro tip number one. Do not throw away the outer leaves of your cabbage. Hold onto this. We're gonna take our knife and just cut office damn portions of the cabbage. Then just cut it in half and you're going to remove the core in the middle of the cabbage. Just kind of do a wedge cut here and you could discard this. When we prepare a cabbage, we want as much service areas possible. Now there are a couple ways to do this. One is to use an old school box grater or something like this. And just great the cabbage. Another option is just to cut up your cabbage. Finally with the knife. Now, if you're doing it with the night, you want pretty fine slices, something like this, or maybe even smaller. We want as much surface area as we can if you have a food processor of some kind of this is a great time to break it out. I like using my food processor with a grating plate on the top, or you could even use a slicing plate. This will give you some nice thin slices. That is perfect Percenter Crap. Two. For the purposes of this class, I'm gonna be using the grading plate on my food processor. But like I said, you could do it with the box grader, or even just with a knife, if that's what you got, because we're not adding extra brine to our cabbage. We want as much surface area as we can because that's going to allow the water that's already in the cabbage to be drawn out with our salt and to create its own brine. Other traditional cabbage ferments, such as kimchi use added brine Teoh the cabbage mixture and those pieces of cabbage are typically larger than what's used in sauerkraut. So, like I mentioned today, I'm gonna be using my food processor because it is quicker and I don't have any chance of grading my fingers like I do with the box grater, so I just have the grading faceplate on my compressor. Put the weight on and I just cut the core out of the cabbage. I'm going to cut this in smaller pieces that I can feed into the food processor, and we're getting great enough. 5. Salt Calculation: next, I'm gonna show you how to calculate how much salt we're gonna need for our recipe. So good quality sauerkraut typically has between 1.5% in 2.5% salt. So this is by weight. So what we're gonna do first as we're going to weigh how much cabbage we have. So I've just got a digital kitchen scale here. I like working in grams, but you can work in with everyone, and I'm just gonna tear my bowl. All right, I'm gonna add our cabbage. So we've got 1283 grams of cabbage, 1283 grams of cabbage, and we're gonna multiply that by 0.0 to to give us a 2% salt solution. And that's going to give us 25 0.7 grams of salt. All just ran rounded up to 26 grams. So if you were using 1.5 percent, you would do 0.15 Or if you want a 2.5, you could do do 0.25 instant. So that's how to get your accurate salt conversion. I think using a scale is the most accurate way. Teoh. Calculate the amount of salt to use. However, if you don't have a scale, you can use the ratio £2 of cabbage to one tablespoon of salt. 6. Salting and Packing Jars: you're gonna take the cabbage that you have grated or chopped up and you're just gonna add a layer into your bowl here, that's do just a layer can image. We're just gonna Sprinkles insults on that layer. I'm gonna do another layer of cabbage, another sprinkled souls and the last bit of damage here and last bring himself on top. All right, so we've got her cabbage and our start assault in our bolt, and now it's time to do some massaging. So make sure your hands are nice and clean and get him in there. We're just going Teoh kind of squeeze and massage this cabbage to incorporate all the salts . Teoh. This is the beginning of our brine making process. Here, you're just going to massage this cabbage for maybe about 30 seconds or so until it's nice and incorporated. You can see the liquid already to starting to come out of this cabbage. The salt next pro tip. Let this salt and cabbage mixture sit for about 20 to 30 minutes before we pack it into jars. That's gonna allow more of the moisture to come out of the cabbage and enable you to pack your jars really well, without any air, I'm just gonna cover this with the plate and set it aside for about 20 to 30 minutes. All right, so it's been about 30 minutes here, and as you can see, our cabbages kind of much more wilted than it Waas. And we got a lot of liquid. If I pushed down, you can see all the liquid there, so that is a nice brine. And now we're ready to pack our jars. So I just got a court wide mouth mason jar here, and you can do this with a spoon or they make specific tools for packing jars. But I think it's easier to do just by hand. And so we're just gonna add our cabbage in here and once you have a decent amount and you can kind of just squish it down so you get the liquid and the Brian coming up over the cabbage. We're just gonna keep doing that until our jar is nice and full. Our goal here is to get all of the air out of here. That we can go. We're gonna fill our court jar up to the elbow in the jar and Now we're going to get one of those pieces of outside leaves of cabbage that we have from before, right? So you can take your piece of the outside cabbage leaf and just kind of stuff it down in here. This is my next pro tip. It helps prevents floaties on the top that can mold and things like that. All right, so now you're gonna take your fermentation. Wait and just sit it on top of your leaf and just kind of pushed down a little bit until you get the liquid coming up over the leaf and we're gonna take our little just put it on top. Now, you just want this kind of loosely on their you don't want it cranked all the way down because we don't do want to be able to let the gas in our fermentation out as the fermentation process progresses. So now we're just gonna finish packing our jars. Next, protect while you have your salt out. Go ahead and make some extra bride. So to do this, I have about 1.2 cups of water filtered water, that is, and I'm just gonna add one tablespoon of salt to that I'm just going to dissolve the salt and just sit it in the fridge until I need it. Next protest. Use something like a Tupperware or some kind of trey to set your sauerkraut. And while they ferment as your sour crap ferments, it's going to create more brine for several days. And some of that Brian may overflow your jars, so keeping your jars contained in some kind of container will make sure that you don't end up with a cabbage E mess all over your countertops. Next, make sure you that you label your jars with the date. This is especially important if you have multiple jars or batches going at the same time. I just label it the date when I started it. 7. How to Manage Your Ferment: All right, so let's talk a little bit about managing the fermentation process. When you got your jars nice and packed and covered and set in a trade, you're just gonna leave them at room temperature. Now, what I mean by room tempter is somewhere between 60 and 70 greens Fahrenheit. Ideally now, if your temperature is colder than that, then the fermentation process may take a lot longer. If it is warmer than that, it may happen quicker, so just keep that in mind. When you're kind of tasting your sauerkraut and deciding when to pull your ferment. The first couple of days you have your ferment sitting on your counter. You're gonna notice that it is creating more and more brine. In fact, Brian production peaks about day four or so, so you may notice that some of the cabbage juice and Brian is kind of overflowing out of your jars. That's why we have it sitting in a trick that's perfectly normal. You may also notice a little bit of a cavity sauerkraut odor starting at that point, and that's fine, too. Now, a couple of days after day for you may want to start checking the Brian levels in your jars . If they get a little bit low, you're gonna want to add some of that extra Brian that we made earlier and just check it every couple days, and if he needs a lot more, just top it off a little bit. You may also notice that your ferments start to create gas bubbles down in your cabbage layer that is also perfectly fine and normal. They Some of those gas bubbles will rise up to the top and come out and others will just stay there. And that's fine. You don't have to worry about trying to get them out. That's all part of the fermentation process. You may also notice that you get some sort of floating bits of cabbage that come to the surface, and it's possible some mold may develop on those pieces. If that happens, just scoop them off. Don't worry that something that can just happen on the top when you get floating piece of cabbage and using these larger pieces of the outside leaves can help prevent from getting too much floaters on the top. And that's why I like to use these leaves. The next question and Probably the biggest question you're asking is when it is my sauerkraut done. So the answer to this is it depends. So I recommend that you start tasting your sauerkraut after about one week and see where you like it The most. Microbial diversity in terms of probiotics happens about week three, week four. So that is about when I choose to pull my sauerkraut. And I also think that you get the most true sauerkraut flavor and about week three week four. If you don't get that long, it's not gonna be as sour, which you may like. It's kind of up to your individual taste buds as what you like, or you may like to leave it longer, so playing around it, see what you think. There's no kind of right and wrong answer here. As long as you keep your cabbage covered and you've got adequate salt, you should be fine now. Once you're cabbage is fully cured, you can store it in the fridge. Or, if you have something like a root cellar, something that's below 60 F, it could be stored there for several months. So this is a great way to preserve cabbages. If you have a lot of cabbages 8. Final Thoughts/Recipe Variations: congratulations. You made it through to the end of this class. Now you know how to make your own batch of sour cracked with the simplest of greeting ingredients of cabbage and salt. There are a couple ways that you could jazz up your South crap if you feel like being a little bit more adventurous than just plain cabbage insult. One classic sauerkraut recipe is to use one medium head of cabbage, plus two or three large carrots and then a tablespoon of carraway seeds. That's kind of one of the traditional flavors in sort of German sauerkraut. Another option is to use a head of red cabbage and apple and a couple tablespoons of grated ginger, and that creates a really nice red sauerkraut that's delicious. Another option is to do sort of a Korean or kimchi inspired sauerkraut, adding ginger and garlic and some red pepper flakes, and possibly a little bit of fish sauce that is also delicious. One thing to keep in mind when you're playing around the recipes is that 75% 25% rule, which is keep your recipes 75% cabbage and 25% other things. If you are adding things like fruit that contains sugar. You're fermentation, maybe quicker than it would be otherwise. Other veggies that are great to add to your sauerkraut are beats turn its radishes, onions. Any of those would make a great addition to sauerkraut. So play around. If it do you think All right, so good luck making your own batch of sauerkraut. Let me know how it goes and, of course, post a picture in the products tab. My biggest advice to beginners is just to trust the process. It may seem scary to leave a jar of food sitting out on your counter for weeks and weeks, but as long as you have adequate cells and you have adequate Brian in there, you should be fun. Just trust it, let it go and then takes it after a week, two weeks, three weeks, you like and go from there Happy fermenting