Home Made/Fermented Sauerkraut

Fermenting Cabbage to make Sauerkraut is so easy. So after months of research I decided to finally make some sauerkraut. You would think that it would be easier and it is. I think I put far to much time into research.

So be it I looked through a stack of books I have in my cooking library and it is indeed a library. I just got done taking all the books out of my pantry to make room for canning jars . You get me I know you do.

Alrighty than back to the kraut. I bought this great little crock last year prior to all the family stuff happening and it has sat starring at me for 9 months.
Now everyone has there own opinion on how to do this I broke it down to three sources for the fermenting of my cabbage. I am going to run down the basics and safety stuff for you. As I always recommend the National Center for Home Preservation is the place to go for all your safety needs. 

Final Books I used
Alright my source is a book called Making Sauerkraut and Pickled Vegetables at Home written by Klaus Kaufman and Annelids Schnook.It is simple enough and this little book is to the point it gives you the history of the fermentation as they call it Lactic-acid fermentation. I call it yummy on hot dogs. The second book I find to be so valuable is Preserving Food with or without freezing or canning by Chelsea Green.

I am hoping to make some of Nanny Rosie's Sauerkraut knishes.

Alright here are the steps I do not call this a recipe because it is basic and kind of give a little take a little. The more you ferment the more you learn. 


Sauerkraut in a Crock.

Alright now remove the outer leaves of the cabbage and save them . You will use them to line the bottom of your crock. Please adjust this recipe for the weight of your cabbage or the size of your crock.


2 lbs of cabbage
1 onion thinly sliced
5 cloves
1 bay leaf
10 black peppercorns
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon dill seeds (to taste)
Distilled Water - See instructions for water volume
1 heaping teaspoon of kosher or sea salt

Tools to get for fermentation
  • A stoneware crock
  • A clean round weight or board a bit smaller than the opening of the crock to weigh the stuff down
  • A few gallons of boiled distilled salted water NOT HOT in case you need extra liquid for your crock.  1 tablespoon of sea salt/kosher salt or sea salt per gallon of water. It must be distilled water.
    Tap Water it has chlorine no good. So you boil your water and add 1 tablespoon of sea salt for each one quart of water and let the water cool prior to adding i
Alright here we go

The spices season the kraut and aid in the preservation
You need to work quickly to help the process so have everything ready

Cut the cabbage in half then quart it like the picture shows it make it easier to handle if using a mandolin to slice.

Now slice the cabbage thinly to your own preference of thinness


The whole leaves you will use to place on the bottom of the crock then start to layer your cabbage add about say three inches of cabbage then pack it down with your fist.
Then layer onion, spices, cabbage,continue to layer onion,spices cabbage. Do not mush so hard that you break your cabbage.
It needs to be mushed down and liquid will start to rise out of it that is good

Continue to pack the cabbage and the spices and pack until it is all in about 4 inches from the top of the crock depending on the size
The cabbage should be soaking in it’s own juices

Now put the weight on it. I got the weight when I bought the crock. I do love make it yourself but with things that are going into my tummy and others I try to stick with the commercial backed tools. After all they would not be selling it if it did not work. It should take about three weeks to get the right taste. I have kept mine in the crock for 8 to10.

Notice my liquid does not cover the cabbage. I will add more liquid that I made this morning so it would be cool enough to add. * If the liquid is not at least 4 to 5 inches above the cabbage you will add distilled boiled water with about 1 teaspoon of salt for each gallon of water.  You want the water to be about 4" above the cabbage.

I let mine go for 8-10 weeks. You can eat the Kraut right out of the crock or can it. I am going to can mine next weekend.

Once the Cabbage has fermented you can head straight to the canning jars. This will make one more time you will never buy traditional store bought again. Here is the link for canning you delicious Sauerkraut 

Disclaimer: This is not an all inclusive recipe for making jam. You should have a basic knowledge and understanding of the canning process before proceeding. Please consult your local Center for Home Preservation for additional information and available classes.


  1. If you can it, you'll lose all the good bacteria that you just created. It will keep for many, many months in jars in the fridge and will just get better!

    1. Thank you for that information I will add that option to the end results post!


Thank you !