After trying all the previous fermentation experiments I thought I’d go back what what most people call the easiest fermentation, sauerkraut. Of course I had to make it hard for myself so I made some changes to the recipes I received from neighbors and found on-line, plus I added a gadget.
- ~10lb of cabbage, for me that meant 4 small, but dense, heads
- 50g of salt (more on why so much later)
- 2g dill
- 1g juniper berries
- 0.5g coriander
- 1 bay leaf
- 7 oz kraut juice, unfiltered and non-pasteurized
I wanted some of the bright flavors from all the spices so I figured I would try a high speed extraction method mentioned in Liquid Intelligence using a whip-cream siphon and nitrous canisters. I know that the extraction will be far less in water with no alcohol that it would otherwise but I think I have a trick up my sleeve.
Keep the cabbages and the salt separate but pour all of the dill, juniper, coriander, bay leaf and kraut juice into a whip-cream canister. Fill a bowl with hot tap water, as hot as it’ll come out of the kitchen sink. The bowl should only be filled enough so the canister doesn’t fall over when it’s full of the ingredients. Close the canister, charge with 1 cartridge of nitrous, give it a good stir and put in the hot water and wait for 2 minutes.
Once the 2 minutes are up, charge with a second cartridge, stir the canister again and put back in the hot water for 4 minutes.
Once it’s done, discharge the nitrous as fast as possible, covering the nozzle with a cup in case some liquid tries to escape. Change out the hot water in the bowl with cold tap water with a couple of ice-cubes and let the canister sit in the cold bath for the remainder of the process.
Take the cabbages and cut them up in as fine strips as you’d like, remembering to get rid of the cores. Massage each one of the cut cabbages with 1/4 of the salt and when some juice starts pooling in the bowl, add them to a crock or fermentation container. There’s enough videos online on how to do this that I won’t get into it.
My problem was, no matter how much I tried to massage, pound or torture the cabbages I just couldn’t get enough liquid to be released for the cabbage to be submerged under the water in the crock. I decided to add water until they were covered. When I tasted the water it had no salinity whatsoever so I kept adding until I could taste it figuring if I couldn’t taste it, neither could the little halophytic lactic acid bugs.
Then just put the crock in a corner of the kitchen and now it’s time to wait.