View Full Version : fermenting (kraut) with an airlock...less time?
01-18-2010, 06:30 PM
hi--sorry, i know DopeRawAbundance has a fermenting thread going as well, but this is a question specifically about fermenting using an airlock i.e. picklemeister jar/perfect pickler jar... Ive seen people mention in other threads that they have/use these jars. I just got one, have had the kraut in it since friday (cabbage, garlic, salt, and i added a bit of kraut from a fresh raw kraut from the HFS (deep roots brand, the only kind ive ever liked) as a bit of a starter, all submerged in brine/the juice that came out of the cabbage, and then the airlock thingie on top. . now, everywhere i look online says that the kraut should ferment for 4-6 weeks usually...but the instructions with this jar say 4-5 DAYS.... does it really ferment that much faster in the jar with the airlock? ive seen some info on the internet say to start "testing" it after a few days, but is there a problem with opening and closing it to "check" it etc? i dont want to deal with getting mold and stuff in there, thats why i got this jar was because when ive tried it in an open fermentation its gotten yucky and also theres a lot of mold in the caravan where im living now so the closed system with the airlock seemed like a better idea.
so yeah is it really going to be ready in a total of 4-5 DAYS? seems quick. the temperature in my "house varies between about 50-68 degrees F or so.
Hi ~ That's what I use to make my kraut too. I find that mine takes about 9-10 days. I have checked it in the past - just make sure to repeat the steps (I don't have the instructions handy) - when you screw on the lid, make sure the liquid comes back up out of the hole in the lid (with the little rubber grommet) and then reconnect the air lock (which should be filled to the proper level as well).
I keep mine in our basement, set inside another container - very important because mine has always bubbled up and over.
I love tossing in one small head of purple cabbage and all the rest green - it makes the prettiest dark pink kraut.
Mine also continues to get tastier after I remove it and jar it up. I hope you love it as much as we do!
You can always email the fella (I forget his name), he happily answers all questions promptly. *Ü*
01-19-2010, 03:06 PM
okay, thanks. i will give it a few more days before i try it... its only started getting stinky the last few, lol, no odor for the first few. it smells sort of tangy and sour when you get near it so i guess that is good. i cant figure out how it managed to leak out on the plate though, its not coming through the airlock becuase theres no trail of dripping red (from the red cabbage lol) in or down the airlock or on the lid...apparently its leaking out the edges of the lid..which is strange because the lid seems to be on tight and is obviously airtight or else the bubbles wouldnt be coming out the airlock, theyd be coming out the edges, and theyre coming out the airlock. so I dunno.
yeah i hope it turns out good... ive tossed alot of kraut attempts when i tried it a few years ago. every kind i made always had this underlying "dead" taste. bleh. the only kind i really liked was this one packaged kind i could get from ONE store in wash dc....the only batch i made i ever liked was when i used some of that one for a started. i dragged a package of it back with me to ireland after xmas and used that as the starter for this one, so hopefully... unfortunately they only had the green kind and it was the red kind i really liked. i used half red and half green in my jar this time.
how do i know when its "done" though??
Hi kaybee ~ I'm not krautologist, I'm on batch #5 I think... But now I have a good idea what it should taste like and I do just that - I taste it. If you don't care for it - top it back off and let it ferment some more.
I'd never had raw kraut before (or homemade kraut as far as that goes..) so I really didn't know what it was supposed to taste like. I think the first batch I let ferment 10 days or so and just called it good.
I've tried a batch with added garlic and another with caraway seeds and for my taste, so far I like the plain kraut the bestest.
(My niece and her family live in Drogheda, County Louth - maybe one day we'll get to visit them!) *Ü*
01-19-2010, 05:48 PM
okay, yeah well i know i did everything right with keeping it submerged, and i feel more confident about it becuase of this airlock thing (last time i tried without the airlock i got alot of mold, and theres alot of mold in my trailer bleck, so im loving the airlock right now!) so ill give it a try in a few days. i guess i have a "taste" im trying to match it up with and so i have this preconceived notion, which is too bad. ive tried some from the shops (rejuvenative foods) and i hated it, but i love this one that i used as a starter, so hopefully ill end up with this one. i added some garlic but the kraut i used as starter was just plain, so i might try the next batch plain.
ill update :)
i think drogheda is above dublin...? im about 5 hours west, lol. but if you ever get over, try to see the dingle peninsula. its where i live and its AMAZING :)
01-20-2010, 08:17 AM
but if you ever get over, try to see the dingle peninsula. its where i live and its AMAZING :)
And do not forget me. You have to come and visit me too. Or will you hold it against me that I do not ferment. I do rejuvalac so maybe I get a few brownie points.
That would be SO much fun! Ahhhh, maybe some day... *Ü*
01-24-2010, 07:23 AM
ok DebB maybe you have some advice. i tried it the other day and it was yucky. so i left it longer. yesterday i had a look at it and the liquid was no longer up over the top of the kraut..in fact there is almost no liquid in there now....?????!!!! but it hasnt leaked out either.... ? all i can think is that the kraut "broke down" and condensed and so my thingie thats in there isnt putting weight on it anymore. anyway i tried it and it was much better than the other day. so im going to go ahead and jar it today BUT theres not really liquid in there...i cant imagine there will be enough liquid to cover it once i put it in separate jars cuz theres like no liquid in there now. (weird, huh?) but i hate to add water cuz thats going to water it down alot and make it watery...so...suggestions? once i jar it and fridge it, its still supposed to be covered in liquid up to the tops of the j ars?
Hi kaybee ~ I'll be honest, I don't remember where the liquid level is when it's ready to jar up... I'm not real observant about such things as a rule.
I'm curious as to your 'thingie' in there that's putting weight on the kraut. Mine is simply a plastic lid, like the one you screw onto the pickling jar, except smaller with no hole. Is that what yours is too?
But, to answer your question about jarring it up. *No* you do not need to top off the jars of kraut with liquid. You're right - that would just water it down. I just portion it out. So, now that I think about it, I have little liquid left at the end of this.
It makes me wonder how some folks have enough liquid left over to use as a starter in the next batch - that's never happened for me.
Hope this helps! I hope you'll enjoy the kraut as much as we do - yummy stuff. *Ü*
01-24-2010, 12:15 PM
hi--yeah i have a plastic lid but the company i got mine from (wisemen traders) also had an "upgrade option" lol which was a small glass bowl that fits right into the opening of the jar, and then you can still put the lid with the airlock on the jar. it was in case you preferrred glass instead of plastic. but yeah all my liquid seems to have disappeared. weirdness. i think you can just use some of the kraut to start the next batch. when i started this batch i used a few tbsp of raw kraut from the hfs.
yeah this one is yummy. i guess i had to let it go longer than i have in the past--or actually probably this airlock jar helps alot. my caravan is a nightmare of mold so i woudnt even risk making it with out the airlock. i wish i had a gallon jar though :( or more jars. i meant to get a gallon but they sent me a half gallon so they resent the gallon but its sitting back in the states :/ (good company though, good customer service).
ok so i will jar it up and not worry about liquid. i guess its ok once its in the fridge without being covered by liquid..
Mine has been and still is fine sitting in the fridge with just a small amount of liquid. I made this batch probably 2 months ago and it's actually getting tastier as it sits.
Oh, I like that option of having the glass bowl too - nice! *Ü*
01-24-2010, 10:35 PM
okay, good to know. fermented foods make me a bit nervous, lol.
yeah the glass bowl thingie is better too because its about 2 and a half or 3 inches deep. just a tiny one, but because its deep, i feel like it presses the stuff down further. the glass cant raise up higher than the lid, so you kind of have the lid pressing down on the glass, which presses on the kraut as long as you tightly pack the kraut up high enough? make sense? so it seems like it does a better job of keeping everything submerged under liquid, cuz the liquid can come up a bit higher along the edges of the little bowl than the kraut can. it comes as an option when you buy it from wisemen trading, though i doubt it would be worth it to purchase just that, lol. and you would have to make sure it was the right width for your jar, i guess alot of jars are difft.
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