I recently made a fresh batch of sauerkraut and thought it was time to share a few recipe ideas here. In this article I am going to show you how to make homemade sauerkraut in a jar, 3 different ways. We might even get a tiny bit excited about cabbage in the process ­čśë

For a full detailed guide on how to make sauerkraut that works everytime you’ll be please to know I’ve posted a loads of extra helpful information on this page here…

My Complete SauerKraut Making Guide

You can also watch my step by step video guide here…

Is shop bought sauerkraut any good or should I make my own?

First of all, if you can make your own at home, then do it! I say this because I definintely think nothing beats homemade sauerkraut for a good healthy ferment.

If you are looking for the pro-biotic health benefits of sauerkraut then certainly consider getting creative yourself. Sauerkraut is usually pasturised if purchased in a shop, which sort of defeats the whole point of eating it for friendly bacteria. Pasturisation is sterilisation using heat, to kill bacteria. That said, there are places where you can buy proper good ol’ fashioned sauerkraut. For instance, I have at times, found some excellent locally made sauerkraut options in farm shops or little health food stores.
 

Is it easy to make your own homemade sauerkraut in a jar?

Yes – BUT (yes, there is a but haha) ONLY if you adhere to the guidelines!

Please allow me to explain. Firstly, if you follow the basic principles (below), you will find that it is easy, rewarding and fun to make your own sauerkraut. If, on the other hand, you just guess and don’t follow the principles, then it’s common for sauerkraut to go wrong. Nobody wants mouldy, slimy sauerkraut that turns brown. In short, if you follow the 3 important rules (below), then you’ll get a lush, vibrant ferment every time.

In this article, I have decided to share my ‘in a jar’ method because it is the easiest way to do it yourself at home.

3 key principles to making sauerkraut work every time

  1. Always keep the cabbage below the brine. To ferment properly, it needs to stay submerged in an oxygen-free environment. This means that the friendly bacteria will multiply nicely, whilst any unfriendly bacteria are stopped in their tracks.
  2. Get the salt to cabbage ratio right, as specified in the recipe below. Too much or too little salt will spoil the ferment.
  3. The temperature for fermenting needs to be 18C – 22C (65F – 72F). The fermentation process slows down the cooler it gets, which means you won’t get as many of the beneficial bacteria. On the other hand, if the temperature gets warmer then you will find that the ferment spoils.

Please visit my GUIDE here for a FULL GUIDE ON THE 3 PRINCIPLES ON MAKING SAUERKRAUT WORK EVERY TIME

You’ll find some helpful photos and an easy to follow step by step system via the link.

Homemade sauerkraut in a jar 3 delicious ways – recipe ideas

Homemade sauerkraut in a jar 3 different wasy with white cabbage, turmeric and ginger

Homemade sauerkraut in a jar - Turmeric and Ginger Version

Yield: 3 jars
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Additional Time: 14 days
Total Time: 14 days 2 minutes

Homemade fermented sauerkraut using white cabbage, fresh ginger and either dried or fresh turmeric root and sea salt. This is an easy method to make at home in a jar.

Ingredients

  • 750g white cabbage
  • Sea salt (just under 1 tablespoon)
  • Fresh ginger (1 inch cubed)
  • Fresh turmeric (1 thumbsized piece) (or 1 teaspoon turmeric powder)

Instructions

  1. Make sure your hands and any equipment that you are going to use are clean.
  2. Take the outer leaves off the cabbage.
  3. Core the cabbage.
  4. Grate the cabbage with a grater or in a food processor with the shred function. Alternatively, shred finely with a knife or mandolin.
  5. Put shredded cabbage into a large bowl. Be sure the bowl is large enough to leave plenty of room in it.
  6. Finely grate the ginger and turmeric (unless using turmeric powder, in which case just add, as is). Add to the bowl along with the salt.

Massage, squeeze and pack down

  1. Spend five minutes massaging ingredients in the bowl, squeezing through with your hands. You are going to get slightly yellow hands doing this.
  2. Leave for half an hour or so (longer is fine) and then return. The juices
    should be readily releasing from the cabbage by now. Massage and squeeze again. The juice should have readily unleashed itself during the rest
    stage. If there is not quite so much juice then don't be too concerned
    because you can always add a small amount of spring or filtered water if absolutely needed. (Be sure to watch my video demo).
  3. Pack or massage your ingredients down firmly into a large glass jar and pour any liquid left in the bowl on the top.

Keep the ferment BELOW the brine

  1. Next, you will need to be sure to keep the cabbage beneath the brine during
    the ferment. Cut a piece of parchment paper and press down on to the
    sauerkraut to form a lid that is sinking into the brine whilst holding
    the veggies down. Then weigh down with a clean jar (filled with water for weight). Pop a loose fitting cloth on top if you are concerned about dust as you leave it to ferment. However, be sure that you don’t seal your jar, because there will be pressure inside as the ferment develops which will need to escape.
  2. Alternatively (for keeping cabbage beneath the brine), use a clean plastic food-grade bag (i.e. a freezer bag or a ziplock bag) instead of parchment paper. Open up your bag and pop over the jar edges. Compress the sauerkraut downwards (by pressing down through the bag) and then when compressed, fill the bag with water to weigh it down. Just be sure that there is minimal oxygen getting to the cabbage and that it is completely submerged.
  3. Put your fermenting jar into a tray or bowl, in case the ferment bubbles over at any time during the first few days. If the brine line is near the top, then it is likely to bubble over.
  4. If you don’t have enough brine forming for full submerging, then add spring water and add that to your sauerkraut.

Leave it for at least a few days to ferment

  1. Timing is a personal preference. Anything between three days and a month will
    be right for your sauerkraut. The longer you leave it the more opportunity the friendly bacteria will have to develop. I tend to let it ferment for a couple of weeks before I start to eat it.
  2. Over time it will change in colour, texture and flavour. Find what works for you.
  3. Check on your sauerkraut daily, pressing it back down. If it doesn’t have
    enough brine then remember to add some extra spring or filtered water.
  4. Keep smelling and tasting your sauerkraut to see how it develops.
  5. When you are happy with it, seal the lid and store in your fridge (or in a
    room that is 15C or cooler). It should keep for months.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

Homemade sauerkraut in a jar 3 different wasy with white cabbage, caraway seeds and ginger

Homemade sauerkraut in a jar - Caraway Seed Version

Yield: 1 jar

A delicious carway and white cabbage sauerkraut. Easy method in a jar.

Ingredients

  • 750g white cabbage
  • Caraway seeds (2 teaspoons)
  • Sea salt (just under 1 tablespoon)
  • Fresh ginger (1 inch cubed) optional

Instructions

  1. Please see method for making this in the recipe above and watch the video for tips.
  2. If you like ginger then finely grate some and add it as an optional extra.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

Homemade sauerkraut in a jar 3 different wasy with red cabbage and ginger

Homemade sauerkraut in a jar - Red Cabbage and Ginger

Yield: 1 jar

A tasty and colourful sauerkraut using red cabbage, fresh ginger and sea salt. Using a very simple method in a jar.

Ingredients

  • 750g red cabbage
  • Sea salt (just under 1 tablespoon)
  • Fresh ginger (1 to 2 inch cubed)

Instructions

  1. Please see method for making this in the recipe above and watch the video for tips.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

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Homemade sauerkraut in a jar 3 different wasy with red cabbage, white cabbage, turmeric, caraway seeds and ginger