Asked September 14, 2014, 2:17 PM EDT

I have made sauerkraut before, but this morning I was making it and it started to bubble and foam within 5 minutes of massaging. I used 1.5 tablespoons of seat salt for a 3 lb head of cabbage, and had not put all of the salt in yet. I believe it is very fresh cabbage, and released significantly more liquid than usual. Is this safe to continue fermenting ?

Linn County Oregon food safety home food preservation

1 Response

If your cabbage is really fresh (like just picked) it has considerably more liquid. This is why we recommend waiting at least 24 hours before making kraut. If you massaged it alot it also releases a lot more juice and can look like foam. We do not recommend using sea salt (assume that is what you talked about an not seat salt) because it contines impurities and also the crystals are a different size so your measurement can be off. We recommend using 3T pickling salt for every 5 # of cabbage.

I would go ahead and pack your kraut in the crock or jar and weigh it down with a plate or bag of liquid brine and watch it. If you notice mold or scum forming remove it. If the cabbage becomes soft and slimy or turns pink throw it away. If it looks and smells like Kraut then it should be OK.

I would suggest you go to the OSU FCH Food preservation website and download PNW 355 Pickling Vegetables and check out the kraut making recipe. Also SP50-745 lists problems and soluntions for kraut making

If you have other food preservation questions you might like to call the OSU Food Preservation Hotline 1-800-354-7319. Certified Master Food Preservers are available from 9 a.m.- 4 p.m. M-F to answer your questions.

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Nellie Oehler