Wednesday, September 15, 2010

And Sauerkraut, one more time

As I am pickling a lot of sauerkraut lately, pickle authority, Bill Hettig ( shared some of his secrets:
start the fermentation at 70 degrees fahrenheit (21 C), then take it down to 66 or 67 F (18-19) for 7 to 8 more days. That is because there are a variety of bacteria that rise and fall in those temp. His rule of thumb for kraut fermentation is a minimum of 4 days (shredded or finely sliced), and 1 additional day for each degree below 70F (21C). 
So if you had it at 66 degrees, it would be 4 + 4 = 8 days.
As my room temperature (with airconditioning) is 86F (30C) I have to find a way to cool it down: I think about putting my Perfect Pickler pots in a bucket with colder water for 4 days and then even more colder water for the next 6 days, before putting it into the refrigerator.
Over 2,500 years ago, the Chinese actually figured out the optimum temperature range for sauerkraut  71 to 64 degrees Fahrenheit  (21 to 17 C)
Thanks Bill, you did us all a big favour.

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