As you might remember from my earlier post, I got a new batch of sauerkraut going back in the middle of March.  Well, it is finally done!  This batch took a bit longer than other batches that I’ve made–about six weeks or so, rather than three or four.  (Actually, I’m guessing this batch was probably done a few days earlier, but yes, I admit to forgetting about my kraut for a few days at a time from time to time…..). I’m quite sure that the reason this batch took longer was because of the temperature of my basement, which is where I do my fermenting.  In warm or moderate weather our unheated basement usually hovers right around 68-70 degrees.  Lately though, in March and April, our outside temps have remained chilly (it’s pretty much still winter in Maine, after all….), and likewise our stone basement has remained cool.  Almost the whole time the kraut was fermenting the basement thermometer didn’t budge from 61 degrees, except for the last week or two, when it inched up to 64 degrees or so, due to slowly rising outside temps.   In any case, when it was finally done, I put the kraut in a colander to drain the brine, then strained the reserved brine through a paper coffee filter (You don’t have to do this–I just prefer to, as it helps to make the brine a bit clearer).  Then I loosely packed the sauerkraut into a couple of clean, quart-sized mason jars, poured the brine back into the sauerkraut, filling up the remainder of the space in the jars, and stuck them in the fridge.  I had been thinking of canning this batch,  but it’ll keep well refrigerated for 4-6 months, and I have a feeling that we’re going to eat it up pretty quickly… the fridge it is!

Sauerkraut done 4-29-11

Sauerkraut finished, April 29, 2011