Guide to Making Your Own Homemade Sauerkraut: A Step-by-Step Fermentation Adventure

12:58 22/11/2023

In the world of fermented foods, sauerkraut stands out as a tangy and crunchy delight that not only pleases the palate but also promotes gut health. Guide to making your own homemade sauerkraut is a simple and rewarding process, requiring just a few ingredients and a bit of patience. In this comprehensive guide, Newlifetravell will take you through each step, ensuring you master the art of crafting this traditional fermented cabbage dish in the comfort of your own kitchen.

Guide to Making Your Own Homemade Sauerkraut

1. Gather and Prepare the Ingredients:

The first step in guide to making your own homemade sauerkraut is to gather the essential ingredients. You’ll need fresh, firm heads of cabbage and non-iodized salt. Green cabbage is the classic choice, but if you’re feeling adventurous, try experimenting with red cabbage for a vibrant twist.

Begin by removing any outer leaves from the cabbage, setting them aside for later use. Cut the cabbage into quarters and remove the core. Using a knife or mandoline, shred the cabbage into fine strips. The goal is to have uniform pieces that will ferment evenly.

Homemade Sauerkraut Ingredients

2. Massage the Cabbage:

Now, it’s time to get hands-on with the cabbage. Place the shredded cabbage in a large mixing bowl and sprinkle salt over it. Start with about 1-2 tablespoons of salt per head of cabbage. The salt serves a crucial role in drawing out moisture from the cabbage, creating the brine necessary for fermentation.

Massage the Cabbage

Roll up your sleeves and dive in—massage the cabbage with clean hands for 5-10 minutes. This massaging process breaks down the cabbage’s cell walls, encouraging the release of natural juices. This step is essential for ensuring your sauerkraut has the right texture and flavor.

3. Pack the Cabbage into the Jar:

With the cabbage sufficiently massaged, it’s time to transfer it into the fermentation jar. Pack the cabbage down tightly as you go, ensuring there are no air pockets. The goal is to create a compact environment where the cabbage can ferment properly.

As you transfer the cabbage, pour any liquid released during the massaging process into the jar. This liquid, combined with the salt, will create the brine that facilitates the fermentation process.

Pack the Cabbage into the Jar

4. Add Weights and Cover:

To keep the shredded cabbage submerged in the brine, place a clean outer cabbage leaf or a few reserved leaves on top of the shredded cabbage. This layer acts as a natural barrier, preventing the cabbage from floating to the surface during fermentation.

Next, add a fermentation weight or a clean, heavy object on top. The weight ensures that the cabbage remains submerged, minimizing the risk of mold or spoilage. This step is crucial for the success of your sauerkraut fermentation.

5. Cover and Ferment:

Cover the jar with a clean cloth or a coffee filter, securing it with a rubber band or string. This makeshift lid allows gases produced during fermentation to escape while preventing contaminants from entering. Place the jar in a cool, dark place with an ideal temperature ranging from 65-75°F (18-24°C).

Now comes the waiting game. Allow the sauerkraut to ferment for at least 1-2 weeks, or until it reaches your desired level of tanginess. During this time, the cabbage will undergo a transformative process, developing its signature flavor profile through the action of beneficial bacteria.

6. Check and Taste:

Regular monitoring is essential during the fermentation period. Check the sauerkraut every few days to ensure the cabbage remains submerged in the brine. If you notice any signs of mold or an off-putting smell, remove that portion immediately.

As the days pass, take the opportunity to taste the sauerkraut and gauge its progress. The longer it ferments, the tangier it becomes. When the sauerkraut reaches your preferred level of sourness, it’s time to halt the fermentation process.

7. Storage:

Once your sauerkraut has achieved the desired flavor, remove the weight and cabbage leaf from the jar. Seal the jar with a lid and transfer it to the refrigerator. Cold storage significantly slows down the fermentation process, ensuring your sauerkraut maintains its crispness and flavor.

Congratulations! You’ve successfully navigated the process of guide to making your own homemade sauerkraut. Now, let’s explore some creative ways to incorporate this fermented delight into your meals.


In this guide to making your own homemade sauerkraut, we’ve taken you through each step of the fermentation journey. From selecting the right ingredients to mastering the art of massaging and monitoring the fermentation process, you now have the knowledge to create a batch of flavorful and probiotic-rich sauerkraut in your own kitchen.

Experiment with different cabbage varieties, spices, or even add fruits like apples for a unique twist. As you delve into the world of fermentation, you’ll not only savor the taste of your homemade sauerkraut but also reap the health benefits of this traditional and versatile dish. Enjoy the fruits (or rather, the cabbage) of your labor, and happy fermenting!

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