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From: Pammyam

This is the recipe my mom used. It's from the "Ball Blue Book" freezing and canning guide.

  • About 50 pounds cabbage
  • 1 pound (1-1/2 cups) salt, pure granulated
Remove the outer leaves and any undesirable portions from firm, mature, heads of cabbage; wash and drain.
Cut into halves or quarters; remove the core.
Use a shredder or sharp knife to cut the cabbage into thin shreds about the thickness of a dime.

In a large container, thoroughly mix 3 tablespoons salt with 5 pounds shredded cabbage.
Let the salted cabbage stand for several minutes to wilt slightly; this allows packing without excessive breaking or bruising of the shreds.
Pack the salted cabbage firmly and evenly into a large clean crock or jar.

Using a wooden spoon or tamper or the hands, press down firmly until the juice comes to the surface.
Repeat the shredding, salting, and packing of cabbage until the crock is filled to within 3 or 4 inches of the top.

Cover cabbage with a clean, thin, white cloth (such as muslin) and tuck the edges down against the inside of the container.
Cover with a plate or round paraffined board that just fits inside the container so that the cabbage is not exposed to the air.
Put a weight on top of the cover so the brine comes to the cover but not over it.
A glass jar filled with water makes a good weight.

A newer method of covering cabbage during fermemtation consists of placing a plastic bag filled with water on top of the fermenting cabbage.
The water-filled bag seals the surface from exposure to air, and prevents the growth of film yeast or molds.
It also serves as a weight.
For extra protection, the bag with the water in it can be placed inside another plastic bag.
Any bag used should be of heavyweight, watertight plastic and intended for use with foods.

The amount of water in the plastic bag can be adjusted to give just enough pressure to keep the fermenting cabbage covered with brine.
Formation of gas bubbles indicates fermentation is taking place.
A room temperature of 68 to 72 [degrees] F. is best for fermenting cabbage.
Fermentation is usually completed in 5 to 6 weeks.

To Store: Heat sauerkraut to simmering (185 to 210 [degrees] F.) Do not boil.
Pack hot sauerkraut into clean, preheated jars and cover with hot juice to 1/2 inch of top of jar.
Fill and close jars. Process 15 minutes for pints and 20 minutes for quarts.
Cool, test for seal and store.
Makes about 18 quarts.

For information on preheating jars and processing, I would consult a cookbook or call the Ball company for a booklet.
Maybe they have a website--they're the people who make the canning and freezing supplies.
The book I have is 1974, so there might even be some shortcuts or newer methods.