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Pickles and sauerkraut

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Pickles and sauerkraut

Howard-2 | Apr 30, 2006 05:33 PM

I've been experiments involving cabbage fermentation (a/k/a sauerkraut--sort of), and it's raised some questions for me that I hope someone here can answer.

1. What's the difference between fermenting sauerkraut aerobically, and anerobically? "Traditional sauerkraut" is fermented anerobically, with the fermenting vessel sealed from outside air. But I did an experiment in which I fermented the cabbage aerobically, keeping it submnerged, but not cutting the surfaxce of the water off from the air, and it seemed to produce a similar result. What I did was, I put some spices in brine, quartered a head of fresh sabbage, weighted it down so that it was below the surface of the brine, and covered it with a paper bag (to keep out dust etc).

2. Can someone tell me why it is that cabbage seems to take so long to ferment, compared to, say, kerby cucumbers? Cucumbers are finished their fermentation in 10 days, give or take a day or 2. But cabbage, which is shredded and thus has far more surface area, seems to take several times as long to ferment. Why? What's the difference in the sugars? (I assume we're talking about sugars.)

Thanks.

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