Working from a recipe in Michael Ruhlman's Charcuterie, I chopped a head of cabbage, and submerged it in brine, placing cheesecloth over the cabbage, with a plate on top to keep everything packed down. I left this in my garage, initially uncovered; after a few days I placed a cover over it just to keep it dust free. I took the cover off after 9 days, and the container with ringed with green, malodorous mold. While dumping out the vile concoction, I did take note of the fact that actually the cabbage was intact and not decomposing. If I had been able to stomach it, I probably could have salvaged the cabbage, but there was no way to avoid the irresistible urge to cover my nose and dump the whole thing out.
Where did I go wrong? Did I need to tightly seal the container to begin with? Could the cabbage have been too old, causing it to be seeded with mold which blossomed in the bowl? Was the solution not salty enough?
Help! I was dying to have homemade sauerkraut and am willing to try again despite this fiasco.