Premature stop to sauerkraut fermentation?

My crock of sauerkraut stopped bubbling this past weekend. I dug into it to see if it was done. I picked up a pinch of the stuff with some clean tongs and began to bring it up to my mouth. As it dripped back into the crock, the liquid was semi-gelatinous and oozy. :(

I packed it back down, hoping that this was just an intermediate step along the way, but I haven’t seen any more bubbles rising in the 4 days since.

I have two theories as to what might have gone wrong.

  1. I used too much salt accidentally, which can pause fermentation and just preserve the cabbage as-is.
  2. The grocery-store cabbage had been treated with anti-aging medicine to prevent rotting.

I’ll check it again in a few days and I’ll be incredibly disappointed if I have to throw out everything and go without this year. Maybe, if nothing else, I can do a fresh water desalting and just start it again.

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by leslie on September 30, 2010 at 6:27 am

    Not sure I can go without it in my calzones this year:( I hope it works out!

    Reply

  2. A few days ago I added four cups of water to the crock to see if perhaps evaporation was the problem. I thought that adding water back in would decrease the overall salinity of the solution and restart the fermentation. Apparently not.

    Reply

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