Sauerkraut Fermentation

Sauerkraut beverage requires about no assignment on the allotment of the operator. Banknote contains abundant lactic acerbic bacilli in adjustment to agitate and aftermath sauerkraut with alkali alone. In adjustment to access artefact of the accomplished affection all those bacilli strains charge agitate in a assertive sequence. This happens artlessly as continued as sauerkraut is brewed about 65° F (18° C).

  1. Leuconostoc mesenteroides - they are the aboriginal and alpha the beverage aboriginal bearing about 0.25 to 0.3% lactic acid. They are heterofermenters, this agency that they aftermath altered compounds such as lactic acid, acerb acerbic (vinegar), ethyl alcohol, carbon dioxide (soda gas) and mannitol. The aftermost one is a absinthian flavored admixture which is metabolized after by Lactobacillus plantarum. All those acids, in aggregate with booze from ambrosial esters, accord to the appropriate acidity of the aerial affection sauerkraut. If the temperature is college than 72° F (22° C) they ability not abound and that would be adverse to the acidity of sauerkraut. In about 2 canicule Leuconostoc mesenteroides will aftermath 0.3% lactic acerbic and this added acidity will bind its growth. Nevertheless, the enzymes it produced will abide to advance flavor.
  2. Lactobacillus plantarum - this ache takes over the assembly of lactic acerbic from Leuconostoc mesenteroides and continues crumbling until an acidity akin of 1.5 to 2% is achieved. L. plantarum will agitate at temperatures college than 72° F (22° C) and it can abound at college acidity levels. It will agitate at lower temperatures as well, admitting at abundant slower rate. Lactobacillus plantarum is the best accepted lactic acerbic bacilli ache and it ferments sauerkraut, pickles, cheese and alike meat. This bacilli is a homofermenter what agency that it produces one admixture only. It consumes amoroso and produces lactic acerbic which imparts acerb aftertaste to brewed food. At the end of this date sauerkraut has an adequate affection and can be served or canned. If there is abundant amoroso left, the beverage will abide until all amoroso accumulation is exhausted.
  3. Lactobacillus pentoaceticus ( L.brevis) - abide crumbling until an acidity akin of 2.5 - 3% is obtained. As there is no added amoroso larboard in the banknote the beverage comes to the end.
sauerkraut fermentation graph

Sauerkraut fermentation.

Any change to the aloft cycles of lactic acerbic assembly will adapt the aftertaste and affection of sauerkraut. As continued as the able bulk of alkali is added and the recommended temperatures are observed, the three bacilli strains will agitate banknote in the able sequence.

Effect of Beverage Temperature

The best affection sauerkraut is produced at 65-72° F (18-22° C) temperatures. Temperatures 45.5° F (7.5° C) to 65° F (18° C) favor the advance and metabolism of L.mesenteroides. Temperatures college than 72° F (22° C) favor the advance of Lactobacillus species. Generally, lower temperatures aftermath college affection sauerkraut, although at 45.5° F (7.5° C) bacilli are growing so apathetic that the banknote ability charge 6 months to complete fermentation. College temperatures aftermath sauerkraut in 7-10 canicule but of the bottom quality. This creates such a fast beverage that some types of lactic acerbic bacilli don't abound at all and beneath acknowledgment booty abode central what after-effects in a beneath circuitous flavor.

  • Below 45.5° F (7.5° C) beverage time is up to 6 months.
  • At 65° F (18° C) beverage time is 20 days.
  • At 90-96° F (32-36° C) beverage time is 10 days.

Bacteria Control

Sauerkraut is fabricated by lactic acerbic bacilli that breach amoroso into lactic acid, carbon dioxide (CO2, soda gas) and a little bulk of alcohol. Because banknote contains water, amoroso and abounding nutrients it is a absolute media for all types of bacilli to grow, some of them we try to avoid. Calefaction analysis will absolutely annihilate abominable bacteria, but it additionally will annihilate lactic acerbic bacilli that we need, so this adjustment does not administer here.

pH acidity of beginning banknote is at about pH 7.0 which is at aloof point of acidity scale. This makes banknote an ideal aliment for microorganisms as it contains water, sugar, proteins, minerals and all nutrients. We ascendancy bacterial advance application the afterward steps:

  • Washing.
  • Applying salt.
  • Elimination of oxygen.

Washing. Banknote is in a absolute acquaintance with clay which is loaded with all types of microorganisms. Best microorganisms are present on alfresco blooming leaves which are usually discarded. One gram of beginning banknote may accommodate 250,000 bacilli and this cardinal may abound to 1,000,000 during storage. So, the aboriginal footfall is to ablution the banknote able-bodied as this activity removes affluence of microorganisms. If capacity such as apples or carrots will be added, thy charge be thoroughly done as well.

Salt. Salt is bare for two reasons:

  1. To abolish the banknote abstract and nutrients from anniversary corpuscle and accomplish it accessible as aliment to lactic acerbic bacteria. Bacilli will not eat dry banknote leaves, however, they will blot abounding with nutrients juice. Bacilli are like sponge, they don’t aces up the dry amount but will blot up annihilation wet.
  2. To accumulate added bacilli away. A abstinent bulk of alkali does not bother sauerkraut bacilli (lactic acid), however, added bacilli types acquisition such altitude intolerable.

As lactic acerbic bacilli alpha to aftermath boring lactic acid, this becomes alike worse for added bacilli types, as about bacilli abhorrence acid. Of advance lactic acerbic bacilli are not agitated by abstinent amounts of acerbic at all. This aggregate of alkali and accretion bulk of acerbic inhibits advance of added bacilli and makes sauerkraut added abiding as the beverage advances

To accomplish aerial affection sauerkraut alkali is activated at 2 – 2.5% in affiliation to the weight of the broken cabbage. Abbreviating alkali levels will actualize affection problems, activity beneath 1.5% will rot the cabbage. Accident bacilli will survive such a low alkali akin and will booty over the action and will blemish the product.

Absence of Oxygen. Back alembic as arranged with banknote all microorganisms alpha to attempt for food. Alkali inhibits some of them, but abounding others charge oxygen to survive, for archetype molds. Eliminating oxygen is able by a few methods:

  • Packing alembic adamantine with disconnected cabbage.
  • Slicing banknote thinner, this allows to backpack added banknote and banish added air.
  • Keeping banknote abysmal in alkali (using weights).
  • Using baptize approach brewed crocks or air lock bottle jars.

Eliminating oxygen preserves vitamin C from acerbic and accident its strength.

Fermented sauerkraut exhibits pH at about 3.5 and will accumulate in air-conditioned altitude for a actual continued time, as continued as this pH akin is maintained.


Cabbage should accommodate up to 3.5% sugar. The sweeter raw banknote is the bigger sauerkraut will be obtained.

Adding beneath than 2% alkali ability aftermath bendable or alike clammy sauerkraut. Abacus beneath than 1% will aftermath sauerkraut that would be bendable and unacceptable commercially. Abacus added than 3.5% alkali ability arrest advance of lactic acerbic bacteria.

The added lactic acerbic is produced the added acerb sauerkraut becomes. There is a absolute how abundant lactic acerbic can be produced. Already the amoroso accumulation is exhausted, lactic acerbic bacilli stop growing. White algae on the apparent of the sauerkraut is due to yeasts and should be removed daily. There is no acumen to abandon the sauerkraut.

It is accessible to use the alkali from the antecedent sauerkraut beverage as a amateur ability for a new production. This is a accepted adjustment acclimated in assembly of aliment or alike bologna (back slopping), area a allotment of brewed artefact is adored for a new production. In approach at least, it should aftermath a new accumulation with the aforementioned characteristics as the old one.

If added amoroso were added the beverage will abide best and added lactic acerbic will be produced. That would aftereffect in added acidity and actual acerb banknote which is not desirable. Eventually the acidity akin will be so aerial that lactic acerbic bacilli will not survive.

During beverage glucose (sugar) is adapted to about 50% lactic acid, 25% acerb acerbic and ethyl alcohol, and 25% carbon dioxide.

Keep the beverage temperature beneath 80° F (27° C). For best affection sauerktaut advance beverage temperature at about 65° F (18° C).

Bubbles are the assurance of advancing fermentation. In a bottle jar they can be apparent adopting to the top.

sauerkraut fermentation bubbles

Sauerkraut beverage bubbles.

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