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Thread: Sauerkraut juice as a starter?

  1. #1
    Chemiker Guest

    Default Sauerkraut juice as a starter?

    A question for the preserving gurus of this group.

    I use left over youghurt from one batch to serve as a starter for the
    next batch.

    I went in for a water seal crock, and am doing 5 lb of kraut. It looks
    OK, happily bubbling and slightly milky, with a decent fresh kraut
    odor.

    SW brought home a batch of pickling cukes and, taking her Queenly
    role, told me that fermented pickles are required, and what am I
    waiting for.

    Cukes are now soaking in pickle lime solution.

    New, when I pack them into a crock, I want to be sure they don't go
    off and spoiled. Can I use a cup or so of active sauerkraut juice from
    THAT crock as a started for the pickles? My GMom used to simply place
    a slice of rye bread on the top of the cukes, and then a small plate
    and weight to keep all submerged.

    I really want the fermentation to take off like gangbusters,
    supressing the wild microorganisms on the cukes' skins.

    Does this work?

    I've also read in Strybel & Strybel how to make rye sour (rye
    sourdough starter) and wonder if that can be made using active
    sauerkraut liquid.

    TIA

    Alex

  2. #2
    Chemiker Guest

    Default Re: Sauerkraut juice as a starter?

    On Wed, 02 May 2012 14:30:13 -0500, Chemiker
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >A question for the preserving gurus of this group.
    >

    the principle worked according to the bacteriology manual.

    If I grow cukes and cabbages, the same microbeasties are going to be
    on both. So, if one is fermenting well, it should work as a starter
    for the other.

    I washed my cukes, and tipped them only. Then I dipped them into a
    weak bleach solution for maybe 30 seconds, followed by a 3 minute
    rinse. Sanitized my glass pickle crock, packed it with dill and a bit
    of garlic, heated and cooled my brine (done earlier, scalded the crock
    at the very end), packed my cukes in, with black peppercorns, and
    then:

    took a pair of S/S tongs, and seared them in a gas flame on the stove.
    Grabbed a "pinch" (1/8 cup) of developing sauerkraut and dumped same
    on top of the cukes, then added the brine. Topped with a slice of rye
    bread. Sealed with Saran, then punched a hole in it and placed the top
    in place. (Yes I put a saucer on top of the cukes).

    I can now report, fermentation took off like a rocket. No sign of any
    spoilage, and the odor of REAL fermented pickles is pronounced.
    Liquid is just as cloudy as one would expect.

    QED. The bacteria fermenting the sauerkraut can be used as a starter
    for Polski ogorki, in the traditional fermented style.

    Taste test to follow. I find pickles a little chancy here where I
    live, for two reasons. (1) the pickling cukes I find in markets have
    been physically abused. (2) there are too many wild microbeasties in
    our air, every one eager to spoil your crock.

    Next question: Can I use Boar's Head sauerkraut as a starter? I'm
    talking about the refrigerated stuff.

    We'll see.

    Alex

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