There are so many great products out in the world to help you make your own delicious and healthful foods at home, ultimately saving you money and letting you fine tune exactly how you like it.  With Pickle Pipes from Masontops, you can make your own tasty ferments using either a regular or wide mouth mason jar and canning ring.

What you’ll need:

• Clean quart jars with rings
• Pickle Pipes
• Large mixing bowl
• Large head of cabbage
• Peeled garlic
• Sea salt (non-iodized)

Optional, but incredibly helpful:

• Pickle Pebbles
• Pickle Packer or other kraut pounder

This monster cabbage was found at a local farm.  The intention was to make a quart, but instead, we’ve ended up with three.  To get started, prep your veggies.  Chop, or using a food processor, make the cabbage into small pieces or strips.  Peel and chop, or mince your garlic.  Then, toss a few handfuls of cabbage into your bowl with a pinch of garlic and sprinkle with some salt.  (As a general rule, use 1-2 tsp. of salt per pound of cabbage).  Continue layering until you’ve used everything.

Just add salt
Pickle Pipes and Pebbles

MASH IT-  This is the fun part.  If you need to get out some angst, really let your cabbage have it.  The purpose of mashing and bruising your cabbage is to break down those cell walls and start the process of osmosis- more on that later.  If you don’t want red potentially irritated hands, put on a pair of gloves before squeezing and mashing your kraut by hand.

Cabbage before mashing
Cabbage after mashing

After you’ve thoroughly squeezed and mixed and mashed up your kraut, let it rest for about 10 minutes.  This allows the salt to draw the water from the bruised cabbage (osmosis!), creating a brine that will protect your kraut from spoiling during and after fermentation.

Stuff your jars with your mixture, using your fist or a tool to press it down into the jar.  Leave about two inches of headspace after tightly packing your jar to keep it from leaking out the top during fermentation.

Filling the jars
Really press it down in there!

After packing your jars, place a cabbage leaf on the top to keep all the bits in place, and then set a Pickle Pebble on the top of the leaf and press until the brine covers everything.  Put the Pickle Pipe on the top and tighten in place with a jar ring.  Place your jar(s) in a cool, dark area to ferment for 1-4 weeks.  The longer it sits, the more sour in flavor it will become!  Taste each week to gauge your ideal level of fermentation.  When it reaches maximum tastiness, discard the top leaf and store your kraut in the fridge with regular lid to be eaten at your leisure.  The Pickle Pipe can then be either hand washed or simply placed in the dishwasher for next time!