Homemade Sauerkraut is definitely the easiest at-home fermentation project. Plus, it’s so easy and fun to make flavorful, nutrient-dense variations of sauerkraut, like this Fermented Beet and Red Cabbage Sauerkraut. With this recipe, you’ll learn how to ferment delicious sauerkraut in a mason jar.
This blog should have been titled: How to Magically Get Nothing on Your White Sweater While Mixing Red Cabbage and Beets.
I don’t cook with an apron… maybe I should. lol.
Homemade Sauerkraut is definitely the best type of fermented food to make if you’re new to fermenting vegetables at home. Sauerkraut is particularly easy for a first fermentation project since cabbage ferments extremely well. The water content along with the microbial species richness of cabbage makes it optimal for wild fermentation!
With this recipe, you’ll learn how to make the most probiotic ginger beet sauerkraut in a mason jar. For more information on fermentation and gut health vocabulary visit our Gut Health 101 Blog & our How Do You Make Fermented Foods Blog.
Beet and Red Cabbage Sauerkraut Ingredients
I love ginger beet sauerkraut. It’s especially great for fall, aka cold and flu season. With just a few simple ingredients and a few weeks of fermentation, you can craft a nutrient-dense, probiotic, flavorful sauerkraut.
Using purple cabbage to make sauerkraut is the best. It’s a slightly sweeter cabbage and contains tons of beneficial nutrients. Purple cabbage has more vitamin C, carotenoids, and flavonoid antioxidants, such as anthocyanins and kaempferol than green cabbage.
Beets are another great source of nutrients. They’re packed with potassium, betaine, magnesium, and folate. And let’s not forget about ginger! Phenolic compounds in ginger are known to help relieve gastrointestinal irritations and aid in digestion. All of these nutritional benefits combined with the natural probiotics from wild fermentation make ginger beet sauerkraut a superfood.
I add a bit of water to all of my cabbage fermentation recipes. Water is still drawn out of the cabbage when salt is added. However, having water as a part of this recipe accounts for seasonal changes in produce hydration levels. So no matter where you are in the world, or what your cabbage is like, you should be able to keep everything submerged in the brine and have success with this recipe.
Mastering Fermented Foods
If you’re going to master fermentation you’ll need to use weight measurements for your fermentation ingredients. That means you need a kitchen scale. In order to select for the best probiotic bacteria (the ones that are actually beneficial) in your ferments, you must weigh salt to create a specific salt concentration. Weighing salt is the only way to create a salt concentration that will select only probiotic microbes to thrive. You can read more about why you must weigh your salt & how to calculate salt concentration here.
In this recipe, we are adding 2.5% salt (that means we are adding 2.5% of the cabbage + water weight in salt → i.e. 2.5% x 800 grams = 20 grams.
So we are adding 20 grams of salt to give us a 2.44% total salt concentration.
Supplies You’ll Need to Ferment Beet and Red Cabbage Sauerkraut
homemade sauerkraut fermentation timeline
We tracked our kraut throughout the fermentation process. By checking the progress of microbial stages using microscopy, we have provided you with this handy timeline! If you follow our recipe and directions, your timeline of sauerkraut fermentation should approximately match ours!
24 – 48 hours: All contents in the jar should be submerged beneath the brine. At this time there are still Gram negative bacteria and opportunistic pathogens present. These microorganisms utilize oxygen, and they will use up all the oxygen in the liquid.
48 hours – 10 days: After 48 hours you should start to see lots of bubbles being produced. This is when the ferment enters stage two of vegetable fermentation. Leuconostoc bacteria begin to thrive and all Gram negative organisms die off.
10-14 days: The bubbles in the brine will decrease, as the ferment leaves stage two and enters stage three. The ferment will become cloudy, the color will change, and a pleasant sour smell will develop. Lactobacillus species begin to thrive in this time period.
14 – 21 days: Lactobacillus make up majority or all of the microbial population. Leuconostoc bacteria die-off. Lactobacillus spp. produce copious amounts of lactic acid and make the fermented cabbage smell even more pleasantly sour. This is the time in which the vegetable mixture becomes preserved.
What Temperature Should I Keep My Fermented Sauerkraut At?
Keep your fermenting cabbage at a temperature between 70-80 degrees F. Keep out of direct sunlight
How Long Should I Ferment My Homemade Sauerkraut?
After 3-4 weeks minimum, remove the fermentation weight and smell and taste test. Your fermented cabbage should smell pleasantly sour. It should taste tart, lightly salty and cabbagey.
Do I Need to Refrigerate My Homemade Sauerkraut
After fermenting for 3-4 weeks, remove the weight and place a regular mason jar lid on the jar and refrigerate. Consume within 6 months for full probiotic benefits.
Homemade Sauerkraut Tips
During the first few days of fermentation: carbon dioxide and bubbles will be produced. Sometimes jars will become very full with liquid, and this liquid can seep out.
- Remove the lid and tamper everything back down using a gloved hand, tamper or spoon. Make sure everything, including the weight, is still submerged below the brine. Rinse off the lid if it is dirty.
Always Trust your sense of smell: Fermented cabbage should smell pleasantly sour and like strong cabbage. Never eat anything that smells repulsive or yeasty.
Never eat anything that had mold growing on it: By following directions you should not encounter this problem.
Taste test at three weeks: If you prefer the sauerkraut to be more tart and sour, let it ferment for four weeks.Print
Fermented Beet and Red Cabbage Sauerkraut with Ginger
Homemade Sauerkraut is definitely the easiest at-home fermentation project. It’s so easy to make flavorful, nutrient-dense variations of sauerkraut, like this ginger beet sauerkraut. With this recipe, you’ll learn how to ferment delicious sauerkraut in a mason jar.
- Prep Time: 15 Minutes
- Cook Time: 0 minutes
- Total Time: 15 Minutes
- Yield: 1 Quart 1x
- Category: Fermented Foods
- Method: Fermentation
- Diet: Vegan
- 500 grams Red Cabbage
- 100 grams Shredded Beets
- 1 Tablespoon Fresh Grated Ginger
- 20 grams Unrefined Sea Salt
- 200 grams Filtered Water
- Wash your fermentation equipment (jar, weight and lid)
- Remove the outer leaves of your cabbage and lightly rinse with cool water. Using a knife, chop the cabbage to your desired thickness.
- Place your kitchen scale on the counter. Turn it on and set it to weigh in grams.
- Place a mixing bowl on your kitchen scale and tare/zero the scale. Note: Taring/zeroing the scale with a container on it subtracts the weight of the container, allowing you to weigh only what is added to the container. After taring/zeroing the scale, the scale should read 0.0 with the container on it.
- Add chopped purple cabbage into the bowl on your scale until the scale reads 500 grams.
- Add the shredded beets to the bowl of shredded cabbage until the scale reads 600 grams total.
- Add in one Tablespoon of fresh grated ginger.
- Remove the bowl of cabbage, beets and ginger from the scale and set aside.
- Place a small, empty bowl on your scale and tare/zero the scale.
- Weigh out 20 grams of salt.
- Add the 20 grams of salt into the bowl with the cabbage mixture, and gently mix with your clean hands until the cabbage becomes wet. This usually takes about 5 minutes.
- Place your empty, clean mason jar on the scale, and tare/zero the scale. Make sure your scale is still set to grams and add 200 grams of filtered water to your mason jar. (note: 200 grams of water = 200 mL of water).
- Add the 200 grams of water into the bowl with the cabbage, beets, ginger and salt. Mix well for about 5 minutes. If you like crunchy kraut, mix gently. If you like softer kraut, mix more vigorously by squeezing the cabbage.
- Starting with the liquid, add the entire contents of the bowl into your mason jar, and pack everything down using a tamper, wooden spoon, or your hand.
- Place your glass fermentation weight in the jar, making sure to submerge the cabbage pieces and weight fully into the liquid. If you dont have quite enough liquid, place your glass fermentation weight in the jar and submerge as much a possible. Over the next 12 hours, the cabbage should release more liquid and you can press down your fermentation weight below the brine.
- Secure the standard mason jar lid to the mason jar.
See fermentation care instructions and timeline below
Keywords: fermented,beet,red cabbage,sauerkraut,fermentation