If so - how successful has it been? Do you like it?
I have a couple of books with recipes and they stress the importance of having a wide jar to make it in, using a weight to keep the cabbage below the brine, and a cover over that to keep flies off. Sounds such a fiddle - then I wondered, could I use a large Caffetiere (French Press)? It would keep the cabbage under and the top lid would keep out flies - what do you think??
Using your hands, scrunch and break up the cabbage to start releasing juices.
Stuff the cabbage into any jars you have, and close lid.
Every now and then, open the jar and push down the cabbage so it gets saturated in juices.
If you salt it enough, it shouldn't go moldy. If you cut it small enough and break it down with your hands, it will release plenty of liquid. If it's warm in your house, only leave it out a few days before refrigerating. If it's cool, leave it out 10 days.
I thought about getting a special crock with a weight and it would be nice to have but I haven't had the need to. A good resource for making ferments is Wild Fermentation by Sandor Katz.
I make my own sauerkraut. I've been doing it for about a year now. Here's how I do it:
I cut the cabbage into chunks.
I put those chucks through the food processor to shred them (because I'm lazy and don't want to chop it all up myself).
I dump all that in a bowl and add whey (from yogurt) and sea salt and red chili pepper.
I use clean hands to mix it all and massage it.
I stuff it all into widemouth jars (6" tall by 4" wide or so).
I add a little water to the top.
I seal the lid and place them in a warm place for 3 or 4 days (with a piece of tape on them reminding me when to move them).
I move them to cold storage (fridge).
Never in that process do I use a weight or a plate. I've never found that I need to keep my cabbage below the brine. It kinda does that on it's own while it ferments (because the salt is drawing the moisture out). And it leaks, so I keep the jars in little plastic bowls.
All that said, trying a french press might work too! ;)
P.S. Sometimes I use raw apple cider vinegar instead of whey. Works like a charm!
Following is a link for making kimchi but i swear to the almight chili lord that this stuff is stupidly delicious. I love kraut too, dont get me wrong (and afterall, kraut and kimchi are essentially the same thing, one simply hot and the other not so much) but this stuff is just too good to pass up.
Sauerkraut is extremely easy to make at home, in amounts as large or small as desired. Shred cabbage and mix it with salt (a half tablespoon of salt per pound of shredded cabbage). Pack the cabbage into mason jars to one inch below the top, and tighten the lids. After the salt has had a chance to draw out water for a few hours, open the jars and pack the cabbage down to cover with liquid (if there's not enough liquid, add a little filtered water), and put the lids back on tightly. Keep the jars at room temperature, preferably on the cool end of room temperature. Once a day, loosen the lids just enough to vent off any gas pressure and retighten the lids. Do not open the jar all the way, as that lets oxygen back in to the jar. The gas that vents off is CO2, and it purges the jar of oxygen, making it impossible for yeasts and other nasties to grow. After five days or so, the jars stop venting, and at that point, they should be put in the fridge to age for at least two more weeks.
i use the perfect pickler. i have tried to make a few batches in the past with mason jars but, they didn't work. the perfect pickler costs around 20 bucks but it makes awsome krout and pickles everytime. and it comes with directions.
When I was a kid my neighbors were doing their own sauerkraut. They were doing huge amounts, for whole winter... and their were employing us (kids) to help. How? After chopping it all they put it huge pot (like you see in some communal kitchens) and we had to walk in them! similarly to what you see in traditional wine production. It was always fun :) So try to break the cabbage really, really well. Traditionally a lot of people add some shredded carrots as well.
Oh, and generally stone vessels are good for pickling.