Brine question

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Re: Brine question

Postby Pacecar on Wed Dec 27, 2017 9:10 am

A common salt recipe for vegetable ferments when the brine is made naturally from the water contained in the vegetables:
3 tablespoons granular salt per 5 pounds of vegetables.
A tablespoon of salt measures about 17 - 19 grams, depending on how "fine" the salt granules.
In metric units, that is: 52 - 57 grams salt per 2.27 kilograms veggies.
You have 5.0 kg of cabbage. Therefore, a salt amount should be:
(5.0 / 2.27) * 52 = 114.5 grams salt: (about 115 - 125 grams range).
However, you are actually using 200 grams of salt, which is more than enough.
Amazon lists several salt brine hydrometers that can used to measure actual salt brine concentrations.
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Re: Brine question

Postby gardener on Wed Dec 27, 2017 3:23 pm

Getting the same taste result may not be possible from batch to batch regardless of the salinity. Slightly different tastes of the particular heads of cabbage could change it, so could factors like the temperature and the strains of fermenting bacteria at work.

I've never had my cabbage emit enough water to cover the batch, so I have always had to make my own brine to top it off with. I've used 50g/liter or 1.6oz/qt. My very first batch I don't know what I used, I just followed directions in an old Joy of Cooking cookbook, which probably gave volume measurements.

Various internet sources tell me cabbage is about 93% water, so if you haven't added water then you have about 4.65 kg of water in the system. I suppose I would assume that the level of salt within the cabbage comes to equal that in the brine surrounding the cabbage, so you could estimate salinity.

Unless you are very picky, I suspect you will like whatever "flavor" of sauerkraut you end up with. So don't figure you have to exactly recreate the same conditions for the next batch when the first batch is delicious.
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Re: Brine question

Postby Ucmd on Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:02 pm

Thanks all for so much help. I am going to buy refractomerer this weekend.

It’s odd, I’ve made kraut a few times and never made brine. It always covers from liquid in Vegas. I’m just getting advice cause I want to sort of standardize things.
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