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Date Posted: 19:34:11 04/26/07 Thu
Author: Chuck in ND
Subject: I've not made vinegar
In reply to: Cricket 's message, "Expand please..." on 09:05:09 04/26/07 Thu

But the Rodale Press book "Stocking Up" has detailed instructions on making it. Basically extract juice from your apples (I have a juicer that does a great job.) and let it sit in a crock or non-metalic container for 4-6 mos. Skim off the scum and strain through layers of cheesecloth.

You can find great yogurt making instructions here: http://www.healthgoods.com/Shopping/Appliances/Yogurt_Information.asp#Making

I've made yogurt with and w/o a yogurt maker. The machine makes it incredibly easy, so for $30-40 it's worth it to me. You can make yogurt with powdered milk or even soymilk.

You can't find anything easier than buttermilk. Just add 1/4 C commercial buttermilk (starter) to your 1 qt milk and let it sit at room temp 8-12 hrs, depending on how sour you like it. It can be made from powdered milk. Not sure if it works with whey-milk or soymilk, but worth a try. Save 1/4 C from each batch to use as your starter next time.

Sauerkraut is incredibly easy. Here's my sauerkraut recipe:

30 qts/15 lbs shredded cabbage
10 Tbsp salt

That's it for ingredients.

Well, not exactly. You'll need either a 5 gal crockpot or 5 gal bucket, a plate or round peice of wood (very clean!) that is almost the same diameter as the crock, a flour sack towel and a weight.

In the crock, make a layer of about 3-5lbs cabbage, sprinkle with 2-3 Tbsp salt, mix it a little to incorporate the salt. Then another layer of 3-5lbs cabbage with 2-3Tbs salt, etc until it's all mixed.

Press the cabbage as you go along. When you are done you should have some brine in the crock. Press down on it with the plate or piece of wood. The cabbage should be firmly packed but not compressed--there needs to be some air getting to the bottom. If the brine does not cover the cabbage, make some more brine on your stove: 1qt water to 1 Tbsp salt.

Put a weight on the plate--a brick, large stone (or I use a Tupperware bowl filled with water and a lid on it) and cover it all with a towel.

Now let it age in a cool, out of the way place (you don't want kids poking into it or pets or bugs getting into it.) Age 2-6 wks, depending on temperature (cooler temps take longer to ferment) and how sour you like it. Check every day and skim off any scum that forms. Every 5-7 days wash the plate and weight (more often if needed) and put a new towel on top. After the first 10 days taste for sourness and taste every 2-3 days after that.

The cabbage needs to be sliced thin--about 1/8". I use my food processor. You can do it by hand but you might get a bit sore. There's also the mandoline --I think Pampered Chef sells an inexpensive one.

When your sauerkraut tastes like you'd like, then you'll process it. Pack into sterilized qt jars. If you don't have enough brine to cover the kraut, then make some more--1 qt boiling water for each Tblsp Salt. Allow 1/2" headspace process. Here's a table for processing time.

For all these (yogurt, sauerkraut, etc) I use glass containers or crocks because they are easier to clean and less likely to harbor unwanted bacteria.

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