Kelly Liston

Fermenting Crock

Fermenting Crock

I received this Fermenting Crock from my husband for Christmas and I am so excited!!  Up until this weekend, I have only ever used mason jars for my ferments.  On Saturday morning, the kids and I headed to the Farmer’s Market and I brought home 5 pounds of cabbage (among other things) to make a sauerkraut!  But, before I get to that, let me walk you through what makes this crock so cool.

The parts and pieces of the fermenting crock

This particular crock is 5 liters.  A whole gallon, friends.  That is a lot of fermented food!  For the record, you can get a 50 liter crock.  FIVE ZERO!  Where would someone put that thing?  Anyway, this crock is a nice, big vessel with two stone weights and a heavy lid.

The stone weights

The weights are placed on top of whatever it is you are fermenting to keep it below the brine.  After I washed all of the parts and pieces (which are heavy, by the way), I got started on making my sauerkraut.

Shredding all of the cabbage

I used my food processor to shred my cabbage this time because I had a lot of cabbage to get through.  As I completed shredding one head of cabbage, I put it in the crock and sprinkled in a Tablespoon of salt and mixed it up with my hands to let it start macerating.  In hindsight, I should have mixed all of the cabbage and salt in a big pot and then added it to the crock.  That would have made packing it down a lot easier!

Cabbage in the crock

As you can see, two heads of cabbage comes nearly to the top of the crock.  I still had another head of cabbage to add!  Don’t worry, it all fit.  As I added a head of cabbage, I added another Tablespoon of salt and mixed.

Packing the cabbage down to release the brine

Once all of the cabbage and salt was in the crock, I used my hand to pack it down and release the brine.  If you don’t see a lot of brine, wait 10 minutes and pack it down again.  The brine will come.

The weighted stones are added

Once I had a decent amount of brine, I added the stones to the crock.  I was a bit nervous (this being my first time and all) that there wasn’t enough liquid, so I added a bit of filtered water to ensure the stones were covered adequately.

Adding water to the trough

This is probably my favorite part of the crock.  There is a trough where I am to add water to create an air lock!!  Yippie!  (I am such a fermenting nerd.)

Air lock created!

And there we have it, friends.  The lid is put on and the air lock is created.  If you look closely, you can see a little notch in the lid.  This is where bubbles escape.  When the ‘kraut really gets kicking, I may take a video for you!  For now, I pushed it back into a corner of my kitchen and I wait.  For TWO WEEKS!  I am not even supposed to crack the lid to peek.  So, I will be patient and wait.

Stay tuned for the end result.  I am sure it will be fantastic!  I just love my new crock!

Sauerkraut
Recipe for a 5 liter stoneware crock
Print
Ingredients
  1. 5 pounds of cabbage
  2. 3 tablespoons sea salt
Instructions
  1. Shred cabbage and layer it, with salt, into your crock.
  2. Pack it down to release the brine.
  3. Add weighted stones and add filtered water if needed.
  4. Add water to the trough and place the lid on top to create an air lock.
  5. Wait at least 2 weeks before tasting. However, you can let it continue to ferment for up to 6 weeks.
Oh Lardy http://ohlardy.com/
Enjoy!

How do you like to make your sauerkraut?

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Kelly ListonHow to Use a Fermenting Crock

22 Comments on “How to Use a Fermenting Crock”

  1. Dyanaru

    Waiting for my crock to arrive. Thanks for the great pictures and instructions. I am a little confused about the last two steps. Did you pour more water on it once you placed the lid. Doesn’t it go into the crock by that hole?

    1. Oh Lardy

      The water put in the trough is there to create an air lock once the lid is placed. There is a little notch in the lid where, as the ferment starts to kick off gas, bubbles are able to escape. The water that is in the trough does not go into the crock itself. Does that make sense? Let me know if I can answer any more questions! Let us know how your crock adventures go!!

      1. Dyanaru

        Oh I’m sure when I have it in hand I’ll be comparing each photo and figure it out. You actually made it simple and unintimidating so I decided to buy the crock and go for it. Thanks.

        1. Oh Lardy

          The crock also comes with great directions! You will be fine. I get to taste my sauerkraut this weekend and I am so excited. I haven’t even peeked!

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  3. robbeau

    Our family is just finishing it’s first kraut. To the recipe, I also added a little onion, carrot, oregano and basil. It is wonderful. We will ferment Kimchi next!

  4. Kay Isr

    I don’t use salt in my kraut. Shread cabbage leaving large outer leaves. put it in a large bowl or crock. cover with the outer leaves. Put a plate on it with a hugh stone on it. Each day take off the stone and plate and roll the liquids around then replace plate and stone. When it is fermented you will know. K:-)

    1. Oh Lardy

      I would imagine that the naturally occurring bacteria on the cabbage would be enough to ferment it. I haven’t tried this, though. We really enjoy the salty flavor too much to skip the salt. How is the flavor?

  5. Michelle Bonsell

    i made a batch of sauerkraut using this type of crock . Wasn’t sure if I did it right. but this looks like how mine turned out. Do use this crock for other ferments?? and what are those recipes. i am going to make another batch of sauerkraut because my last batch is almost gone. Only 2 weeks to be done?? someone told me 5 – 6 weeks

    1. Oh Lardy

      Michelle, what I have read is that it can take anywhere from 2 to 6 weeks, depending on the temperature of your kitchen. My first batch was 3 weeks. I tasted it at 2 weeks and it was good, but I wanted to see what could happen. 4 weeks was good, too, but I could see that the longer it went the more sour it would get. My kids like kraut, but it can’t be too sour. So, I am happy with the 2 week ferment for flavor for now. As far as other ferments go, I have some pickles that I am ready to put in the fridge. The recipe is forthcoming!! YAY!

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  10. Lindsay

    I wanted to make sauerkraut last year (and even grew the cabbage for it), but the process looked too confusing. Thank you for this post! Where do you get your crock? Also, if I want longer term storage, would I can the kraut?
    Thank you!!

    1. Kelly Liston

      I believe my husband found my fermenting crock on Amazon. However, I am not sure they sell that brand anymore. Any crock will do, of course! You wouldn’t can the sauerkraut. That would kill all of the beneficial bacteria. I put my kraut in my fridge and it keeps for a LONG time. :)
      Kelly Liston recently posted…50 Junk Free Easter Basket IdeasMy Profile

  11. Wiley

    I love the traditional fermentation crock! One problem that I had with mine though is it seemed like I kept getting mold every few batches. I still like my original crock but I use a little more modernized fermentation jar because I can use the same recipes but I have never had a problem with mold or strange odors since I switched! This is the jar that I just bought:

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