Do I need to add water and sugar to sauerkraut? How to make sauerkraut correctly: recipes for tasty and healthy sauerkraut, how long to keep it under pressure, do you need to drain the brine?

Many housewives wonder whether it is necessary to put water and sugar in sauerkraut? You also need other important ingredients, more details in the article.

Sauerkraut is the queen of the table in Russian cuisine. This is what they call “women’s dish”. And it’s no secret that this particular dish is considered one of the healthiest in the diet; it helps reduce cholesterol levels in the blood, which means it reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases. This is just one useful quality, and there are many more.

Read another useful article on our website on the topic: “Lunar calendar 2021-2022 for canning and homemade preparations for the winter with a table by month . You will find favorable and unfavorable lunar days for making jam, harvesting, canning, freezing fruits and vegetables, and mushrooms in 2021-2022 .

Almost every housewife has cabbage on her list of preparations. It is wonderful as an independent dish and as a component of cabbage soup, pies or cutlets, as well as an amazing side dish. Below you will find many different recipes for making sauerkraut. Read on.

Which cabbage is suitable for pickling, pickling: varieties

White cabbage for pickling
For winter preparations, as well as for pickling, white cabbage of mid-late and late varieties is usually taken, since it has a fairly dense structure and long-lasting storage. This type of cabbage is best suited for pickling.

When selecting vegetables for long-term storage, there are several important rules to consider:

  • Variety - mid-late or late
  • The head of cabbage must be fully ripe and dense enough
  • In cross section - white or slightly creamy
  • The leaves taste slightly sweet - this means high glucose levels

Varieties of white cabbage that are ideal for pickling, pickling and pickling:

  • “Slava-1305” is an ideal variety for pickling; it ripens in September, but is not stored for long, until January at most.
  • “Belorusskaya-455” is a late variety, ripens by early October, ideal for pickling.
  • “Moskovskaya late-15” - ideal for fermentation, ripens in October.
  • "Amager-611" is the most late-ripening variety.
  • “Kharkovskaya Zimnyaya” is a universal variety for all types of preparations.
  • “Late Langedeyker” is a German variety that ripens in mid-autumn, can be stored for a very long time, and the taste only improves during storage.
  • "Turkis" is a German variety, ideal for pickling.

Below is even more useful information. Read on.

What should you sauerkraut with?

There is a great variety of options for preparing cabbage, both in one-component form and with the addition of various vegetables, berries and spices. What should you sauerkraut with? Here are the options:

  • Lovers of a sweeter taste traditionally add carrots, bell peppers, beets or apples .
  • For those who like a spicy taste, season the cabbage with horseradish, garlic and hot pepper .
  • But for lovers of sourness, cranberries and lingonberries .
  • Gourmets who are looking for new tastes experiment with zucchini, prunes, quince, pear and even season it with vodka and raisins .
  • To achieve piquancy and brightness of taste, add cumin, coriander and fennel seeds, and juniper berries.

As you can see, there are many options. Choose yours and create a dish that is unique in taste.

How to properly cut cabbage?

Correctly cutting cabbage for pickling
Before cutting cabbage, you need to choose the right knife. A tool with a wide blade can easily handle this. Also, many housewives use knives with two blades, various graters, peelers (knives for peeling vegetables), mechanical and electric shredders. But the simplest thing is an ordinary knife.

Modern housewives, when choosing a cut, are increasingly asking themselves the question of how to cut cabbage correctly or what is the best way to cut it. And here it’s just a matter of taste, as you like. Most often this is done in the traditional way - with thin straws. Other options are also acceptable: cut into quarters, whole heads of cabbage or halves.

  • Divide the forks into 4 parts , remove the stalk, then divide the quarters into smaller pieces and you are ready to start.
  • To get a neat and perfectly thin straw, you need to practice, but you don’t need to make it too small. The optimal straw size is at least 5 mm .

Now let's look at the question of the container in which the cabbage will be fermented. Read on.

In a natural wood barrel

If you need sauerkraut in large quantities, you will need to stock up on a 100-liter wooden barrel, a thick plastic bag for pickling, a long pole for piercing the workpiece, a smooth stone weighing 3-4 kg, and a piece of gauze.


  • cabbage - 90-100 kg;
  • carrots - 10-15 kg;
  • salt - 2 kg;
  • black peppercorns - 75-100 pcs.;
  • bay leaf - 20-30 sheets.


  1. A week before salting, wash the barrel with baking soda and pour boiling water or very hot water into it, leave for about an hour and drain the water. Fill the container with clean cold water and leave for 5-6 days. Rinse well.
  2. Insert a pickling bag with a volume of 100-120 liters. It will protect the contents from leakage.
  3. Wash and grate the carrots (coarsely). Its quantity can be changed as desired.

Too many carrots will make the final product too soft.

  1. Peel the heads of cabbage from the top layer of leaves, cut out the stalks.
  2. Chop the cabbage into strips using a knife or shredder. Pour every 10 kg into a basin.
  3. Add 2-3 handfuls of grated carrots, salt and pepper, and a couple of bay leaves. Stir, knead and pour into a barrel, compact.
  4. When the container is filled, the contents need to be well compacted, it is better to entrust this procedure to a man, place gauze folded in 4 times on top, place a wooden circle or an enamel lid, and place a well-washed and scalded stone.
  5. For the first 4-5 days, keep the barrel at a temperature of +17-18 degrees. Every day or every other day, use a long wooden pole to carefully prick the workpiece to the very bottom in several places so as not to damage the bag. Wash the gauze in hot water and rinse the load.
  6. As soon as the juice stops secreting and foaming, move the barrel to storage, where the temperature in winter is from –5 to +5 degrees (for example, to a cellar).
  7. You can take it and eat it. It turns out very tasty. Try it if possible.

Which container to choose for fermenting cabbage for the winter?

Traditionally, in the past, fermentation was carried out in wooden barrels. They stood in cold hay, thanks to which the cabbage retained its freshness and unique taste for a long time. But living in a modern stone “jungle”, this is simply impossible. Which container to choose for fermenting cabbage for the winter?

  • It is worth noting that the container does not affect the taste of the finished product, so in this situation ordinary 3-5 liter jars , enamel pots and buckets , and stainless steel utensils .
  • strictly prohibited - the cabbage will acquire an unpleasant aftertaste and a gray color.

So, when everything is ready, the cabbage has been purchased, you can begin the fermentation process. Read on.

Main ingredients and proportions

All recipes for cabbage starter for the winter are both similar and different from each other. In general, the main ingredients are cabbage, carrots, and salt. It is usually prepared at the rate of 150 g of salt per 10 kg of cabbage.

There are many simple recipes. Some add beets, others add honey, some like it spicier and add black pepper.

Proper cutting of vegetables

Each housewife cooks to her own taste. Some people chop vegetables into large pieces, while others like them finely chopped. The general operating technique is as follows:

  1. Vegetables need to be peeled. The top cabbage leaves are removed - they often cover the bottom of the jar and cover everything on top.
  2. The stalk is completely cut out.

Before all work, it is better to wipe the cutting board with a strong saline solution: this will remove tiny particles with microorganisms.

Shredding process

  1. The fork is cut in half, and then each part is further divided in half. Using a special knife for chopping, called a chop, or any large sharp knife, shredding occurs across the leaves.
  2. It is best to chop into small pieces of 1-2 cm; if you chop too much, you will not achieve a pleasant crunch.

Fermentation temperature

The optimal air temperature in the room where the fermentation process takes place should not fall below 17 and rise above 25 degrees. This leaven retains a large amount of sugars and few volatile acids. Vitamin C is preserved.

Utensils for fermentation

Today there are a lot of recipes for sauerkraut in three-liter jars, but it will be tastiest to pickle or ferment this vegetable in wooden tubs. An excellent option would be dishes made of oak, birch, or linden. In the absence of wooden containers, enamel or plastic containers are quite useful.

Any container must be intact and without damage, since the fermentation process may react with the walls of the container.

If there is a choice, preference is given to opaque dishes.

Storage mode

When the starter has passed active fermentation, it is better to lower the containers into a cold room, a cellar, where the temperature is kept around 0 or minus 2 degrees. This temperature is needed to inhibit the development of mold. If mold gets into such a dish, the taste will be greatly spoiled.

Pickling cabbage in brine with vinegar is very tasty - crispy: a delicious recipe for sauerkraut

Pickling cabbage in brine with vinegar is very tasty.
Pickling means adding salt during the preparation process. Salting can be either dry or in brine. Vinegar is usually used not for salting, but for pickling; it gives the cabbage a pleasant sourness and allows it to be stored for a longer time. The marinade is prepared separately, it can be hot or cold. There are three methods of marinating:

  • Quick - cabbage can be consumed on the same day.
  • Cold - pour cold marinade and store in a cool place.
  • Hot - pour hot marinade and seal the jars for the winter.

The ideal vegetable for pickling is one that has been affected by the first frost. To make the product healthier, it is better to replace simple vinegar with apple cider vinegar. So, we make cabbage in brine with vinegar very tasty so that it turns out crispy. Here is a delicious recipe for sauerkraut:


  • Cabbage - 1.5-2 kg
  • Carrot - 1 pc.
  • Vegetable oil - 1 tbsp.
  • Apple cider vinegar - 0.5 tbsp.
  • Water - 2 tbsp.
  • Granulated sugar - 2 tbsp. l.
  • Salt - 1 tbsp. l.
  • Pepper peas - 2-3 pcs.
  • Cumin or fennel grains - 5-10 pcs. (optional)

Cooking technology:

  1. Finely chop the cabbage, grate the carrots, and mix everything.
  2. Cook the marinade: bring the water to a boil, add salt and granulated sugar, oil, spices, vinegar at the very end.
  3. Place the cabbage in jars and compact them, make holes with skewers, and pour in the resulting marinade.
  4. Place the cabbage at room temperature until it cools completely, then put it in the refrigerator or on the balcony.

A delicious crispy snack ready to eat. The maximum shelf life of this option is no more than 3-4 months.

Favorable days

Any date is not suitable for pickling cabbage. Preparing this snack does not pose any difficulties for experienced housewives. Even when using a tight fork with juicy leaves and strictly following the instructions, the dish does not always turn out tasty. Often, after cooking, an unpleasant aftertaste appears or the product turns sour in a short time.

Astrologers advise that when choosing salting days in 2022, you should be guided by the lunar phases. Choosing a good date for salting cabbage according to the calendar presented below greatly increases the chances of preparing a tasty product.

MonthFavorable days
October1, 17-20, 28-31
November16, 24-28

On a note!
The snack tastes best if you cook it on the Waxing Moon on Monday, Tuesday or Thursday. When choosing the date to ferment cabbage, take into account the passage of the Earth's satellite through the zodiac constellations. The best of them are considered to be Capricorn, Taurus, Aries, Sagittarius and Leo. The product obtained after fermentation during this period has a more pleasant taste and is stored for a long time.

Recipe for quick sauerkraut with carrots

Almost all recipes for preparing this snack are similar to each other in terms of preparation time and sequence of actions, but still each of them is unique, because each contains a small secret ingredient. Here is a recipe for quick sauerkraut with carrots:


  • White cabbage – 3 kg
  • Carrots - 300 g.
  • Rye flour - 2 tbsp.
  • Salt - 3 tbsp. l.
  • Granulated sugar - 5 tbsp. l.
  • Vodka - 50 g.

Cooking technology:

  1. In a large container with chopped cabbage, add salt and granulated sugar and grind.
  2. Combine with chopped carrots and mix well.
  3. Sprinkle the bottom of the jars with a little flour and compact the vegetables to half the volume. Then sprinkle with flour again and cover with a layer of cabbage. Flour combined with sugar enhances the fermentation process.
  4. To obtain a tart taste and greater crispness, pour a glass of vodka into the jars.
  5. Cover the neck with clean gauze and place the jar in a basin, leave at room temperature for several days.
  6. To prevent the cabbage from turning out bitter, you must pierce it 2 times. per day to release carbon dioxide.
  7. A foam will appear on the surface of the cabbage, which needs to be removed. If the foam stops forming, it means the dish is ready. It can be covered with a lid and put in the refrigerator for another 1-2 days .

The leaked juice should not be destroyed; it must be returned back to the jar so that the cabbage does not turn out dry. And if you want to try the dish as soon as possible, then the preparation can be reduced from three days to one. All you have to do is add the simplest brine to the jar and voila.

Possible mistakes

If the cooking technology is violated or the temperature regime is not observed, the snack will have an unpleasant appearance and taste. If the containers are kept in a hot room during fermentation, the product will darken. Unpleasant taste occurs for the following reasons:

  • when using frozen heads of cabbage, the snack turns out soft and does not crunch;
  • if there are a lot of nitrates in the forks, the appetizer darkens and quickly becomes unusable;
  • if darkening is observed only in certain areas, the reason is accumulated gases;
  • mucus appears from an insufficient amount of liquid and contact of the cabbage mass with air.

Snacks with brown spots or mucus are edible. She can't get poisoned. But it tastes unpleasant. Therefore, such a product is used only as an ingredient for other dishes. Before use, it is thoroughly washed and heat treated.

To prepare delicious sauerkraut, select a day that is favorable for pickling according to the Lunar calendar. The most delicious snack is obtained on November or December days after the “snotty week”. To make it crispy, follow the cooking technology and maintain the desired temperature.

How to ferment cabbage with beets: recipe

Sauerkraut with beets
This version of sauerkraut with beets is universal. The dish is suitable for both festive feasts and everyday lunches and dinners. The taste and appearance of this cabbage is simply incomparable. Here is the prescription:


  • Cabbage – 2 kg
  • Large beets - 1 pc.
  • Large carrot - 1 pc.
  • Garlic - 8-10 cloves
  • Water - 1 l
  • Granulated sugar - 150 g.
  • Salt - 30 g.
  • Sunflower oil - 1 tbsp. l.
  • Vinegar 9% – 100 ml

Manufacturing technology:

  1. Peel the cabbage and cut into 8 pieces , cut the carrots and beets into rings. Crush the garlic a little to activate tannins and phytoncides and cut into several pieces.
  2. Mix the vegetables and you can put them in a jar.
  3. Prepare the brine: add salt, sugar, spices to cold water and cook until boiling. As soon as the water boils, pour in the vinegar and oil.
  4. Pour the marinade into the jar, close the lid and leave until it cools completely. Afterwards, place the snack for 5 days to infuse.

For those who like a spicy taste, you can add a chili pepper or cloves. It is worth noting that cabbage in this version goes perfectly with meat dishes.

Cooking sequence

The first thing we do is clean the selected heads of cabbage from the roughened top leaves. We don't throw them away.

We remove the stalks from the heads of cabbage and weigh out the salt. The carrots can be cut into strips or thin circles, or grated on a larger grater - then the cabbage will turn out more orange.

We cut the heads of cabbage into halves (or into quarters). We chop each of the slices across the head of cabbage into thinner slices. To do this, you can use either a wide, long chef’s knife or a special one designed for cabbage. It's called a cut. In the latter case, the cabbage will be chopped very finely. You shouldn’t chop the cabbage until it becomes a fine cobweb – it won’t turn out crispy.

Place it in a bowl that is large enough. You can also stack the cabbage directly on the table. Salt and add some of the carrots, then rub with your hands so that the juice comes out.

Next, the cabbage is placed in the selected container, be it a glass jar, plastic or an enamel basin. You first need to place some of the top cabbage leaves on the bottom of the container.

When laying in the vegetable mixture, tamp it down well using a masher or fist. Other ingredients are laid out on top: berries, apples, celery...

Next, prepare the next portion of cabbage in the same sequence. Lay out the second layer. Lay out again and cover with fruit. We repeat this until our container is filled to the top with cabbage.

The final chord is the remains of the top leaves, which we never threw away. We place the plate on them upside down. We put a weight on it (you can use a two-liter jar filled with water). A lot of juice will be released from the mixture, so it is better to place the jar in a bucket or basin. We do not pour out the juice under any circumstances, but pour it into another jar and forget about it for a while, placing it in the refrigerator.

The vegetable is fermented at a temperature of 19-22 degrees above zero for 3-7 days. If it is warmer, the ferment will grow slowly; if it is colder, the cabbage will turn out too sour and will soften. If you find gas bubbles and foam in the basin, the salting process is proceeding correctly.

Gases in cabbage must be given the opportunity to escape. To do this, pierce it daily with a long wooden stick. You need to pierce the mixture all the way to the bottom.

How can you tell if cabbage has been salted? By the amount of juice, which is becoming less and less every day. The cabbage itself settles. If it is fermented correctly, its color becomes light orange. If you think that the product does not have enough juice, you can add the juice that we saved on the day of fermentation.

How long does it take to ferment cabbage under pressure?

At the final stage of preparing cabbage, before putting it into jars, the shredded vegetable is placed under pressure. They keep it this way until carbon dioxide stops coming out of the cabbage, that is, until the fermentation process itself ends, on average 3 days . If you remove it earlier, the top layer of cabbage will begin to lose its elasticity and quickly begin to sour, which will lead to spoilage of the entire snack.

Bending is a very necessary detail in the workpiece. It becomes a kind of partition for excess oxygen in the container with cabbage. Thanks to oxygen, the active fermentation process begins.

Where can I store it?

To preserve quality and taste, the optimal storage temperature must be maintained at 0...+2°C, while it will be possible to maintain the chemical composition at the level of the end of fermentation. A cool basement or cellar can provide this temperature. If there are no such conditions, then you can store it in the refrigerator or on a glassed-in balcony, or ferment the cabbage in small portions to eat it faster. At elevated storage temperatures, the acidity of cabbage decreases and it loses its elasticity.

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