Ensuring the right conditions for sauerkraut is no easy task. We have prepared a number of recommendations, following which you can ensure the longest possible shelf life of winter preparations and always have ingredients for soups, first and second courses, pies, pancakes and meatballs on hand.
How long is sauerkraut edible
The shelf life of the product is affected by its storage conditions:
- If it is kept in the refrigerator in a hermetically sealed jar, then the shelf life is up to 2 months.
- In an open jar in the refrigerator, the product must be consumed within 10 days.
- In the freezer in a plastic bag, cabbage is stored for up to 7-8 months. You can pre-arrange the product in small plastic bags in portions so that each time you defrost only the amount of product that is really needed to prepare a particular dish.
- In a cellar in oak barrels at optimal temperature and humidity, the shelf life of the workpiece reaches 8 months.
It is impossible to keep cabbage warm — otherwise it will quickly turn sour, and it will be impossible to use it. However, heat is necessary for the product in the first stages, during fermentation — if the temperature is less than +10 ° C, then this process will stop.
The optimal humidity for storing the workpiece is from 85 to 95%.
Sauerkraut Storage Tips
Use our cabbage storage tips to ensure the longest shelf life:
- For extended winter storage, we recommend stock up on heads of late and late-ripening varieties of vegetables that caught the first frost. Such cabbage contains a sufficient amount of sugar and starch, which makes it crispy and tasty.
- If the head is small and / or putrefactive spots have appeared on its surface, it cannot be used for fermentation.
- It is better to keep the vegetable in a cool room.where the sun does not reach. You can not leave blanks under its direct rays — they lead to a darkening of the cabbage.
- If the container is kept in a room with a temperature of +1 to +5 °Cthen a brine is needed over the chopped billet, otherwise the top layer will need to be thrown away, as it will deteriorate.
- Dishes for storing cabbage must be completely sterile. Additionally, you can wash the container, put dill or honeysuckle inside, then pour boiling water over it. The greens will kill pathogens, which will prevent mold from spreading inside.
Attention! If you chop the pour into large squares up to 5 cm in size, and not into standard thin straws, then you will ensure the maximum safety of vitamins and useful trace elements.
If cabbage is stored in enameled dishes, then cracks and chips on it run the risk of reducing the quality of the product, as well as reducing its shelf life. Aluminum saucepans cannot be used for pickling, as they are prone to oxidation: the products in them are unsafe for health.
Plastic utensils, when in contact with acid, often release impurities that can be harmful to health.
If possible, pack the cabbage in medium-sized containers. Sauerkraut almost does not tolerate temperature changes. If you constantly transfer a large container from a cold to a warm room in order to get a little product for preparing the next dish, then there is a risk of completely spoiling the product, since the whole workpiece will ferment.
If you understand that any rules were not followed when preparing winter preparations, then it is better to throw away such cabbage — otherwise there is a chance of poisoning.
How to increase the shelf life of products
If you add cranberries or lingonberries to the workpiece, then the acid of these berries will increase the shelf life of the product. The same applies to acetic acid. It is enough to add quite a bit of acid to the container: it will extend the shelf life and at the same time will not spoil the taste of sauerkraut.
Use regular vegetable oil. Pour oil over the workpiece so that it forms a thin film on the top of the product. The film will prevent oxygen from getting inside, and also stop the fermentation process.
You can add more salt to sauerkraut, but this product is no longer suitable for salads.
Also, from time to time, you can add granulated sugar to the cabbage. Microorganisms will gradually turn it into vinegar. Sugar can be replaced with honey.
For 5 kg of forks, the following ingredients are needed:
- carrots (3 pcs.);
- salt (90 g);
- sugar (80 g);
- bay leaves (5 pcs.).
The procedure will be as follows:
- Remove green leaves and stalks from the heads, wash and peel the carrots.
- Chop the cabbage in the form of straws, grate the carrots on a large grater.
- Transfer the vegetables to a large bowl, add the spices and mix all the ingredients thoroughly.
- Place a large plate and a plastic bucket/jar of water on top.
- Leave the workpiece for 4 days in a warm room, the maximum temperature is 25 ° C.
- On the fifth day, wash the liter jars with hot water and detergent or baking soda. Steam the glass containers and place the cabbage inside. The minimum distance from the neck of the bottle to vegetables is 3 cm.
- Take a large saucepan and line the bottom with a towel. Put jars in a saucepan, pour warm water — up to the shoulders, and not to the top.
- Place the saucepan over medium heat and lower the heat to a simmer. The time for cooking cabbage is 40 minutes.
- Take out the jars and roll them up with metal lids.
Such cabbage can be stored throughout the winter months in a dark cabinet.
Signs that the cabbage has gone bad
You can understand that sauerkraut will have to be thrown away by the following signs:
- rotten, nasty smell of a spoiled product;
- the appearance of mold, foam, bubbles in the upper part of the container — this indicates that the fermentation process is disturbed;
Normal brine should be clear no matter how long it is stored. A cloudy solution indicates that the cabbage has deteriorated and should not be eaten.
You can take a chance and try a small piece of cabbage — you will immediately determine that the vegetable is spoiled by taste.
At the same time, if of all the signs you noticed only the appearance of a small amount of mold, there is an opportunity to correct the situation. Remove the plaque, discard the spoiled product, and then add the mustard powder to the mustard brine and mix all the ingredients well. The powder will act as an antiseptic, which will prevent the occurrence of mold in the future.
The recommendations indicated in the article will not work if you used any non-standard recipes for making sauerkraut — for example, added some apples. We recommend that you follow the basic rules — then the shelf life of products will be maximum.
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