DIY Sauerkraut


Excited about this little beauty. #eeedailypic #InFerment #sandorkatz @hadariron

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For our Fall Issue, writer Kelly Ann Smith and photo editor Lindsay Morris visited Nadia Ernestus of Hamptons Brine. Lindsay was surprised and excited to meet Nadia. She had no idea she was going to photograph the woman whose products line her kitchen counter. So excited, she went out and bought her own crock to to put up her own sauerkraut. Good luck Lindsay!

Here’s Nadia’s process. Get started now, it could be ready in time for Thanksgiving.

What you need:

  • 2 heads of cabbage, about 5 lb
  • 2-3 carrots
  • 3-4 tablespoons of sea salt (don’t use iodized salt: iodine inhibits fermentation)
  • A large bowl or a stockpot for mixing vegetables with salt
  • A gallon-size glass jar or a ceramic crock
  • A jar (or a plate) that fits in the opening of the crock and a weight


  • Peel a few leaves off the cabbage. Reserve.
  • Shred the rest of the cabbage as desired
  • Grate the carrots on the coarse grater In the large bowl, combine cabbage, carrots and salt
  • Massage with your hands until the vegetables start releasing liquid
  • Line the bottom of the glass jar or crock with ½ of reserved whole leaves
  • Pack the vegetable mixture into the jar very tightly
  • Put the other ½ of whole leaves on top

This prevents yeasts and mold from growing on top of the product. Originally wooden covers were placed on top of the fermenting product and the additional weight was placed on the cover. Rocks and bricks were often used. Weigh it down! Put a plate or a jar that fits on top of your container and put something heavy on top. If the cabbage doesn’t produce enough juice to cover the vegetables completely, dissolve a couple of tablespoons of salt in filtered water and add the brine to your jar until completely submerged. Put away from direct sunlight. Start tasting after 5 days. When it reaches the desired taste, refrigerate to stop fermentation: you can put the whole jar in the refrigerator or put the sauerkraut into small jars. In this case, put a piece of the whole leaf on top of each jar.