Sauerkraut will often spark memories of farmers’ markets and Oktoberfest. Neither event is complete without an Oktoberfest Sausage topped with sauerkraut.


  • For best results, use cabbage within 2 days of picking.
  • For best flavour, use kraut within 6 months of making.
  • 25 lb (11.3 kg) white cabbage, about 5 large heads
  • 3/4 cup (175 ml) pickling salt


  • Discard outer leaves from cabbage. Rinse under cold running water and drain. Quarter cabbage and remove cores. Shred or slice 1/16 inch (0.2 cm) thick until 19 to 20 lb (8.6 to 9 kg) has been attained. Remove any large pieces.
  • Add 5 lb (2.3 kg) shredded cabbage to clean stone, glass, food grade plastic or stainless steel crock. Mix with 3 tbsp (45 ml) pickling salt and let sit 15 minutes for juices to flow. Press firmly on cabbage to squeeze out juices. Repeat with another 5 lb (2.3 kg) until all cabbage and salt are in crock.
  • Working with about 5 lb (2 kg) cabbage at a time, discard outer leaves. Rinse under cold running water and drain. Quarter cabbage and remove cores. Shred or slice 1/16 inch (0.2 cm) thick. Place in a 5 gallon (20 L) crock, glass or stainless steel container. Add 3 tbsp (45 ml) salt; mix thoroughly with clean hands. Pack firmly until salt draws juices from cabbage.
  • Repeat shredding, salting and packing until all cabbage is in container. Be sure cabbage is at least 4 inches (10 cm) below rim of container. If liquid does not cover cabbage, add boiled, cooled brine (1 1/2 tbsp / 20 ml pickling salt to 4 cups / 1L water). Keep cabbage 1 to 2 inches (2.5 to 5 cm) under the brine throughout fermentation.
  • Insert a clean dinner or glass pie plate on top of the cabbage inside the fermentation container. The plate must be slightly smaller than the container opening, yet large enough to cover most of the shredded cabbage. To keep the plate under the brine, weigh it down with 2 or 3 clean 1 L mason jars filled with water and covered with lids. Cover the container with a clean, heavy bath towel to keep out airborne particles.
  • Store at 70 to 75ºF (21 to 24ºC) for 3 to 4 weeks. At temperatures between 60 to 65ºF (16 to 18ºC), fermentation may take 5 to 6 weeks. At lower temperatures, kraut may not ferment; at higher temperatures, kraut may become soft. Check the kraut 2 to 3 times each week; remove any scum that forms. Fermentation is complete when bubbling ceases.
  • When kraut has fully fermented, store tightly covered in the refrigerator for several months or heat process as follows to preserve in jars:
  • Place desired number of clean 500 ml or 1 L mason jars on a rack in a boiling water canner. Cover jars with water and heat to a simmer (180°F/82°C). Set screw bands aside. Keep jars hot until ready to use.
  • Preheating Bernardin® lids is not advised. The sealing compound used for our home canning lids performs better at room temperature than it does pre-heated in simmering water (180°F). Simply wash lids in hot, soapy water, dry, and set aside until needed. Preheating can lead to less vacuum being achieved during water bath canning, and to buckle failures during pressure canning.
  • Hot Pack: Place sauerkraut in a large stainless steel saucepan; slowly bring to a boil, stirring frequently.
  • Cold Pack: Do not heat sauerkraut prior to filing jars.
  • Pack sauerkraut into a hot jar to within 1/2 inch (1 cm) of top rim (headspace). Using nonmetallic utensil, remove air bubbles. Wipe jar rim removing any stickiness. Center sealing disc on jar; apply screw band securely & firmly until resistance is met -- fingertip tight. Do not overtighten. Place jar in canner; repeat for remaining sauerkraut.
  • Cover canner; bring water to a boil. At altitudes up to 1000 ft (305 m), process –boil filled jars – for the time indicated below.
  • Jar Size Hot Pack Processing Time Cold Pack Processing Time
    • 500 ml 10 minutes 20 minutes
    • 1 L 15 minutes 25 minutes
  • Remove jars without tilting. Cool upright, undisturbed 24 hours; DO NOT RETIGHTEN screw bands. After cooling check jar seals. Sealed discs curve downward. Remove screw bands; wipe and dry bands and jars. Store screw bands separately or replace loosely on jars, as desired. Label and store jars in a cool, dark place.