How To Determine The Amount Of Salt You Need When Making Sauerkraut

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As you might have already guessed, salt is not just used to make your sauerkraut taste better. It plays a crucial role in the fermentation process. When combined with the cabbage, salt serves to promote the growth of beneficial bacteria (lactobacillus in this case) while inhibiting the proliferation of the bad bugs. This process of lacto-fermentation is what preserves the cabbage, enhances its sour flavor, and boosts its nutritional value.

Therefore, using too little or too much salt has significant effects on your sauerkraut preparation. Too little salt can lead to insufficient fermentation, resulting in a mushy product or even spoilage since the harmful bacteria are not sufficiently inhibited from growing. This can lead to food safety concerns. On the other hand, excessive salt can hinder fermentation, resulting in overly salty sauerkraut that may be unpalatable.

In the event you find that you’ve added too much salt, don’t worry, there’s a simple solution. If you discover this early enough before your cabbage ferments, you can dilute the excess salt by adding more cabbage or water to the mixture. But if you discover your sauerkraut is too salty after it’s fully fermented, you can run it through fresh water to wash away the excess salt — but apply this method cautiously as your sauerkraut may end up a bit bland and you risk losing the good bacteria.

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