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Hens in cold winters, live stock and stored food in 16th, 17th century


Yep, the veges are grated or sliced very thinly, and not pounded heavily but just lightly bruised. This helps give the lactobacilli something to cling to.
It's a very ancient technique.
I forgot to say, occasionally (especially if weather warmed unexpectedly) a sauerkraut barrel might suddenly explode. There's a knack (if it's kept a long while) to periodically tapping off the gases.
An Aussie version of a sauerkraut factoid: when properly fermented, they smell a little like Vegemite!

Jess A

I see I see! I used to make water kefir juice - I would put the kefir in with water, sugar, lemon and raisins (you can use other fruits to flavour it) and ferment it for 24-48 hours. Delicious. A little alcoholic but supposedly very healthy for you. You can drain the kefir and keep it in the fridge for up to a week; it lies dormant in the cold.

Winters are very cold in the area I am writing about. So I think it warming up unexpectedly is not too much of a problem in winter anyway, but coming up to Spring it might be.

Thanks again :)