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The Picklemeister & Harsch Pickling Crock

Has anyone used The Picklemeister or the Harsch Pickling Crock for sauerkraut or dill pickles?

Can you tell me about your experiences?

Or, can you recommend alternatives?
 
You don't stop dancing because you've grown old. You grow old because you've stopped dancing. - apologies to G.B. Shaw
Johnnie, sorry I just saw this post. I looked at the brands you mentioned a couple months ago but ended up getting this instead:

http://www.lehmans.com/shopping/product/detailmain.jsp?...=910&iProductID=6511

I was planning to make a big batch of sauerkraut, but my garden cabbage has had issues, so the plan is on hold.

I'm getting into naturally fermented foods. Did make some sauerkraut with store-bought cabbage earlier in the year in a pyrex mixing bowl with a plate on top. Worked fine, except for the things I didn't quite have down in the execution (didn't get the cabbage shredded fine enough; ended up too salty).

I made some naturally-fermented pickles last month in a smaller glass container (2 qt, I think). Haven't had the nerve to try them yet. Roll Eyes They sat on the counter long enough, and then I stuck them in the fridge. I promise to be brave! Big Grin

Do you have experience making naturally-fermented stuff? I'd love to figure out how to do long-term storage for naturally-fermented sauerkraut (and pickles) without killing the little buggers off, but you can't exactly hot water bath it. Can't seem to get a straight answer on this, which I'm afraid means it's got to be kept fresh or you kill 'em.

First-ever batch of kombucha started this morning in a glass bowl on the counter. Cool
 
- - - - - - - - - - - - Elizabeth www.WordCures.com
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Hey Liz,

Thanks for your note. How do you like fermenting in an open crock? Do you have to clean the scum very often? I am actually brand new to fermented foods. I've been doing a lot of reading and I spent some time this summer taking to some women in Lithuania about how they do it.

DW misses her sauerkraut. Most of the stuff in the stores around us is pasteurized and quite different from what she grew up on. So... time to learn, I guess.

Actually, from the reading I've been doing, apparently you can use a hot water bath to stop the fermenting process and store brine pickles and sauerkraut.

On the link that I posted above there is a book titled "Making Sauerkraut" by Klaus Kaufmann and Annelies Schoneck that I ordered. I'm waiting for it to show up.

I ordered two double bubble airlocks this week (see image) - commonly used in home brewing equipment. I plan to use them with gallon glass jars to make brine pickles and kraut.
 
You don't stop dancing because you've grown old. You grow old because you've stopped dancing. - apologies to G.B. Shaw
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I haven't ever actually left the top open. Have always either put a plate over it, or the last batch of pickles I did in a large glass container where the opening was narrower than the body (if that makes any sense) and I put in a clean plastic bag filled with water. That worked great. Even with the crock I posted I did order the sauerkraut board for the top (but haven't used it yet, remember). No, I haven't had to do too much scum-skimming.

Insert -> then put a dish towel over the whole thing.

As far as I can tell, part of the health benefit comes from ingesting the little pro-biotic dudes (bacteria) that cause the fermentation. If you heat them past a certain temperature (as occurs in pasturization or canning, probably even in cooking the sauerkraut for a hot served dish), then the bacteria keel over. You still have good sauerkraut, of course, but lose some of the benefit.

I've read several books including "Wild Fermentation" and the "Nourishing Traditions" cookbook. But, wow, there's no substitute for talking to the people who actually grew up doing it! All tips and insights welcome! Smiler
 
- - - - - - - - - - - - Elizabeth www.WordCures.com
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Liz, are those crocks the company you posted standard sizes? I was wondering if I could order the wood parts for the crock I got from Mom's house. I think it is the 5 gallon crock.
 
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