Slice the cabbage. Discard the wilted, limp outer leaves of the cabbage and then keep the next 2 leaves for later use.
Cut the cabbage into quarters and trim out the core. Slice each quarter down its length making 8 wedges.
You now need to shred the cabbage which can be done using a food processor, manual grater or simply use a sharp knife cutting the cabbage wedges into very thin ribbons.
Transfer the cabbage to a big mixing bowl and sprinkle the salt over top.
Begin working the salt into the cabbage by massaging and squeezing the cabbage with your hands. At first, it may not seem like enough salt, but gradually, the cabbage will become watery and limp — more like coleslaw than raw cabbage. Massage for about 3-4 minutes and let the mixture sit for 10 minutes. After the 10 minutes waiting period, you will have a mixture with a lots of water which means that the salt has done it job of drawing the water out from the cabbage.
If you’d like to flavor your sauerkraut with caraway seeds or other spices, mix them in now.
Grab handfuls of the cabbage and pack it into the canning jar. Every so often, push down the cabbage into the jar with your fist. Pour out any liquid released by the cabbage while you massage it into the jar.
Place one of the larger outer leaves of the cabbage over the surface of the sliced cabbage. This will help keep the cabbage submerged in its liquid.
Cover the jar with a lid. Close tightly.
Over the next 24 hours, press down on the cabbage every so often with the jelly jar. As the cabbage releases its liquid, it will become more limp and compact and the liquid will rise over the top of the cabbage.
Add extra liquid, if needed. If after 24 hours, the liquid has not risen above the cabbage, dissolve 1 teaspoon of salt in 1 cup of water and add enough to submerge the cabbage.
Ferment the cabbage for 10 days to 4 weeks: As it’s fermenting, keep the sauerkraut away from direct sunlight and in a cool room — ideally 65°F to 75°F. Check it daily and press it down if the cabbage is floating above the liquid.
Because this is a small batch of sauerkraut, it will ferment more quickly than larger batches. Start tasting it after 10 days. When the sauerkraut tastes good,refrigerate. You can also allow the sauerkraut to continue fermenting for longer. There’s no hard and fast rule for when the sauerkraut is “done” — go by how it tastes.
While it’s fermenting, you may see bubbles coming through the cabbage, foam on the top, or white scum. These are all signs of a healthy, happy fermentation process. The scum can be skimmed off the top either during fermentation or before refrigerating. If you see any mold, skim it off immediately and make sure your cabbage is fully submerged; don’t eat moldy parts close to the surface, but the rest of the sauerkraut is fine.
Store sauerkraut for several months: This sauerkraut is a fermented product so it will keep for at least 6 months and often longer if kept refrigerated. As long as it still smells and tastes good, it is good to eat.