DIY Small Batch Purple Sauerkraut

sauerkraut diy_n

To make this beautiful purple kraut, you need only a few days of fermenting time and items you already have in your kitchen.

Every year I pick one thing I want to learn to make and force the issue by removing it from our annual shopping list. Last summer, a friend had us taste her homemade kraut infused with locally picked highbush cranberries, which grow in Alaska. It was delicious. Her quick directions gave me confidence that I could easily make sauerkraut, too.

The purpose of lacto-fermenting vegetables is to store the summer harvest so that vegetables can be enjoyed throughout the year. Since I had only one head of cabbage which weighed a pound-and-a-half,  I turned to small batch food preservation methods. Credit for the following directions goes to a blog called The Kitchn where the author posts all sorts of information about lacto-fermentation, photos, and step-by-step directions.

Our first menu with the finished kraut was a knock-your-socks-off reuben. We’ll post that  recipe in an upcoming article.

DIY Small Batch Purple Sauerkraut


  • 1 small head purple cabbage (about 1.5 lbs.)
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp caraway seeds
  • 1 tbsp dried juniper berries


  1. Gather materials you will need to process kraut: 2 quart container, cutting board, chef’s knife, gallon Ziploc bag, large mixing bowl, and lidded quart container for final product.
  2. Slice cabbage into ribbons. Discard core.
  3. Place cabbage ribbons into large mixing bowl. Sprinkle salt all over cabbage.
  4. Knead, massage, and squeeze salt into cabbage, until cabbage begins to become shiny and loses liquid. This will take about 10 minutes.
  5. Mix in caraway seeds and juniper berries.
  6. Pack mixture into 2 quart container. Pour any liquid from mixing bowl into container, too.
  7. Fill Ziploc bag with water and set inside 2 quart container to weigh down and cover cabbage.
  8. Press down cabbage every few hours. This will cause air to come to the surface.
  9. If there is not enough liquid to cover the cabbage in 24 hours, add 1 cup water mixed with 1 tsp salt.
  10. Keep the container out of light and at a temperature of 65 – 75 degrees F.
  11. Allow to ferment from 3 – 10 days. Begin tasting at 3 days. Mine tasted just right at 3 days. The longer you leave it, the more sour it will be.
  12. Put finished sauerkraut in a 1 quart container and store in the refrigerator. It should keep for several months.

2 thoughts on “DIY Small Batch Purple Sauerkraut

  1. Brilliant.

    The last time I tried lacto-fermentation, my kraut was too salty. I try to add some fermented food to my diet every day (good for the gut!). You’ve inspired me to try making my own again…

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