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Apparently my Christmas present is going to be a special Polish stoneware pot, Sauerkraut, for the preparation of.

Which may not sound that exciting if you’re not me, or have similar culinary interests.

@grumpysmiffy One of those fancy ones with the lip you can pour water in, to make it properly airttight?

@pelagikat Yes! Airlock! Herself was reading out the descriptions, another one was airtight, but youd have to release gas manually, but a water airlock sounds perfect.

@Smiffi Surgubben The wife bought a couple of high-tech ones by a celebrity chef - called "Culture for Life". Before that we just used a big jar and an airlock from my collection of homebrew bits. Anyway they're all right, but I think I'd prefer proper crockery it I had it available.

@continuum One we're getting is a traditional one from Poland - lid sits in a pool of water, just like a homebrew airlock, always positive pressure inside. I have to say, I'm getting rather excited! Always afraid it's going to fail, but have had such success with other physics/chemistry cooking from my Swedish cookbook (Vår Kokbok) I think I'm ready to rock Sauerkraut.

Looking at recipes, interesting that Vår Kokbok actually uses a starter culture, in the form of yoghurt, or sour milk.

@Smiffi Surgubben There's something to be said for a starter culture - you'll get something that's "mostly" repeatable given the same recipe and conditions. There are a lot of wild bacterium and micro-organisms floating around and not all have a pleasant taste. This doesn't matter to me personally - I love to experiment, but if you're writing a cookbook you want to ensure that the person using your recipe can't create something that tastes awful by following your instructions.
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