This is my first time making it. My MIL had told me that it would bubble and (if the crock wasn't big enough) would bubble over and make a mess. My basement is running about 68-70 degrees. One jar had quite a few little patches of mold/fungi(?) floating on top of the liquid and I scooped those out. The liquid is tinted a light brown, but the cabbage is still light green. It doesn't smell rotten at all...(yet.) Does it sound like I need to toss 'em? I will be bummed out, but what can you do....
Also I couldn't get it done in the 24-48 hours after harvesting, it was more like 5-6 days after. Wonder if that has anything to do with it?
Are you sure you used the right proportions of shredded cabbage to salt? You have to weigh them out. Don't use any water, just the cabbage juice should be enough to cever them with brine in a day or two. Give it a stir and see what it smells like. I presume you know what kraut is supposed to smell like. If there is a foul odor, you've lost it. If it smells right it's probably just a slow batch.
I used 3 tbsp of canning salt per 5 pounds of cabbage. I ended up with a good two inches of cabbage juice above the packed cabbage. So far no stink--maybe it will work out afterall. I've still got about 2-3 weeks to go...
Since you are working with wild yeast strains that happen to be present in the cabbage and air around the crock working time is unpredictable but failures are rare provided you start out with the right proportions of salt and cabbage. More salt is better than less. My grandma never measured. She just threw in a handful of salt but she had the magic touch. Everything she did came out right. (Or maybe she just buried her failures when no one was looking )
That scum on top is a good sign. It means that something is going on. Most of it is spent yeast. Just skim it off now and then.
I've not seen the first bit of scum or bubbling. It's just sitting there, appearantly doing nothing. It's been 3 weeks. And although it doesn't stink yet, I figure it will rot before it is all over. A dozen cabbages, wasted.
I was afraid of my cabbage being too germy, with all the black rot I had going on this year! I pulled off all the outer leaves that didn't look perfect. I rinsed them under water. Ball Blue Book said to do that. One site I saw online said NOT to, but I went with BBB's opinion instead.
I put a remote thermometer to my weather station down in the basement with it. It's reading 68 degrees. Perhaps that is too low?
If this batch fails, I'll bury mine too--in the compost pile!