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Kraut Juice

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Thank You! –PattyLA

One of the most frustrating things about GAPS intro is all the sauerkraut juice you need! Where is that juice supposed to come from? There is only so much juice in a batch of kraut and then you have all that dry kraut to contend with. This recipe is great for intro or really any time that you want to have some extra power without the fiber. 

What we are trying to do is create lots of probiotic juice and not a lot of fiber to deal with. Sauerkraut is very beneficial for digestion for several reasons. First is is made of cabbage and cabbage stimulates stomach acid production. Next it is sour which means it has a lot of acid to help augment your stomach acid. It also contains beneficial bacteria which help break down the foods you eat and fight off the pathogenic bacteria that harm your gut and it’s digestive process. And it is full of enzymes that help break down your food. All traditional societies fermented some of their foods and ate some of those fermented foods with most meals. The human gut expects this influx of helpers with every meal. This sauerkraut juice is a great way to get it.


I got these instructions from the maker of the Pickl-It Jars.

Here is what you need

Remove any browned or damaged leaves from the outside of the cabbage. Quarter the head of cabbage and cut out the core.

Run the cabbage through the juicer. You want to collect both the juice and the pulp together so however that works best with your juicer. Mine has a blank that allows me to set it for everything to come out the end together. You want 5 1/2 cups of juice and pulp mixture. Put this into the Pickl-It jar.  

*If making this in a blender or food processor you want to process till it looks “mealy” Not till it is totally liquefied. Also you do not want to heat up the cabbage while you process it so be careful especially if using a Vitamix

Then mix 29 g of fine salt with 6 cups of filtered water. Stir till the salt is all dissolved. Pour this brine into the jar with the cabbage till it reaches the shoulder. Discard any excess brine.

Add the optional Caldwells starter Culture at this point and stir in. It is not strictly necessary however if your cabbage is not local and organic you may need it. Also since this recipe is very low salt it can potentially mold before it gets fermenting well. 

Close the jar and be sure to add water to the air lock. Put the jar, covered, into a warm place (68-72 ideally). Leave it there for just a few days. This will get going much faster than regular kraut because the cabbage is juiced. 

Once the bubbles slow (3-7 days) move it to cold storage. This time of year my basement is cold enough that just putting things down there keeps the at 55 or below. Otherwise put it into a fridge. Keep the air lock on it!

After 8 weeks go ahead and taste it. Juicing does help the stages go a bit faster. You still need at least 8 weeks and likely 10-12 weeks before the salt and cabbage flavors are gone but go ahead and try it early. When I have made this I tried it at 9 weeks and it was ready but again the temperature of your cold storage will impact this some. (colder is slower but don’t go above 55). 

This ferment is not a long storage ferment. Well made and properly stored kraut can keep for a year or more. Because you have broken down the cabbage so much in the juicing of it this will use up it’s food faster than traditionally made Sauerkraut. You keep the fiber in there to keep the cabbage going but there is a limit. 

When this is ready you can eat it like applesauce or strain out the fiber and just drink the juice. This makes a lot more juice than traditionally made kraut and so it is ideal for people doing GAPS intro but don’t forget to plan for the 8-10 week cure time. 


Many of my blog posts contain affiliate links. Purchasing through an affiliate link allows me to keep blogging and sharing what I learn with you. It is a bit like leaving a tip for service and is very much appreciated.
Thank You! –PattyLA


  1. Since the cabbage is mealy, it floats to the top….should I have weighted it down with a leaf when I started this to prevent mold?

    • It won’t mold in a pickl-it jar even if some is sticking out of the brine. This method is pretty much guaranteed to rot in any other sort of container so don’t try it.

      Do make sure it is in a warm spot for the initial fermenting though. It should get going right away or you will risk mold since you need the co2 to push the o2 out of the container.

  2. Hi Patty

    Thanks for sharing this recipe! I plan to make it up soon, as I just started GAPS Intro and my Pickl-It jars have arrived.

    One question… Why does the kraut need a 8-10 week cure time? What would the difference be if I consumed the juice early? (Ok… I realize that’s 2 questions.)

    And a favor to ask… If you get a chance, could you please add a picture to this post? I would love to add it to my Pinterest page for GAPS Intro recipes.

    Thanks again :)


    • Thank you for the reminder that I don’t have a photo for this page yet. I’ll try to take one soon.

      Cabbage is a very complex ferment and it takes that long to get to the end of it’s fermenting process. Before it is done it is full of histamines and other toxins. My younger daughter gets a rash if she eats ferments before they are done (or when they are made in an open system like a mason jar). However properly fermented sauerkraut does not cause those histamine rashes on her.


      • Hi Patty

        Thanks for the explanation!

        I have been using the juice from store-bought live kraut so far on Intro, and I seem to be tolerating it just fine. I wonder how it compares to homemade kraut juice that has had a proper cure and fermentation time.

        Guess I’ll find out in time. :)


  3. OK, last time I made this it was fall/winter so I kept it in the basement. This time I have it in the fridge. I kept it out for 5 days, then moved it- and the cabbage leaf/weights I used did not keep the pulp below the brine. About 1.5 weeks into it I opened the containers and adjusted the weights and pushed all the pulp down again. The mixture is quite a putrid green color. I was not sure if this was normal at this stage or if I have to start again. I didn’t watch it last fall, so I don’t know what color stages it goes through. Thanks in advance

    • Green is good. It gets a bit paler as it ferments I have found but otherwise stays green. Sounds like it is going the right thing. I never use weights on my kraut juice. It is not necessary and would probably just fall down through it.

      • I put a leaf on top first… OK for the green because my first batches became white by 12 weeks. They were delicious!

        Actually, I have another question. Can you add water (or saltwater) to a finished batch to get more juice?

        • If you add more salt water you should do that at the start however that will just dilute what you have, not make more.

  4. Does this require a long ferment or can it be done in a shorter time frame like the kraut in the GAPS book? Also, do you think I could just add extra salt instead of the starter culture? Thanks!

    • any ferment that includes cabbage as an ingredient needs the 10+ week time frame. Salt will not replace the starter.

  5. How long can you keep the finished ferment,with the air lock, in the refrigerator.

    • It will not keep as long as traditional sauerkraut because the pureeing will cause it to ferment faster. (Which does not mean it will progress through the stages faster, in fact my experience was that it took a bit longer than my kraut). But the food for the fermentation will get used up faster. I would guess that 6 months is about as long as you can expect it to be good.

  6. Once you start accessing the jar, do you think it would still stay good for 6 months?

    • Yes as long as you keep it in a hermetic jar where it is at least 1/2 full and you keep it closed most of the time.

  7. Why is there so much brine used for this recipe? It seems like a higher ratio of brine to cabbage than other kraut recipes I’ve seen. Just curious… I went ahead and followed the directions, I just worried that it was alot of brine…


    • The whole point of this recipe is to make a lot of brine. It gives you a lot of brine/juice to drink if that is what you want and less cabbage. Esp for those on the early stages of GAPS when you can’t have the cabbage, just the brine, more brine is better.

      • Ok thanks. That makes sense, I am doing GAPS intro so that’s why I wanted it… I just didn’t know if more brine vs cabbage juice would cause the right ratio of ferment. I’m super new to this so I trust your experience… I am just getting caught up and confused by all the different ways to ferment kraut and the different brines and ratios of brine to cabbage.
        Thanks again!

  8. I am so confused with my air lock. I filled it to the fill line and after a week or so I noticed the water in the air lock had sucked up between the barrel and the valve making the level look low but the water had risen above the fill line between the two pieces of the barrel and the valve. I thought maybe it needed help “burping” so i tried to level it back out, which I did, but then got concerned that I let oxygen in. After i level the water out, it always rises back up. I’m concerned the air lock isn’t letting CO2 out and I’m worried I let oxygen in by trying to level the water out. Can I just leave it be and trust it will work? I didn’t wanna pour more water in the air lock because then I think it would be too full to burp… So confused and can’t find anything online about this problem…

    • There is no need to burp an airlock. You won’t see the bubbles moving through it unless you catch it at just the right time. It sounds to me like it is working perfectly and you can ignore it unless the level of water drops too low from evaporation over several weeks.

      • Ok thanks! So if I did let a little oxygen in when I lifted the air lock up to try to even it out a few times over the last week in week 2 and 3 of the initial ferment did I totally ruin my kraut juice? I sure hope not… Thanks for your input!

        • No it should be fine but watch for mold. If you see mold or the kraut turns brown you know that you have let in too much oxygen. Neither of those can happen in an anaerobic jar.

  9. hi and thanks for your kraut juice recipe,
    My batch is at the 8 week Mark and I am storing my bottles with the air locks in the fridge after getting them going at room tempurature as per recipe. I have noticed there is a drop in the level by a fair bit in the airlock jars but not in the ordinary jar which I have a little plastic bag filled slightly with water to keep it sealed. This is the first time I have used air lock jars so what do I do now, I don’t want to lose any more of my precious juice after investing 8 weeks of time and significant fridge storage space.
    Thank you

    • There is some evaporation in a refrigerator. Are you saying that the level in the jars has dropped or just that the top seems to be dry? The plastic bag will hold in more moisture and it will hold down the contents under the brine however it will also not provide a truly anaerobic seal and it will have plastic in contact with acid and has a significant risk of leaching plastic into your food.


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