It is often desirable to make kraut when the market is weak, or when there is a considerable quantity of soft and burst cabbage. The process is very simple. After removing the cores and outside leaves, the heads are sliced or shredded by special devices or machines. The finely cut cabbage is then placed in barrels in successive layers of about 6 inches, salted slightly and pounded. This operation is repeated until the barrel is nearly full. About one pint of salt is required for a barrel of kraut. The cabbage is then covered with a cloth, and boards cut to fit loosely in the barrel are heavily weighted. The brine formed by the salt and the juice should cover the cabbage during the acetous fermentation.
In one of the large kraut factories, the cleaned and cored cabbage is placed in conveyors which carry it to the shredders. The cut cabbage is then conveyed to the upper floor of the plant, where it is properly salted, and then dumped into a long chute which delivers it in large tanks on the first floor, to be mixed and packed. The stamping and packing is done by men with new rubber boots. The time required for curing depends largely upon the weather, but it usually takes from two weeks to a month. While in the tanks the cabbage must be watched carefully to see that it is kept under the brine. When fermentation is thought to be complete samples are secured for testing from the interior of the tank by means of a long wire hook. The kraut is then removed and packed in cans, kegs and barrels. No vinegar or other foreign substance is used in this factory to sour the cabbage.