5 pounds cabbage
3 tablespoons kosher or pickling salt
Ceramic crock or food-grade plastic bucket, one-gallon capacity or greater
Plate that fits inside crock or bucket
One quart jar filled with water or rocks
Cloth cover (dish towel or large cloth napkin works fine)
Clean and scald the crock or bucket. Set aside.
Remove outer leaves of cabbage, wash heads and dry. Chop or grate cabbage finely, about 1/4 inch in thickness. Place cabbage into a large bowl and mix with the salt. Pack cabbage firmly into the crock. (Don't be gentle with the cabbage; pack the crock firmly.) Once crock is packed, put plate and weight on top.
Check crock after a 4-5 hours. The cabbage should have begun to exude liquid. If not, remove plate and weight, add brine (1 1/2 tsp per quart water) to crock and put plate and weight back. Store at 65 to 70 degrees Farenheit. Check every other day or so and remove any bloom that may have formed. Change the plate every 3 or 4 days.
Taste kraut periodically. Kraut should be fully fermented in 3-4 weeks but could be finished sooner. Once fermented, place in jars ensuring that kraut is covered by at least 1/2 inch of brine and refrigerate.