The greatest benefit of making your own saurkraut is that it is loaded with probiotics, which are extremely helpful in keeping your “innards” AND immune system healthy. BUT…! Heating the probiotic laden saurkraut kills the lovely bacteria. Bummer! I mean, how delicious is a Reuben sandwich made with cold saurkraut? Or a hot dog, for that matter! But I do love really good “natural” saurkraut! Shadon, I’m in awe of your patience and in the size of your kitchen!
Meanwhile, Just for general information, for those of us who have difficulty finding naturally fermented saurkraut, I’ve taken the lazy route and buy naturally fermented, unpasteurized, and put up in glass jars from Poland, where they’ve been making it that way since the first cabbage took root. I buy it through Walmart’s on-line shopping with free shipping, which means I have to buy it by the case. If you have lots of cabinet space, it’s not a bad way to go… In case anyone is interested.
If anyone goes to the trouble to ferment their own, OR to the bother of finding unpasteurized saurkraut on a store shelf, please eat most of it without heating or cooking, which kills all of the beneficial bacteria. Which is not to say I never heat any of mine. Just not all of it all the time!