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So I massaged the cabbage heavily with salt to get the brine water going, but then it got REALLY bubbly... it looked like I washed everything with soap! Is this OK? One side effect is that it made it really difficult to visually tell that the cabbage was below the liquid level... I tried to add a bit of water to help dissipate the bubbles but it didn't quite work, so now I'm just hoping I did a good job of pushing anything under.

See picenter image description here

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  • You should keep your brine salinity to a specific level. For veggies I have found a 6 - 8 % salt perfect. It also takes at least three weeks for the fermentation to complete
    – Neil Meyer
    Jun 12, 2021 at 12:52

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There isn't anything wrong the the amount of bubbles you are getting; your brine looks fine.

Take this from A Beginner’s Guide to Sauerkraut (+ Fermented Vegetables), for example:

How quickly and how much it bubbles will depend a lot on room temperature. If your jar is narrow or filled to the top it can be helpful to place in a bowl as it might bubble over!

enter image description here

I tend to keep my sauerkraut on the kitchen counter, covered with a tea towel (to also exclude light) until the bubbling subsides, which takes 1 – 2 weeks.

So all you'll have to do is wait and the bubbles will go away naturally.

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  • ok great! they did go away but then somehow the brine level went super down as well so top layer actually is slightly uncovered... so to avoid issues, i just put it in the fridge and am going to do a slower fermentation in there rather than out at room temp
    – james
    Jun 10, 2021 at 19:28

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