No, the greenish fellow in the center is not a mutant -- just poor aesthetic choice of use for a blue jar.
We made kraut this year with the fellow’s family, and yesterday his mother brought over our four gallon crock. Apparently, most of the brine had either evaporated, wicked out, or leaked, which as you probably know means it was susceptible to growing things if we didn’t get it frozen, canned, or covered in more brine. Since it was already “done” (i.e. tangy and delicious) and we’re running low on freezer space (due to 1/12 of a cow and expectation of a bunch of ground beef and perhaps some venison to come), I opted for canning.
We lost some kraut due to skimming off the nasty during fermentation, my general inability to can anything without making a mess of it, and the shattering of one jar in the canner, but came out with essentially 10 1/2 quarts of kraut canned from a mostly full 4 gallon crock at the onset of the fermenting process. After gifting a few quarts, we’ll still be in good kraut shape for a while.
At some point, I’ll post an ode to sauerkraut and all its many virtues, but for now, here’s the basic process for canning, roughly paraphrased from my favorite canning tome (Ball).
Set water bath canner to heating. Prepare canning jars (roughly 3 jars per gallon crock size to be safe — i.e. a 2 gallon crock ought to net you somewhere around 5-6 quarts of kraut) and lids.
Fill jars with kraut, packing relatively tightly. To do this, you can use the spoon part of a large spoon for scooping and the handle for packing. Leave app. 1/2 inch headspace. Put lids on jars.
Process in a boiling water bath canner for 25 minutes (quarts) or 20 minutes (pints). Enjoy a few months later on reubens, with apples and sausage, in choucroute garnie, or just all by its lonesome. Alternately, give as gifts to friends, along with jars of some kind of spicy mustard, prepared horseradish, and hot dog or sausage of choice.