•When making sauerkraut it helps to release the liquid if you mix the cabbage in the bowl well with your hands.
The fresher the cabbage, the more liquid it releases.
You do not need to make a brine in advance, but can create it through the use of salt and by gentle “massage” of the cabbage, by mixing and flipping it over and over in the bowl with your hands.
If you are making a ferment of a low-moisture vegetable such as turnip you will need to make the brine, or think like a veggie and combine with something from the cabbage family.
•Some people pound the cabbage to release the liquids, usually not necessary – simple “massaging” or mixing by hand of the salted sliced cabbage in a mixing bowl should release the liquids without battering and bruising the food.
If you really can’t get the liquid to release and cannot add brine for some reason, then perhaps pounding may be helpful? But to start out pounding isn’t necessary.
•Some people pound the cabbage mixture with a potato masher or a tool known as a “kraut pounder.” We love to use the best tool available – our hands. When we cut our cabbage, we break up into smaller pieces, using our hands, as we massage and hug the cabbage. Can also leave a plate or weight and will release extra liquid from the cabbage.