Trusting that our new fermenting crock was designed to keep its contents protected, the only task I gave myself over the past four weeks was to ensure that the water level in the trough stayed up to keep its air seal intact.
I knew as soon as I opened the lid that I was in for a treat! The aroma of the soured cabbage was wonderful; and was never achieved with the previous one to to week batches. The crock certainly lived up to my expectations! Previously, I had thought that the directions only wanted me to fill the crock 80 percent to allow the weights to be added in easily. I know realize that the sauerkraut expands quite a bit during the fermenting process; so much so that the weights almost reached the bottom of the trough!
Originally I was thinking of using the 4L pickle jars to store the sauerkraut in my fridge, but my assumption that my plastic wide-mouth lids would fit them turned out to be incorrect; and I recalled that using the metal lids is pretty much a no-no where fermenting is involved. So, I jammed fifteen 1L jars (with plastic lids) full of sauerkraut, and placed the remainder (with all the excess juice) in a 4L jar that I lined the lid with Siran Wrap.
Final verdict... I will never again eat my sauerkraut earlier than four weeks. The taste is night and day. Sour, tangy, delicious, and I imagine just teeming with the beneficial flora I need!