Zodiac Fermentation: Taurus Sauerruben

Reader Contribution by Jenna Empey
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Photo by Pyramid Ferments


April 20th-May 20th

Thank you for joining us on our fermentation journey through the zodiac! We will be expressing each zodiac sign’s characteristics through different fermentation recipes and methods.

The sign of Taurus is embodied as the Bull. Comfortable on the earth, beautiful, boastful and strong in green pasture or furrow. Bulls can work tirelessly but also know how to throw their strength around if something poses an obstacle. Venus shines upon Taurus and offers an appreciation of beauty and harmony. Skills in agriculture, carpentry, art or music and luck in love are all gifts available to this sign.

Taureans have a steady persistence, unequaled in the zodiac. They are capable of great foresight, often planning far in advance and putting in years of steadfast and hard work to plod towards their goals. It’s a bit like the tortoise and the hare; we know who wins that race and how. But the bull has the added advantage of sharp horns and great physical strength. If you get in their way, they can choose to deftly remove you from the path; nothing will keep them from whatever they set their eye upon. The bull is known to be stubborn; changes to such a driven course or way of thinking are difficult, but not impossible, to adjust.

Once they have won their race, they definitely know how to celebrate! Taureans have a love of pleasure and comfort. Good food, good wine and good company; the fine things in life are all highly valued. Taureans are born to achieve mastery over physical matter and their core motivation is security, both emotional and physical. They are not in it for the love of the game, but for the rewards the game can offer. They can achieve their desired comfort and security and celebrate life’s pleasures with their determination, practicality, patience and purposeful power on the earth. They put down deep roots and their home is very important to their overall sense of harmony and well being. 

To celebrate Taurus’ earthy harmony we have crafted a recipe for a beautiful and delicious fermented Sauerruben; a traditional Eastern European fermented turnip. Sauerruben is an amazing and addictive ferment with deep flavour so different than sauerkraut. We pay homage to the earthiness of Taurus with turnips and garlic, and to Venus with the electric pink beauty of the beets.

Happy fermenting!

Photo by Pyramid Ferments

Taurus Sauerruben

Yield: 1 liter jar (~1 quart) of sauerruben. Fermentation Time: 7-14 days


  • Mandolin or box grater
  • Sturdy metal or plastic mixing bowl
  • 1-liter jar (~1 quart)
  • #13 drilled rubber stopper w/ airlock or salted water in a food storage bag (see step 9.)


  • 8 turnips, small (no bigger than a billiards ball), washed and trimmed
  • 2-1/2 tps Sea salt or pink Himalayan salt, finely ground, iodine and running agent free
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup red beet, grated


  1. Using your box grater or mandolin, make thin disc slices of the turnips.
  2. Add 6 cups of sliced turnips into a sturdy metal or plastic mixing bowl.
  3. Add 2.5 teaspoons of sea salt or pink Himalayan salt. Make sure your salt is not coarsely ground and has no added iodine or running agents as this will affect the fermentation.
  4. Add 5 cloves of chopped garlic.
  5. Add 1 cup of grated red beet.
  6. Mix, massage and squeeze with your hands until well mixed and the turnips begin to let out some of their juices, approximately 8-10 minutes. Be sure not to under or over mix or pound into mush as it will not ferment properly.
  7. Take a 1-liter glass canning jar that has been cleaned, well rinsed and sterilized with hot water.
  8. Pack the mixed ingredients into the jar. Push and pack everything down until the brine rises over the top layer of veg. Fill up to the jar’s shoulders, do not fill to the very top.
  9. Wipe down the neck and rim of the jar and apply either a #13 drilled rubber stopper with an airlock or a double layered, food storage baggy filled with salted water to create a water weight on the surface of the sauerkraut. Secure it with an elastic band and cover with a dish towel or piece of fabric. Not cheese cloth!
  10. Place jar on a dish in case it overflows. The sauerruben tends to be very active and briny.
  11. Every few days, push the sauerkraut back down with the back of a fork until the brine rises back up.
  12. Ferment in 18-21 degrees Celsius (around 65-70 degrees Fahrenheit) for 7-14 days. Feel free to taste the sauerruben every few days until it reaches your desired sourness.
  13. Once fermented, add a plastic jar lid and refrigerate. For optimum flavor, eat your refrigerated sauerruben within 4 months.

Jenna Empey has over fifteen years of experience in organic agriculture and fermentation. Marrying the two, she began an artisanal business that would focus on the natural fermentation of foods and beverages. With a commitment to local food, innovation and experimentation; Pyramid Ferments has created an exciting and distinct product line of fermented foods and beverages, never before seen in Canada. Jenna is also the founder of the Ontario Fermentation Festival. When she’s not fermenting everything in sight you can find her in her tomato garden or under the moth light.

Inspiration for edible alchemy.