The Brine Stuff: Other Uses for Sauerkraut Juice

The Brine Stuff: Other Uses for Sauerkraut Juice

So you've eaten up all of your delicious, naturally fermented kraut – now what to do with the leftover sauerkraut juice?

Most folks devour the cabbage component of sauerkraut and toss the rest. The truth is that your fermented cabbage's briny habitat is a big piece of the probiotic picture. When we add sea salt to organic cabbage and seal it all up, a chemical reaction happens. The vegetable itself releases a nutrient-rich brine that feeds the micro-organisms who perform fermentation duties. Those organisms produce lactic acid, which, in turn, preserves the kraut while stopping the growth of unsavory bacterial characters. These characters can give your gut a rough time. Basically, kraut juice is rich in probiotics; it activates your digestion-relieving constipation; and it generally keeps your belly at ease.

Sauerkraut juice is also a nutrient-dense by-product of the fermentation process. Within the krauty brine you'll find loads of vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that helps to fight cell-harming free radicals in the body. In addition, the tart brine also contains potassium and a heaping helping of iron which helps transport oxygen all throughout your living vessel. You don't really need more reasons to sip on this delicious nectar, do you?

Let’s Drink that Sauerkraut Juice!

Here are a few suggestions on what to do with your leftover brine.

  • Drink it Straight: If you want to start your day with a tart probiotic kick, kickback some of that leftover brine straight up. Luckily, we make a variety of flavor profiles, so if you want some aromatic notes that are a little less "krauty," you'll have plenty of options to choose from.
  • Use It as a Base for Salad Dressing: Another simple way to use some of that tasty kraut juice is to use it as a base for a salad dressing. Simply add olive oil and whatever seasonings tickle your fancy.
  • Marinate Meat: Fermented goodies have a depth of flavor only achievable in foods that are allowed to sit undisturbed for long periods of the time. The lactic acid in kraut juice will help tenderize raw meat while infusing it with flavor. Add a helping of sauerkraut juice to any meat for a tender kick, but we think the fermented flavor profiles pairs best with pork. One tip: Marinate overnight but no longer (don’t want the kraut juice fermenting the meat!).
  • Give Veggies a Quick Pickle: Sauerkraut brine is deliciously sharp and makes an excellent, ready-made pickling liquid. Thinly slice carrots, cucumbers, onions and whatever else sounds tasty and soak it with the juice. Let it sit overnight and enjoy the crunchy goodness! (A note from Chris, wildbrine’s fermentation geek: You don’t want to try to re-ferment vegetables using only the kraut juice. The proportions of salt and vegetables won’t be correct to conduct a proper fermentation.)
  • Throw it in a Soup: It’s important to note that this use will lower the probiotic benefits of the brine, unless you are making a cold soup like gazpacho. However, adding sauerkraut juice to a soup broth adds a delicious umami flavor profile, especially if you are using brine from our Japanese Kimchi.
  • Buzz it Up: Making a Sauer Martini is easy. Just follow the recipe shared with us by one of our fans, Charla.

Sauerkraut Juice Martini Recipe

• A chilled martini glass
• 1 shot Silver tequila
• 1 shot fresh lime
• 2 shots strained wildbrine Sauerkraut juice

Directions: Stir ingredients with ice, strain, pour into martini glass, and enjoy!



Yes! This is awesome. Your kraut is awesome! Thank you for sharing your recipe and ideas!

The wild Bunch

Thank you for the kind words!


I love kimchi but can’t get it in my country but I can get sauerkraut can I turn store bought sauerkraut into kimchi?

The wild Bunch

Mandy – Unfortunately, no. But kimchi can be fairly easy to make yourself. There are plenty of recipes out there for it. Good luck!


How long does your kraut ferment?

The wild Bunch

Minimum of 10 days but it also has to reach a baseline acidity level for food safety reasons.

Mrs W

Don’t forget fermented soda! It works well as a starter culture.

The wild Bunch

Mrs W – Good call! Thanks 🙂


Heard sauerkraut juice is good for hangovers. True? Thanks for a wonderful product

The wild Bunch

Could be! Kraut has plenty of sodium to replenish salt loss, but we can’t say for certain. Try it out and let us know.

Chas Dolan

Sauerkraut water can be used to make dough for flatbread – for the best flavour, don’t add tap or bottled water.


Take a half cup of sauerkraut in a container, dilute with two cups of water.

From a full carafe of coffee, pour a quarter cup of coffee in a mug, then pour a quarter cup of the diluted sauerkraut brine in the carafe, and stir. The sour taste of the brine will blend well with the coffee and the dilution will prevent the coffee from tasting too salty. It’s a good way to add some vegetable antioxidants and vitamins to coffee. The yeasts also contain B1 vitamins which necessary for proper metabolization of sugars.

The wild Bunch

Hi Jack – What a cool idea! Thanks for sharing.


I am going to hard boil some eggs, cool them, peel them and add a couple of the eggs to the left over juice.

Sour Steve the Sauerkraut Hipster

I have found great fortune and flavor by using sauerkraut “juice” in replacement of milk in my morning cereal. The sour fermented flavor, the “funk” essence, pairs amazingly well with every cereal I have tried it with, including but not limited to Cheerios, Honey Nut Cheerios, Lucky Charms, Special K, and Cinnamon Toast Crunch. With this combination of sauerkraut juice and cereal you get a healthful boost of nutrients to start your day, with enriching probiotics joining forces with fiber and wheats, and perhaps a bit of sweet depending on the cereal.

It is also a good trick to use a bowl of sauerkraut juice as a dip if you have a breakfast sandwich, like a sausage/egg/cheese on a muffin. Dip the sandwich into the liquid until the bread becomes soggy with probiotic flavor, and you will be amazed by the new heights of flavor your mouth and teeth experience.

The wild Bunch

Hi Sour Steve – That’s a new one on us. Thanks for sharing!


I read that alcohol kills the probiotic bacteria Is that true ?

The wild Bunch

Hi Richard – While we haven’t run any studies or heard of any that address this, here are our thoughts: Just as alcohol is a disinfectant, it would probably kill off probiotics as it kills other microorganisms to disinfect. Hope this helps.


Interesting martini recipe – the only martini ingredient is the glass ;-). I’m a fan of dirty martini (with olive brine) so couldn’t resist trying a real martini with sauerkraut brine. 3 parts gin, 1 part vermouth, 1 part sauerkraut brine. It’s great! Can we call it a dirty-kraut martini?

The wild Bunch

Colin – LOVE this! Thanks for sharing.


I was about to toss the juice. I am so glad I took the time to read this. I will try the coffee idea this morning & the martini (using some jalapeno infused vodka) tonight. Thanks for your incredible sauerkraut. It’s the best I’ve ever had.

The wild Bunch

Aww… shucks! Thanks so much. Let us know how it goes for you.

Salome Twiggs

Is the sour in the juice ok for people having stomach issues?

The wild Bunch

Hi Salome – We can’t say for sure for you but fermented foods are usually quite good for the stomach. Hope this helps!


Growing up my mother gave us half tomato juice (or V8 juice) and half kraut juice in a glass in the morning. We loved it and I drink the combo today.

The wild Bunch

Such a good idea!


Can I use the brine to start my own kraut or kimchi? Seems like a good way to ensure I get the right microbes going in there.

The wild Bunch

Unfortunately, no, we don’t recommend that.


I’m throwing raw whole cloves of garlic into leftover Bubbies Sauerkraut juice. How long to ferment and how long is it good for? OR is this not recommended?

The wild Bunch

Hi Mike – This is not recommended.

Lou S.

My dad made sauerkraut every Fall to have for the winter, this was 80 years ago , now I make it each fall in large batches . I really enjoy the Krout juice , it is quite tart but so tasty.

The wild Bunch

Hi Lou – Sounds delicious! What are some of your uses for kraut juice?

Amit K.

I like to use the leftover brine with club soda and a bit of black salt as a digestive. The sourness of the brine makes up for the lemon juice that is usually added for this drink.

The wild Bunch

Cool idea Amit! Thanks for sharing 🙂


Do you Wash The Is sauerkraut before fermenting?
Also can I add fresh garlic to the extra kraut juice ? If not why?

The wild Bunch

Hi Chip! We wash the cabbage and all veggies before they go into fermentation. With leftover brine, you can put anything in it to add plenty of flavor to the juice. But know that the sell-by date includes the brine and not just the kraut. So drink it or use it 1-2 months beyond that date. Check out this post for other ideas on how to use use up leftover brine:


How long can you microwave the sauerkraut for before the probiotics get killed?

The wild Bunch

Hi Geejka – We do not recommend putting our sauerkraut in the microwave.


I just finished my first 32 oz jar of homemade sauerkraut and was looking for some recipes for the cup or so of leftover brine. For reference I fermented mine on the kitchen counter for about 3 1/2 weeks before I put it in the fridge (sampling some here and there after 2 weeks). Some great ideas for the brine above. Does anyone know if I can substitute the brine for water in a bread recipe? Will that give me something like a quick, no starter sourdough? I might give that a try

The wild Bunch

Hi Bill – Gosh, don’t know about that one but maybe someone will respond. Good luck!