I jarred up the last of the sauerkraut this afternoon. This last batch of 5 liters had been fermenting in a big glass pot in my stairwell for the past 21 days at more or less the perfect and consistent temperature of 65-72 degrees F.
I had some with lunch today and it was quite delicious. The flavors were more subtle and the crunch was less pronounced than the sauerkraut I taken in a week ago; the 3 liter batch that I let ferment for only 15 days.
The methods and ingredients between the two batches varied slightly whereas the greatest variable was time: 21 days vs. 15 days.
After tasting both batches I believe it is safe to say that the shorter ferment of 15 days yields flavor wise an equally superior product. The most notable difference is that the 15 day ferment leaves the cabbage with a better crunch.
Still, all great sour deliciousness.