Your kraut is alive! It is contains a whole army of beneficial bacteria so don't cook it! OR you can cook it but it won't be as good for you.
Kraut that stays above the liquid line for a while may brown because of air exposure so press it down when you take some out of the jar.
Kraut doesn't go bad! That's right. It can stay in your refrigerator for a year or so. It may become softer and therefore less appealing but it's still fine to eat. You may choose to buy a new jar of the crunchy stuff and share the older with your chickens or your compost pile. Win win!
I hand cut every jar of kraut in small batches so variation in size and flavor is normal.
I use the best cabbage, water, mineral sea salt, and flavorful ingredients I can find which means your kraut is VITAL!
I work directly with several farmers in the Asheville area to source the best local vegetables I can find.
The brine of your kraut is good for you too! And tastes awesome as a drizzle in broth. I always take a swig when I get an upset stomach. The great army of lactobacillus gets me right ASAP.
If you like your kraut to taste stronger you can leave it out on the counter till it's just how you like it. Then refrigerate to slow down the fermentation and keep it for longer. It may become softer in texture if left out of refrigeration for extended periods of time.