My batch of sauerkraut is 16 days old today so I decided to sample it. First, I used a soup ladle to remove the scum or mold from the surface of the liquid. This is why you want your liquid to cover the plate by an inch or so. See the following link from two weeks ago when I started the batch http://bit.ly/KvW1Wt. After removing the scum I lifted the plate out and taste tested the sauerkraut. It needs to sit for a few more days the taste is not quite, where I want it. I put the plate back in place and added enough water to cover it. The sauerkraut tasted a bit on the salty side so I did not add salt to the water I added to cover the plate. It took 2 or 3 cupfuls of water. In a week or so I will test it again.