pickled cucumber question

Discussion in 'Canning' started by squidsmoke, Nov 16, 2012.

  1. Hello,

    I did a batch of pickled peppers and a batch of pickled cucumbers.  Pickled peppers came out GREAT!  The cucumbers i did spoiled in jar.  Both batches i did the same recipe with the exception that with the cucumbers i used apple cider vinegar and the peppers i used your normal distilled white vinegar.  I did at least a 3:1 ratio vinegar to water ratio on both. Both were 5% acidity and both were sealed the same way in a 15min boiled water bath.

    I cant figure out why the cucumbers didnt can properly where the peppers did.

    Any thoughts?

  2. Spoiled in what way?
    One or several jars spoiled?
    Did you use pickling type (kirby) cucumbers?
    Exactly what recipe did you use?

  3. Hi DiggingDogfarm,

    They tasted rancid where i almost threw up on the spot.

    i did four jars and they were all lost.

    I used pickling cucumbers

    3:1 apple cider vinegar to water ratio then boiled with canning/pickling salt till salt was dissolved.

    For seasonings in jar i used a couple garlic cloves, black peppercorn, bay leaf, a few tiny tiny slices of habenero for heat.

    Then they had a heat bath to seal.  They sealed like they were supposed too.  After about just under the two week mark i went and looked at them and they were turning a greenish-blue color.  I had them stored at a temp of about 60 degrees in a dark closet.

    I did them same process with my red frezno, red cherry and sweet peppers and they came out great!  only thing done different is with the peppers i used white distilled vinegar and no habeneros

  4. frosty

    frosty Master of the Pit

    SquidSmoke,  Could you please give more details?  I know this will sound silly but basic informatio will help.

    Did you sterilize the jars and lids?

    If new, were the jars run through the dishwasher?

    Did you use new lids?

    Did you wipe the rims on the jars before adding the lids?

    Were the cucumbers whole or cut?

    There are a dozen things that can cause one jar to be good and the next to go bad.

    Old lids, nicks in the jars, water bath too shallow, not placed in water bath long enough, lids too tight on the jars, or too loose.

    Hopefully someone can figure out what happened.  Good luck with your next batch!  [​IMG]
  5. In order of your questions:

    The jars,lids, and rings were boiled for at least ten minutes.

    The jars and lids had been used once prior, all inspected and in perfect shape.  (same with the jars i did the peppers in and they were perfect)

    they jar rim, lid, and rings were dried off.

    the cucumbers i did i did 3 jars cut into spears and the other in the shape of poker chips (for lack of better description)

    when i did the water bath (at least 15 minutes) the jars completely submerged in boiling water and lid rings were on TIGHT

    and i made sure the pickling solution covered the cuc's completely.

    thanks  :)

    I may just stick to peppers, those i can get to come out to be really good. lol
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2012
  6. Did you boil the seasonings along with the salt, water and vinegar? That can cause funny flavors.
    What brand of apple cider vinegar did you use? Some taste real bad to me.

    The garlic can make the color blue or green as you mentioned, but that shouldn't affect the flavor.

    Last edited: Nov 16, 2012
  7. frosty

    frosty Master of the Pit

    Leaves me scratching my head.

    My recipe used sliced veggies, and I haven't had a problem.

    Sounds like you were in good shape for the most part. Solution was correct.

    I don't re-use lids EVER, after a friend almost died, so I don't take that chance.  I do use the jars and rings repeatedly unless damage is noted.

    If the lids were on too tight, I understand that it can cause problems if the water bath isn't perfect.  But for the most part the only problem I can see is if the pickling solution didn't boil long enough.

    Hopefully someone else can give a better diagnosis and solve your proablem completely.

    Best of luck!
  8. Jar "centers" should not be reused unless the are the type made by tattler, the newer ball and kerr "centers" actually say NOT to boil them any more they just say place in warm water, and if you screw the bands on too tight, the centers will end up bulging out wards and not sealing correctly,

    was there any salt in the pickle solution?
  9. Hi Big Casino,

    As i mentioned above, the jar, lids and rings were used once before and from eye inspection were in tip top shape. They looked like new.  I did the same process (jars, lids and covers used once prior as well) for pickled peppers a week prior and they came out great.  Only thing different i did was use apple cider vinegar with the cucumbers and i used white distilled with the peppers.  both were 5% acidity and both i used the same box of pickling/canning salt.  i did a 3:1 vinegar to water ratio. My jars are the Ball jar brand.   When i boiled them all jar centers sealed air tight in the downward position.  Both times i santized everything the same way. 

    thanks for your help,

    Last edited: Nov 16, 2012
  10. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    When canning, either pressure or water bath, you are not supposed to tighten the lids..... Air has to escape...  Used lids are a no-no...  
  11. dougmays

    dougmays Limited Mod Group Lead

    is the problem with reusing the lids the rust that sometimes forms from the vinegar/salt mixture?
  12. mike johnson

    mike johnson Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    lids go on finger tight.and as said never reuse the tops. Simmer the lids do not boil. Use white vinegar always when doing pickles.This is what my grandma taught me and it has never failed. I just did 5 1/2 gal. and 6 qts. of pickles and all came out o.k.
  13. The rubber seals that are on the canning jar centers depress and form around the rim of the jar this impression does not come out after taking the lid off and the sealant on the lids are already thin and become thinner and deformed so the the next time you try and use the lid you have less of a chance of a proper seal.

    they are around $2.99 a dozen  at the local hardware store, wally world  probably cheaper, where this is a "cost" to home canning it is  A LOT cheaper than treating botulism poisoning or ceremonial services

    If you don't want to have to buy Jar centers there is a brand of centers that are reusable they are made  by tattler, I have heard they can be tricky to use at first but once you figure it out no problem, altho the rubber ring that is reusable on their lids don't last forever and still need to be replaced when they show signs of wear like cracking and drying

  14. dougmays

    dougmays Limited Mod Group Lead

    thanks for the info! i was reusing them so i'll make sure not to anymore!
  15. seadog

    seadog Newbie

    Hi Big Casino.

    A newbie here. I have tried to make homemade pickles (refrigerator type) but no luck. The pickles taste very sour. I amusing regular cucumbers. Recipe was found on internet. Do you have a tried and true recipe that you would be willing to share or point me in the right direction to get one.


    Stu Hopper
  16. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I enjoy an Old TYexas Recipe from the Valley where a lot of growing vegies happens.

    Large Onion Slicde 1/4" in circles

    Cucmbers sliced the same size...

    Add 2:1inegar and Water plus a 1/2 cup of

    sugar. Close set in the Fridge and in two days , enjoy a nice snack with a Large glass of Sweet Iced Tea.
  17. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Seadog, I have some recipes but I highly recommend you get a "Ball Blue Book", not expensive and they have tried and true old recipes in it, that your grandma probably made. It has loads of smarts.

    OdschoolBBQ, Mom called those "Summer Pickles". There was always a bowl of 'em in the fridge as soon as the veggies started coming in. Now I learn that the vinegar and the sugar are really good for you in the summer months to prevent heat sickness and muscle cramps by replacing electrolytes. heck it may be that the cucumber juice does something too, besides taste good.
  18. Never reuse lids. Never ever ever ever. Jars and bands reuse but never lids. Also never boil your lids. What I do is that I use the plastic lid holder and place my lids in the boiling water for aboyt 5 seconds,then put them on to clean sterilized jars,screw on the band and place them unto the water bath.
  19. kernbigo

    kernbigo Fire Starter

    I vacuum seal my pickles, i use the food saver wide mouth attachment, and a brake bleeder, no problem. That way you never have soft pickles, also use (ball pickle crisp). Just  made 2 quarts today of the dills on this site they rave about. Instead of using a vacuum container i used 2 mason jars and vacuumed them. I hope the recipe is as good as everyone says.

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