Pickle View???

Discussion in 'Canning & Storage' started by jbraas, Jun 26, 2008.

  1. jbraas

    jbraas Fire Starter

    Well I got things going for my first fermented pickles. Here's a few pics...

    Ingedients waiting.

    Ya like my pickles?? Hmmmm?

    Everyone in the bucket!
  2. seboke

    seboke Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    how long to get these pickles pickled?
  3. jbraas

    jbraas Fire Starter

    I believe about 3 weeks, although that could vary depending on room temp.

    I'll have to check in every day or so.
  4. cowgirl

    cowgirl Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    They're lookin good!
  5. supervman

    supervman Smoking Fanatic

    MAKE SURE to put a plate on top of em or a LARGE zip bag w water.
    They MUST be kept in the brine to avoid food poisoning.
    DISTILLED water is better than tap. Tap kills the beneficial bacteria. The chlorine, but it works.

    IF you need extra brine,
    If the Brine doesn’t cover the weighted down plate add more brine mixed at the same ratio: of just under 1 TBSP Salt to each CUP of Distilled Water.

    You did right w the pickling salt as Iodine kills the beneficial bacteria.
    There is a pickling Q&A at www.wildfermentation.com (the guy is a MAJOR left winger etc, but he knows fermentation).

    I ferment my own pickles every year. OH Gosh they're good. Make my own Kraut too. If you want the recipe I use let me know.

    I'm sure you know what you're doing as it all looks good from here. Good luck, and you're hooked now. They're so good. Way better n the store.

    Excellent pictures BTW, good job!
  6. supervman

    supervman Smoking Fanatic

    You know, I was thinking about that fine batch of pickles you put up and I remembered seeing vinegar.

    You must be doing them differently than me.

    I put mine in a bucket just like yours. Place a piece of day old stale rye bread on top. The bread must have no preservatives. This helps a good ferment begin to develop which takes 3-5 days depending on time of year and how hot it is. A good healthy bubble forms and then into the fridge for a week then "Cold Pack" in sterilized Mason jars and they MUST be kept refrigerated and then consumed within 6 months, but they never come close to lasting that long.

    After I get them in the bucket like that I put on the piece of rye, a plate to cover the pickles (as large as will fit inside the bucket OR take a lid from a 5 gallon FOOD GRADE bucket, mark and cut to size, sand edges to avoid sharp edges, drill in a few holes for liquid to flow through, sterilize and use) then I put a weight on top of the plate to hold the pickles under the brine.

    These pickles are just like the ones you find at the Jewish Deli. No Vinegar, No Hot Water process.

    What method do you use? Just looking at the bucket I assumed you brined and fermented rather than Vinegar process, but I remembered your Vinegar.

    Those Cukes are beautiful and uniform by the way. Great batch.

    And when brining like me Oak or Grape leaves also work well as the tannin leaches out and helps keep pickles crisp.

    I'd be interested in knowing more how you do them.

    Great looking batch.
  7. supervman

    supervman Smoking Fanatic

    Here is my process:
    Pickle Recipes - NO COOK DILL PICKLES - VMAN THIS IS WHAT I MADE AND THEY WERE GREAT !!! DO in your favorite crock w LID or a 5 Gal. Restaurant bucket
    4 lbs. small Cucumbers
    8 cups Distilled Water ( ½ Gallon )
    ¼ cup Pickling Salt (or non-iodized table salt)
    2 TBSP Pickling Spices
    5 Garlic Cloves, coarsely chopped
    1 bunch Fresh Dill ( 1 oz pkg )
    1 slice day-old Rye Bread ( NO PRESERVATIVES )

    Wash Cucumbers thoroughly and arrange them in a 1-gallon glass jar (sun tea jars are perfect IF BURPED daily OR your Favorite Crock). Dissolve Salt in Water and pour over Cukes. Add Spices and Garlic. Lay Dill and Rye Bread on top of Cukes. Cover with plastic wrap, or a plate, and place a heavy object (a clean rock or can of soup) on the wrap to keep Cukes submerged.
    Let stand 3 days at Room Temperature. . Refrigerate 5 days. Remove pickles from jar, strain and reserve liquid. ( Toss Chunks ) Store pickles in strained liquid in refrigerator for up to 6 months. Makes 1 gallon. (these ferment like Sauerkraut not pickle like w Vinegar)

    Quantity: An average of 14 pounds is needed per canner load of 7 quarts; an average of 9 pounds is needed per canner load of 9 pints. A bushel weighs 48 pounds and yields 16 to 24 quarts – an average of 2 pounds per quart.

    Quality: Select firm cucumbers of the appropriate size: about 1-1/2 inches for gherkins and 4 inches for dills. Use odd-shaped and more mature cucumbers for relishes and bread-and-butter style pickles.

    Gauging Brine Strength: - Added to 1 Quart of Water, each TBSP of Sea Salt adds 1.8% Brine.
    So 2 TBSP of Salt in 1 Quart of Water yields 3.6% Brine, 3 TBSP yields 5.4%, and so on.
    Low-Salt Pickles, around 3.5% Brine are “HALF SOURS” in delicatessen lingo.
    THIS Recipe is for SOUR, fairly salty pickles, using around 5.4% Brine.

    If the Brine doesn’t cover the weighted down plate add more brine mixed at the same ratio: of just under 1 TBSP Salt to each CUP of Distilled Water.

    I also add a few hot peppers (I slit the sides first), or some folks use red pepper flakes if you want em to have a bite.
    These are really easy and really good.
    Thought I'd just post my process for you and anyone interested to see.
  8. jbraas

    jbraas Fire Starter

    Thanks everyone.
    Hey supevman, thanks for the information. I actually had seen your post here and thought that your recipe/method sounded pretty good.

    I didn't have any rye bread around so I stuck with my original plans. This is atually my very first time giving this a try. I was just usung a recipe out of a canning book Ball put out. They call these Deli Dills. I will have to see how this goes and maybe look to give your method a try on the next.

    They do seem to be starting a little fermentation already. I thought I saw/heard a bubble or two.... I do have an inverted plate on top and have them weighted down. I actually took a pic of that as well, but didn't post it. I showed my wife my pics (she was working when I started this process) and she said "you're such a geek." Fine, don't eat my pickles then! [​IMG]
  9. supervman

    supervman Smoking Fanatic

    You are obviously in a warm weather area.
    We don't even have blooms on the cucumbers yet.

    I think ANY non preservative bread will do. It helps a lot. Natural yeasts and such.

    Bubbling so fast. How cool. Up here in Minnesota, depending on temp I sometimes have to let it go 6 or 7 days to get the proper bubbling.
    Keep them submerged and check your brine for evaporation. If you need more just add salt and hopefully distilled water in the same proportion as your original recipe. The brine - as you see from my recipe - helps determine the salinity of the pickles, so stick with the ratio in your recipe.

    They really do look great. Lots of green color.
  10. jbraas

    jbraas Fire Starter

    Yeah, I'm in Tennessee, so it has been pretty warm. These cukes just started coming in. I got them from a local farmer down the road.

    I think I've heard some bubbling. Not much yet, just a little. I was happy with how the cukes looked, especially once I cleaned them up.

    So far seems good. The brine was close to not being enough, but now that it has been weighted down and things had a chance to settle I seem to have a nice layer of liquid over them.

    I may have to make some home made rye bread in the bread machine to try your way next time. I've wanted to make some anyway!
  11. jbraas

    jbraas Fire Starter

    Oh, and I did get distilled water. Directly as a result of seing your thread supervman.
  12. jbraas

    jbraas Fire Starter

    Ok, a little over a week in and I decided to sample.

    SALTY. supevman, if you see this (I may PM if needed) the recipe I had was for 5lbs and called for 1 1/2 cups pivkling salt to your 1/4! [​IMG]

    Any ideas (anyone) how I might be able to cut this back now? Would simply adding more distilled water work?

    They aren't very sour at this point. Mainly salty, nearly to much so to eat.
  13. supervman

    supervman Smoking Fanatic

  14. jbraas

    jbraas Fire Starter

    thanks for the information i will give it a shot.
  15. supervman

    supervman Smoking Fanatic

    You know if you're gonna re brine. You might want to soak em in the sink. Drain. Refill. Drain, etc to help remove some salinity.
  16. jbraas

    jbraas Fire Starter

    I might give that a shot. I don't have much to loose at this point as they don't seem so edible (still look good though....).

    If I do, I may go with something more along the route of your recipe. The salt is really over the top right now,and I was hoping for some unique sourness....

    I did post over at Wild Fermentation as well, so we will see what they may have to say also...
  17. vince

    vince StickBurners SMF Premier Member

    I love pickles, I am going give them a try, I remember doing them as a kid, But that along time ago, This is a great Tread
  18. jbraas

    jbraas Fire Starter

    Well.... I decided to take the advice of rinsing and then I "re-brined" in supervman's way.

    While moving the pickles around I noticed a few seemed a little soft. I cut into then and they were hollow (see pics below). I read somewhere that this is usually a development issue with the actuall cuke. They can still be used, just better as relish. They didn't really seem soft initially....
  19. supervman

    supervman Smoking Fanatic

    Hollow Cukes = TOO LONG ON THE VINE either that or they were OFF the vine too long before you got them.

    They SURE looked beautiful in your first set of picks.
    At this stage I'd say a rebrine is not a good idea as they'll get softer yet just cause they are that way already.

    I had that hollow thing happen to me last year. They came to Minny via Chicago so I expect they were harvested too long prior.

    What I did - yeah call me weird - Is make a spread sheet of the local grocers and Farmers Stands and asked price. Then I'd tell em thanks I've got a batch going and when I need my next I'll call a few days early.
    I found a fairly large price difference (percentage wise) but cheaper doesn't always mean fresher.

    Picked that day are the best and I prefer 4 inch cukes - I always tell em give or take an inch - that way you should also avoid a case of the hollows.

    Search Pickle Troubleshooting and Pickle Problems on the net and there are LOTS of places to go.

    Good luck
  20. jbraas

    jbraas Fire Starter

    I've been meaning to post this for a little while and just not got around to it. Well, after teh frustration with how my initial pickles turned out, I was thinking what to do with them. Especially the hollow ones.

    Viola, Dill Relish! Here are some pics. Both my wife and I have had some and it is pretty good. So not a total loss of cukes purchased!



    In the Canner:

    Finished Product Canned:

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