Pickles! (Kosher)

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RPh_Guy

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I'm a first timer, but here's what I did:
  • Cut the ends off some cucumbers.
  • Lightly smash and peel some fresh garlic.
  • Cut the leaves and flowers from fresh dill.
  • Put these into a jar. The jar in my photo is a gallon.
  • Make a 4% brine (4g/100mL) with filtered tap water. Iodine-free salt.
  • Add 1/2 tsp of calcium chloride per liter.
  • Cover the cucumbers with the brine.
  • Cover the jar with something oxygen-permeable.
  • Put in a warm place.

From my understanding they should be ready in 3-7 days? Monitor flavor and crispness. If they sit too long at room temp they'll get mushy. Refrigerate when they're ready.
Consume within several weeks to months while they're still crisp.

FYI
"Kosher" refers to the traditional process and ingredients. In other words they're fermented with dill, and garlic in brine and have no added vinegar. Most also have some kind of leaf for tannins but I don't have any available.

:ban:
 
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S-Met

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I try for 2.5-3% but otherwise that's how I pickle. I keep at room temp though (70-75 or cooler). Kinda like beer a cider, controlled fermentation.

Peppers, greenbeans and brussel sprouts are great. Kraut, cortido and kimchki are on your horizon too. I didn't grow okra this year or I would have pickled those too.
 
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RPh_Guy

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I chose the 4% brine based on this page, which was by far the most knowledgeable source I could find online:
https://www.makesauerkraut.com/fermented-pickles/
TL;DR They suggest 3.5-5% brine for cucumber pickles in particular (as opposed to 2% for other vegetables), to maximize crispness while enabling a little bit longer fermentation for more sourness.

I am holding the fermentation at 75°F. Is that OK you think? I happen to have a wine fermenting with RC212 which I'm holding at 75°F and the pickles are sharing the space.

It's unclear to me how much calcium chloride is best. Any thoughts? I have the "anhydrous" form.

Is it OK to re-use the brine, garlic, and dill for future batches?

So many questions! :) I don't even eat pickles; these are for my wife.
 

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I'm guessing it should be fine for salinity and for temperature.

Admittedly, most of my pickling experience is an amalgamation of trial and error family and online recipes and a borrowed copy of art of fermentation by Sandor Katz .

Temp is not as well agreed upon as with brewers. However, my running theory is that pickling is a preserving method in areas where temperature control is questionable. Additionally, we are not "pitching" a known microbe(s), thus we cannot be sure of an optimal temperature range for that microbe(s). With this in mind, I aim for stability winter time I'll take advantage of a long, slow cool fermentation in my garage that usually stays in the 40-50s

Regarding salinity, as a personal preference, I aim for the low end of the spectrum. Almost everything has salt added and I try to be conscientious about my consumption. I don't have a BP issue, but I don't want to encourage one either.
 
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Are you shooting for half sour pickles like ba-tampte?
I'm not entirely sure, but yes, still some crispness left.

There's plenty of activity in there. Bubbles and the beginnings of a pellicle. The odor of dill and garlic was so much that I moved it to a different room from my wine just in case.
 

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I would be concerned that there is not enough tannin in your pickles to keep the cucs crisp. You might add wine tannin or what I do - add something like horseradish leaves. You might add some black tea ... Good luck... Making pickles using brine to control the bacterial growth makes for incredibly delicious pickles, in my opinion. Try beets, peppers. Try onions.
 
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I would be concerned that there is not enough tannin in your pickles to keep the cucs crisp.
Have you found tannins to be a major contributor to crispness? Is there a particular amount you recommend?

I didn't have any tannic leaves handy. Next time I'll use some.
I considered adding raisins but decided the additional sugar might have unexpected consequences.
I do have some wine tannin...
 

bernardsmith

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Cucumbers are susceptible to becoming rather soft rather than crisp and in my experience the problem is solved by adding tannins. Others may have solutions other than adding tannins to reduce this probability. But the powdered tannin you might add to a wine or some black tea all help.
 
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Thanks for the input!
I'll just let this batch ride since we're already on day 3.

Does anyone re-use the brine? Some salt will be lost to the pickles but I can adjust the salinity using a hydrometer to maintain consistency.
 

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Thanks for the input!
I'll just let this batch ride since we're already on day 3.

Does anyone re-use the brine? Some salt will be lost to the pickles but I can adjust the salinity using a hydrometer to maintain consistency.
Short answer, yes.

Long answer:
I rarely pickle cucumber, but I add some of my current batch brine to my next batch, especially if I like the flavor.

I will admit that I do not have fact-based evidence to support my method, but adding whatever bugs make my current batch taste good will help my next batch maintain a similar flavor.
 

bernardsmith

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But the ratio of salt to water drops from batch to batch as the salt extracts water from the cucumbers. If that is not an issue (and it might be if the concentration of the brine drops below what is needed to inhibit certain bacterial growth) then more power to ya...
 

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I reuse some of the brine as a "kickstarter", but generally make new brine.

I use calcium chloride, about 1 tsp per quart, in my cucumbers and other veggies that I want to keep crisp. Except for sauerkraut- that remains crisp no matter what I do!
 
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RPh_Guy

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But the ratio of salt to water drops from batch to batch as the salt extracts water from the cucumbers. If that is not an issue (and it might be if the concentration of the brine drops below what is needed to inhibit certain bacterial growth) then more power to ya...
That's why I said I would use a hydrometer -- to keep the salinity consistent.
 
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Charging, Charging, and...CLEAR!

Now that this thread has a heartbeat again, how were the pickles? I need to make some this week. Any recipe changes?
 

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Why an O2-permeable cover? I always use air locks for my ferments seeing that Lactic Acid created by the LAB is an anaerobic function.
 
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