I went big, even though I’m already at home!
As some of you know, I’ve tried making pickles using the fermentation method once before. I used that good old Alton Brown recipe, and they didn’t turn out so well. The lid on the jar was metal, and that combined with salt water brine created a rusty tasting pickle. You don’t need to imagine that taste to know that those were thrown out.
The most important thing I have learned is to go strictly by the recipe when you start out. Something about me wanted to immediately deviate from the original recipe last time, even though I am such a newbie to this. Do yourself a favor: take the time to make a bunch of recipes by the book. Only when you start to feel comfortable with the measurements and ingredients can you start to play around with the flavors. And that time will come. Join me in being patient.
This recipe is the same one I claimed to be making last time around, Alton Brown’s fermented pickle recipe. Only this time, I went by the book.
2/3 gallon salt water brine
2 lbs Persian cucumber
2/3 Tbsp black pepper corns
2/3 Tbsp red pepper flakes
1 & 1/3 cloves garlic, crushed
2/3 tsp dill seed
2/3 large bunch dill (alternatively, 1/2 cup or .75oz)
Note: This is 2/3 of the original recipe.
This house hovers around 70-72F in the winter, and this recipe calls for “a cool, dry place”. After some research, people ferment pickles at between 65F and 80F (even in the fridge). Mr. Brown would suggest “68, 70 degrees (Fahrenheit) tops” for 6-7 days, or until the bubbles stop rising.
Measure out the spices and add them to the bottom.
Next, wash your cucumbers with a mild soap. Cut both ends off of each one, and cut off any scabs you see. There were a few soft spots that gushed cucumber mush, and I cut those areas out completely, including fresh cucumber tissue around the affected area (playing surgeon is fun). That should keep out any bacteria or fungi that would seek to soften up the entire jar.
Add the cucumbers standing on end, and fill jar with enough brine to cover cucumbers and lift them just off the bottom of the jar.
Insert an open and empty 1 gallon zip bag, open side up. Add brine into the bag until the cucumbers are below the surface of their brine. Leave uncovered, or covered – opening daily to release built-up gasses. And…
See you in 5 days, 23 hours, 59 minutes, and 59 seconds.
Is anyone advanced enough to let me in on their favorite pickle spice?