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Old 21-07-2004, 02:20 PM
The Joneses
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Default Fermented Pickle Problem?

Joe Sallustio wrote:

I am attempting my first batch of fermented pickles and am not sure if
I have a problem or not.

I am a wine and beer maker and am used to seeing at least some
bubbling as a byproduct of fermentation. If that's happening, I am
missing it.

I followed the guidelines on the USDA website since that seems to be
what most state extension agents refer to. I used pickling salt, the
only deviation from the USDA gudlines was addition of at least twice
the amount of garlic they suggested.

These have been fermenting for slightly over two weeks at around 70F
under a towel, I check each day and remove any mold that forms on the
pickling liquid.

The cucumbers are at least two inches under the liquid. I tasted one
last week, I got mostly salt from it. Good, but not exactly a pickle.
This weeks sample may have been closer to a pickle, but I have no
experience here and want to ensure I am making food, not something
else... They look like pickles and are firm.

My question is this:

Should I see signs of active fementation, like bubbles? If so, and am
not seeing them is there anything I should do or should I pitch these
and try again? It's a 5 gallon batch, I had a LOT of cucumbers.

I can pull a sample and check the amount of acid and pH of the liquid,
but have no guideline as to expected values. If I should do that any
advice would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance and best regards,

My sympathies - my fermented pickles didn't do well at all. How do you
check the pH? I bought a soil tester, but it registered 5% vinegar at
6.5. Obviously not calibrated or something. Where did you get your testing