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Old 26-08-2004, 10:12 AM
Knowledge Is Power
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nutNhoney wrote in message ...
This is my first time doing fermented dills. I started the pickles on
Monday. I still see no signs of a scum on top of the brine. The brine
is nice and clear with a pleasant dill smell. The pickles are well
below the brine and I added the day 2 salt. I do get small bubbles when
I tap the container on the side. Does this sound like everything is
going ok?

Yes, I think that's normal. The pickles are fermenting. I just
finished a batch today that I had in a plastic 5-gallon pickle bucket
for three weeks. They did the same thing after first couple of days.

I weighed down the pickles with brine water in clear plastic bags so I
could see the pickles down below.

Every other day I scraped the mold off the top of the water with a
clean paper towel. The scum will start showing up after about a week
of fermenting. It'll be and white and stringy when you clean the
scum out of the water.

After three weeks you should have pickles. The recipie which I used
and found at this website;

says the pickles have to be fermented about 3 to 4 weeks at 70 - 75
Degrees or 5 to 6 weeks at 55-60 Degrees. Some of the pickles just
under the clear plastic bags got soft, and mushy so I simply tossed
them in the garbage. The pickles that were deeper inside of the
bucket were more normal and they had a good pickle flavor, especially
from the dill and the garlic I used. There were four or five that
were half soft and had some mold, so I simply cut off the soft section
and saved the good solid portion of the pickle.

If you're not going to directly can the pickles, simply get pickles
out of the bucket and wash them off to remove any scum that might be
on them and put them in clean glass jars. Simply filter the brine
water through a coffee filter or paper towel to cover the pickles in
the jar. Then put lids on the jars and store the glass jars in the
refrigerator. The instructions I used says they'll last 4 to 6 months
in the refrigerator. We'll see.

Some of the pickles I put in the jars whole. Some of the larger
pickles, I cut them up into slices and others I cut up into chips to
be used on hamburgers.

I'll probably be making another batch soon since we've had a bumper
crop of cucumbers this year from all the rain we've gotten.

Here's the pickle recipie from the PDF file;

Dill Pickles (Fermented)
Measure fermentation container; for each gallon use following

4 pounds pickling cucumbers (4-inch)
4 to 5 heads fresh dill
2 cloves garlic (optional)
2 dried red peppers (optional)
2 teaspoons whole mixed pickling
spices (optional)
8 cups water
1/4 cup vinegar (4-6%)
1/2 cup pickling salt

Wash cucumbers. Cut 1/16-inch slice off blossom end and discard. Leave
1/4 -inch of stem attached. Place half of dill and optional seasonings
on bottom of a clean, suitable container. Add cucumbers, remaining
dill and seasonings. Combine water and vinegar; add salt, stirring to
dissolve; pour over cucumbers. Add suitable cover and weight to keep
cucumbers submerged. Cover container with a clean, odor-free towel.

Store where temperature is between 70?F and 75?F for 3 to 4 weeks.
Temperatures of 55 to 65?F are acceptable, but the fermentation will
take 5 to 6 weeks. Avoid temperatures above 80?F, or pickles will
become too soft. Fermenting pickles cure slowly. Check the container
several times a week and promptly remove surface scum.

CAUTION: If the pickles become soft, moldy, slimy or develop a
disagreeable odor, discard them.

Fully fermented pickles may be stored in the refrigerator for 4 to 6
months but canning is a better way to preserve them. To can them, pour
the brine into a pan, heat slowly to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 5

Brine can be filtered through paper coffee filters to reduce
cloudiness. Fill jars with pickles and hot brine, leaving 1/2 inch
headspace. Wipe jar rims. Adjust lids and heat process in boiling
water canner for the time specified in Table 1 or use the
low-temperature pasteurization treatment described on page 3.