Prep 15 mins
Cook 1008 hrs
This was sent to me from a friend who is also enthused about pickle making. It is from the Ball Bule Book. Pickle making begins with the brine and to make carelessly or to maintain carelessly a brine is the reason for most of the soft and unfit pickles. Remember these key points; Use clean stone or glass jars; use only a recommended pickling variety of cucumbers; use only canning and pickling salt; and do not use hard water. Pickles must be placed in a brine and fermented for approximately 6 weeks before the addition of the final and last brine.
- Wash cucumbers carefully. Use only freshly harvested, slightly immature pickling variety.
- Weigh cucumbers.
- Dissolve salt in water to make brine.
- Put in a clean pickling container and cover with brine. (Cucumbers may be added during the first day or two of curing process if enough brine is added to cover them and if salt is added in definite amounts to maintain a 10% brine.
- Weight cucumbers under brine.
- Store in a cool dark place.
- Next day, add 1 cup salt for each 5 pounds of cucumbers. This is necessary to maintain a 10% brine solution. Salt must be added on top of plate or clean cloth (and not directly on the cucumbers) for even distribution throughout the brine.
- Remove scum when it forms on top of brine. The scum will destroy the acidity of the brine and result in spoilage of the product, if left on.
- At the end of the week, and for 4 or 5 succeeding weeks, add 1/4 cup salt for each 5 pounds of cucumbers. Add in the same manner as step 6.
- Fermentation resulting in bubble formation should continue about 4 weeks. Test for bubbles by tapping container on the side with your hand. As a second test, cut a cucumber in half; if it is the same color throughout and has no noticeable rings or white spots, fermentation is complete.
- Cucumbers may be kept in this 10% brine solution--no additional salt is added after they are cured--until made into pickles. The best temperature for brining cucumbers is about 70 to 75.