Pickling lime

For use in pickling recipes. Pickling Lime helps to improve the firmness of pickles by introducing calcium that reinforces the pectin in the vegetable being pickled. In using it, a vegetable such as cucumber is soaked first in water mixed with the pickling Lime, for up to a day, then rinsed thoroughly -- at least 3 times -- before the actual pickling process begins. Be sure to use pickling lime as a soak solution only and to rinse product in several changes of water before proceeding with the recipe. Do not use lime purchased from lumber supply stores as it may contain lead. Pickling lime is found in most grocery stores with the pickling supplies. Because the Lime is alkaline, you have to get rid of it all, or it would neutralize the acidity that you are going to use to preserve the pickles with. People haven't always rinsed it thoroughly, though, leaving some alkalinity and raising the pH of the pickling batch by neutralizing the acidity. On account of this, cases of botulism have been recorded, and for that reason it's not generally recommended to use this anymore. Some home canners recommend using grape leaves as an alternative to help with crunchiness.


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