These are wonderful pickles that probably go back several generations. I love them and so does everyone I serve them to. Be warned - they take 2 weeks to complete but they only need a few minutes attention each day.
Please note that I use whatever quantities of cucumbers I have on hand, adjusting the quantity of brines and syrup to cover the cucumbers generously. You will need more brine to cover the cukes initially than you will need syrup later as there is a lot of shrinkage. Therefore I don't guarantee the above quantities will all work out exactly but each solution is easy to adjust to what you need. Start with what you think will cover the cucumbers and just make a little more if you need it.
The use of alum is no longer recommended in home canning - I have noticed that some of the big pickle companies still use it and so do I in these pickles. It makes them crisp. I have made them without and they were not nearly as good.
Prepare the salt/water brine by heating together until salt dissolves. It will cool sufficiently while you prepare the cucumbers.
Wash the cucumbers in cold water. If they are less than 1 1/2" inches in diameter slice them in 3/8" - 1/2" slices. Larger ones may be halved or quartered and the seeds scooped out then cut into pickle-sized chunks.
Put the cucumbers in a container (a large crock is preferred but hard to come by anymore - a plastic pail works fine). Do not use metal.
Pour the salt/water brine over the cucumbers to cover. Place a plate over the cucumbers to submerge them. Put a weight on it (plastic vinegar bottle perhaps?). Cover with a cloth. Let stand 7 days.
Your pickles might not look very nice after 7 days but they are okay. Drain the brine off (dump in a clean sink), rinse the pickles and pail, put cucumbers back in and cover with plain hot water. Let stand till next day, (day# 9) drain again, and cover with alum/water solution (again heated to dissolve alum). Let stand one day.
Drain pickles and return to pail. Prepare syrup by combining sugar and vinegar in a large (not aluminum) pot. Tie the pickling spice in a piece of cheesecloth and put in pot. Add a couple of drops of green food coloring and several of yellow. Bring to boil, simmer 10 minutes. Pour over cucumbers, submerge the spice bag in the pail.
Every day, for 3 days, (days 11-12-13) drain the syrup into a pot, reheat and pour back over the pickles. Each day check the color, correcting it with yellow food coloring - it rarely needs anymore green.
On day #14 put the pickles in sterilized jars, adding a piece of cinnamon stick and a few whole cloves to each jar. Heat brine, (discard spice bag)and pour in jars to cover pickles, leaving a little head space. Seal with 2 piece lids.
Modern canning instructions would now call for these to be processed in a water bath for 10 minutes. I do not. If the odd jar doesn't seal I refrigerate it and use it first. In a cool dark place these pickles will keep a long time (I usually make a 2 year supply) Time and servings guestimated.