Monday, July 19, 2010

Pickle Problem

OK so next time I will make sure to use a food safe bucket.  If you are going to try and pickle at home do not not use a Home Depot "Homer" bucket.  It is not considered food safe.  I ended up with red bits in my brine, and decided to throw it out.  I did check the pickles before I chucked them and it looks like about 50% of them would have been good the other 1/2 were either hollow or mushy.  If at first you don't succeed......

Monday, July 12, 2010

Pickle Power

OK so I am fan of pretty much anything fermented.  Now I know many of you guys are going to be like "EWW, isn't fermented rotten." And you would be kind of right.  Fermentation is what is responsible for good bread, good beer, good cheese, good wine, and of course pickles.  Every so often I get brave enough to try and make my own pickles.  I have only had mediocre results thus far, but I got up the guts to try again.  As a base I used this as a recipe:

I use a 5 gallon orange plastic bucket from home depot:

I did about a 1/2 a dozen small to medium sized pickling cucumbers.  I made 2 gallons of brine with 1 cup of salt.  I used kosher salt because that is what I had in the house, but I usually use fine pickling salt.  I filtered the water through my Brita pitcher.  I think it gets rid of some of chlorine out of the water so it does not kill the good bacteria lactobacillus:

I boiled about 1/4 of the water to dissolve the salt in and then let it cool.  I added 2 bunches of dill plus a little bit more of flowering dill from my balcony.  1 head of garlic each clove peeled and smashed.  Then I added the cucumbers and the brine on top of it with a few pinches of whole black peppercorns from .

I added a heavy plate to prevent the pickles from floating up and put a towel on top of the bucket to prevent bugs and dirt from getting in,

Here are some pictures of what it looks like today, day 1.  I will hopefully update with pictures daily.  It should take about a week to ferment.