5.07.2012

How to Ferment Cucumbers

This is why I love my Food Saver. I forgot to buy the dill for this experiment but I had fresh dill frozen and garlic yippee for me!

 Ok first off Lactic-Fermented that is a scary  term.  But breath in Faith breath out Fear my little ones!
I went to the Farmers Markets to search for cucks. Not just any cucumbers but the light ones that are medium and firm. Now I know a lot of people call out certain ones like Kirby but let us all face facts we can not always get what we need so we have to get what we can. Oh my a joke "Get what we Can" get it! Alrighty moving on.

 So you all know I have my Lil Crock. I made great sauerkraut in it this year and now I am going to do Sour Pickles. The thing about the things I do is the amount of fear that comes with it. But this to shall pass. I got through the Pressure Canning and the Sauerkraut and this is just one more adventure in yumminess!

 I had to wait to do this because most of the sites I explored said to use Grape Leaves to keep them crunchy during the fermentation process. I did find another site that said you can use Oak leaves. My friend has grapes a plenty and it is worth the wait.(The leaves supply the tannins which keep the pickles crisp)

Here are two of the sites I cruised through to get some ideas. Cookography and Hard Work Homestead I go to so many and do so much studying prior to my projects.



Also here are my two go to fermentation books. I find that they are good but I am the type that I can never get enough info. Then I put it all together for my own best of bookernet recipe.

One book is Preserving Food without Freezing or Canning by Chelsea Green and Making Sauerkraut and pickled vegetables at home by Klaus Kaufmann and Annelies Schoneck.



All your ingredients’ are to taste. Also it depends on the size container you use. I have a Fermentation Pot, 10 Liter you can grab one on Amazon it cost $89.00 worth the cost for what you can do with it.

INGREDIENTS
About 4 pounds pickling cucumbers
4 to 6 dill heads or large sprigs
8-12  whole garlic cloves
1 tablespoon of dill seed
1 Tablespoon whole mustard seed
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1 tablespoon of pickling /sea salt to each quart of water


First layer of grape leaves

A few fresh leaves from a grape vine, or oak tree, if available.This is my first layer.






PREP :

Rinse cucumbers, removing blossom ends. It is believed that it can harbor bad bacteria increasing the risks that your batch will not ferment properly. It is also thought that it can make your pickles not as crisp. Be gentle I rub the blossom off and wipe my pickles I do not scrub them because they have good bacteria.

Boil your water adding the salt until dissolved. * You must make sure you boil the water tap water is chlorinated. Or you can buy bottled spring water. Boiling is cheaper. Do this first so the water has cooled off by the time you are ready to pack your crock. DO NOT pack with warm water it must be cool.

First layer of cucks and spices












Done


In layers place grape leaves first. Pack cucumbers into crock garlic, dill, and seasonings continue layering till the container is about 2 inches from the top.






Pour brine (salty water) over the cucumbers. Make sure the brine covers the ingredients’ by at least an 3 inch's.
Place weight/clean plate on top to keep pickles submerged below brine line (you may need to weight the plate with a water-filled jar or brick). My crock came with weight's.





Check crock at least once a week, skimming off any debris, rinse weight if you find anything on the surface.
Taste cucumber after one week to see if they are seasoned to your liking.
Leave until you get your desired taste .




When done, well we have not gotten there yet. This will be another as we go part one is this post and I will post as we get going. Once they are done I am planning to water bath them. So this will take yet another study hall. But I will go search our sites and find the safe and yummy way to do it.Here are the links to the posts for fermenting pickles

Week Two Fermenting Pickles
Canning/Water-bath your fermented pickles

*** Spices and things you can add for taste
Horseradish
Red Pepper Flakes or Fresh Peppers
Onion
Fennel
Coriander



1 comment:

  1. The reason for cutting off the blossom end, is that the blossoms have an enzyme which can cause the pickles to be soft & not remain crisp.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you !