Tuesday, August 9, 2016

the Sasquatch makes pickles

Not only did the Sasquatch make some good refrigerator pickles, he also made Lacto-Fermented pickles in a crock.
This type of pickle is different than pickles that are made using vinegar.  These pickles are actually fermented like sauerkraut.

These are his photos and comments about the process...

Pickles and peppers

Add everything in layers

I added grape leaves to help keep the pickles crunchy. It worked, they were still very crunchy.

Add layers until the crock is full. Leave enough room for the weights to be covered with brine.

Full, waiting for the brine. Add the brine, cover and wait. I let them ferment for about 12 days. Skim any yeast or mold that grows on top of the water. I didn't take any pictures of that because it looked horrible and I want to forget that I saw it. It makes it hard to want to eat the pickles after you see it.

This is the recipe/directions that I followed. I didn't add any of the spices other than some dill and a few Golden Cayenne peppers. They came out very, very salty
Ingredients 5 1/2 ounces pickling salt, approximately 1/2 cup 1 gallon filtered water 3 pounds pickling cucumbers, 4 to 6-inches long 1 tablespoon black peppercorns 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes 2 cloves garlic, crushed 1 teaspoon dill seed 1 large bunch dill Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/dill-pickles-recipe.html?oc=linkback
I think maybe he didn't take a photo of the finished pickles because he was disappointed that they came out so salty.... But he gave a jar of them to me so here's a photo of those. I've already tried a couple of them.
This type of pickle must be kept refrigerated too.

He had two of these half gallon size jars full and a few more pickles that wouldn't fit. They are too salty to eat on their own ( about like the saltiness of green olives) but probably good mixed in potato salad of macaroni salad and so forth. He said he wants to try again next year and see if he can get better results!


  1. I haven't had much luck with lacto fermenting pickles either. I have been getting closer since I have been innoculating the batch with some kimchee juice to get it off to a proper start. Also learned don't use "city water", the stuff they use to kill the bad bugs also kills the good bugs. I'm beginning to believe the spices, in addition to providing flavor have some effect on the preservative function. It should not be necessary to refrigerate properly cured pickles. Mine tend to go soft.

    1. When he was gathering info...it was recommended to let city water set out for 24 hours before using it...to let chemicals dissipate.
      There was difinitely fermenting and bubbling going on.

      Also read that the grape leaves are what keeps the pickles crunchy. He just picked a few off a wild grape vine here.

  2. It looks like he is doing things right, trimming the blossom end off, not overly mature cukes, more or less uniform size... While he "has the fever" he might want to make kraut or kimchee. He can adjust kimchee to his taste, as oniony, garlicy, hot as he likes. Once you get a good culture going save any surplus for kick-starting the next batch. DON't USE CITY WATER. I keep kimchee going all of the time. Make it by the gallon, the divide into quarts, start a new batch when I'm eating the last quart. Napa cabbage, savoy is too expensive, haven't tried bok choy. I refrigerate to stabilize but it keeps pretty good on the counter. Also finally getting some success making vinegar, made from homemade pear cider and homemade cherry wine.

    1. You will have to give him some tips on sauerkraut making. I think he tried it on a very small scale...no luck with that. He doesn't really like sauerkraut so his heart probably wasn't in it.
      That kimchee...not too sure about that!

    2. Those home made vinegars sound good. Use them on salads and greens, I guess?

  3. Kraut is sometimes seasoned with caraway seeds, the mouse turd like seeds used in good rye bread. Juniper berries are popular in some circles. I bought some but I believe the blueish berries on what we call cedar trees are the same. In use they end up tasting a bit orangy. Green cabbage on sale makes good kraut, can't get used to red...

  4. 3%, by weight, salt for brine & cukes combined should be right on.

    1. Maybe too salty then because he used regular table salt..but he had read that table salt and pickling salt are iterchangable...ounce for ounce.
      That might have been bad info.