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Walnut Creek District


jars 2Why should blossoms be removed from cucumbers before pickling?
Blossoms may be a source of enzymes that make pickles soft.

What should be the percent acid in vinegar used for making pickles?
4 to 6 percent.

Why do we recommend using pure granulated salt, rather than table salt, for making pickles?
Pure granulated salt contains no anti-caking ingredients which may make the brine cloudy. Iodized salt can also turn the pickles dark.

Why is processing recommended for all pickle products?
Processing kills spoilage organisms and insures a good seal on the jar.

For processing pickles, does the water in the water bath canner have to be at a hard rolling boil?
No. To keep the pickles crisp, have the water in the canner at a gentle simmer.

Can you pressure can pickles?
NO! It will ruin the texture of the pickles. if you don't have a water bath canner, use your pressure canner as a water bath canner.

Is hard water acceptable for pickling?
No. You can "soften" hard water by boiling it and removing scum or residues.

What are the differences between fresh-pack pickles and fermented pickles?
Fresh-pack pickles are made with vinegar to get acetic acid. Fermented pickles are made from bacterial fermentation to get lactic acid.

Why did the liquid in my dill pickles turn pink?
It could be from two sources. One is using over-mature dill. These are safe to eat. The other source is yeast growth. These should be discarded.

Why did the garlic cloves in my pickles turn green or bluish green?
Could be due to iron, tin, or aluminum in the cooking pot, water, or water pipes reacting with the pigments in the garlic. The pickles are safe to eat, but discard the garlic.

What kind of vinegar should be used to pickle cauliflower and onions?
Use distilled white vinegar. This will avoid discoloration of white vegetables.

Why did my whole dill pickles spoil when everything was "done right"?
The cucumbers ere probably wedged so tightly in the jar there was no room for the boiling-hot pickling solution. Whole cucumbers should be packed fairly loosely.

Is it necessary to add alum to pickles to make them firm?
Alum in not necessary in pickles. As long as good quality ingredients and up-to-date procedures are used, don't use it. You can use it for fermented cucumbers. It does not work with quick process pickles. Most recipes do not have alum as an ingredient. A safer method to make crisp pickles is soaking the cucumbers in ice water for 4 to 5 hours prior to pickling.