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Converting Vinegar Pickle Recipes

“Can I convert my grandma’s famous vinegar pickle recipe into a lactofermented pickle?”

Why yes.  Yes you can!  I do it all the time.

It’s super simple and usually just a matter of replacing vinegar with a 2%-3.5% brine (2% for most veggies, 3.5% for cucumbers).

Here is an example using a basic recipe for kosher dill pickles using vinegar.  All these ingredients are divided up between 6 pint sized jars.

  • 8 lbs pickling cucumbers
  • about 2 tbsp pickling spices (1 tsp per pint)
  • 12 garlic cloves (2 per pint)
  • a sprig of fresh dill per quart
  • grape leaves
  • 6 cups vinegar
  • 6 cups water
  • 3 tbsp salt

The only thing we are going to change in the ingredients is  the vinegar, water and the amount of salt.  In place of that, we’ll use a 3.5% brine (33 gms of salt per quart of water).

So now you are left with the following:

  • 8 lbs pickling cucumbers
  • about 2 tbsp pickling spices (1 tsp per pint)
  • 12 garlic cloves (2 per pint)
  • a sprig of fresh dill per quart
  • grape leaves
  • 3.5% brine (33 gms of salt per quart of water)

Now just completely ignore the instructions.  Almost none of it applies.  You can use whatever Pickl-it jar size you like, just divide the ingredients evenly between the jars or just use one big jar.  Place the grape leaves in the bottom of the jars.  Add pickling spices, cloves of garlic (cloves should be smashed to release the flavor), and dill sprigs.  Pack cucumbers in your jar up to the shoulder.  Add brine making sure everything is submerged.  Use a Dunk’R to weigh floating pickles down.  Seal your jar, fill your airlock with water and leave at room temp for about 7 days.  Once bubble activities stops, you can move it to the fridge.  You can start eating them now for a crisp, fresh half-sour pickle or let them ferment longer in the fridge for a full-sour pickle.

 


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5 comments to Converting Vinegar Pickle Recipes

  • Chris

    For a 2% brine, would it be 20gms/L water?

  • Tiffany

    Melanie – My wife and I made pickles three weeks ago and let them sit out in pickl-it jars for 10 days in our dining room. We then moved them to the fridge. In the process we noticed that there was some white cloudiness floating at the bottom of the jar. Is this the good bacteria or is this something we need to worry about?

    Thanks!

    • Totally normal! It’s an accumulation of yeast and bacteria. Get enough of those microscopic buggies together and you can see them 🙂

      • Tiffany

        Thanks! That is what I thought but my wife was skeptical. I’m so excited our first batch of fermented pickles turned out great! There are a few softer pickles but I can deal with that. Thanks for this great blog which inspired me to try fermenting!

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