I love sour pickles,I am not a fan of sweet or anything that isn't really packed with garlic and punch. So I choose the dill garlic pickles. Being November in Canada, fresh market cucumbers are pretty much nonexistent however I found some great smaller organic ones that did the trick. I was hesitant as I had only canned pickles before but exited to see how fermentation and cucumbers would turn out. Using a brine to create the anaerobic environment to ferment which has a stronger salt content than making kimchi and sauerkraut adds more options to the world of fermenting. I was happy with my experiment. The benefits of probiotics is endless and being able to watch the process happen in my kitchen is incredible. Learning that lactic acid bacteria grows and expands when we ferment and that all the studies show the benefits on gut health is something I want to share.
Ferment Type - Lacto-Ferment - Probiotic Pickles
Date : November 17/2017
(makes 1 quart)
1 Pound small pickling cucumbers
3 Cups pure water
1.5 Tablespoons sea salt (non-iodized)
1 head flowering dill
3-5 cloves garlic
pinch red chili flakes
Grape leaves if you can find them. I couldn't.
I used 1/4 cup of brine from my Sauerkraut to add some acidity .
Notes: Washed up the cucumbers and made a brine with salt and water. Really packed the cucumbers in so that they would stay down and the brine could cover them to prevent mold. Added my garlic and spices and popped on the airlock. You can see my DIY airlock here. First attempt and they worked. I broke a few lids trying to figure out how to make them , got the knack after a couple of tries and have a few to spare.
I had a moment of fear part way through the ferment as the cloudiness and the cucumbers changed colours and what looked like mold was forming, however and I went back and realized it is a normal part of making fermented pickles, I was actually succeeding. The bubbling kept up for 10 -15 days , definitely slower near the end. I found as I tasted them every 5 days you could taste the difference of flavour. I let them ferment for 4 weeks as I wanted to see how things to change over the month. The cloudiness subsided and watching the changes was a fun experience. I am used to canning pickles and this was a whole new experience, I was a bit nervous and I was taught to boil and preserve. Kill the bacteria, not grow it.
Harvest Date : December 14th, 2017
Harvest Details: These pickles had a great taste, just the perfect blend of garlic with a bit of sour. Loved them. I would probably not go 4 weeks next time as they weren't quite as crunchy as they could have been, had I stopped probably a week before, but it didn't stop me from putting them in the fridge and adding them to meals where super crunch wasn't required.