Sunday, August 8, 2010

Lacto Fermented Dill Pickles

I decided to try my luck at making traditional Lacto Fermented Dill Pickles in my new pickle crock. I got the method from the Wild Fermentation website.

Timeframe: 1-4 weeks

Special Equipment:

* Ceramic crock or food-grade plastic bucket
* Plate that fits inside crock or bucket
* 1-gallon/4-liter jug filled with water, or other weight
* Cloth cover

Ingredients (for 1 gallon/4 liters):

* 3 to 4 pounds/1.5 to 2 kilograms unwaxed
* cucumbers (small to medium size)
* 3⁄8 cup (6 tablespoons)/90 milliliters sea salt
* 3 to 4 heads fresh flowering dill, or 3 to 4
* tablespoons/45 to 60 milliliters of any form of
* dill (fresh or dried leaf or seeds)
* 2 to 3 heads garlic, peeled
* 1 handful fresh grape, cherry, oak, and/or
* horseradish leaves (if available)
* 1 pinch black peppercorns


1. Rinse cucumbers, taking care to not bruise them, and making sure their blossoms are removed. Scrape off any remains at the blossom end. If you’re using cucumbers that aren’t fresh off the vine that day, soak them for a couple of hours in very cold water to freshen them.
2. Dissolve sea salt in ½gallon (2 liters) of water to create brine solution. Stir until salt is thoroughly dissolved.
3. 3. Clean the crock, then place at the bottom of it dill, garlic, fresh grape leaves, and a pinch of black peppercorns.
4. Place cucumbers in the crock.
5. Pour brine over the cucumbers,place the (clean) plate over them, then weigh it down with a jug filled with water or a boiled rock. If the brine doesn’t cover the weighed-down plate, add more brine mixed at the same ratio of just under 1 tablespoon of salt to each cup of water.
6. Cover the crock with a cloth to keep out dust and flies and store it in a cool place.
7. Check the crock every day. Skim any mold from the surface, but don’t worry if you can’t get it all. If there’s mold, be sure to rinse the plate and weight. Taste the pickles after a few days.
8. Enjoy the pickles as they continue to ferment. Continue to check the crock every day.
9. Eventually, after one to four weeks (depending on the temperature), the pickles will be fully sour. Continue to enjoy them, moving them to the fridge to slow down fermentation.

After only 24 hours the salt has removed enough water from the cucumbers that my boiled rock has sunk below the brine.

Lacto Fermented Dill Pickles

August 10, 2010: Today is day number 3 and there is something happening there is foam from fermentation bubbles on the surface and the brine has darkened so I can no longer see the pickles or the plate. I tasted the brine and there is a nice dill flavor.