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Homemade fermented dill pickles.

Fermented Dill Pickles

Course: Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: American, Eastern European
Keyword: fermented dill pickles, fermented pickles, full-sour pickles, half-sour pickles
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Fermentation time: 10 days
Total Time: 10 days 30 minutes
Servings: 8 pickles
Calories: 44kcal
Author: Victor
The recipe below is for one 1-quart jar of about 8 pickles. Scale the recipe to make as many jars as you need.
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Equipment

  • One 1-quart wide-mouth pickling jar
  • One fermentation lid with an airlock

Ingredients

  • 8 pickling cucumbers a mix of large and small
  • 2 1/4 cups water 532 ml; room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp pickling salt about 18 g
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 inch horseradish root peeled and sliced or diced
  • 2 dill umbrellas or 3-5 dill twigs
  • 12 peppercorns black or assorted pink, green, white and black
  • 8 coriander seeds
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 10 mustard seeds
  • 2 cloves whole
  • 2 berries allspice whole

Instructions

  • Wash cucumbers but don't brush them off. There are lactic acid bacteria on the surface that are needed to start fermentation.
  • Cut off about 1/16 inch (1.5 mm) off the blossom ends of cucumbers. Molds and tissue softening enzymes are known to reside in the cucumber blossom area.
  • Prepare 2 1/4 cups of 3.5% salt brine by whisking 1 Tbsp (18 grams) with water until the salt is dissolved.
  • Place half of the seasonings at the bottom of a clean 1-quart jar. Add the cucumbers. Arrange the top cucumber across the jar to prevent them from floating. Add the rest of the seasonings on top.
  • Pour in the brine leaving about 1/2" of headspace while making sure the cucumbers are covered with the liquid.
  • Attach the fermentation lid with an airlock filled with the leftover brine. Make sure that the bottom tip of the airlock stays slightly above the liquid. (see note 1)
  • Ferment at 64F - 72F (18C - 22C). You should see bubbles going up after about 16-24 hours when fermenting at around 68F. Longer if fermenting at lower temperatures and a bit sooner if fermenting at higher temperatures.
  • Ferment for 3-4 days for half-sour pickles and 8-10 days for full-sour pickles.
  • Taste the pickles. If you are happy with the results, place them in the fridge which will stop further fermentation. (see notes 2 and 3)

Notes

Note 1 - Instead of a fermentation lid with an airlock you can use a sealed plastic Ziploc bag filled with brine placed on top of cucumbers. Make sure to regularly check the bag for any white slime and wash it as needed. The slime forms as a result of yeast activity and exposure to oxygen. If you don't remove the slime regularly it will cause the pickles to lose their crunch.
Note 2 - If the pickles are soft, slippery or slimy, they may be spoiled so it's best to throw them out and start again.
Note 3 - You can save some of the fermented pickling brine to use as a starter culture for the next batch. In Eastern Europe, fermented pickling brine is used for treating hangovers. It works!
Note 4 - If you plan on canning fermented pickles, follow my canned fermented pickles guide.

Nutrition

Calories: 44kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 272mg | Potassium: 433mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 220IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 57mg | Iron: 1mg