How to Make Raw Fermented Pickles

How to make raw fermented pickles using the process of lactic acid fermentation.

Raw lactic acid fermented cucumbers are a healthy alternative to commercial pickles. Making fermented dill pickles is not hard and you will end up with not only the goodness of fermented foods, but also tangy dill pickles for you to enjoy. Using the process of lactic acid fermentation, which simply means allowing friendly bacteria to pickle your cucumbers, you will be able to enjoy raw pickles in about three weeks. Here is how to make about one gallon of raw dill pickles.

Supplies needed to make fermented dill pickles:

  • 1 gallon food-grade clean, plastic bucket or ceramic crock
  • A plate that fits under the bucket or crock
  • A clean towel
  • 8 to 10 pound weight, such as a 4 liter jug filled with water or clean stones
  • Ingredients:

  • 5 pounds of fresh, small to medium organic, unwaxed cucumbers. Avoid the fat cucumbers since them may hollow inside and have a bitter taste. I prefer my cucumbers to be no longer than 4 or 5 inches.
  • 4-5 bunches of fresh dill heads (You can also use 4 or 5 tablespoons or fresh or dried dill seed), any other pickling spices such as whole pepper corns, cayenne peppers or even some fresh jalapeno peppers
  • 1/4 cup of sea salt
  • 1 gallon of pure water
  • 3 to 4 or even more peeled garlic cloves, depending on how garlic-flavored you like your pickles
  • 4 or 5 fresh grape leaves and/or wild cherry leaves, oak leaves or horseradish leaves. These are tannin rich leaves which help the fermented pickles to be crunchy.
  • Directions:

    1.Thoroughly wash the cucumbers in cool running water then trim off the blossom ends of the cucumbers. If the cucumbers were not picked the same day you will be processing them, soak the cucumber in cool water for a few hours to freshen them. Discard any soft, bruised or damaged cucumbers.

    2.Make a salt water brine by placing the sea salt in 2 liter (½ gallon of the clean water) until completely dissolved. Place the leaves, dill heads, garlic and and any other spices on the bottom of the bucket or crock and then place the cucumbers in the bucket or crock.

    3.Pour the salt water brine over the cucumbers and put the clean plate on top. Place the weight on top of the plate so that the brine coves the plate. You want to have an anaerobic atmosphere, that is, don't let oxygen into where the cucumbers are fermenting. Air will spoil the fermentation process. The brine must always cover the pickles and the weighted plate will make an air tight seal over the pickles.

    4.Cover the bucket and weight with a clean cloth and store in a place with the temperature at 70º to 75º degrees F. Check the bucket every day. You will see mold starting to form but don't worry. Simply skim off the mold, trying to get as much as possible. You may have to occasionally wash the dish.

    Your fermented pickles will be ready in about 3 weeks. You will know they are “done” when the cucumbers stop looking bright green and are uniformly colored an olive gray-green. Once they are fermented, place the finished pickles in your refrigerator to slow down fermentation.

    Now you can enjoy eating raw fermented dill pickles and know that you are getting both raw and probiotic benefits.

    Other Fermented Recipes that You May Like:

    Fermented Grape or Apple Soda

    Fermented Beet Juice

    Recipe for Sauerkraut

    Kombucha Recipe

    Kimchi Recipes

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