One of my favorite foods in the world! I love them. Vinegar, no vinegar, spicy, half sours, I love them all. But, I my ultimate favorite are my probiotic half sours. I could eat them for days...okay...I do eat them for days. So good. Here is my personal recipe for making perfect half sour pickles and some secret tricks of the trade because I've had many pickle flops.
1) Cucumbers: my preferred choice is Kirby Cucumbers...any kind of pickling cucumber is best.
2) Large jars: Ball jars, glass jars, crock
3) Spices: peppercorns, red chili flakes, garlic cloves, corriander seeds, mustard seeds, pink peppercorns, fresh dill, whatever you choose!
4) Soak the cucumbers in a bath of ice waters for a couple hours.
5) Trim the stem edge of the cucumber and prick one small hole in the side of the cucumber.
6) Put the spices in the bottom of the jar. Push the pickles into the jar, attempting to allow them to hold each other in the jar. Make sure to leave some space (2-3 inches) at the top of the jar for activity from the bacteria.
7) Make a salt water brine solution to cover the pickles. For 1 gallon of pickles you will want a 4% brine solution which = 8 Tablespoons of salt per gallon of water. Then add four tablespoons of white vinegar. This helps to balance out the PH.
8) Pour solution over the pickles. Cover with a lid. And put in a cool, dark space to ferment.
9) Pickles can take anywhere from 2 days to two weeks. Sandor Katz taught me that the minute the brine solution turns foggy the pickles are done and it's time to put them in the fridge.