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Lacto fermented pickled cucumber FAIL

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  • Lacto fermented pickled cucumber FAIL

    Well, I bought some lovely small cucumbers and a bunch of dill. Read lots of methods for making dill pickles on line and measured out salt carefully to make a brine. Washed the cucumbers, had everything (crock, weights etc) squeaky clean, and began to assemble my pickles. Lots of garlic, the apparently all important vine leaves, flavourings - and put a cover over the jar when it was all submerged in the brine.

    Following instructions, I opened it a week later - and was taken aback to see a white scum (which Sandor Kratz said to regard as a bloom and simply remove) which I removed. A week later, I opened it again - and it stank. I moved the weights, and pulled out a soggy, smelly cucumber - total fail. They are presently enhancing my compost heap...

    I have a Harsch fermenting crock with some sauerkraut hopefully doing rather better - I shall check that today and with any luck have something edible.

    I've successfully made kraut in the crock that produced the bad cukes - what is most likely to have gone wrong? Would they work better the Harsch crock? Any advice very welcome....

  • #2
    My recipe for lactofermented pickles says they are ready in 3 days then refrigerate. I made mine right in my quart jars did not bother with my pickle crock. Maybe you had a bad cuke that spoiled the bunch.

    Sorry for your bad luck,

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    • #3
      I'm watching a video and it says that you need to remove part of the cucumber on the flower side or it doesn't allow for proper fermentation.

      Maybe the problem??....

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Primal123 View Post
        My recipe for lactofermented pickles says they are ready in 3 days then refrigerate. I made mine right in my quart jars did not bother with my pickle crock. Maybe you had a bad cuke that spoiled the bunch.

        Sorry for your bad luck,
        Did they work well?

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        • #5
          I've tried making lactocukes a few times and it just never worked right. I'd rather just do our usual non-fermented fridge pickles for cukes and other veggies, since they stay crisp & tasty going on 10 months with the current batch. We do make kraut-chi a la Sandor Katz (took a workshop from him a few yers back) and that is awesome.
          Seven Trees Farm - diversified subsistence farming on 1.25 acres.

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          • #6
            I've found a few things make for more reliable pickles: VERY fresh cukes - like, picked that day, and adding grape leaves to the crock. The grape leaves add tannins which keep things crunchy and seem to deter unpleasantness.

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            • #7
              If at first you don't succeed.....

              The first time I made em I cut the cucumbers into spears....they came out just great. This time I have the small cucumbers as you seem to be talking about, and I didn't remove anything. I'll have to see if this is a problem in a few more days. This is only one of six ferments I currently have rolling along though, so if I lose one no biggy.

              Dunno, maybe you oversrterilized. I get mine from the garden and just give em a quick rinse. Its a "live" ferment so I wanna leave all the yummy bacteria on there to get the juices going.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by spughy View Post
                I've found a few things make for more reliable pickles: VERY fresh cukes - like, picked that day, and adding grape leaves to the crock. The grape leaves add tannins which keep things crunchy and seem to deter unpleasantness.
                I did use grape leaves - about 6 of them. The cucumbers were from the local market - I assume freshly picked! But can't guarantee that. Anyway, I'll try again - and if that fails, I shall buy some ready made! I have found a supply of Polish pickled cucumbers; the ingredients list is short - water, salt, cucumbers!

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by JBailey View Post
                  We do make kraut-chi a la Sandor Katz (took a workshop from him a few yers back) and that is awesome.
                  This sounds intriguing. I like kraut and kimchi. Is it basically kimchi made with regular green cabbage or what?

                  Sorry for your loss breadsauce. I would be pretty heartbroken too. I've never tried to make cucumbers, so I'm not sure what went wrong. I had a batch of kraut go bad on me when I tried to make it in really warm weather.

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                  • #10
                    Kraut-chi (what Sandor called it) is pretty much shredded cabbage, salt, plus what ever grated/shredded veggies sound good. We use cabbage, onions, carrots usually. Tried beets once but didn't like the color.

                    You put some of the shredded stuff into a jar, sprinkle with salt, repeat until the jar is mostly full, then use your fist to mash and compress the 'stuff'. It will release enough juice to cover, or you can top it with water if need be.

                    Let it sit a few days at room temp, keeping the floaters submerged and tasting for 'doneness'. Once it tastes sour enough, put it in the fridge. We use gallon jars - KrautChi Seven Trees Farm

                    Link to googlebook with more 'technique' - The Art of Fermentation: An In-Depth Exploration of Essential Concepts and ... - Sandor Ellix Katz, Michael Pollan - Google Books
                    Seven Trees Farm - diversified subsistence farming on 1.25 acres.

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                    • #11
                      Thanks, JBailey!!

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by breadsauce View Post
                        Did they work well?
                        yes they were so good the fist jar was gone immediately and every time I bring in a cucumber my daughter wants me to make pickles and she LOVES cucumbers.

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                        • #13
                          I've been making fermented pickles for a few months now and the video I found on youtube said 2 to 3 days and then you put it in the fridge (or a cold place). Maybe a week is too long?

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by ShannonCC View Post
                            I've been making fermented pickles for a few months now and the video I found on youtube said 2 to 3 days and then you put it in the fridge (or a cold place). Maybe a week is too long?
                            Maybe it was the overlong pickling time - or perhaps the cucumbers were too fat? I'll try again - and I'll check my sauerkraut which has been left for 2 weeks too. It's pretty cold weather here until yesterday - and the instructions I was following said to leave it for 2 to 3 weeks.

                            Certainly , the last kraut I made I bottled and put in the fridge after 5 days. It was great.....

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