Author Topic: Pickles and Crispness  (Read 7153 times)

Offline majorvices

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Pickles and Crispness
« on: July 25, 2012, 08:20:49 AM »
So, I have been experimenting with pickles this summer and I have had limited success, mostly because they have not been very crisp. Doing some research, I see grape leaves and horseradish leaves are suggested for  tannins that may help inhibit some enzymes that break down the pickle. Oak leaves (rounded leaf kind) are also added but some reports say that they add too much tannin.

Then I was looking at a valassic pickle jar and noticed calcium chloride is added, did not see that ingredient listed on a competitor's "mushier" style pickle. So I am going to try that and see if it works.

A couple other ideas: What about that powdered wine tannin? Oak cubes? I wonder if that would work in lieu of leaves? Also, is it necessary to add the water to the pickles hot? Seems like hot water would only cook them, even at 185. I was thinking about heating up the brine and adding it when it is cooled off after ice soaking the cukes for several hours and scrubbing them clean. Heck, maybe even a star-san dunk if microbial concerns are what the hot brine is for, though, that doesn't seem necessary for excellent sauerkraut - it goes straight into the crock with only a lightwash.

What say the forum?
Keith Y.
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Offline a10t2

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Re: Pickles and Crispness
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2012, 08:46:42 AM »
Sounds like these are refrigerator pickles. My experience has been that unless you add the brine hot they take *forever* to cure. Mine always have a satisfactory crunch, although they do tend to soften up over time.

CaCl2 sounds easy. Maybe I'll try that next time.
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Offline majorvices

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Pickles and Crispness
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2012, 09:10:27 AM »
No, I'm not talking about refrigerator pickles. I was just wondering if adding the brine at room temp would make a crisper pickle.
Keith Y.
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Offline euge

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Re: Pickles and Crispness
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2012, 09:21:04 AM »
How about Bay leaf? That would be appropriate. One thing I can't stomach is limp pickled vegetables. Cucumbers doubly so.
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Offline denny

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Re: Pickles and Crispness
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2012, 09:27:57 AM »
Did a little reading on adding CaCl2 to pickles.  Looks like 3/4 tsp./pint, added directly to the jar.
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Pickles and Crispness
« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2012, 11:09:48 AM »
How about Bay leaf? That would be appropriate. One thing I can't stomach is limp pickled vegetables. Cucumbers doubly so.


Oh, the jokes I could make here. But I won't. ;~)
Keith Y.
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Pickles and Crispness
« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2012, 11:10:30 AM »
Did a little reading on adding CaCl2 to pickles.  Looks like 3/4 tsp./pint, added directly to the jar.

Cool. II'm gonna  try it.
Keith Y.
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Offline denny

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Re: Pickles and Crispness
« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2012, 11:56:04 AM »
How about Bay leaf? That would be appropriate. One thing I can't stomach is limp pickled vegetables. Cucumbers doubly so.


Oh, the jokes I could make here. But I won't. ;~)

Wow....if I didn't know you, I'd say you were a man of taste and restraint!  ;)
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Re: Pickles and Crispness
« Reply #8 on: July 25, 2012, 12:35:45 PM »
hahaha! ;D
Keith Y.
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Offline brewmichigan

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Re: Pickles and Crispness
« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2012, 01:19:39 PM »
I'm interested in this as well. My last pickles were mushy too. I notice Ball sells this.

http://www.freshpreservingstore.com/ball-pickle-crisp-granules-5-5-oz/shop/382751/?CCAID=FPPTPD1PRDTL#itemDescription

Those granules look very familiar to me  ;) Almost like something I add to my mash to help stabilize ph.
Mike --- Flint, Michigan

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Re: Pickles and Crispness
« Reply #10 on: July 25, 2012, 04:31:22 PM »
That's hysterical. and charging a pretty penny, too.

No thoughts about oak cubes or wine tannins ? ? ?
Keith Y.
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Re: Pickles and Crispness
« Reply #11 on: July 25, 2012, 06:45:16 PM »
I have heard of the grape leaves but never tried them. I usually use pickling lime.

 Are these made with vinegar or fermented?

 Low enough pH and you don't have to worry about heat.
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Re: Pickles and Crispness
« Reply #12 on: July 25, 2012, 07:04:32 PM »
As mentioned above, fermented. Not a big fan of fridge pickles. I like 'em fermented.
Keith Y.
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Re: Pickles and Crispness
« Reply #13 on: July 25, 2012, 09:26:59 PM »
Ooh now that's the holy grail. My fermented pickles always come out softer than I'd like.

Updates please.
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Pickles and Crispness
« Reply #14 on: July 25, 2012, 11:19:01 PM »
Pickle crisp is CaCl, it is a replacement for pickling lime.
http://www.culinate.com/author/Linda_Ziedrich/blog/the_scoop_on_pickle_crisp

Now that I know that, I'm adding some to my pickle recipes.  Thanks for the dosage info Denny.

Tom Schmidlin