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Author Topic: Lambic for pickle making?  (Read 2588 times)

Offline erockrph

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Lambic for pickle making?
« on: July 23, 2013, 05:52:49 am »
So, here's my dilemma. I already have more cucumbers than I can eat coming out of my garden, and I only have 1 out of my 6 plants setting fruit right now. The obvious solution to this problem is to make pickles. Here's the thing - I hate vinegar and I've never really liked pickles. So, my thought was to use another type of acid to brine my cukes.

The first thought that jumped to mind was to use lambic instead of vinegar. Obviously this would be ridiculously expensive for now since I don't have any sour beers online in the home brewery as of yet. But I'd be willing to shell out 8-10 bucks or so for a test batch. Any experienced pickle makers care to weigh in on this idea? I'm planning on doing this as a fridge pickle, so long-term storage isn't as much of a concern. I was thinking a combo of sweet/spicy/funky - something like ginger, brown sugar and chile peppers plus a less-expensive gueuze (Girardin, Oud Beersel, Boon, etc.).

Does this sound doable? Would it be even remotely palatable? Any guesstimates on the proportion of gueuze to water?
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Offline Jimmy K

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Re: Lambic for pickle making?
« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2013, 06:43:28 am »
No real experience, but you could get an acid titration kit from the wine section of your LHBS and measure the acidity of your lambic. Compare that to the acidity of vinegar and you could do some math to get the appropriate concentration.  (If lambic is half as acidic as vinegar, then use twice as much as a standard recipe). Or - easier route, get pH test strips and dilute until the brine pH is similar to regular pickle brine pH. Maybe make a small batch of standard brine to measure.
Or since it's a fridge pickle, make the brine to taste and test with thinly sliced cucumber (make cucumber salad).
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Offline gmac

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Re: Lambic for pickle making?
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2013, 08:01:55 am »
Or don't use any extra acid at all.  Just do a 1/2 cup salt to a gallon of water and and immerse the cuce's.  The lactobacillus on the cucumbers will make their own lactic acid and you'll end up with pickles (kosher dills are made this way).
I'm gonna go start a pickle thread...

Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: Lambic for pickle making?
« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2013, 08:15:25 am »
Always thought a bit of sour beer (esp fruited) in a pickled watermelon brine would be awesome.

If you're trying NOT to make vinegar, you'd have to be careful how you prepared the brine and added to the pickles. Any oxidation would turn beer into vinegar.

OR you could pasteurize/can it and be A-OK.

I bet it would be cheaper (or at least yield more beer) to do a simple, kettle-soured blonde ale and then make a test batch with that. At the very least, you waste no gueuze and you've got a keg of tart, refreshing blond ale for the summer heat!

Another option: Cucumber in beer. It CAN be done well (Cigar City Cucumber Kolsch). And the ladies love it. I think it would be nice in saison or even American Pale.

Or just live off Gazpacho for a few weeks.
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