I received a lot of questions about this pickle picture on Instagram last week, so here’s the low down.
For those of you who want to try it at home, I’ll walk you through my process.
I put 15 pounds of washed and dried small pickling cukes—average size was a little bit bigger than my thumb—into my oversized German-style pickle crock. I got mine from a great little store in St. Paul called Egg|Plant Urban Farm Supply. For all you DIY-ers in the Twin Cities, go check it out, they have everything from cheese making and canning supplies to chicks for backyard coops.
I boil 8 quarts of water and let it cool to room temperature, adding 1.33 tablespoons of pickling salt per quart (but I will often go as low as 1.25 per quart). I use 1 teaspoon of alum for the whole batch and I throw in a handful of pickling spice, a handful of whole Chinese dried chiles and 4 or 5 washed bunches of pickling dill weed, stems and all.
Start the 8 Day Lacto Ferment
I weight the cukes down with my pickling weights and pour all the seasonings and brine over the pickles and place the lid on. I add water to the rim to seal the deal and 8 days later I lift the lid. I like to brine in my guest bedroom. It’s a dry room, about 70 degrees. No sunlight. When I lift the rim, I skim the top of any surface mold, or spices that have risen to the top and bloomed into science experiments. For storage, I put the pickles in a big plastic tub in the fridge.
The results are awesome. Every time.