Dill Pickling Brine

 photo for Dill Pickling Brine

Recipe for a One Gallon Crock of homemade dill pickles with old fashioned pickle barrel flavor.



Prepare the brine by combining water, salt and vinegar in a large container or pitcher. Mix until the salt is completely dissolved.

Prepare the pickles by trimming away any stems right at the base of the pickle. Inspect the pickles again. Just like apples, one bad one can spoil the lot. Carefully wash the pickles just prior to brining.

Place half the pickles into the crock or jar so that they are lying down. Do not stand them on end. Sprinkle one half of the spice and dill over the pickles and, if desired add half of the garlic. Repeat with the remaining pickles and dry ingredients.

Pour the brine over the pickles. The pickles will float and there should be one inch of brine above the pickles when you push them down. If the pickles do not float, they are packed too tightly. If needed, add a little more water or reposition the pickles.

Place a plate on top of the pickles and add a weight to hold them down. A canning jar filled with water works well. Cover he crock with a clean tea towel and place in a warm place (80°F) for three or four days.

Check on the fermentation after four days. You will need to peek at them daily and skim away any foam or scum which appears. Be very careful not to disturb the pickles or allow them to rise above the brine.

Do this for three weeks. Trust me. It is worth it!

At the end of three weeks the pickles are ready to eat. They can be rinsed and eaten right from the crock. You can refrigerate them for use within a few weeks, or they will keep for up to a year if canned.

Canning Brine Cured Dills: Place the pickles on end in sterilized one quart canning jars. Add a few sprigs of fresh dill and an optional fresh garlic clove. Strain the brine through a fine cheese cloth and fill the jars to ½ inch from the top. Seal the jars, place in a large pot and cover with water by 1 inch. Bring water to boil and boil jars of pickles for 15 minutes.

For a better texture, process jars of pickles in carefully monitored 180-185°F water for 30 minutes.