Modifying tested recipes

scott123456(5)July 15, 2014

This is my first time posting on this forum. I hang out on gardenweb's hot pepper forum a lot and have some canning questions. Ajsmama recommended that I ask them on this forum from now on so here goes. I am new to pickling peppers I have only attempted two batches and I would like to get into jams and jellies as well. The first two batches I attempted I did not follow a tested recipe, I just copied someone on you tube. They turned out fine and no one got sick, but I would like to follow recommended recipes from now on. However, all the recommended recipes seem kind of boring. My question is if I add sugar to a recipe for pickled peppers will that change the pH, and if so by how much? I have attached a tested recipe and would like to add sugar to it, is it safe to do?

Thank you,
Scott

Here is a link that might be useful: pickled peppers

This post was edited by scott123456 on Tue, Jul 15, 14 at 4:22

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2ajsmama

You can add sugar to taste to any pickling recipe, it only helps by binding up some of the free water (reducing water activity which you want to do). If you like sweet jalapeno rings, you might want to check out the honeyed jalapeno rings from The Joy of Pickling, or search this forum for Cowboy Candy. Welcome to Harvest!

Honeyed Jalapeno Pepper Rings

Yield: 8 half pints

Ingredients

2 1/4 pounds jalapeños cut into rings and, if you like, seeded
8 small garlic cloves, sliced
24 peppercorns
2 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp of pickling spice
2 tsp pickling salt
4 cups cider vinegar
1/4C (4 Tbsp) or less olive oil (may be omitted)

1. Divide sliced garlic and peppercorns between 8 half pint jars. Add the pepper rings.

2. Place pickling spice in a spice bag or scrap of cheesecloth. Bring cider vinegar, salt, honey, and spice bag to a boil in a non-reactive pan.

3. Immediately pour the liquid over the peppers in the jars, leaving a little more than 1/2 inch headspace. Pour a scant 1.5 tsp of olive oil (no more!) to each jar if desired.

4. Wipe rims, add lids and rings (finger tight). Process in a water-bath canner for 10 minutes (start timer when water is boiling) or pasteurize the jars for 30 minutes in 180-185 degree F water (be careful because once the temperature falls below 180 you have to start timing all over again, and over 185 the pickles will soften. Use a calibrated thermometer). Remove from canner, let cool on towel or rack for 24 hours.

5. Store the cooled jars in a cool, dry, dark place for at least 3 weeks to allow flavor to develop.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 7:31AM
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scott123456(5)

Thank you for all your help I really appreciate it! I have a few more questions. If I do not go through the BWB process and just put my peppers in 100 percent 5% vinegar with pickling spice, sugar, salt, and garlic, do I have to worry about a low oxygen environment if I refrigerate them? How long will they keep refrigerated?

I also worry about the hot sauce that I make. I do not BWB, I just put it in bottles, put the cap on and refrigerate. If I donâÂÂt open it in a few days I start to worry. Am I being overly cautious? Is refrigeration safe if there is an anaerobic environment?

Thanks again,
Scott

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 11:34PM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

Ingredients

2 1/4 pounds jalapeños cut into rings and, if you like, seeded
8 small garlic cloves, sliced
24 peppercorns
2 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp of pickling spice
2 tsp pickling salt
4 cups cider vinegar
1/4C (4 Tbsp) or less olive oil (may be omitted)
%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

No water ?

    Bookmark   July 16, 2014 at 1:58AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

If I do not go through the BWB process and just put my peppers in 100 percent 5% vinegar with pickling spice, sugar, salt, and garlic, do I have to worry about a low oxygen environment if I refrigerate them? How long will they keep refrigerated?

No, not as long as it is straight 5% vinegar. It is the processing that creates the low oxygen environment. Recommended storage time in the fridge is 4-6 months.

lso worry about the hot sauce that I make. I do not BWB, I just put it in bottles, put the cap on and refrigerate. If I donâÂÂt open it in a few days I start to worry.

Again it is the processing that would create the anaerobic environment. So if not processed, no anaerobic environment. But the overall safety of it would depend on the recipe you use to make the hot sauce.

No water ?

No there is no added water in that particular recipe.

Dave

    Bookmark   July 16, 2014 at 8:39AM
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scott123456(5)

Thanks Dave. I thought maybe the oxygen in the jar would get used up over time. I appreciate the help.

Thanks,
Scott

    Bookmark   July 16, 2014 at 8:55AM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

I have pickled hot peppers in straight vinegar that are now about 4 -5 years old, never sealed never refrigerated. But then I bring the vinegar to near boiling temperature and then use it.

Straight vinegar (5% acidity)has a pH of 2.4. Even if you mix it 50/50 with water it will have a very low pH, 2.6. It take a lot of water to dilute acidity of vinegar(acetic acid). Just as an example a 1 part vinegar and 9 parts water will have a pH of under 3.0

    Bookmark   July 16, 2014 at 4:18PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

1 part vinegar and 9 parts water will have a pH of under 3.0

Perhaps, depending on the pH of the water added. But then the pH of the brine isn't the only consideration. One also has to figure in the pH of the vegetables added to the jar to determine the true pH of the jar contents. Given the pH of some vegetables it would be easy to raise the contents pH above the recommended safety level for shelf storage.

That is why no less than a 1: 1 ratio of water to vinegar is recommended by the guidelines for untested pickling recipes.

Dave

    Bookmark   July 16, 2014 at 5:37PM
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pattypan(z6b CT)

here is another "modifying" question. so many pickling recipes call for a salt bath before hand. since my husband doesn't like salt (go figure) i have avoided all of these. i assume the salt removes water from the vegetables, for crispness ? if i omitted this step, would the extra water affect the pH ? i can't imagine it would, but i'm not a food chemist. dave, carol, any thoughts ?

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 10:54AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

I assume you talking about about the several hour pre-soak with salted water? If so then it doesn't add any salt to the recipe as it is all rinsed off - WELL rinsed - after soaking. Many recipes recommend at least 3 rinses.

But yes it does draw the water out of the cukes and so does add to the crispness but more importantly encourages the cells to then absorb the acidic brine when added to it.

Yes the amount of water in the cukes can affect the pH. It dilutes the brine over time on the shelf and the pH rises. How much it rises toward the potentially unsafe level all depends on the amount of free water.

Dave

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 11:17AM
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pattypan(z6b CT)

thanks, dave ! i will try some of those recipes that look so tempting.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 2:56PM
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