Dill pickles failed to seal

coffeehaus(7a Central VA)August 7, 2012

I decided to try the low-temperature/longer time pasteurization method for the boiling water bath on my dill pickles (180-185F for 30 min.) in hopes of obtaining a crispier pickle. I used a brine of equal parts vinegar and water, per the Blue Book recipe. Not only did some of the jars not seal, but I discovered later in the day that my thermometer was reading too high, so I fear that my water bath never truly reached the 180F mark. Short of refrigeration, is there anything I can do to save my pickles? Can I use new lids and reprocess, or will that degrade the food? In truth, I am overwhelmed with cukes, so maybe I should just start anew?

Here is a link that might be useful: NCHFP low-temp pasteurization

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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

You can reprocess within 24 hours but it will affect the quality/texture. The fridge is the best option.

If it were me I would reprocess a couple of jars and put the others in the fridge. Then in a few weeks you can try both and see if the reprocessed ones are still ok with you - good info for future reference.

Another option is to open and drain all the cukes and turn them into fermented dills instead using the NCHFP instructions.


Here is a link that might be useful: Fermented dills

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 11:34AM
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coffeehaus(7a Central VA)

Dave, thanks for the reply. I reassessed my cuke supply and decided that it wasn't worth it to try to reprocess the first batch so they will hang out in the frig until ready for eating. My second canner is on the stove, now, with a more reliable thermometer.
I'll check out the fermented dills. Since I did sauerkraut earlier this year, and my latest passion is sourdough bread, there ought to be plenty of little lactobacilli on the premises!

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 12:32PM
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If they are sliced pickled that were soaked in salt before being brined, you can freeze them and use them like freezer pickles, which are suprisingly good.

I make one batch a year of fermented pickles, but only if the weather is right. In hot weather they don't do nearly as well as when it's cooler. We have air conditioning, but can't keep the house at 70, nights 60, just for pickles! On the 2nd and 3rd day of fermentation, they really heat up, probably by 10 degrees. In my experience, having the crock go above 80 makes for a soft batch. As it is, I do 5-6 day "half sours" to be on the safe side. Just throwing this out because you will never read it in the books!

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 8:06AM
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