Making sour fermented pickles is easier than it seems. Pickles ferment in a simple brine for about a week until they are half or full sour to your preference. Fermenting pickles is a great way to preserve the summer harvest!
The story of pickles in our home is very complex. I grew up eating your basic dill pickles out of the jar. It was a major revelation when I discovered bread and butter pickles at a friend’s house. I really never gave pickles or pickle recipes much thought.
My husband was raised on Long Island in New York. His family is Jewish. He grew up eating half-sour and full sour pickles from the kosher deli, probably made right on the premises.
When we got married our pickle histories collided. Seriously. Pickles (or the lack of) are a BIG DEAL around here! I refer to my husband as a “pickle snob” because he will not anything other than a full sour pickle.
Full sours are hard to come by in our grocery stores and even if I can find them, they are expensive.
I had to find a sour pickle recipe and make them myself. How hard can it be? It’s a cucumber put in something, right?
It turns out that his half and full sour pickles are actually fermented pickles whereas the dills I grew up eating are seasoned pickles.
We let this batch sit for about a week and they were really still half-sour. Next time we’ll go 10 days and see how they turn out.
For this batch I used some smaller cucumbers I found at Costco and they weren’t the best for pickling. I’m planning to pick up some proper pickling cucumbers at the farmer’s market soon so I can preserve the summer harvest!
Full and Half Sour Fermented Pickles
- 2 pounds pickling cucumbers
- 6 cups water
- 1/4 cup sea salt
- 5 garlic cloves, sliced
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorn
- 3 fronds dill
- Place pickles, garlic, coriander, peppercorn and dill in a large food safe container.
- In a bowl dissolve salt in water. Pour salty water over the pickles and spices.
- Fill a quart or gallon sized freezer bag about half full of water. Place on top of pickles to keep them covered with the salt water.
- Cover lightly and set aside.
- In a few days scum will start to form at the top of the water. Use a slotted spoon to remove.
- Pickles will be half-sour in about 4-7 days and full sour in about 7-10 days. Remove water bag and any addition scum. Refrigerate and pickles will keep for a few months.