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Old 08-09-2018, 02:58 PM   #1
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Question Cukes vs. beans

When making pickles (dill, kosher, polish) from cucumbers using water bath processing, recipes require a vinegar/water brine to reduce the pH to the proper level. I get that. The huge majority of these recipes use a brine that's close to, if not exactly, a 70% water:30% vinegar ratio. OK, I get that too.
But when I go looking for recipes for "dilly", or dilled green beans, it's the opposite: a few call for equal amounts of water and vinegar but most require much more vinegar than water (30% water to 70% vinegar in some cases). Why does processing dilled green beans via a water bath require a more highly concentrated brine than that used for processing cucumbers pickles? I obviously don't know my beans.

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Old 08-09-2018, 03:05 PM   #2
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Green beans are much higher risk of getting infected with botulism. So your recipe looks like it's trying to compensate for this by bumping up the acidity.
This however isn't safe. Green beans should only be done in a pressure canner, not water bath.

Many people do process in water bath, and 99% of the time it's fine, but it's not worth the risk of killing people.
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Old 08-09-2018, 03:34 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GreenEnvy22 View Post
Green beans are much higher risk of getting infected with botulism.
I've never heard that before. Do you have a source for that?

Botulinum can't grow in an environment that is lower than 4.6 pH, so if the brine for green beans is at that level, it's safe.
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Old 08-09-2018, 03:38 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by terratoma View Post
When making pickles (dill, kosher, polish) from cucumbers using water bath processing, recipes require a vinegar/water brine to reduce the pH to the proper level. I get that. The huge majority of these recipes use a brine that's close to, if not exactly, a 70% water:30% vinegar ratio. OK, I get that too.
But when I go looking for recipes for "dilly", or dilled green beans, it's the opposite: a few call for equal amounts of water and vinegar but most require much more vinegar than water (30% water to 70% vinegar in some cases). Why does processing dilled green beans via a water bath require a more highly concentrated brine than that used for processing cucumbers pickles? I obviously don't know my beans.
I just looked at recipes for cucumber pickles and dilly beans in one canning book and they both call for 4 cups of vinegar and 2 cups of water. I think they're usually the same.
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Old 08-09-2018, 03:39 PM   #5
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https://nchfp.uga.edu/publications/n...reenbeans.html
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Old 08-09-2018, 03:55 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by GreenEnvy22 View Post
The question was about dilly beans, which are pickles, not canned green beans without vinegar. Cucumbers are also a low-acid vegetable. I'm asking about your statement that green beans are more susceptible to botulinum infection than cucumbers.
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Old 08-09-2018, 04:37 PM   #7
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Ah, never heard the term dilly beans before, must be regional thing. I just saw canning green beans.
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Old 08-09-2018, 04:51 PM   #8
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In case you're interested in trying something new, here's one recipe: http://foodinjars.com/2009/07/dilly-beans/
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Old 08-10-2018, 09:26 AM   #9
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Thanks for the responses. GotGarlic is right...this question is about "dill" (or "dilly") beans which do not require pressure canning but do require the addition of a water-vinegar brine to produce a safe pH level.
The recipe that GotGarlic posted...requiring twice as much vinegar as water...is the kind that prompted my original question.
Major commercial pickle mix enterprises suggest (and this is directly from their instructions for water bath canning kosher dill pickles) a brine of 7 1/3 cups water and 3 1/3 sups vinegar. This amounts to nearly a 70:30 ratio of water to vinegar; the recipe GotGarlic referenced is quite the opposite: a 33:67 ratio of water to vinegar.
This would suggest that there is "something" about green beans that requires a more-than-double-strength brine as compared to cucumbers.
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Old 08-10-2018, 09:43 AM   #10
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I looked at the ingredients for Mrs. Wages pickle mix and it includes citric acid. I suppose it's possible that that acidifies the brine enough to make the difference, but I don't know. Mrs. Wages' Dilled Green Beans packet does not include citric acid.

I can't think of a reason why green beans would be more susceptible to botulinum than cucumbers.

Can you point me to the recipe for dilly beans that you're referring to?
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