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Old 12-03-2012, 06:43 PM   #11
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You are not fermenting, you have not decided which bacteria to selectively choose to pickle your product. Kinda like making yogurt, only the right bacteria will give you the results that equal yogurt and not spoiled milk.

Boiling your brine or not, you are only pickling, canning them means to seal under pressure so they keep longer at room temp. You are also not doing this. Hence, you are only pickling, not creating a shelf stable product. Anything opened should be used in 30 days to avoid problems, refrigerated or not.
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Old 12-03-2012, 07:16 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by mcnerd View Post
Boiling kills the active bacteria.

They are called 'quick pickles' because they use vinegar instead of fermentation.
What I was clarifying is whether it matters that the brine is added to the vegetables while still near boiling. It seems that the answer is yes.


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Refrigerator pickles are not "cooked" so they are much crunchier, but the brine must be boiled first and poured over the food to kill most active bacteria. Refrigeration will then slow down any further bacteria growth for a short period.
Makes sense. I was wondering whether pickles that do not require refrigeration tend to use entirely vinegar instead of 1:1 vinegar:water that I see in most recipes.


Assuming there is no cooking involved, I am seeing 2 options:
1) Refrigerator pickles, where a vinegar based brine is boiled and then added to vegetables, then stored in the refrigerator. Keeps for up to 1 month.
2) Fermented pickles, where water + spices are used. Fermentation takes place at room temperature, then pickles can be stored in the refrigerator for a long time after that.


My question is where my roommate's pickles and my friend's mom's pickles fall into place, one being vinegar brine at room temperature, the other being refrigerator pickles, but supposedly not ready for 6 weeks.

Is it just a coincidence that nobody has died from these in the last several decades?
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Old 12-03-2012, 10:21 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Ravich View Post
Makes sense. I was wondering whether pickles that do not require refrigeration tend to use entirely vinegar instead of 1:1 vinegar:water that I see in most recipes.
There are NO safe recipes that do not require refrigeration or canning. Fermenting pickles are safe only because they are sealed away from harmful bacteria for a period of time, but even those require refrigeration or canning when removed from the fermentation container.

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My question is where my roommate's pickles and my friend's mom's pickles fall into place, one being vinegar brine at room temperature, the other being refrigerator pickles, but supposedly not ready for 6 weeks.
They fall into the potentially unsafe category. Like playing Russian Roulette you may go a long time before something serious happens, and when it does you do not want to be the recipient.

The immune system will protect most people with mild food poisoning, but you always hear the warnings about small children and seniors who may not have strong immune systems. Stronger food poisoning often resembles Flu symptoms.

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Is it just a coincidence that nobody has died from these in the last several decades?
How do you know that? Those that did are not in a position to tell you how they died. I'm a fanatic on the subject because I had a close friend who died of food poisoning. He didn't believe in the safety rules on preserving foods.

You probably won't die from pickles or similar high acid foods, unless your immune system is weakened, but you can get plenty sick and end up in the hospital. There are lots of bacterias, molds, yeasts, and fungi that love to grow on/in foods and they don't live or die equally.

The big killer is C. Botulinum (Botulism) and that danger occurs with meats and vegetables (not acidic) that are canned or otherwise stored in a vacuum improperly. The toxin is odorless, colorless, and tasteless and a tiny amount is potent enough to kill thousands.
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Old 12-04-2012, 03:09 PM   #14
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Is it just a coincidence that nobody has died from these in the last several decades?
As mcnerd said, you don't really know that. Has anyone ever had the 24-hour flu after eating them? There's no such thing as 24-hour flu. Typically, it's a mild case of food poisoning.
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Old 12-04-2012, 03:26 PM   #15
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Garlic is one of those root veggies that just love to harbor all the nasty bacterias that are in the dirt. So any time you are adding raw garlic, you have to make sure it has been scrubbed clean. Better that you boil it or cook it some other manner. Certain bacteria love certain root veggies. But all the nasty ones just love the garlic.
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