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Old 09-07-2019, 12:24 PM   #1
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Question Lost Art of Pickling w/o sugar and vinegar?

Apparently it is a lost art to make pickles without all the modern garbage, like sugar, distilled vinegar and even pickling lime. Then refridgeration came in and now it is hard to find details about the lost art of pickling.

What is Alum and how much to use?

I have been pickling cucumbers with brine of 3% salt [until the winter sets in, then I could dilute the brine]. Adjusting the acidity is the best idea. But how much tannin acidity can I get from the on blackberry leaves? Or maybe I should add a piece of apple in the beginning to make more acid? That is part of the KimChi process.

I think the real problem is that there is so much water without sugars in the cucumbers that the acidity is not high enough after the salt sucks it out. Bacteria make's it's own vinegar from carbohydrates. This is NOT overthinking, Only people that can't think would think that. Think about it. Without thinking we would be animals.

For the plums I pickled, I found an article about Umiboshi that said to use between 8% and 12% salt; so I diluted the brine. No problems, just soak out the salt before eating. Or unlike cucumbers the tart plums can be mixed into a food that needs more acid.

2tbsp salt is 3 1/8th % of a quart. 1/8th being the air between granules. 8% of a quart is 5 1/8th tbsp.

That must be the reason someone invented vacuum fermenting lids. [Do I need to keep sucking out the gas coming from the bacteria until it turns acid?]

They aren't cheap and are probably twice the price now that trump is playing games with China. Good thing I bought enough glass fermenter's weights last month. And I'm not buying more canning jars every thing is made in China.

My attempt at pickling Tomatios ended with yeast and soft fruit. So now I caned them. I should make relish.

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Old 09-07-2019, 12:47 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by jawnn View Post
Apparently it is a lost art to make pickles without all the modern garbage, like sugar, distilled vinegar and even pickling lime. Then refridgeration came in and now it is hard to find details about the lost art of pickling.

What is Alum and how much to use?

I have been pickling cucumbers with brine of 3% salt [until the winter sets in, then I could dilute the brine]. Adjusting the acidity is the best idea. But how much tannin acidity can I get from the on blackberry leaves? Or maybe I should add a piece of apple in the beginning to make more acid? That is part of the KimChi process.

I think the real problem is that there is so much water without sugars in the cucumbers that the acidity is not high enough after the salt sucks it out. Bacteria make's it's own vinegar from carbohydrates. This is NOT overthinking, Only people that can't think would think that. Think about it. Without thinking we would be animals.

For the plums I pickled, I found an article about Umiboshi that said to use between 8% and 12% salt; so I diluted the brine. No problems, just soak out the salt before eating. Or unlike cucumbers the tart plums can be mixed into a food that needs more acid.

2tbsp salt is 3 1/8th % of a quart. 1/8th being the air between granules. 8% of a quart is 5 1/8th tbsp.

That must be the reason someone invented vacuum fermenting lids. [Do I need to keep sucking out the gas coming from the bacteria until it turns acid?]

They aren't cheap and are probably twice the price now that trump is playing games with China. Good thing I bought enough glass fermenter's weights last month. And I'm not buying more canning jars every thing is made in China.

My attempt at pickling Tomatios ended with yeast and soft fruit. So now I caned them. I should make relish.
Fermentation is definitely not a lost art - plenty of people still do it. However, we have learned a lot over the last 100 years about food safety and safe preservation practices. And using vinegar and sugar is certainly not a new, modern method. It's been in use since ancient times.

We told you before that leaves don't provide any acidity to pickles; they're used to help maintain firmness. The bacteria don't produce vinegar (acetic acid), but lactic acid. Yes, you need to vent the gases or your container will explode.

The National Center for Home Food Preservation should be your first stop for information about fermenting, pickling and canning. There are lots of other resources, too, but please start here.

https://nchfp.uga.edu/how/can_06/prep_foods.html
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Old 09-07-2019, 01:55 PM   #3
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Fermentation is definitely not a lost art - plenty of people still do it. However, we have learned a lot over the last 100 years about food safety and safe preservation practices. And using vinegar and sugar is certainly not a new, modern method. It's been in use since ancient times.

We told you before that leaves don't provide any acidity to pickles; they're used to help maintain firmness. The bacteria don't produce vinegar (acetic acid), but lactic acid. Yes, you need to vent the gases or your container will explode.

The National Center for Home Food Preservation should be your first stop for information about fermenting, pickling and canning. There are lots of other resources, too, but please start here.

https://nchfp.uga.edu/how/can_06/prep_foods.html
This...............
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Old 09-10-2019, 02:02 PM   #4
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Red face

so how do they make vinegar [acetic acid]? if not by fermenting....

Is salt an acid? I was looking at Ph meters and someone said they read salt particles...


This started out to be just a simple quest but now it has turned into a real learning project. But it must be good for my 70 year old brain....

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The bacteria don't produce vinegar (acetic acid), but lactic acid.
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Old 09-10-2019, 03:13 PM   #5
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Question

How does the Tannin in leaves maintain firmness? And why do you think it is not the acidity?

I got some asian pears to put in my last batch of pickles. That should create more acid to help keep out the yeast etc. But not help keep them firm??


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leaves don't provide any acidity to pickles; they're used to help maintain firmness.
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Old 09-10-2019, 03:26 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by jawnn View Post
so how do they make vinegar [acetic acid]? if not by fermenting....

Is salt an acid? I was looking at Ph meters and someone said they read salt particles...

This started out to be just a simple quest but now it has turned into a real learning project. But it must be good for my 70 year old brain....
This is how you make vinegar: https://recipes.howstuffworks.com/ho...gar-works1.htm

Salt is neutral - it's neither an acid nor a base.
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Old 09-10-2019, 03:28 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by jawnn View Post
How does the Tannin in leaves maintain firmness? And why do you think it is not the acidity?

I got some asian pears to put in my last batch of pickles. That should create more acid to help keep out the yeast etc. But not help keep them firm??
I am not an expert on this. Here's an article that should help: https://www.finecooking.com/article/...nce-of-pickles

There is lots of information available online about fermenting, etc. Just be careful which sources you choose to rely on:
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Old 09-10-2019, 05:14 PM   #8
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Fermentation style pickling is , by far , my favorite.
Learned from my dad, who learned from his dad.
Also learned a few good tips from some of the good people here at DC.
sadly the season is over for me ( cake vines dead)
Although, I do make pickled cabbage and sauerkraut through the winter.
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Old 09-10-2019, 06:00 PM   #9
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I don't pickle plums or other fancy stuff like that, but do make pickles and pickled tomatoes, sauerkraut.
No vinegar for me. Not what i am used to. Though I do not spend time learning or even making effort to learn. I simply fallow the recipes that have been in my family for at least two generations maybe more.
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Old 09-12-2019, 12:20 PM   #10
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This is a good article, the one you guys showed me had nothing usable about acidity: “Pickle Science: How to Master the Preserving Power of Acids” [use google to find it; read the whole thing, it is very good with lots of photos.]

“Not all acids are created equal—a wide range of acidity levels are possible, the lower the pH number, the more acidic it is, so a high-acid food will actually have a low pH. Most of the foods we eat fall within the pH 2 to pH 7 range. The good news is that microbes are more sensitive to acid than humans are; their preferred range is a pH of 4.5 to 10.* This is good news because it leaves us with the range of pH 2.1 to 4.5 in which our foods will be safe from microbial infestation yet still tasty to eat.”

“....lemon and lime juice—have a pH measurement of about 2. Tartaric, malic, and oxalic acids are found in tea, apples, stone fruits {like green plums; Umiboshi}, and grapes. Those foods have an approximate pH range of 3 to 5. Out of all of these, acetic acid is the most useful to us when acidifying foods.” [But what about sauerkraut juice?? I need to measure it with a pH meter]

Lactic acid rates as less acidic on the pH scale, coming in at approximately 3.2 which is less toxic.

“Measuring pH can be done by the home cook with a simple digital pH meter” like this one: Hanna-Instruments-Electrode-Resolution
“They can be found at home brew stores etc”...if I get one of these I will be able to tell you the best way to reach the desired acid levels. Of course I realize most people would rather fallow a recipe' and not think for them selves, but after all it really is easier for most people. I just cannot OBAY....[I am a chronic learner, it keeps my brain sharp. That must be why they call me a “maniacal” Professor]

“Lactobacillus is an 'acidophile,' which means it prefers to live in only a slightly acidic environment......” which make it safer.

How vinegar is made: First, a carbohydrate-rich organic material, like grapes, is fermented to make an alcoholic product, like wine. It's then fed extra oxygen to create an environment that is perfect for the acetobacter bacteria to move in and consumer the alcohol and produce acetic acid as a byproduct. I don't trust putting this into my body.

"Tannin, also called tannic acid, any of a group of pale-yellow to light-brown amorphous substances in the form of powder" https://www.britannica.com/science/tannin

SALT as acid article: Aqueous Solutions of Salts - Chemistry LibreTexts.html
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Old 09-12-2019, 02:23 PM   #11
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[But what about sauerkraut juice?? I need to measure it with a pH meter]
There's no standard acidity for homemade sauerkraut (or pickles. People let it sit and get more sour until it tastes the way they want it, then they refrigerate it to slow down the reaction.

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SALT as acid article: Aqueous Solutions of Salts - Chemistry LibreTexts.html
You might want to read up on how the word salt is used in chemistry. That article is not discussing just table salt (sodium chloride), which is neutral. Other types of salts may have other levels of acidity.
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Old 09-13-2019, 05:23 PM   #12
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Is salt an acid? I was looking at Ph meters and someone said they read salt particles...
Sorry but that is not how pH meters work it more complicated than that. https://www.explainthatstuff.com/how...ters-work.html

How salt affects pH is also a bit complictaed https://www.freedrinkingwater.com/wa...wer-the-ph.htm
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Old 09-27-2019, 01:01 PM   #13
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Lightbulb Lecture 4 KimChi

This maybe the easiest way to preserve vegitables without canning or refridgeration. If anyone cares....

I have made it several different ways over the last several years, I started with using brine [which can cause water to spew out when fermenting hard]. But soon found that a little moisture let loose the pepper acids fast enough. Now I just add the dry ingredients to cut damp Napa cabage [or Bok Choy] Green onions, Carrots {shreded}, Radish: stirred in a large bowel. Then stuffed into the jars with a krout pounder. As liquid comes out of the vegitables it turns to paste.

The only salt I use is in the Dulce seaweed flakes I love. I think it was about 1/2 a cup for about 2.5 gallons of KimChi on my last batch, but I never measure; there is a lot of salt in the seaweed so maybe I should find out how much. Course Korean pepper powder [not as pequant as it looks] I got from amazon. Don't get the kind with added salt, it has too much.

Shrimp paste is not safe to eat, unless you are too old to care about the chimicals dumped in the ocean. I do have some dry Bonito flakes to try out if I dare. And some Anchovie sauce that has way too much salt it.

I also have used pepper flakes with seeds, but they don't make a good paste. A lot of the so called traditional recipe's tell you to put sugar in the paste to speed up the fermentation [unripe fruit has enough sugars]. My KimChi starts fermenting as soon as there is enough liquid, but I never sterilize my jars, I just clean them by scrubing without soap.

I suspect that wilting cabage with salt leaves some salt in the cabage, so I try to avoid doing that. It's just more work than needed any how.The prime preservitive is the pepper acids, and you don't need as much as they tell you, unless you use sugar. Also they don't need to be dry. You can use homegrown peppers by using a food proccesor to make the paste. I don't rub a paste on the leaves.
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