Half Sours

This is my favorite cucumber pickle these days. They are lacto-fermented meaning they don’t need vinegar and are full of beneficial microbes. And really easy to make! Adapted from The Joy of Pickling by Linda Ziedrich.

For each pound of cucumbers:

1 tbsp salt
2 cups water
1/4 tsp black peppercorns, crushed
1/4 tsp whole coriander, crushed
1 bay leaf
2 grape leaves
2 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
1 dill head
1 hot pepper, sliced lengthwise (optional)

Cut the blossom end of each cucumber (this will help them stay crisp). Pack into a jar and fill with water. Pour the water back out into a measuring cup and this will give you the proper ratio of water to salt. For a 1 gallon batch, it is about 4 lbs of cucumbers, 8 cups of water and 4 tbsp salt. Once you have measured your water, add the proper amount of salt, stirring to dissolve and set aside.

Add the spices and seasoning to the jar of cucumbers. You may want to remove them all to layer the seasonings amongst the cucumbers as you pack them in,

Pour the brine over the cucumbers, ensuring that they are completely covered. If you have used a narrow mouth jar, you may be able to simply lightly cap the jar. Otherwise, fill a quart ziploc bag with brine and use it to weigh down the cucumbers so that they stay submerged and the surface of the brine is not exposed to air.

Store the jar(s) in a cool place and bubbling should begin within a day. Skim any scum or mold off the surface and “burp” the jar daily if you have it covered with a lid. For very mild pickles, they will be ready in 4 or 5 days. It can take up to a week for fermentation to be complete. Once you like the flavor of the pickle, simply move the jar to the refrigerator where it should stay good for months.

Try other seasonings to adjust the taste. I don’t use the hot pepper since my kids are very sensitive to heat, but it is really good!

halfsour1 halfsour2
just started… …almost done

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