Making fermented dill pickles at home

 Delicious home-fermented dill pickles

Delicious home-fermented dill pickles

As soon as I see pickling cucumbers at the farmers market, I happily make fermented dill pickles. These are delicious and so simple to make. Like anything homemade, you can adjust the ingredients and process to suit your taste. The two major variables are saltiness (based on brine strength) and sourness (depends on fermentation temperature and length). I fermented this batch for six days at a room temperature of 70 - 75° F and it is slightly tart. The salt level is medium-high to my palate so I might try a 4.5% brine next time. I left the seeds in the Serrano so there is a slight spiciness which is nice. The carrot is in there to supply calcium, which helps the pickle maintain a crisp texture. I use unrefined sea salt (contains calcium and magnesium) for the same reason. You can add any ingredient to flavor the brine, and tasting regularly will help you decide when it's done. Simply refrigerate the whole thing when the pickles taste good, and they will keep well for months and months.


 Beautifully vibrant colors of fresh ingredients

Beautifully vibrant colors of fresh ingredients

Fermented dill pickles
550 grams pickling cucumbers
5% brine (1 Liter water, 50 grams sea salt)
fresh dill flowers
2 garlic cloves, whole
1 teaspoon whole peppercorn
1 Serrano pepper, sliced
1 carrot, sliced

Pack ingredients into 1.9 L Mason jar and then pour in brine until it covers everything. I could have probably fit another 150 grams of cucumbers into this jar (700 g total). Cover with a lid and ferment at room temperature, making sure to release any building pressure by loosening the lid. When the brine turns cloudy, the fermentation is fully active. You can start tasting it daily to check its progress. Place the whole jar into the fridge when you are happy with the level of sourness.