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Food acidification question before canning

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Food acidification question before canning

Post  A.H.Vincent on 7/29/2012, 6:47 am

I'm making some fermented pickles that I will can.

I will follow the FDA acidification requirements that are 1/4 vinegar per 8 cups of water for fermented pickles.

But this batch is ready, so can I add the vinegar now and then water bath can?

I would rather do it this way than put the vinegar at the start of the fermentation process for fear or ruinning it...

Is product acidification ok just before the canning process is my question basically.

Thanks
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Re: Food acidification question before canning

Post  camprn on 7/29/2012, 7:05 am

Are you following a written recipe?

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Yes

Post  A.H.Vincent on 7/29/2012, 9:05 am

Yes following a recipe with everything by the book.

Just wondering if acidification just before canning is ok.

Recipe states to add vinegar at start of fermentation process.

I want to add it after, then can, then wait the same ammount of time as the recipe.

Means this:

Option A:

Add vinegar at start of fermentation, wait 2-3 weeks

Option B:

Ferment without vinegar, add before canning, after canning wait 2-3 weeks

I'm just trying to acheive the Finished Equilibrium pH

My PH for the brine is 3.3, pickles in the blender is identical, this is even before acidification.

The PH meter I have is supposed to be calibrated...I get readings of about 2.4 to 2.6 for vinegar and lime juice.
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Re: Food acidification question before canning

Post  littlejo on 7/29/2012, 9:46 am

I only do a small amt. of canning, but I cook a lot. If you make the pickles in the past, how did you store them?
If you like the pickles the way they are, but are now going to add vinegar and can them, you will change the taste a lot.
Pickles will ferment in the vinegar, but, will not taste the same.
The vinegar may make it safe to can, but will not stay out of the pickles.
Jo
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Re: Food acidification question before canning

Post  rowena___. on 7/29/2012, 12:40 pm

if they are fermented, they are already acidified, the question is, are they acid enough? there's no way for us to know that without testing them. they need to be at or below 4.6 to be safe for long-term storage if canned by the water bath method. if you wish, you can process them in a pressure cooker, the time and pressure being dependent on what ingredients are in the pickles, your altitude, and the size of the jar.
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The PH is 3.3 according to my PH meter, vinegar reads +-2.4 so calibration seems accurate

Post  A.H.Vincent on 7/29/2012, 7:35 pm

How long does it take for the vinegar to penetrate the middle of the cucumber?

Is 2 weeks long enough?

Does the water bath canning process increase "osmosis" speed as regular cooking would and help the vinegar get through the core of the cucumber faster?

Please answer these if you could Rowena: )

Are these 2 options the same?

Option A:

Add vinegar at start of fermentation, wait 2-3 weeks

Option B:

Ferment without vinegar, add before canning, after canning wait 2-3 weeks

I'm just trying to acheive the Finished Equilibrium pH

My PH for the brine is 3.3, pickles in the blender is identical, this is even before acidification.

The PH meter I have is supposed to be calibrated...I get readings of about 2.4 to 2.6 for vinegar and lime juice.

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Re: Food acidification question before canning

Post  rowena___. on 7/30/2012, 10:56 am

[quote="A.H.Vincent"]How long does it take for the vinegar to penetrate the middle of the cucumber?

Is 2 weeks long enough?[quote]

it just depends on how the cucumbers are prepared. were they brined first? are they whole and intact, or sliced, or chunks?

Does the water bath canning process increase "osmosis" speed as regular cooking would and help the vinegar get through the core of the cucumber faster?

not really. the purpose of canning by either water bath or pressure is to introduce enough heat for long enough to kill pathogens that cause spoilage and sickness. the least amount of heat necessary to accomplish this depends on the product, the density, the acidity, and the altitude. longer processing doesn't accomplish more pickling, it just softens the product and gives it a cooked flavor and texture.

Please answer these if you could Rowena: )

so far i have found no documentation that what you are asking about is an acceptable or recommended alternative to the methods that the USDA has tested. i am unclear as to what problem the process you're asking about is intended to address. fermentation itself creates an acidified brine, so i don't think adding vinegar would serve any useful purpose in regards to safety. no finished product has an equal pH throughout unless it is a consistent density throughout. the aim with acidified foods is to create an environment that does not rise above 4.6 in any part of the product, and for long-term storage to kill any pathogens that cause spoilage (in the case of fermented foods it is the scum that lowers acidity in the brine).


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