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Is inoculation a good idea for pickles?

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Is inoculation a good idea for pickles?

Post  A.H.Vincent on 8/1/2012, 3:20 am

I made a fantastic batch of pickles that fermented fast and are perfect, is it ok to use a touch of the old brine to start it up?

If so in what concentration?

If so how much brine is needed, my batches are:

15 kg cucumbers
10 liters water
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Re: Is inoculation a good idea for pickles?

Post  camprn on 8/1/2012, 4:04 am

I am not sure what you mean by inoculation..... If you mean to renew the brine.....I have no idea and I am well, I am a bit surprised that is not covered in your recipe. What was in the original recipe?

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Adding old brine

Post  A.H.Vincent on 8/1/2012, 4:20 am

Wink

Actually it's not in the recipe, I was just wondering if this is possible or ok.

I have heard of inoculation with whey and rye bread also.

Wondering is anybody has used previous brine as a starter for new batch of pickles.
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Re: Is inoculation a good idea for pickles?

Post  plantoid on 8/1/2012, 4:30 am

Don't eat any till you have given us the recipe so we can make a sound judgement or three...
Just cucumbers and water will give you & your family horrific food posioning or bottulism which can be fatal in lots of cases ........for they just go rotten.
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It is an FDA approved recipe actually

Post  A.H.Vincent on 8/1/2012, 4:59 am

Recipe is approved and have been making them this way for 3 years.

Question is about inoculation, no recipe!
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Re: Is inoculation a good idea for pickles?

Post  plantoid on 8/1/2012, 5:02 am

I've obviously missed something for I was thinking of sugar or vinegar or salt as a preservative .

i'll have to sit this one out and just observe till more is revealed / suggested.
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Re: Is inoculation a good idea for pickles?

Post  littlejo on 8/1/2012, 8:02 am

I guess I'll try to wing it! Fermintation is not the same as rising bread. You cannot make great wine by just adding some more water or sugar to a bit of wine.
With bread, you add some dough, which has the yeast product in it, and add more food to it and it will grow eventually. Usually bakers have a specfic receipe, and add a certain amt. of food to get the same results.

I guess you could add some of the fermented water to new cukes, but I'd be sort of afraid that the bacteria, that has grown to a certain stage to ferment the product, would continue and might mutate to something you don't want to eat.

You might contact the USDA, or equivilant in Canada, and see if they could not help with getting the answer you need.
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Re: Is inoculation a good idea for pickles?

Post  rowena___. on 8/1/2012, 10:43 am

my vote is no.

any choice you make with regard to food preservation needs to have a specific, useful purpose (enhanced flavor, texture, color--longevity--etc.) that does not defeat the ultimate purpose which is a safe, edible product. when water, salt, and sugar are so readily available at reasonable prices and needed in such small quantities, why would you skimp on them to start a fresh batch?

the other question is, how will you judge whether or not the final product is safe, edible, and of the desired quality without risking your health?

there are plenty of tested, proven recipes for achieving a high-quality product without going out on a limb. however, i am not the canning police and one is certainly welcome to test any desired recipe or method and report results. Smile
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Re: Is inoculation a good idea for pickles?

Post  camprn on 8/1/2012, 2:45 pm

+1 Rowena! you are a great fount of knowledge and I thank you for always being so generous in sharing!

Now on to other matters... does anyone have a good canning recipe for a cherry sauce?

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To keep the same taste and fermentation period

Post  A.H.Vincent on 8/1/2012, 9:21 pm

I'm trying to do this to keep the same taste and fermentation period.

They do this with mother of vinegar to make vinegar, I'm trying to introduce a colony of lactobacillus to the fresh brine so it ferments faster and the taste is more consistent.

But I think this is more of a brewing question, so I'd better ask on wine and beer making forums Wink
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Re: Is inoculation a good idea for pickles?

Post  rowena___. on 8/4/2012, 1:49 pm

A.H. Vincent, i've been thinking about this and even though it might sound like a brewing question, i still believe it is a canning/food preservation issue, and that is because there will be food present in the brine. that alone, in my opinion, removes it from a strictly fermentation setting.

this is one of the reasons taking detailed notes is useful. if you find you have a success, you can duplicate it, and if you have a failure, you can avoid repeating it.

i'll be interested to hear what your brewing forums think about this, so if you are so inclined, please come back and share what you learn so we can all grow in knowledge.
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Re: Is inoculation a good idea for pickles?

Post  A.H.Vincent on 8/4/2012, 8:19 pm

Hi Rowena,

Actually I saw a post on wildfermentation.com about using the old brine for sourkraut to make a new batch.

So I guess I guess I'll just try on a small batch. Wink

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Re: Is inoculation a good idea for pickles?

Post  plantoid on 8/5/2012, 5:02 pm

AHV , I think I'm starting to follow you now ..

Do you .... let the veg part rot for a few days in water with a high yeast content or let it use natural air borne yeasts .... so it draws the sugars out the veg to work the fermentation , the alchol produced starts to kill off /slow the bacteria then you use a preservative of brine , vinegar or sugar to stop it going further ????

Is this what your doing
http://www.culinaryanthropologist.org/2010/03/lacto-fermented-cucumbers.html
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Yes

Post  A.H.Vincent on 8/5/2012, 9:52 pm

Yes, that's exactly what I am doing, fermenting pickles, not "rotting" them! Wink
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Re: Is inoculation a good idea for pickles?

Post  plantoid on 8/6/2012, 8:58 am

I've had those sort of lacto- fermented pickles from my Polish sisterin law and enjoyed them.

Not having the hardiest of intestines I tend to veer away from experimenting and just use the detailed recipes but there are bound to be numerous pickling interest groups onythe web. Just be aware of the witchcraft ones that don't give full accurate steps and quantities in the recipes lest you end up with food posioning or worse.
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Re: Is inoculation a good idea for pickles?

Post  CaptainNapalm on 8/11/2012, 8:46 am

I haven't tried fermented pickles yet, but I plan on it. But, here's my SWAG (Scientific Wild-A**-Guess):

It seems like A good idea, similar to making sourdough bread. Adding inoculum would ensure that the right microbes get into the batch, and hopefully, since the inoculum already has a growing population of lacto bacteria, they would "take over" and kill off any trace pathogens that might be present.

The caveat is that you have to make sure that the inoculum is healthy. I'm guessing that, as long as there's no sign of spoilage, it should be alright to use.

Again, just my opinion. I'm going to start some fermented pickles and sauerkraut this weekend. We'll see how the experiment goes. Hopefully nothing No , pale, or cyclops happens.
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Re: Is inoculation a good idea for pickles?

Post  ilvalleygal on 8/13/2012, 4:04 pm

@A.H.Vincent wrote:I made a fantastic batch of pickles that fermented fast and are perfect, is it ok to use a touch of the old brine to start it up?

I have done it, but it didn't really seem to matter as much as going with fresh brine.

Flavor and fermentation time, in my experience with kefir, kombucha, yogurt and vegetables, is more dependent on the environment. Things ferment faster when it's warm and dry as opposed to cool and damp.

As noted previously, keep records and try to duplicate what you added to the cucumbers and brine in order to try and duplicate the batch. I am currently trying cukes with some different peppers, varying amounts of garlic and peppercorns, I'd like to try different types of peppercorns some time too.

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Innoculation

Post  billslaw1024 on 9/11/2012, 7:47 pm

I just made my first batch of fermented cucumbers last weekend. They were plenty sour for me at the end of one week. I followed the recipe in the USDA Guide. I'm fermenting them in a gallon glass jar (an old pickle jar actually). When I filled it back up to start over this weekend, I poured one cup of the brine from the last batch to get this one going. This seemed like the natural thing to do as I enjoyed the flavor of the last batch and wanted to replicate it. I tried one this evening and they are 1/2 sours at this point. But I can't see that adding some of the old brine has any bad effects so far so I intend to continue doing this. I also have about 2 gallons of green beans fermenting (the six pole beans I planted are still going crazy). I have those in a food grade plastic bucket with an air tight lid and airlock. I was happy to see the air lock releasing co2 this a.m.
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Re: Is inoculation a good idea for pickles?

Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 9/11/2012, 10:34 pm

billslaw, Guessing this is your first venture into brine curing vegetables, right? Mine, too. From what I've been able to glean from web-based wild fermentation sites, what you did by pouring some of the brine from your first jar into the second to jump-start the process was a leap of intelligence. it's what several brine-curing experts do, too (for both pickles and for sauerkraut). With kraut, they eat most of the first jar, then start the second, but pour the remaining uneaten kraut and brine from the first jar over the second--adding a bit more salt and brine solution--and reap mature sauerkraut a lot earlier. BTW, our first batch of cucumber pickles was ready in ten days...so crisp, so dilly, so garlicy, so good! Nonna

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Re: Is inoculation a good idea for pickles?

Post  billslaw1024 on 9/12/2012, 7:39 pm

This is my first attempt at fermenting veggies. I am an avid home brewer though. I guess I'm now an avid veggie fermenter too. I love the flavor of the pickles. Now I can enjoy a nice fermented pickle with my homebrew. Just tried some of the green beans and they are not nearly as far along as the pickles. I didn't have any brine to add to the beans because I dumped the remainder after starting the cukes. Didn't realize how many beans I had.
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Re: Is inoculation a good idea for pickles?

Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 9/12/2012, 9:12 pm

billslaw, try a glass of home brew, a plate of sliced good-quality cheddar and one or two of your brine-cured pickles. Great nosh, pickles, cheddar and beer. No one EVER accused me of being sophisticated. Nonna

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Re: Is inoculation a good idea for pickles?

Post  plantoid on 9/14/2012, 2:34 pm

@Nonna.PapaVino wrote:billslaw, try a glass of home brew, a plate of sliced good-quality cheddar and one or two of your brine-cured pickles. Great nosh, pickles, cheddar and beer. No one EVER accused me of being sophisticated. Nonna

Don't forget to put a miniscule scrape of " Marmite " on the cheese as well . Wink
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Re: Is inoculation a good idea for pickles?

Post  CapeCoddess on 9/14/2012, 3:01 pm

I must be VERY sophisticated coz I put a blop of mustard on top of my pickles & cheese.

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