Pickles Forever

Okura Pickled

This was sent to me by a chef and friend and it inspired this post it because pickling is made to look easy but hard to get right. It is a science of mixology and getting it down to perfection is only by way of practice.

Preserving is essential to life and sustainability and there are a few ways to do it; ferment, salt, sugar or vinegar. The aim is to hinder bacterial growth and so when you use water you need to lower the pH by adding acetic acids.  You can measure the pH to make sure you have levels that are acceptable. In cabbage preserve Sauerkraut you need 2/3+ weeks and a pH lower than 4.0. These acids suppress the growth of bacteria’s that are harmful. When it comes to canning foods you sterilize the foods but in preserving you are susceptible to bacteria.

For sour and sweet bring the brine to a simmer and pour over the ingredients. For oil or sugar preserves cook the ingredients over a low heat until their surfaces are tender and dry.

By the conversion of sugars into alcohol, when fermenting foods you must remember they develop C02 and smell so keep them unsealed, or open them to let off the gasses and make sure that the ingredients are covered by the liquids and kept in a dark place. Remember to refrigerate only the non fermented preserves and seal them well and the brine should cover the ingredients.

Here is a general rule of thumb by using the scaling technique;


Sour Vinegar Pickles:

Aromas – garlic, pepper, mustard seeds, red chilies, and red beets for color.

Vegetables: garlic, onion, okra, turnip, peppers, beets,

Vinegar 100%

Water 40%

Salt 4%

Calcium Lactate 1%


Sweet Vinegar Pickles:

Aromas – coriander, fennel seeds, star anise, ginger, lemon zest and white pepper corns.

Vinegar 100%

Water 70%

Sugar 40%

Salt 5%

Pectin methylesterase 0.4%


Salt Pickles:

Fruit or Vegetable 100%

Salt 9%

Sugar 9%


Fermented Pickles:

Fruit or Vegetable 100%

Salt 1.5%

Lactic Acid 0.2%


Sugar Preserves:

Aromas – lemon zest, orange, vanilla, cinnamon.

Fruit or Vegetable 100%

Sugar 100%

Water 100%

Categories: Facts

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