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Old 04/30/11, 06:17 PM
ne prairiemama's Avatar
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pickles and hard water?

My mil said that hard water can cause pickles to be mushy instead of crispy. Is there any way around that? distilled water? I've never canned or pickled a thing but I want to learn this year and we LOVE pickles!

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Old 05/01/11, 01:10 AM
 
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http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/how/can6b_pickle.html
That is a good link for safe, current recipes and methods.
If you want to have water for pickles, boil it, then let it sit overnight.
Hard water might also cause cloudiness. If soft water is not available, boil the hard water and let it sit undisturbed overnight. Pour off the top portion and use it in the pickling solution.

If you want them crisp, then you may consider using Pickle Crisp. It is the same thing the commercial industry uses. Then, be sure to cut off the blossom end as it will cause soft pickles. Alum will not work unless you ferment foods. It will make regular quick pack pickles soft as they sit. It is an old wives tale that it works. Plus, alum can cause stomach upsets.
I will let you read the rest in the info I sent the link to.
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Old 05/01/11, 10:41 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucy View Post
[url] Alum will not work unless you ferment foods. It will make regular quick pack pickles soft as they sit. It is an old wives tale that it works. Plus, alum can cause stomach upsets.
ummm....I use alum all the time and my pickles are crisp, especially pickled peppers. You have to eat an awful lot to get an upset stomach - more than anyone would eat in one setting.
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Old 05/01/11, 11:23 AM
 
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Some people are more sensitive to the alum as others.
This is what is said about alum from a well known food safety scientist:
How much alum should I add to my pickling solution to be sure my pickles will be crisp?


Alum may safely be used to firm fermented pickles, however it is unnecessary and is not included in University Extension publications. Alum does not improve the firmness of quick-process (fresh-packed) pickles. If you decide to use alum, use it sparingly. Use no more than one-fourth teaspoon of alum per quart of pickling solution. Too much alum will give a bitter flavor and may cause stomach upset.

Barbara Willenberg, Nutritional Sciences, University of Missouri-Columbia

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  #5  
Old 05/02/11, 01:32 PM
 
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Where I live I have very hard water. The first year I made pickles I didn't realize what hard water could do and ended up with pickles that weren't crisp and were so cloudy that my family refused to eat them-they thought they'd die, LOL. Anyways, after that I started using distilled water. I just buy a jug or two at the store when I'm picking up my other supplies.

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Old 05/02/11, 01:40 PM
 
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I buy alum at the amish grocery, and simply soak the cucumber slices in it overnight, then rinse and pickle. I've never used distilled water, but just the regular well water here which is hard. The pickles still end up crisp.

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Old 05/02/11, 02:52 PM
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Ontario, Canada
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I ahve hard water and make nice pickles. I don't use alum, but I do put grape leaves in the jars. Not sure if they help keep the water from being cloudy, but mine look fine. And they taste yummy!

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Old 05/02/11, 03:01 PM
ne prairiemama's Avatar
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Thanks everyone! I'll take a look at the link too

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  #9  
Old 05/02/11, 03:15 PM
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Silverton, Oregon
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I have hard water and yes it does make your pickles mushy. Learned that one from experience. I went and bought a water filter to put on my faucet and it really helped. Not perrfect, but helped.

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