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  #1  
Old 05/24/11, 10:50 PM
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: South Central PA
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mushy canned pickles

I canned pickles for the first time last year and they are really mushy, they are not cruchy at all. What did I do wrong? An experienced canner told me that it was from low quality vinegar

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Old 05/24/11, 11:09 PM
Just Cliff's Avatar  
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Don't tell anyone! Just say it's relish..

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  #3  
Old 05/25/11, 10:09 AM
 
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One thing you must do is make sure you cut the blossom end of the pickle of as it has an enzyme in it that makes pickles go soft also make sure you use cucumbers that are young and fresh. Emma

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  #4  
Old 05/25/11, 10:37 AM
 
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Soaking in alum first helps keep them crisp.

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  #5  
Old 05/25/11, 03:56 PM
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: South Central PA
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Thanks, I made pickle slices so there where no ends. I will try alum if I can find it anywhere

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Old 05/26/11, 01:19 AM
 
Join Date: May 2006
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Alum will not work if they are fresh pack pickles. It only works on fermenting. Also, alum can cause stomach upsets. It is really not recommended in the new canning books.
What will work is Pickle Crisp. Same thing in commercial pickles. It is calcium chloride.

Also, did you process your pickles? Processing actually keeps them more firm that not processing. It is because processing destroys enzymes that cause spoilage and deterioration.
Then, sometimes it can be due to hard water. That, or if your cukes were not just freshly picked, they will not be as crisp and can be mushy.
It is not due to the vinegar unless you did not use vinegar that is 5 % acidity. Anything less than 5 % and the food can be unsafe since cukes are a low acid food and it is needed to bring the acid level up in order for foods to be safely canned in a boiling water bath canner.
I really highly suggest the Pickle Crisp.

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  #7  
Old 05/26/11, 08:54 AM
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Location: New York bordering Ontario
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I think I've read that grape leaves in the jar help with this problem, so that might be something to Google?

Good luck!

Jennifer

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  #8  
Old 05/26/11, 10:11 AM
 
Join Date: May 2006
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A grape leaf can help, however, it has tannins that can make the pickles bitter. My friend gave me some she put the grape leaf in and I could not eat them. They tasted awful to us. If you like it, though, it is fine to use a grape leaf.

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  #9  
Old 06/01/11, 05:29 PM
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: South Central PA
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Yes i processed the pickles. We do have hard water also, I will look for pickle crisp.

Do pickles have to be precessed? Could I just make them and ad them to tha jars and use a vacuum sealer to seal the jars?

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Old 06/01/11, 06:36 PM
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Location: Arkansas
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Processing is recommended to prevent the development of molds and yeasts. See: http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/how/can_06/prep_foods.html

One issue with mushy pickles no one has mentioned yet is the importance of using fresh-as-possible cucumbers. They quickly soften once picked because of all the water they contain. There is an old adage - "picked and pickled in 12 hours" that has a great deal of truth to it for that reason.

You might want to bookmark this chart: Causes and Possible Solutions for Problems with Pickled Foods http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/how/can_06/pickleproblems.html

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  #11  
Old 06/02/11, 12:19 AM
 
Join Date: May 2006
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Yes, pickles need to be processed if you are not going to keep them in the fridge. A vacuum sealer is not a replacement for processing foods.
If you have hard water, you can either buy distilled water or boil your water for 15 min., let sit overnight, then remove any mineral scum from the top. Then, also be careful to not disturb any sediment from the bottom of the pan.

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