mushy canned pickles

Discussion in 'Preserving the Harvest' started by bassmaster17327, May 24, 2011.

  1. bassmaster17327

    bassmaster17327 Well-Known Member

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    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
     
  2. Just Cliff

    Just Cliff Well-Known Member

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    Don't tell anyone! Just say it's relish..
     

  3. emma's sheep

    emma's sheep Well-Known Member

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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
     
  4. mekasmom

    mekasmom Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Soaking in alum first helps keep them crisp.
     
  5. bassmaster17327

    bassmaster17327 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, I made pickle slices so there where no ends. I will try alum if I can find it anywhere
     
  6. Lucy

    Lucy Well-Known Member

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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.
     
  7. Jennifer L.

    Jennifer L. Well-Known Member Supporter

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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
     
  8. Lucy

    Lucy Well-Known Member

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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.
     
  9. bassmaster17327

    bassmaster17327 Well-Known Member

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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?
     
  10. judylou

    judylou Well-Known Member

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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
     
  11. Lucy

    Lucy Well-Known Member

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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.