This will be my first attempt at making a fermented veggie outside of kefir. I want to try pickles. I won't use whey due to my son's dairy allergy. I want to use vinegar I guess, salt and garlic. Can I do it in a canning jar? How do I do it? I have two books, NT and Wild Fermentation. I don't have the crock required from Wild Fermentation and again, I won't use whey like NT says.Thanks for your help!
I (loosely) followed the Wild Fermentation recipe for sour pickles (except I didn't let mine ferment as long...transferred them to the fridge before they were fully sour). I used WF's proportions for a brine solution (just salt and water...you don't use vinegar for fermented pickles) and poured it over the cuke slices. I added whatever herbs/spices I liked/had on hand--peppercorns, dill, garlic, mustard seed. Katz says to use oak or other leaves to keep the pickles crunchy..I think you can also use strawberry leaves. I don't use a crock--just put everything directly in a mason jar. I leave it uncovered or lightly covered with a coffee filter or paper towel and taste everyday. When they start tasting like pickles, I put the lid on the jar and move to the fridge. Just keep an eye on them, esp. in warm weather-I've had mine go from pickles to mold/mush overnight.
If you make pickles that are more salty than you really want then you get another chance to add flavor to them by draining the brine and adding a flavored liquid with less or no salt. So yes, you can make the pickles have a much wider variety of flavors. You must take care that your pickles don't rot by introducing either acids , sugars, or keeping the low salt pickles refrigerated.
you don't need a crock, you can use food grade buckets that you can buy from lowes or another hardware store for a few dollars. Just get 2 buckets, put your cucumbers, salt and water in one and put the other bucket on top and weight it down so that the water level come up between the buckets. easy peasy.