My pickles blew up

Reply Sun 4 Sep, 2011 02:36 am
I put several very large Kirby cucumbers in a pot with enough salt water. After three days at room temperature I checked them out. They were soft and rancid. I was deeply disillusioned. I thought the fermentation was virtually foolproof.
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Type: Question • Score: 3 • Views: 1,449 • Replies: 4
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Reply Sun 4 Sep, 2011 03:01 am
Did you boil the water first? You obviously didn't store them in an airtight container. Where was the vinegar? Me thinks you missed a step or two...
Green Witch
Reply Sun 4 Sep, 2011 05:05 am
Nothing is foolproof, including fermentation. The good thing with fermentation is when things go wrong you can usually see there is a problem, just like what happened to you. Temperature does play a role in all of this and it sounds like the place you had the pickles might have been too warm. Also, you mention a "pot", you should not do fermentation in metal- only glass, ceramic and plastic. Here is a link to an excellent forum on the topic where you can ask more questions and get more detailed answers:


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Green Witch
Reply Sun 4 Sep, 2011 05:07 am
She's not canning, Ceili. She's attempting lacto-fermentation, it's a very primitive, but very effective way to pickle certain foods without vinegar or heat. Think kimchi and sauerkraut.
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Reply Thu 25 Oct, 2012 09:24 pm
A few things can go wrong with Lacto fermentation if you use the wrong equipment. The key is to create an air tight environment. This is because air helps bad bacteria and yeast thrive. I messed up my first batch by using a lid that didn't seal and air got into the jar which allowed yeast to grow on my pickles. Also it is important that you let out the natural pressure created from the fermentation process so your jar doesn't explode. The only way I found to do this was to use an airlock lid called a "kraut kap". I think you can get them from amazon. This lid is specially designed to let pressure out without letting air in.

Good luck! I hope the next batch comes out great!

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