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Fungus on top of my Polish Pickle Brine

 
 
timert
 
Reply Thu 18 Sep, 2014 08:28 pm
I recently read a pickle recipe for polish pickles to make a brine and pour it over the cucumbers in a jar. Let it set for what sounded like six weeks when it should stop bubbling then seal jars. A couple weeks later I read another site that clearly said the bubbling should stop in about a week, then go ahead and seal them. Once I checked my pickles they had already stopped and now I have mold growing on top of one, but there are a couple pickles floating above the brine and the first site said to try to keep that from happening. They smell fine just as you would expect pickles to smell. Is there any chance that the same rule applies to pickles as sauerkraut, where you simply scrap the scum off the top and eat it. Or will they make me sick?
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Butrflynet
 
  2  
Reply Thu 18 Sep, 2014 08:53 pm
@timert,
Excerpts from a recipe:

http://www.polskafoods.com/polish-recipes/how-to-pickle-cucumbers

Quote:
3. If pickles float to top, place a sterilized plate on top to keep them submerged in the salty water to prevent mold from growing. Then cover jar.
4. Place in a cool, dark location and let the fermentation begin! You may be able to taste them in five to seven days, depending on how warm your room is, or it could take up to 2.5 weeks. Just check daily. Skim any mold from the surface, but don’t worry if you can’t get it all. If there’s mold, be sure to rinse the plate. Note, if you sterilize everything really well, use enough salt, and keep the pickles submerged, mold should not grow. Taste the pickles after a few days.



This entire page would be informative to you.

http://www.survivalistboards.com/showthread.php?t=180281


Some excerpts:

Quote:
Anything fermented always needs to be weighted down, and some mold formation is normal and just needs to be regularly skimmed off. Something bad is going on if the pickles get slimy, soft or a really bad odor comes out. Here is one of many resources published by states and other associations, and it's all standard stuff. I'd do some serious reading before throwing this batch out or starting a new one. And note the variables in the article, such as water quality and acidity of the starting vinegar. A good recipe is only a small part of successful fermenting.



Quote:
If the mold is less than a week old you should be okay as long as it didn't touch your cukes (any longer I'm not sure) just skim the mold off the top.


Quote:
I've never done any lactic fermentation that didn't get mold on top. Just keep it skimmed off and you're fine. When the acid level comes up enough, the mold won't be able to grow on it anymore. If there's an issue with spoiling, you'll know it from the texture and taste of the pickles. I do a lot of kimchee and saurkraut too. The kraut tends to grow mold more than the kimchee. I guess the hot chilies in the kimchee might surpress it a bit?


Quote:
Some molds are safe and some are deadly. I've never heard any issues about the types that grow on fermenting veggies though. Just keep it skimmed so that it doesn't grow into a problem. It might not be safe if allowed to "ripen" or something. That I don't know for sure. Only that all the fermentation recipes say to skim it, so I assume there's a valid reason.
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Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Sep, 2014 09:06 pm
@timert,
Check out this recipe from Alton Brown for the technique and timing he recommends:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/dill-pickles-recipe.html
Butrflynet
 
  2  
Reply Thu 18 Sep, 2014 09:13 pm
@Butrflynet,
And this has explanation of the science and chemistry of fermented pickling.

http://www.extension.umn.edu/food/food-safety/preserving/pickling/making-fermented-pickles-and-sauerkraut/


If you are in any doubt about the safety of the pickles, don't eat them. If you choose to risk it, eat just a small piece and wait a day to see how you feel. Just be aware of what symptoms to watch for.

Personally, I think a new batch of pickles is very inexpensive.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Sep, 2014 10:48 pm
@Butrflynet,
great stuff Buttrfly. We have these "pickle bricks" that we run through the dishwasher (They get cleaned and wrapped in plastic filled with baking soda many months before pickle seasons. Then we weigh the batch down with the plate (immaculately clean also) and then put the pickle brick on top while the batch works.
After the pickle batch is made, we usually make a new brine batch which is a bit sweeter (not too much just a notch) and add new spices and garlic. That goes in with the steam packing as we bottle em up.
Homemade pickles are superior to any you can buy.

It like bisketti sauce.
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