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I'm all set to make pickles (intending to hot-water can them for shelf-stable pickles) and I realize I don't have any more jars, so I'm making the brine and putting the whole batch in the fridge. I plan to buy more jars and do the processing next weekend. When I do this, should I make fresh brine so I can boil it before adding the pickles? Or can I heat the whole thing as-is before processing?

Process according to the recipe:

  1. Salt cucumbers to dehydrate
  2. Heat vinegar, add sugar to dissolve, add seasonings
  3. Boil mixture
  4. Add cucumbers, heat until heated through
  5. Jar and process

What I did:

  1. Salt cucumbers to dehydrate
  2. Heat vinegar, add sugar to dissolve, add seasonings
  3. Combine cucumbers and brine. Refridgerate

What I plan to do once I have jars:

  1. Heat brine (with or without cucumbers?)
  2. Jar and process
  • 1
    Rather than heat the pickles, I think your better alternative would be to strain the pickles into a pot, boil that, then pour it back over the pickles. (so you don't end up over-cooking the items being pickled) – Joe Jul 27 '14 at 19:27
  • @Joe I added the steps the recipe wanted me to take, it had me heat the cucumbers but I have not thus far – Yamikuronue Jul 27 '14 at 19:32
  • Are these whole pickles or pieces (chips/spears)? If whole, what type... kirby's (thin skin, not waxed)? I make refrigerator pickles once every month or so. I usually add the hot brine, screw on the lid, and let set until almost room temp - then put in the fridge. They may just turn out ok after sitting two or three days longer than you'd normally let them before eating. – Michael E. Aug 20 '14 at 23:13
  • Slices of... Pickling cucumbers? They're from my CSA box. – Yamikuronue Aug 20 '14 at 23:20
  • Reheating/simmering after adding the slices to the brine will make the pickling cucumbers (kirby's I'm guessing) a bit softer. I do this with bread and butter pickles. I don't simmer for dill, which (in my experience) results in a crisper product. That said, the dills need to sit longer in the brine. I still think that your pickles will turn out ok, albeit a bit crisper (they also need to sit for a couple days longer). Absent the jarring and processing (step 4 and 5), the shelf life may be shorter. – Michael E. Aug 22 '14 at 16:17
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I have stored and used pickling liquids in the frige for up to 10 days, and it has been fine.

The guys here

http://www.clemson.edu/extension/hgic/food/food_safety/preservation/hgic3101.html

(Second question down)

State that it is fine as long as you have not used the brine, but to throw if any mould growth occurs (which I think we all probably might do!)

I hope this helps

  • I've got the cucumber in the brine already, does that change anything? – Yamikuronue Jul 27 '14 at 19:13
  • My honest answer is I don't know, but as cucumbers are heavy on water I expect they should be ok. – Martin Jevon Jul 27 '14 at 19:27

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