My mother taught me from her mother that you don't have to do a hotbath to make dill pickles. this is my first ever batch on my own. I use vinegar, water, pickling salt and alum for the liquid. i bring that to a vigorous boil and fill each jar. I pour it in to my filled jars of cucumbers that already have dill and garlic added. most of the jars sealed. but my mom said if there are some that do not seal, do a hot bath on them. I'm not sure how to do a hot bath. and I don't know if i just need to open the jar, make sure the seal is clean. I dont' think that will work because the jars have already started cooling. Advice?
You ask for advice, the best advice I can give is to use up to date procedures from start to finish to can your pickles. While your Grandmothers method for canning reduced the likelihood of spoilage (which is not always obvious), today's updated methods are scientifically based and much more effective.
Here are a couple of good sources to learn more about safe canning:
I could explain the water bath process, but that will not result in making your pickles safe at this point. Having a good seal on your lid now, just means nothing is going to get in. You haven't used enough heat, for long enough to prevent the growth of undesirable bacteria, yeasts, and molds in your jars.
From the CDC
Home-canned vegetables are the most common cause of botulism outbreaks in the United States. From 1996 to 2014, there were 210 outbreaks of foodborne botulism reported to CDC. Of the 145 outbreaks that were caused by home-prepared foods, 43 outbreaks, or 30%, were from home-canned vegetables. These outbreaks often occur because home canners did not follow canning instructions, did not use pressure canners, ignored signs of food spoilage, or were unaware of the risk of botulism from improperly preserving vegetables.