Fermented Sour Pickles - All Phases

Fermented Sour Pickles

All Phases

These are super easy to put together and the fermentation is so good for the gut! You will use salt to preserve them, rather than vinegar. 

Choose pickling cucumbers- regular cucumbers will work but could end up mushy. 

Do not skip the bay leaves (or other leaves listed)- these are very necessary. The tannins in the leaves are necessary to keep the skin from getting soggy.

Use sea salt- not table salt (that usually contains sugar and iodine)- you want pure salt

Feel free to adjust the spices- these are totally customizable!

You can also drink the brine! Full of electrolytes- think of it as a natural Gatorade! 

Don’t like cucumbers? Use some carrots, or fresh green beans, or cauliflower. 


2 quart jars that have been sanitized (or 1 gallon jar if you have it)

Lids for the jars

Weight- a sterilized river rock, a pickle weight, a zip top bag with some water in it. This is crucial because you want to keep the cucumbers submerged or they will mold. 

Fermented Sour Pickles

2lbs pickling cucumbers- super fresh, free from blemishes or bruises

6 cups chlorine free, filtered water (you may have extra brine after you fill the jars)

6 tablespoons sea salt (DO NOT use table salt)

4-6 bay leaves (or grape leaves or horseradish leaves)

8-12 peeled garlic cloves, sliced

1 tsp each: fennel seeds, coriander seeds, whole allspice, black peppercorns, dill seed, mustard seed, celery seed)- or use any amount of these you want. 

A large handful fresh dill

1-3 fresh chilies if you like heat- these are optional

Mix the dried spices together in a bowl- set aside.

Dissolve the salt in the water. 

Wash the cucumbers thoroughly. 

Put 1/3 of the spice mix and fresh dill in the bottom of the gallon jar or divide evenly between the 2 quart jars. Do the same with 1/3 of the bay leaves.

Place half the cucumbers in the jar(s). Add another 1/3 spice mix and dill and bay leaves. Pack the remaining half of the cucumbers in the jar. Top with remaining spices, dill and bay leaves. 

Pour the salt water over the cucumbers and leave 1-2 inches headspace at the top. Place your weight on to keep the cucumbers in the brine. Put the lid on loosely. Set the jar(s) in a bowl, and place in a dark, cool place (68-72 degrees) and leave to ferment for 3 days. Check on day 2 for bubbles. Once you see the bubbles, you can taste the pickles to see if they are to your liking. If they are, you can put them in the fridge. If there are no bubbles, let them sit and ferment. Check them daily. The longer you leave them, the stronger the sour will be. 

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