virginia sweet pickles

Asked September 7, 2018, 1:54 PM EDT

I washed my cucumbers and put in the crock. The salt water brine is to set covering them for 5 days. Problem: I forgot to boil the salt water before pouring over the cucumbers. How big of a problem is this?

Douglas County Oregon food safety home food preservation

1 Response

There are two problems that might happen if you did not boil the water. First the salt might not have completely dissolved which could affect fermentation. The other is that by boiling you purify the water to destroy unwanted microorganisms. I would watch her ferment and if all goes well go ahead and eat the cucumbers. If you notice slimy cucumbers then I would not eat them. You will probably be ok.

If you used chlorinated water and did not boil the chlorine could also inhibit the bacteria from doing their job.

If you have other food preservation questions you might like to call the OSU Food Preservation/safety hotline open M-F from 9 am-4pm until Mid-October. The number is 1-800-354-7319. Certified Master Food Preservers are available to personally answer your questions.

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Nellie Oehler