Gherkins - soak or not?

gayle6, Feb 12, 12:00am
Getting time to pickle gherkins, just wondering whether others soak these in brine overnight or just bottle and cover with hot vinegar solution?

davidt4, Feb 12, 12:23am
I think it's necessary to brine them so that some of the water is removed. This helps with the preservation.

lythande1, Feb 12, 12:45am
Brine is water. personally I'd just go ahead and pickle them.

buzzy110, Feb 12, 1:10am
Brine is water and salt. I googled it and there are many reasons for brining all of which look reasonable.

As brining is not such a big deal and easy to do and if the recipe calls for it, then I would brine.

My university booklet on the subject backs up davidt4's opinion. It says - "Pickles are improved if some of the water in the plant tissues is withdrawn before vinegar is added".

So it seems it is all a matter of taste rather than anything else.

After brining they need to be rinsed in plenty of cold water and thoroughly drained.

I also see in the General Method that if crisp vegetables are preferred then use cold vinegar spiced vinegar and boiling if they are to be softened.

buzzy110, Feb 12, 1:23am
And for one last piece of information - another book I have says that brining removes liquid to keep the vegetable crisp and prepares it to absorb the preserving liquid better.

pickles7, Feb 12, 1:38am
I used to brine mine until they turned yellow, 2 or 3 days. They did start to fizz a bit they were then rinsed und added to the vinegar mixture on the stove and remove as soon as they turned green again. Bottled with in the hot vinegar. The best gherkins ever, even crisper than the ones we buy now already pickled. I found the same method just the other day in a book I bought, I will look for the book and get back again with the amount of salt and vinegar mixture. I have lost my recipe, just went with memory. That has its moments, lol.

davidt4, Feb 12, 2:47am
Didn't you learn about osmosis in third form science?

ridgeline, Feb 12, 8:11am
We soak in brine for 24 hours giving them a couple of stirs along the way.
We picked every day, stored the first day in the fridge then combined with the second day and soaked in brine for 24 hours. Used the Edmonds cookbook recipe

serendipity55, Feb 12, 8:19am
don`t worry about her,she knows everything!

pickles7, Feb 12, 10:54am
Getting back, I must have biffed out the book. The vinegar and water, had turmeric powder, dill seeds, and mustard seeds if I remember correctly as well as sugar. I don't bother to pickle gherkins now and buy the 3.5 litre jars.

gayle6, Oct 25, 7:58am
Thanks everyone, great to understand why the over night in brine is important. The last recipe I used had the gherkins immersed in the boiling preserving liquid for 5 minutes before bottling so were not totally crisp.So this time will be using the Edmonds recipe with the addition of a bunch of dill.

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