Half Sour Pickles

Half sour pickles are fermented in a weaker brine for a shorter time, producing a delicious condiment half-way between a pickle and a cucumber. Their taste is mellower than a full sour pickle, with skins that remain a more vibrant green while the inside keeps some of the white, opaque crunch of a raw cucumber. Like sour pickles, the best half-sour pickles are made from fresh cucumbers. An overnight cold-water soak can help supermarket cucumbers firm up and freshen before pickling.

Because half sour pickles are only partially fermented, they should be treated more like a raw food. They're best made in smaller batches than sour pickles and should be refrigerated and eaten in a few days after their short fermentation at room temperature.

Ingredients Makes 2 quarts

  • 2 lb 0.9 kg Pickling cucumbers
  • 1/2 gal 1.89 l Water
  • 2.3 oz 66 g Salt
  • 20 Sprigs fresh dill
  • 3 tbsp 45 ml Coriander seeds
  • 3 tbsp 45 ml Black peppercorns

Instructions Images

  1. Wash the cucumbers under cold water, gently scrubbing off any visible dirt and setting aside any cucumbers with soft or bruised spots.
  2. Trim or scrape 1/16" off the blossom end off the cucumbers. If you're unsure which is the blossom end, it's OK to trim both.
  3. Soaking the cucumbers in cold water overnight, in a steel or plastic container in the fridge, can help firm and freshen them before brining. Because the cucumbers will absorb some of the soaking water, you'll want to use the same clean water you'd use for the brine.
  4. Mix the brine and add it to the crock. Since the scale we recommend can handle the weight, we place the crock on the scale, zero it, add the water, zero again, and then measure in the salt. Stir well to combine.
  5. Add the coriander, black pepper and dill to the brine.
  6. Add the cucumbers to the crock and weigh down with a crock weight. Be sure the cucumbers are beneath the weight and covered by at least two inches of brine.
  7. Cover the crock with a top and leave at room temperature to ferment. 75° is the ideal. Warmer and the fermentation will happen faster, colder will be slower.
  8. Check the crock every day and skim off any foam or scum. At room temperature, half-sours are ready in 2-3 days. Unlike sour pickles, half-sours have bright green skins and some what raw / opaque white insides.
  9. Move the pickles into a jar covered by at least one inch of their brine, and store in the refrigerator for up to one week.

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