Think I need to toss all my dill pickles

loves2cook4sixSeptember 13, 2013

They look fine in the unopened jars but as soon as the jar is opened it starts to develop "fuzz" in the liquid. Like a cloudy growth which gets more developed as it sits.

The recipe is from the blue book and I'm pretty sure I followed the directions exactly the same as always.

The only difference was this year I used regular pickles as opposed to organic and used ill from the grocery store as opposed to flowering heads.

The bread and butter pickles made with the same cucumbers seem to be OK.

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donna_loomis

I don't know what the problem might be, but I'm sure it's not the use of "regular" cukes (unless you mean the dark green waxed cukes most people use in salads - those are a no-no) and I doubt it's the dill either. Did you use a different salt?

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 1:33PM
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party_music50

could it be developing 'mother' from the vinegar?!

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 1:50PM
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chase_gw

Salt would be my guess.

My dills stay very clear but my sisters get a tad cloudy once opened. She uses Kosher salt , I use canning /coarse salt.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 1:51PM
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loves2cook4six

It's the same salt I always use. Off to google vinegar mother

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 2:08PM
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grainlady_ks

Sorry to hear about your loss.....

1. You will get better results using pickling cucumbers, although that's not what caused the spoilage. You can also use small burpless cucumbers for fresh pack pickles, however, mature burpless cucumbers produce an enzyme that causes the pickles to soften during fermentation, so avoid them for canning.

2. Did you count the time from when the water came back to a FULL boil, rather than when you added the jars to the water? Are you using the suggested amount of time for your altitude? If you don't know your altitude, just do a Google search for your town (or the nearest town) and it should give you the altitude. This should help prevent under-processed foods.

3. Did you clean the cucumbers well? This reduces, but doesn't eliminate bacteria, and is especially important with foods that are in contact with the ground where they can pick up bacteria spores.

4. Did you maintain the water in the canner at least 2-inches deeper than the jar tops?

5. Do your lids and jars match? Some single-use jars aren't the exact size of canning lids if you happened to be using recycled jars that oritginally contained other commercial products.

6. Did you sterilize your lids properly? Make sure the lids aren't stacked together in the hot water, and I'd suggest a lid sterilizing rack for that. A small investment (under $15) to assure each lid stays separated.

Be sure to dispose of the tainted food in a place where it will not be accidentally eaten by children or pets and it must be destroyed properly. The link below give the how-to information.

Sanitize your kitchen after opening the tainted jars. Make sure that includes all flat surfaces, facet handles and the often forgotten refrigerator door and handle. Once the bacteria has become a toxin, that's when you can have a real problem.

-Grainlady

Here is a link that might be useful: Canning 101: How to get rid of canned goods gone bad.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 2:19PM
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loves2cook4six

Nope, not "mother".

Grainlady, I did use pickling cukes and like always, I cut off the both ends because I read somewhere if you do that, the enzyme is not released and they stay crisp.

I'm in Chicago so no adjustment for altitude.

Cukes were cleaned VERY well. I'm OCD. What can I say.

Yes, water was more than 2 inches above canner.

New jars with the lids they came with.

I think so. I separate them out in the water but don't use a rack. Don't boil them but do get them hot. The jars are fresh out the DW.

Thanks for the disposal advice. Will definitely follow that.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 3:47PM
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annie1992

L2C46, I'm sorry about those pickles, I hate it when that happens.

Sometimes things just don't go well and we can never figure out why. I've packed sauerkraut for years without problems, but one year it turned mushy and got moldy and I had to throw out the whole batch. Nothing was different, I grew the same variety of cabbage, used the same container, the same salt, the same recipe. My basement was not too warm. There seemed to be no reason, but it happened anyway.

Ugh. I hate it, though.

Annie

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 11:26PM
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party_music50

yup, it REALLY sucks when you go through all that work and expense and it fails. A couple years ago I had failed seals on nearly all my pickles, jams, etc. I was crushed at all the things I had to toss. I mentioned it to my sister and she had the same problem! We figure it had to be defective Ball canning lids. Such a shame. :(

    Bookmark   September 14, 2013 at 7:45AM
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