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Safety & Storage

  1. What is the safe range of pH after fermenting is complete?

  2. Is this form of pickling safe, where you do not sterilize the jar or boil the pickles?

  3. When pickling, I noticed the water inside the fermentation lock never did anything. Isn’t it supposed to?

  4. Why can’t I store my finished pickles with my canned vegetables in the pantry?

  5. I want to store my pickles in another container; do I keep them in the brine?


  1. What is the safe range of pH after fermenting is complete?


    The FDA defines lactic acid bacteria based pickles pH to be below 4.7. Each recipe can have a different pH value, but for purposes of safety they need to be below 4.7. At that pH no pathogenic microbes can exist. We offer pH test tape in our accessory line.



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  2. Is this form of pickling safe, where you do not sterilize the jar or boil the pickles?


    Lactic acid fermentation using a salt brine is a naturally safe form of pickling. The resultant pickles have created their own naturally preserved brine. The important part of any food handling is good sanitation and safe food storage. Use hot water and soap to wash all parts of the Perfect Pickler® before starting a batch. You are required to store the finished pickles in the refrigerator.  

    USDA says properly fermented vegetables are safer than raw vegetables, which might have been exposed to pathogens like E. coli on the farm.

     

    "With fermented products there is no safety concern.… The reason is the lactic acid bacteria that carry out the fermentation are the world's best killers of other bacteria," says Breidt, who works at a lab at North Carolina State University, Raleigh….

     

    Breidt adds that fermented vegetables, for which there are no documented cases of food-borne illness, are safer for novices to make than canned vegetables.

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  3. When pickling, I noticed the water inside the fermentation lock never did anything. Isn’t it supposed to?


    First off, everything is working fine if the fermentation lock is not active. Over the years, since 1992, and umpteen pickler reworks and trials later, I have found that sometimes the fermentation lock works, and sometimes it just sits there without activity. BUT, each time it pickles like Ol' Faithful.

    The main goal in low-fermentation pickling is just keep the bugs out of the mash while the resident beneficial bacteria are setting up their new home. The Perfect Pickler® does that just fine.

    To see if you can get the fermentation lock to work, you might unthread the lid and rub a little vegetable oil on the jar threads. Then gently and firmly tighten down the lid. When you insert the fermentation lock, push it down about a 1/2-inch or so until it is standing firm and upright.

    Check your fermentation lock. If the shaft has a ridge along the shaft where it was molded to the other half, you can use either a sharp knife and carefully shave off this ridge, and/or use fine sandpaper to create a smoother shaft. Finally, put a little vegetable oil on the fermentation lock shaft and push it in.



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  4. Why can’t I store my finished pickles with my canned vegetables in the pantry?


    This type of pickling, low-salt fermentation, creates a preserved pickle only if refrigerated. Alternately, if you are considering room temperature stored vegetables, you need to check out canning and preserving options that are not a part of the Perfect Pickler®.



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  5. I want to store my pickles in another container; do I keep them in the brine?


    Yes, the brine is needed for your stored pickles.



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