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Anyone pickle in stainless?

PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 8:03 am
by Christopher Weeks
Hey all! My grandma got me one of these for my birthday: ... teel-tank/ and I've finally gotten around to a ferment large enough to justify its use. I put about 15 gallons of pickle-sized cukes in. I washed them, scraped the ends, used grape leaves and brine of the right concentration. It should have worked, but they turned to mush. I know there are commercial operations using the exact same vessels, so it seems unlikely that it's a steel thing -- but it's my first ever ferment that wasn't in glass or vitrified clay.

Any thoughts?

Re: Anyone pickle in stainless?

PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 11:39 pm
by Tibor
What a loss ! Sorry to hear that. I've never used stainless to ferment in so I'm clueless on that account. Could your cukes have been old or some semi soft ones slipped in ? Years ago I lost a batch because I included some that I should have discarded. Maybe your grape leaves had something on them ? Just guessing.......

Re: Anyone pickle in stainless?

PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 7:33 am
by Christopher Weeks
They were farm-stand fresh and we handled each one, but very quickly. I can't guarantee we didn't let something bad in, but we were trying not to.

The grape leaves came from a commercial wine vineyard and we bathed them twice in the tub before using them, to try and remove any chemical residue. We normally get them from a vineyard, but the old one we used went out of business and this one was new to us. It's possible, but I don't know.

I didn't very effectively keep my produce below the brine. The vessel has a weak airlock and I relied on that. I wasn't too surprised to find the top layer mushy, but they were bad all the way down. My current guess is that's the cause, but I've fermented lots of stuff without worrying about brine coverage and it's been fine below the top layer...but probably not cukes.