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Old-Fashioned Brine Fermented Pickles

This is a basic formula. You can make any size batch you wish. Using mason jars is common and you can ferment in quart, half-gallon, and gallon sizes with success.

Author Diana Probert


  • Salt
  • Cucumbers
  • Pickling Spices, garlic, onion, and/or herbs
  • Leaves for crispiness


  1. Prepare a brine using the ratio of two tablespoons of salt to one quart of water. If it is over 85 degrees in your kitchen, use one extra tablespoon of salt. Stir well and set aside.

    Chop pickles into sticks or bite-sized pieces, or leave whole as desired.

    Gather flavorings – garlic, onions, fresh herbs, or your favorite pickling spices.

    Add garlic, herbs, and spices to the bottom of your clean quart, half-gallon, or gallon jar.

    Add one of the following to keep your vegetables crisp: grape, horseradish, oak, or black tea (yes the kind you drink).

    Place cucumbers atop flavorings, leaving at least 2 inches of headspace from the rim of the jar. Pour the brine over the cucumbers so they are covered by at least one inch. Two to four inches is even better, but hard to achieve in quart jars.

    Weight down your cucumbers so they stay below the brine while fermenting. You can use small plates that will fit into the jar opening, inverted plastic jar lids, a large cabbage leaf, root vegetable slices, or glass weights made specifically for this purpose.

    Cap the jar tightly and allow to sit at 65-85 degrees for around 10 days, or more, depending on your preference. The longer they ferment at room temperature, the sourer they become.

    During the earliest stages of fermentation carbon dioxide is released. Check your jars once or twice a day to see if the lids are building up pressure. If you cannot press down on the canning lid as you normally would, very quickly and carefully “burp” your jar by slightly unscrewing the lid, allowing a bit of gas to escape, and screwing it back on quickly.