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Aug 17, 2009 11:08 AM

Canning dilemma- scummy pickles?

So, while I am a regular canner (many jams, butter, beets, tomato sauces, etc), I'm not a pickle pro, and have only made them once before. I tried a batch of garlic and mustard pickles this weekend, and got an ugly result.

These were not multi-day brined pickles- just pack the jars with cukes, and cover with boiling vinegar solution. I was juuuust shy of being able to completely top off my jars, so I made a rash decision- I added a splash of vinegar and water (there was water in the original recipe) to each jar to stretch the brine. When I finished processing, i looked as though there were a million tiny bits of yellow scum in each jar.

Did I create this monster, or is this normal? Is it still edible? I don't want to bother tasting it yet, since they're supposed to set for 2 weeks.... but I'm afraid I don't want to taste it even then. I'd love some feedback from the more experienced folks out there.

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  1. Did you use dill flowers in the jars? If so, the hot brine will often make the tiny flowery petals of the mature dill flower fall off and create a yellow confetti.
    Otherwise, sorry - I don't know what else would cause such an immediate reaction right after processing.

    3 Replies
    1. re: MrsCris

      No dill flowers, but thanks for the thoughts. it does look just like yellow confetti.... I guess I'll give them a try to see if they taste weird and/or give me a scary illness.

      1. re: happybellynh

        If it showed up right after you added the brine, it's really doubtful it's some nasty pathogen. But let us know if you survive the taste test.

        1. re: Zeldog

          I did use pickling salt (per Fritter's question below). I'll try this weekend. If I don't show up again on the boards, you'll know why.

    2. Did you use salt in your brine? It could be from the salt or just the minerals in your water. Since this appeared right after processing it seems very unlikely that this a from under processing.