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Half Sour Pickles


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Half Sour Pickles are cucumbers preserved in a brine instead of vinegar. They are not as sour as normal dill pickles, and are very crisp. They are my favorite kind of pickle


Recipe: Half Sour Pickles


This recipe comes from reading and trying a lot of different recipes.

I can't take credit for it, and unfortunately, I don't know where I got the basics of this, so I can't give credit where credit is due.




1/3 tsp. whole coriander seeds

1/3 tsp. brown mustard seeds

1 or 2 whole allspice

1/3 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

1/3 tsp. black pepper corns

1/4 tsp. dill seeds

1 to 2 tbsp. dill weed (I use fresh dill when I have it).

2 or 3 pieces broken dried bay leaf

4 to 6 cloves garlic

1/8 to 1/4 cup pickling salt (I prefer to use less salt, so I use 1/8 cup per 4 cups water, 1/3 cup per 8 cups water seems best).

4 cups water

8 or 9 pickling cukes


How to make them


Dissolve the salt in the water.

Grind up all the dry ingredients (except the dill weed and the bay leaf) in a mortar.

Chop the garlic (I don't make the garlic to fine, use big chunks).

Wash the cucumbers, cut off the end if any of the flower remains (this is quite bitter) and pack them in the jar.

Dump in all the dry ingredients and all the garlic.

Pour in the salt water to cover everything.



You want the pickles to be completely submerged.

You also want the jar to breathe (air must be able to escape).

So, what I do is place a piece of saran wrap on top of the water in the pickle jar.

Then, poke a few holes in the saran wrap so water can travel through it.

Next, place a bowl or something that will press the top if the pickles and saran wrap under the top of the water.

Put extra water in the bowl, and on top of the saran wrap to keep the pickles pressed down and completely submerged.


As the pickles ferment, little air bubbles will rise and escape, so don't make the top air tight.

Also, the brine will leak over the top of the jar from time to time, so place the pickle jar in another container that will catch the water.


Place the pickles in a spot out of the sun, and let them sit for 2-3 days at room temperature.

Make sure the pickles stay submerged the entire time.


After 2-3 days, remove the pickles from the brine and rinse.


I then clean the pickle jar, and mix up a new batch of lightly salted water (1/4 cup salt to 8 cups water) to pack them in.

Place the pickles back in the jar and refrigerate.


They will keep for a week or two in the refrigerator (maybe longer, mine never last long enough to test lol).



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  • 1 year later...
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Here is another recipe for half sours that I like a little better :)\


Half Sour Pickles recipe number 2


This recipe was emailed to me by a friend a while ago, but I don't remember by whom, so I can't give credit. They are sure good :)


1/2 teaspoon crushed black peppercorns

1/2 teaspoon crushed coriander seeds

2 bay leaves

2-3 galic cloves, cut into pieces

2 quarts worth of pickling cucumbers (3-5 inch, not gherkin size)

3 dill heads

2 chile pepper (I have also used 1 1/3 tsp of chopped red pepper flakes)

2.5 tablespoons of picking salt

6 cups of water


In a large glass container (large enough to hold 6 cups of water and the cucumbers) mix the water, crushed peppercorns, coriander seeds, garlic, bay leaves, dill heads, salt and chile pepper. Wash the cucumbers and remove any of the blossom ends (they make the pickles bitter). Add the pickles to the brine.


Add some water to a quart or gallon size freezer bag and place it on top of the pickles to keep them submerged. Put some kind of a container under the pickle jar to catch any seeping brine.


In about 3 days, you'll see bubbles rising, which indicates the fermentation has begun. Remove any scum that forms on the top of the brine and wash any scum off the freezer bag.


The pickles will be ready in 3-5 days, depending on your taste. When they are ready, skim off any scum, and store them in the refrigerator. They are best eaten within one to two weeks (if you can get them to last that long lol).

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  • 10 months later...
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This is by far the easiest way I have found to make Half Sours.


8-10 large pickling cucumbers (they will be about 6-7 inches long and about 1 - 1.5 inches in diameter).

You'll need a large container like the picture in the first recipe I posted.


3 large garlic cloves sliced in half (get them fresh)

3 ounces of any old packaged dill pickle spices.

8 cups of water

3 tablespoons of pickling salt


Wash the cucumbers in cold water and cut off a little of the ends (they are sometimes bitter)

Mix the salt and water in the container until dissolved

Add the garlic and pickling spices


After you have washed the cucumbers, slice them in half or quarters if they are large.


Put the cucumbers in the water standing upright - they should be packed enough that they will stand on end, but not so tightly they will not allow water to circulate around them. The pickles must be thoroughly submerged.


If you need to add more water, make a smaller amount of the brine, but do not over salt it.

Too much salt will ruin the flavor.


Add plastic wrap over the top and poke some holes in it.


Please a cereal bowl or similar on top of the plastic wrap to keep cucumbers submerged.

Add water to the bowl to hold the pickles down.


Rotate the container periodically to stir the brine mixture


Test after about 2 days.


When they have the flavor you like, put them in the refrigerator. 

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