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Canning -- Pickled and Fermented Foods

Does the type of water used to make pickles affect their firmness?

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Water for pickle making should be moderately soft. If the water is known to be hard water, boil it and let it sit undisturbed overnight to let the minerals settle. Pour off the water, allowing the sediment to remain in the pot. If a water softener is used, the water may be too soft for use. Unless there are some calcium and magnesium minerals in the water, the pickles may be mushy. Use a blend of hard water and the water softener, if this is the case.

PREPARED BY: Angela M. Fraser, Ph.D., Associate Professor/Food Safety Specialist, and Carolyn J. Lackey, Ph.D., R.D., L.D.N., Professor/Food and Nutrition Specialist, North Carolina State University (August 2004)

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