Michigan State University Extension
Preserving Food Safely - 01600600


     Hard  water  may interfere with formation of  acid  and
prevent  curing  in  pickle  making.    If  soft  water   is
unavailable,  boil hard water for 15 minutes.  Cover and set
aside for 24 hours, removing any scum.  Carefully pour water
from  container  so  sediment  is  not  disturbed.   Discard
sediment.   Water is now ready to use.   Distilled water can
be used also but this would be more expensive.              

     If  water  in the home is softened by means of a  water
softener,  it  may  be  too soft  for  successful  pickling.
Unless  there  are  some minerals  (especially  calcium  and
magnesium) in the water,  pickles will be  mushy.   (Calcium
combines  with  pectic substances in the cucumbers  to  form
calcium  pectate  which makes pickles firm).   It  might  be
best  to  use a blend of hard water and softened  water  for

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