The big pickle producers and packers store the cucumbers during the growing season in large vats in an approx. 10% salt-water brine. They then soak the cucumbers in fresh water to de-salt and process as needed after the growing season. It’s easy to do the same at home just use gal. jars or 5 gal. Buckets, then can to your favorite recipe or use as is. This is GREAT to just keep a gal jar on the counter and get a pickle when needed.
I made a "barrel type sour" pickle few years ago and gave some to a friend. He made the comment that he hadn’t tasted pickles like that since he left New York and wanted to know where I got them.
The brine strength varies depending on what you want and how long the cucumber is being stored. The haft-sour pickle brine is about 1 tb spoon of salt per quart of water (1.8%). Add spices to your liking. You can start eating them in about 4 to 5 days. For more info see http://www.wildfermentation.com/resources.php?page=pickles
The recipe that I used is below and these were made in 2 5 gal plastic buckets.
For each 1/2 gallon wide-mouthed jar you need:
� enough small pickling cucumbers to fill it
� a handful of fresh dill
� 4 medium cloves garlic — sliced
� 2 teaspoons mixed pickling spices
� 4 scant tablespoons kosher(coarse) salt
Put half the dill on the bottom of the jar. Add half the garlic. Arrange the cucumbers in the jar, packing it as full as possible. Leave a little room on top for more dill. Add the pickling spices and the rest of the garlic. Top with remaining dill.
Mix the salt with 4 cups tap water and stir. It may not dissolve completely. Pour the water into the jar till it comes to the top, making sure that none of the undissolved salt is poured in. The amount you’ll need of this solution depends on how well you packed the jar. You won’t need it all.
Put in a warm place to ferment. Depending on the temperature and how sour you like your pickles, it will take 3-5 days. When ready, discard top dill and refrigerate.