How much alum should I add to my pickling solution to be sure my pickles will be crisp?
Alum may safely be used to firm fermented pickles, however it is unnecessary and is not included in University Extension publications. Alum does not improve the firmness of quick-process (fresh-packed) pickles. If you decide to use alum, use it sparingly. Use no more than one-fourth teaspoon of alum per quart of pickling solution. Too much alum will give a bitter flavor and may cause stomach upset. The calcium in lime does improve pickles firmness. Directions for using lime are in GH 1457, "In A Pickle."
Barbara Willenberg, Nutritional Sciences, University of Missouri-Columbia
Last update: Tuesday, May 05, 2009