OK, about a month ago I started a batch of deli-style pickles, following (to a T) the recipe in the Ball Complete Guide to Home Preservation book. The pickles are supposed to sit in the brine for at least three weeks and it has been more than that already. The book says to “every day, remove any scrum that has formed.” The problem is that it is impossible to remove all the scum. Take a look at what I’ve got.
If you have experience with this type of pickle, any suggestions? In spite of the sludge, the pickles smell like pickles. There are no foul smells at all. Could I rinse the pickles off and then create a new, sludge-free brine for canning? Or, has this turned into a science experiment that could lead to a food-born illness and must be disposed of? Help!