- Wash your crock or gallon jar in hot, soapy water and rinse thoroughly.
- Combine the salt and water in a pitcher and stir until the salt is dissolved
- Rinse the cucumbers and trim off the blossom end.
- Put 3 grape leaves (if using), the peppercorns, mustard seed, garlic and half of the fresh dill into your crock or jar.
- Add cucumbers and top with remaining dill and grape leaves.
- Pour the brine mixture over the cucumbers to completely cover them.
- Pour the remaining water into a 1 gallon zip top bag and seal. Place the bag on top of the pickles, making sure that all of them are completely submerged in the brine and covered by at least 2 inches. The crock I have has weights for this purpose. If using a jar, cover loosely with a kitchen towel or cheesecloth.
The pickles will be half-sour in about 4 or 5 days, and very sour in about 10 days. Store in the refrigerator in tightly closed jars. Pour some strained brine into the jars to cover the pickles.
They will keep for about two months, assuming they have not been eaten long before.
If you have some extra brine and a few kirbys left, just cut them into spears, pack them in the brine with a few of the spices and stick them in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.