RECIPE: Spicy Green Bean Pickles & Simple Apple Cider Vinegar

Spicy Green Bean Pickles

This is a classic cocktail pickle with a fermentation twist! I like to make these in pint (500 mL) jars so the beans line up neatly. Tied with a bit of twine, a jar of these pickled beans make a perfect gift.

Using cultured apple cider vinegar to ferment vegetables results in a quick, easy, and tangy pickle that has a different flavour from the traditional salt brine fermented vegetables. Feel free to swap the green beans for whatever vegetables you have on hand. I particularly recommend asparagus or carrot sticks.

Makes: 1 QUART (1 L)


1 lb (500 g) green beans
1 tsp mustard
4 peppercorns
2 small red chili peppers
1 garlic clove, halved
3 tsp non-iodized salt
1⅓ cups (330 mL) chlorine-free water
⅔ cup (160 mL) apple cider vinegar with mother (recipe below)


  1. Wash and trim the green beans to the height of the jars, minus ¾ inch (2 cm) for headspace.
  2. Divide the mustard and peppercorns between two 1-pint (500 mL) jars. Tightly pack the beans, chili peppers, and garlic in the jars, with ½ clove of garlic and 1 chili pepper in each jar.
  3. Mix the salt with the water in a measuring cup. Stir to dissolve, then add the vinegar.
  4. Divide the brine evenly between the two jars, leaving ¾ inch (2 cm) of headspace. The beans should be tightly packed, so you won’t need to use a weight to prevent them from floating.
  5. Place the jar in a dark cupboard to ferment for 2–3 days. After 3 days the beans will be fermented but still crisp. Store in the fridge and enjoy within 2 months.


Simple Apple Cider Vinegar

The simplest way to make apple cider vinegar is to culture apple juice using the mother from cultured apple cider vinegar. It’s a really reliable ferment and more affordable than buying real apple cider vinegar.

Homemade apple cider vinegar is perfect for all your regular culinary requirements and for culturing other ferments. However, unless you test the pH, don’t use it for standard water bath canning, because it might not have the 5% acidity required for safe canning.

Makes: 2¼ CUPS (560 ML)


2 cups (500 mL) apple juice
3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar with mother
1 pinch of white wine or champagne wine yeast


  1. Pour the juice into a clean 1-quart (1 L) wide-mouthed jar.
  2. Shake the container of vinegar so that the mother is mixed into it. Then measure out 3 Tbsp and add it to the juice. It’s important to use a brand that contains a mother because that will provide the bacterial culture required for this recipe. Add a pinch of wine yeast, and stir to make sure that everything is well combined.
  3. Cover the jar with a piece of cloth or a coffee filter held in place with a jar ring or rubber band. A closed lid will not work because acetic acid bacteria need oxygen to properly convert alcohol to acetic acid. Place the jar in a closet to ferment for at least 2 months. There’s no need to stir or check on it. After 2–4 months, the vinegar will be ready to use.

Excerpted from Fermenting Made Simple by Emillie Parrish. Copyright © 2022 by Emillie Parrish.