Wash cucumbers to remove any dirt and debris and remove the vine end of each cucumber.
OPTIONAL: Place cucumbers in ice bath for one hour before making brine. Doing this helps the cucumbers stay crisper.
Prepare for Canning the Pickles
Prepare canning jars, lids, and rings for use.Fill a water-bath canner about half full and set on high heat. Bring the water-bath to a boil while you prepare the pickles for canning.
Make the Brine
To make the brine, combine vinegar, water, and salt in large stock pot or saucepan. Heat on HIGH, and bring the brine quickly to a boil. Remove from heat and set aside.
Pack the Jars
Drain ice and water from cucumbers and pack the cold cucumbers tightly into quart jars, leaving at least ½-inch headspace. We try to use whole cucumbers as much as possible, but we always have to cut a few cukes to fit the small spaces.
To each jar cucumber-packed jar, add 2 dried red pepper pods and 2 whole cloves of garlic. Slide the stem-end of one large or three small heads of dill into each jar. Maintain ½-inch headspace. Use only one dried pepper if you prefer your pickles less spicy.
Cover each filled jar with one medium or large grape leaf.
Process both pint and quart jars in a 180° - 185°F [82° - 85°C] water bath for 20 minutes.
Reheat brine to a full boil. Ladle brine into the jars, covering the cucumbers and maintaining ½-inch headspace. Use a chopstick or plastic knife to remove any bubbles. If necessary, add more brine to maintain headspace. Wipe each jar rim with a wet paper towel or clean, wet cloth. Place a lid and ring on each jar and tighten.
Using a jar lifter, carefully place jars in hot water bath. There should be about one inch of water over the tops of the jars.
There should be about one inch of water over the tops of the jars. Return canner to HIGH heat, cover, and bring to a simmer, processing for 20 minutes. Start time only when water reaches a simmer again; 180° - 185°F [82° - 85°C].
After processing, wait 5 minutes before removing the jars from the canner.
Place hot pickles jars on a cloth on the counter. Allow them to rest until completely cooled before storing.
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