A quick update on my pickles (see the original post here). We had a little tasting. Overall, the pickles were a success. They were flavorful, smelled wonderful and no one contracted botulism.
The only version no one was crazy about was the pickles made with cider vinegar. Everyone thought that one was too sweet. The pickling spices were not nearly as powerful as I had feared and no one had an issue with the mixture of spices. The unfermented version was good, albeit a bit too sharp for my taste.
After some discussion, everyone seemed to perfer the fermented version but we all agreed it need more flavor: more garlic, maybe more dill. I wish the pickles had been crisper. I've read there are ways to increase crispness, including adding unflavored Tums to the brine! I'll have to go back and work some more to come up with a sensational recipe. No wonder families have spent generations perfecting the pickle craft!