Lacto-fermented Green Beans with Cayenne Peppers and Garlic
2 pounds fresh green beans, washed
8 cloves fresh garlic, peeled and quartered
1 gallon fresh light brine, chilled (1/2 cup salt to 1 gallon water)
8 to 12 cayenne peppers, washed and tops removed
Raw apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup black peppercorns, crushed coarse
Grape or mesquite leaves (to help retain crunchiness )
10 to 12 sprigs fresh dill
Sterilize 12 pint jars or 6 quart jars with lids and rings.
Go through the green beans, pulling out any rotting or blemished ones. Cut the ends off the good green beans. Measure them by the jars you will be using, and cut them so they will fit in lengthwise coming up an inch below the rim of the jars.
Place half of one grape leaf or a few mesquite leaves into the bottom of each jar. Lay the jars on their sides and stack the green beans in so that when you stand the jars up, they stand tightly up and down in the jar.
Once you have filled the jars this way, use a butter knife to gently slide in one cayenne pepper, up against the glass of the jar. Do the same for the dill sprigs, one per jar. Place one teaspoon of the crushed peppercorns atop the green beans, followed by 2 or 3 of the garlic pieces.
Pour in 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, then fill the jar up to 1 inch away from the rim with the brine solution. (This will be just to the top of the green beans.) Wipe the rims of all of the jars, then screw the lids on tightly.
Place in a cool, dark place away from drafts and direct sunlight. Burp the jars once a day for the first week, then once every other day for the second and third weeks.
After 3 weeks, or when you have tasted them and you think they are ready, move them to the cellar or to your refrigerator until you are ready to eat them.