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Lime egg water went bad - thoughts?

 
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I started storing my chickens' eggs in lime water.  I had no problems for weeks and weeks, and just now checked my first bucket, and the water is turning color and there's a bad smell.  Very frustrating especially considering the cost of eggs right now!
I'm going to go transfer them all over to a new bucket just to inspect them, but I'm probably going to just throw them all away, just to be safe.
They were stored under the water level the entire time, so that's not the issue.  I had the lid of the bucket cracked a bit; could that be the issue (impurities got in somehow)?  Do I need to change out the water occasionally during the storage duration? Increase the concentration of lime? (it's already not totally dissolving, so I don't think that's it).
I know I'm not supposed to use non-washed but also not dirty eggs, but if there's bacteria on a "clean" egg there's no way for me to tell, and so I don't think that could be the issue since people have been doing this since forever. Centuries even?
Anyway, I'd appreciate any experience/suggestions you all might have.
Thanks!
GB
 
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I don't know the answer but I'm hoping someone does.  This will be my first year trying lime eggs, I really don't want to ruin a bunch with prices the way they are.
 
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For what is it worth, I have tried this approach without successs.
 
Trace Oswald
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John F Dean wrote:For what is it worth, I have tried this approach without successs.



What happened to yours?  Same thing?
 
John F Dean
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For me the water color and smell were good …..The eggs were not.
 
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The most likely cause is one or more cracked eggs. This happened to me recently. I tried to salvage the sound ones by putting them in a new batch of lime water, but have not checked to see if that worked.

My plan to prevent this happening in the future will be to store fewer eggs per container. I've been using 10 litre paint buckets with lids, putting 100+ eggs in each, and I think the weight puts too much strain on the bottom layers. I'll also be more diligent about inspecting what I store, because you can have an egg with a hairline crack and not notice it.

I'm still a fan of the lime water method because it's worked well for me. But it's not foolproof.
 
G B Spencer
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Status Report

I ran bunch of cold water into the bucket to flush out the bad, and then started taking the eggs out, rinsing them, inspecting them, and putting them in a new batch of water.  I found two cracked eggs in the top couple layers, which supports your theory, Phil.  I threw those away of course.
As I was rinsing the eggs, I had the thought that I might now be "washing" the eggs, and that's supposed to be bad, so I've split my initial experiment into three new ones:
1) I'm putting a few dozen of the most recent eggs in the new batch of lime water to see if the "washing" has a negative effect.  I'll try to remember to pull a couple out every week or two to see how they fare.  That will have to wait a while, though because experiment 2 is...
2) The 8 dozen I didn't put back into the water I rinsed lightly again and put them in cartons in the fridge.  These are the oldest, so anywhere from 3-7 months old, stored in lime water almost the entire time.  (They didn't go in the water the same day they were laid).  We'll eat those first, while storing or sharing the fresh eggs that come from the chickens.  That'll take a few weeks to go through!
3) The third experiment is that I cracked open two of the oldest eggs, and scrambled and cooked them.  One yolk fell apart, put the other one stayed together, and there was no bad smell.  They were a little runnier than fresh eggs, too, but they tasted fine.  I only ate a couple bites to try to avoid getting sick if there was a problem.  [EDIT TO ADD: No ill effects!  I posted as such down below, but I wanted to put the update here in case someone misses the later reply.]

I don't think the eggs cracked from stuffing so many into my bucket, though that is a bit of a concern and I'll be more gentle in the future, now that I know I can fit ~10 dozen eggs in the buckets.  I'll probably cut that back to ~8 dozen or so.

Thanks for all the input, folks.  Like I said, hopefully I'll be back with some updates!
 
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I’m interested to know how it turns out as well. Our flock just started laying and while we don’t have enough yet, once we’re ramped up for our daily use and selling, my intention is to waterglass store the extra. I know that you want to use clean, farm fresh eggs, no mud or poop from the chicken coup. You don’t want to wash them as you want the bloom still intact. Then once stacked in a clean container, mix 1 quart water to 1 oz pickling lime, stir, pour over top of eggs. You keep doing that until the eggs are covered and protected. Store in a dark area, lid tight on and if eggs are taken out, the liquid should always cover them.

Perhaps the issue was with the lid not being tightly closed. Keep us updated!
 
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G B Spencer wrote:   I started storing my chickens' eggs in lime water.  I had no problems for weeks and weeks, and just now checked my first bucket, and the water is turning color and there's a bad smell.  Very frustrating especially considering the cost of eggs right now!
I'm going to go transfer them all over to a new bucket just to inspect them, but I'm probably going to just throw them all away, just to be safe.
They were stored under the water level the entire time, so that's not the issue.  I had the lid of the bucket cracked a bit; could that be the issue (impurities got in somehow)?

Possibly, not not likely.

G B Spencer wrote: Do I need to change out the water occasionally during the storage duration?


Oh, please don't. That would be a waste of lime and water, while also not helping.

G B Spencer wrote:Increase the concentration of lime? (it's already not totally dissolving, so I don't think that's it).


The concentration generally prescribed is 1oz lime(by weight) to 1qt water.

G B Spencer wrote:I know I'm not supposed to use non-washed but also not dirty eggs, but if there's bacteria on a "clean" egg there's no way for me to tell, and so I don't think that could be the issue since people have been doing this since forever. Centuries even?
Anyway, I'd appreciate any experience/suggestions you all might have.
Thanks!
GB



I've been doing it successfully, for several years, now, and have had no problems with bad eggs, even with as long as 2 1/2yrs storage - UNLESS they got too warm, or there were broken eggs. If the shell is lightly cracked, it's not usually an issue - even for several in a container. But, if any are smashed, I'm disinclined to try eating the rest, even though that would most likely still be ok. Something to note about slaked lime water, is that over time it will take on a somewhat ammonia-like smell - which prompted me to toss my first batch.  Believe it or not, the eggs are probably still fine, because they've become sealed, and they've been fine, for me.

A couple things to note, though - the lime will settle. It's normal, and no big deal. If you can occasionally go in and turn the eggs, they'll last longer than just being stuck in the back of a cabinet(my usual, honestly). The very few that weren't good, in mine, were the ones that didn't get turned for a very long time - namely the 2 1/2yr batch - had 2 or 3 eggs in it, where the yolk had sunk to the bottom in the shell, and became attached to it. Those eggs, I didn't use. Slaked Line preserved eggs aren't going to do poached, sunny side up, or other means of keeping the yolk intact, and the yolks will most likely break with the simple cracking of the egg. They've been fine for all but those things. I haven't tried hard boiling them yet, and when our girls quit laying for a few months, last summer, we were glad to only have to break down and buy eggs once, between running out of the stored ones, and my girls finally beginning to lay, again.

I've used them for baking, scrambling, omelets, quiche, fritattas, etc, and no odd flavors - even when the lime water was stinky. Even my (retired chef) hubby didn't realize that's what I was using, for all the above. In fact, the first year we did it(I only threw away one batch, that year - and only one since, because of a broken one) we were nearly out of them, before he even realized our hens weren't laying, and asked if we were going to start using the stored ones, because he was leary of them, lol.
 
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I've been doing it successfully, for several years, now, and have had no problems with bad eggs, even with as long as 2 1/2yrs storage - UNLESS they got too warm, or there were broken eggs.  


I've used them for baking, scrambling, omelets, quiche, fritattas, etc, and no odd flavors - even when the lime water was stinky. Even my (retired chef) hubby didn't realize that's what I was using, for all the above. In fact, the first year we did it(I only threw away one batch, that year - and only one since, because of a broken one) we were nearly out of them, before he even realized our hens weren't laying, and asked if we were going to start using the stored ones, because he was leary of them, lol.



Thank you.
I needed the reassurance even with all the research, double checking, re-double checking, and finally ordering my pickling lime just for this process. I hope to get the bedding for the coop this weekend and to be starting with the eggs next week, or within the next few so that I can get it squared away before I start trying to collect eggs to test the new incubator.

Reading the details is lovely and knowing that you have managed it, successfully, is a relief. (I hadn't yet heard of anyone being successful - just all kinds of Do Nots and horror stories.) Thank you.
Now to sort out storage containers. (let the eye rolling commence!)[
 
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Kristine Keeney wrote:
Reading the details is lovely and knowing that you have managed it, successfully, is a relief. (I hadn't yet heard of anyone being successful - just all kinds of Do Nots and horror stories.) Thank you.
Now to sort out storage containers. (let the eye rolling commence!)[



My pleasure! Glad to help! And, guess what fancy containers I use. No, really. Guess. Nope. Huh-uh. Not that, either. Nah - try again. Give up?  I use whatever I can get my hands on. Plastic coffee containers, tupperware, pickle jars, Mason jars, mayo jars, even the plastic jars my collagen comes in. It just needs to hold water. If it's going into a dark cabinet or closet, it doesn't even have to be a dark container.
 
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Speaking of preserving eggs,... In the past I have often enjoyed pickled hard-boiled eggs.  As a kid, I used to purchase them at a store where they came out of a non-refrigerated gallon glass jar that the store owner kept on his counter .  They  were peeled hard-boiled eggs (and were stained red).  This  topic has got me wondering whether pickling eggs can be a way of long-lasting storing of them.  It is my suspicion that they probably have to be refrigerated as well...
 
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I remember from teaching chemistry that a water glass solution (of a compound of sodium oxide and silica) was once used in a similar way as lime solution to keep eggs, for at least several months.  It was fun for the kids to see that when an acid was added to water glass it would turn into a solid glass-like crystal.  Has lime solution been shown to be superior to this old method?
 
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I have been preserving eggs this way for several years now.  Only had three bad eggs in that time.  I only preserve 90 eggs a year and that gets us through october-december when the girls aren't laying.  However, I use quart jars and put 6 eggs per jar, then put 5 jars in a case and have 3 cases, which go down in our root cellar  That may be too fussy for most, but I like knowing which are the oldest to freshest-so to speak-and it saves having to dig through a mound of eggs.  I have made mayo out of the preserved eggs, using just the yolk.  They scramble well and work fine as an ingredient in recipes.

I love not having to go to the store to get eggs, especially now!😉

PS  here's a similar thread    https://permies.com/t/88760/kitchen/Preserving-Eggs-Hydrated-Lime
 
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I was considering this method for egg storage this year. While researching (aka Googling), I cam across an article that stated this way of preserving eggs was abandoned when it was found that the lime promoted the growth of botulism toxin producing bacteria.

The same article recommended freezing (after scrambling). I had to feed some freezer burned items to the pigs to make space in the freezer, but was able to clear space for 36, 1-cup mason jars with ~1 chicken & 1duck egg in each. This is a chest freezer with no defrost cycle.

I know this isn't an option for everyone. I have heard that some Amish in this area will pack a cave with lake ice in such a way they are able to continue to retrieve frozen stores through to spring. It is a community freezer, packed and managed by several families.

I have noticed this year that my ducks laid eggs well into the winter with out any supplemental lighting. A couple weeks after they stopped laying, 1 of my chickens ( I have a pretty mixed bag of heritage hens right now) started to lay an egg every other day, also with out extra lighting. Over the next 2 weeks another 2 hens have begun to lay. If this is typical, I could probably just keep a few dozen of the duck eggs in the fridge as a stop gap.

I suppose flock to family size ratio plays a role also.
 
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This is the best advice I found on water glassing fresh eggs in the shell:
https://backyardpoultry.iamcountryside.com/eggs-meat/water-glassing-eggs-for-long-term-storage/
From which I got these nuggets:
* The water is important too.[ I have very caustic water, so I would have to use distilled water]
* Put the liquid first, in a food grade bucket or a glazed crock that can be sealed airtight. Lower the eggs gently in the liquid.
* Add the eggs to the liquid, daily, making sure you don't pack them too tight and crack them.[Store bought eggs are no good for this treatment as they are automatically washed and refrigerated].
* Make sure they are clean from the hen's behind: Don't wash them. Don't compromise the shell or the "bloom". If you have a poopy one, don't attempt to store it: eat it first.
* A smaller container will insure that your older eggs can be selected first. Plus, if one batch goes bad, they don't all go bad, [like Christmas lights]. Date all containers. A 2 quart container will hold quite a few eggs: I pickled some of my hard boiled eggs, so without the shell and I was able to put 18 eggs in it. You might be able to store a dozen with the shell on?
* Make sure all eggs are kept submerged during storage. Keep them in a cool dark place.
* Use the pickling lime normally sold in the commerce. It is the safest.
The site offers other ways to keep eggs, with recipes. I could not find whether you could treat eggs that way if you also keep a rooster. Would a fertilized egg keep differently? It's a thought.
The questions and answers at the end are worth a good read too.
My Sapphire gems are laying every day, so I don't have that problem. Yep, that's another solution: Get the right chicken stock and you can bypass all this plus you can sell your eggs. I don't know if you could sell glassed eggs. There probably is a law against it! Just saying...
 
Carla Burke
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Oops
 
Carla Burke
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Oh yeh! Labeling!! I always label them with the quantity & date, as well as putting them in with the newest to the back. The Old 'first in=first out' saying is a real thing, with these. One other thing I forgot to mention is that when I open a jar to use, I only take out & rinse as many as I want to use, in that moment, leaving the rest in the lime.

I do keep roosters - not a problem. And, no, I'd not sell them. I'll will share them with friends, but most folks are leary.
 
Cécile Stelzer Johnson
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Carla Burke wrote:
I do keep roosters - not a problem. And, no, I'd not sell them. I'll will share them with friends, but most folks are leary.



I was pretty sure that fertilized fresh eggs would not create a problem, but the question should be asked. thanks for answering it so quickly.
As far as selling glassed eggs, I know that in Wisconsin, there is a special rule/ law dealing with any cottage industry food that is "prepared": It has to be done in  a "specialized kitchen". It is usually just a county kitchen that you rent for the amount of time that your preparation will take. It would look just like any kitchen but there might be an inspector to make sure you follow all the "rules".
Here, it costs $50.00 plus to rent one, so it is cost prohibitive to use for small amount of food. Of course, you also have to time it just right so the inspector is there and the kitchen is not "in use" by someone else.
Adding to that the fact that folks have been brainwashed about egg hygiene, and you can see that before I could sell glassed eggs, we have a lot of legislative educating to do!
 
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My best understanding is that cottage law differs from state to state, and not all states have them.

I am most familiar with the regulations in Colorado. Things could come from a home kitchen if they were not prone to spoiling or contamination. Rather than letting us go on our own with that, there is a list. Baked goods qualify but pickles don’t. Potato salad doesn’t. Somethings could not be sold even if they came through a commercial kitchen.

We could sell fresh eggs in Colorado, but not unrefrigerated eggs, probably not eggs preserved by the methods we are discussing here.

It is a frustrating situation, the cottage law was created in Colorado to “allow people the right to sell things directly” in the end it really decreased what a person could legally sell from their own kitchen, And created the means to prosecute people if they sold anything not on the cottage law list.  And it appears that the law was written for ease of enforcement, because often times the inspectors were less knowledgeable than the food producers.

Sorry to go off topic, is there a thread about cottage law?
 
Cécile Stelzer Johnson
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Thekla McDaniels wrote:My best understanding is that cottage law differs from state to state, and not all states have them.

I am most familiar with the regulations in Colorado. Things could come from a home kitchen if they were not prone to spoiling or contamination. Rather than letting us go on our own with that, there is a list. Baked goods qualify but pickles don’t. Potato salad doesn’t. Somethings could not be sold even if they came through a commercial kitchen.

We could sell fresh eggs in Colorado, but not unrefrigerated eggs, probably not eggs preserved by the methods we are discussing here.

It is a frustrating situation, the cottage law was created in Colorado to “allow people the right to sell things directly” in the end it really decreased what a person could legally sell from their own kitchen, And created the means to prosecute people if they sold anything not on the cottage law list.  And it appears that the law was written for ease of enforcement, because often times the inspectors were less knowledgeable than the food producers.

Sorry to go off topic, is there a thread about cottage law?




You are indeed correct, Thekla. And you are correct also about the laws being created to protect the more commercial enterprises who prefer to limit competition. The same applies to slaughtering houses. They are disappearing pretty fast: we used to have a number of slaughter houses for chickens. One or two remain in my area. They are told that by law, they must pour bleach on the feathers and must send them to a landfill, at great expense. [I had asked because I wanted to keep my bird's feathers and chop them fine for fertilizer] . They told me that I could keep the feathers of my own chickens, but to leave the slaughter house [and protect their 6] they would still have to douse them with bleach.
https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40093-018-0204-z#:~:text=Poultry%20feathers%20are%20rich%20with,of%20N%2Drich%20organic%20fertilizer.
"Poultry feathers are rich with keratin protein and therefore they could be a source for good nitrogen fertilizer. Proper treatment of poultry feather waste (PFW) might be an environmental friendly solid waste management tool and a good source of N-rich organic fertilizer. Mar 6, 2018".
Yep, maybe we need a thread dealing with cottage laws according to States, just to show how arbitrary they really are, if nothing else!
 
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About six months ago, I preserved about 3 doz eggs for the first time using the slaked-lime (pickling lime) method. So far, so good. Eggs have tasted fine and haven't had any rotten ones yet.
One question: Can you reuse the significant amount of lime at the bottom of the jar?

One post here said that the slaked-lime method is no longer recommended because of links to botulism, but it appears that FDA's "dissing" of slaked lime pertains to the potential for less acidity when pickling veggies like cukes, for example (see this link https://www.thespruceeats.com/what-is-pickling-lime-what-s-a-safer-substitute-1389134).  Because the egg preservation has no later need for acidity, I'm guessing that any concern for botulism may be unfounded, but it would be nice to be better informed on the possibility or on any ways to recognize it in the eggs if it happens.

BTW there is a very informative and entertaining video on traditional egg preservation on youtube, and it has a lot of insight. In addition to slaked lime, the video has gotten me interested in trying to preserve using fireplace wood ash. The maker of the video took a very systematic approach to comparing the effectiveness of six different methods:  
 
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I've reused some of the lime a couple of times, with the exception of the bucket that went bad. But the stuff is so inexpensive ($12 for a 20 kg bag) that I don't really even need to do this, and it's valuable on our acidic soils.
 
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"One question: Can you reuse the significant amount of lime at the bottom of the jar?"

I don't. That doesn't mean you can't, but I find that once the lime starts smelling even a bit like ammonia, even though I know those eggs are fine, I'm loathe to add any fresh ones back into the same container. It may be fine, but I just can't bring myself to do it, lol.
 
Cécile Stelzer Johnson
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Carla Burke wrote:"One question: Can you reuse the significant amount of lime at the bottom of the jar?"

I don't. That doesn't mean you can't, but I find that one the lime starts smelling even a bit like ammonia, even though I know those eggs are fine, I'm loathe to add any fresh ones back into the same container. It may be fine, but I just can't bring myself to do it, lol.





Considering the price of the pickling lime and the price of the eggs, you are probably right. It isn't worth getting sick over or losing a batch of eggs. Humans also have a pretty good sense of what feels right and what doesn't. If your nose or your eyes make you doubt anything, listen to them.
 
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Haven't gotten around to trying Lime water glassing yet. Haven't found a good source for the lime in bulk yet. I live about 100 miles from the closest large hardware store in a very small rural village. I have found some online but shipping costs to Alaska can be extreme.

I learned how to do it from this video. I have watched many of her videos, and follow her home website.


What I have done to preserve was coating eggs in a thick layer of lard, laying out a single layer on an old bath towel (or even newspapers in thick layers in a box with a cover and keeping in the coldest spot in our house. Lasted us for 6 months and probably would have lasted longer. Didn't loose even one egg. These were not store bought of course.

I love pickled eggs, however, every recipe I have ever found said they needed to be refrigerated. Not sure what is added to commercial ones that they do not need refrigeration. Wish there was a way not to refrigerate as we are off grid and do not have refrigeration available right now.

 
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Our experience has been very similar to Carla's storing eggs in a hydrated/slaked lime solution. Our first year we did a comparison between keeping eggs in isinglass versus in lime. The isinglass batch went totally rotten versus the eggs in the lime were good/edible after 15 months. However, we suspected that the rotten isinglass batch might have been caused by a broken egg. Regardless, after thinking it through, I preferred the idea of storing in lime as lime's pH makes a very poor habitat for bacteria to grow. After all, that high pH is the reason we white wash the coop walls with lime.

Since our first year, we inspect each egg's shell in the light of a high intensity flashlight before putting the egg into the bucket for storage. Even with this candling, we're still concerned about losing a big batch, so we use the small buckets our coconut oil come in. These buckets comfortably fit 2 1/2 dozen eggs. No need to worry about the oldest eggs being on the bottom of these small buckets. To keep the eggs cool and dark, we store these eggs in our root cellar - which is another reason for using the plastic buckets. The lids won't rust.

My partner eats 2 eggs for breakfast every day. He prefers his eggs sunnyside up. But as Carla stated it is hard not to break the yolk of the lime eggs - especially as the eggs get older as their yolks tend to stick to the membrane of the egg.
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**If you can occasionally go in and turn the eggs, they'll last longer than just being stuck in the back of a cabinet(my usual, honestly). The very few that weren't good, in mine, were the ones that didn't get turned for a very long time - namely the 2 1/2yr batch - had 2 or 3 eggs in it, where the yolk had sunk to the bottom in the shell, and became attached to it.**


What do you mean by "turn" them? You turn the container around?  Or you actually reach into the solution and turn each and every egg?
Thanks.
 
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Appy Horsey wrote:
**If you can occasionally go in and turn the eggs, they'll last longer than just being stuck in the back of a cabinet(my usual, honestly). The very few that weren't good, in mine, were the ones that didn't get turned for a very long time - namely the 2 1/2yr batch - had 2 or 3 eggs in it, where the yolk had sunk to the bottom in the shell, and became attached to it.**


What do you mean by "turn" them? You turn the container around?  Or you actually reach into the solution and turn each and every egg?
Thanks.



I mean turn the individual eggs, within the container. I've never done this. But, theoretically, it is supposed to help keep the yolks in suspension in the center of the albumen. As I mentioned though, I've lost very few eggs to this problem.

I also mentioned that I use pretty much any container I can get my hands on. The biggest containers I've used held about 2.5 - 3 dozen. But, I try to stick closer to 1.5 - 2doz, for a couple reasons. First, the more eggs & water, the heavier it is. I don't want to lose everything in my pantry, to an overburdened shelf. That has happened in our family, before, when I was a teenager. It was devastating to us, because with a family of 8,a single shelf of food(&money, time, energy, work) wasted is one shelf too much. When it's a higher up shelf wland not only is everything on that shelf lost, but so is the majority of what was stored under it... Just no. Plus, that extra weight is harder on me to maneuver and use, too. AND, the more eggs in the container, the more weight is on top of the eggs in the bottom of the container are more likely to get crushed by the weight of the rest, and it can make it more of a mess in attempting to keep everything in a healthy rotation.
 
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Vickey McDonald wrote:Haven't gotten around to trying Lime water glassing yet. Haven't found a good source for the lime in bulk yet. I live about 100 miles from the closest large hardware store in a very small rural village. I have found some online but shipping costs to Alaska can be extreme.

I learned how to do it from this video. I have watched many of her videos, and follow her home website.

What I have done to preserve was coating eggs in a thick layer of lard, laying out a single layer on an old bath towel (or even newspapers in thick layers in a box with a cover and keeping in the coldest spot in our house. Lasted us for 6 months and probably would have lasted longer. Didn't loose even one egg. These were not store bought of course.

I love pickled eggs, however, every recipe I have ever found said they needed to be refrigerated. Not sure what is added to commercial ones that they do not need refrigeration. Wish there was a way not to refrigerate as we are off grid and do not have refrigeration available right now.


Just keep in mind, slaked/hydrated lime and isinglass/waterglassing are not the same, chemically, and will usually give differing results. I never tried water glassing, because the research I did pointed toward the lime being a better option for me, in my situation - including availability.
 
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Carla Burke wrote:
My pleasure! Glad to help! And, guess what fancy containers I use. No, really. Guess. Nope. Huh-uh. Not that, either. Nah - try again. Give up?  I use whatever I can get my hands on. Plastic coffee containers, tupperware, pickle jars, Mason jars, mayo jars, even the plastic jars my collagen comes in. It just needs to hold water. If it's going into a dark cabinet or closet, it doesn't even have to be a dark container.



I guess I'll be washing that empty mayo container after all!
I had thought, as I mentioned, a crock or some other more traditional "storage" container, but has settled on Mason jars as I have more than a few and it's to get more if I need them. I found I can easily store at least 8 per jar, which doesn't really seem like much but will add up quickly and means that each jar will have, roughly, a day's worth of eggs. Not bad, really.

Thank you for the ideas on water holding containers to reuse. I'll go through my recently matched up food storage containers and see what isn't in use, yet.
I still have some time as the weather dries out the muddy run, so I can put that to use searching out and washing things. It'll be fun!

My husband is now interested in the older ways of preserving food as there is just too much sugar involved in most canning for him. It sounds like it'll be fun to try new things with an interested partner-in-crime (or at least partner in food storage adventures).
 
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David Fraleigh wrote:Speaking of preserving eggs,... In the past I have often enjoyed pickled hard-boiled eggs.  As a kid, I used to purchase them at a store where they came out of a non-refrigerated gallon glass jar that the store owner kept on his counter .  They  were peeled hard-boiled eggs (and were stained red).  This  topic has got me wondering whether pickling eggs can be a way of long-lasting storing of them.  It is my suspicion that they probably have to be refrigerated as well...



That particular red pickled egg was, more likely than not, a beet pickled egg. Not called that because it was pickled by beets, but because beets (or at least the pickling solution of pickled beets) was used in the pickling solution.
It makes for my favorite pickled eggs.
The only other recipe I found for red eggs involved madder and that doesn't sound like it would necessarily taste good.

Thanks to Pearl (Hi, Pearl!), I'll be trying out some shelf-stable pickled egg recipes this year - water bath canning them and hoping for the best. There's no reason canning them wouldn't help them to be shelf-stable, so I have high hopes.
Refrigerator storage for the vast majority of the pickled eggs recipes says that they can be kept for about 3 months that way. I have also seen those enormous jars of pickled eggs near cash registers and in certain areas, so know there has to be a way to store eggs safely that way. Unless the eggs had such a high turnover in the jar they were replaced before they went bad, I guess?
 
Al Marlin
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"The only other recipe I found for red eggs involved madder and that doesn't sound like it would necessarily taste good."

Although I'm going off-topic I couldn't resist commenting to this - - The colours from beets and madder are not the same. I don't know what madder tastes like, but it's sure a pretty colour - a deeper orangier/slightly browner than this picture portrays.  It was the "red" used to make the soldiers' redcoats for the British - because it was a cheap plant dye. FYI the red for the British officers was made from conchineal - $$$$$.
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Al Marlin
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One question: Can you reuse the significant amount of lime at the bottom of the jar?"

I don't. That doesn't mean you can't, but I find that once the lime starts smelling even a bit like ammonia, even though I know those eggs are fine, I'm loathe to add any fresh ones back into the same container. It may be fine, but I just can't bring myself to do it, lol.


I'm saving my old lime water to reuse this summer to whitewash the inside of my coops.

In the summer, my girls spend their days outside, running about. So I'm not worried about any additional ammonia smell in the coop as that will dissipate quickly once the whitewash dries.
 
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Al Marlin wrote:

One question: Can you reuse the significant amount of lime at the bottom of the jar?"

I don't. That doesn't mean you can't, but I find that once the lime starts smelling even a bit like ammonia, even though I know those eggs are fine, I'm loathe to add any fresh ones back into the same container. It may be fine, but I just can't bring myself to do it, lol.


I'm saving my old lime water to reuse this summer to whitewash the inside of my coops.

In the summer, my girls spend their days outside, running about. So I'm not worried about any additional ammonia smell in the coop as that will dissipate quickly once the whitewash dries.



This is brilliant! I'm glad I've saved a bunch of mine, as I have quite a few things that could really use the whitewash!
 
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For my lime whitewash, all I do is add (pickling/ non-iodized) salt to my lime mixture. The lime/salt combo seems to help keep the nasties down in the coop while not being toxic to the girls. And since summers are very humid here, I figure the coops walls actively cycle as the humidity raises and falls (& the walls lighten up and appear not whitewashed and then dry again and go a dark white).

I was reassured that my whitewashing is probably on the right track when I visited Upper Canada Village (a live museum running as if it were the 1860's) last summer. After each milking, the farmer shoveled any manure off the floor and then threw down a bucket of lime water whitewash. This was the only sanitizing they did of the milking stalls. Since they sell their dairy products, this procedure must meet with current standards as well.
 
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Amount of Lime +  Vinegar pickling without refrigeration

(1) I've done lime preservation once, following online suggestions for quantity of pickling lime and water. It seems that most of the lime I added to the water precipitated to the bottom, and simply stays there. I doubt that the lime on the bottom is really doing anything other than perhaps providing a "soft bed" for the eggs on the bottom. Might it be possible to use, say, half the lime and get the same preservation effect?

(2) In some restaurant supply groceries in my area, they sell hard-boiled eggs in big gallon jars. I believe these are in an acidic liquid (like vinegar or citric acid). They are not refrigerated. If I remember right, one brand said "refrigerate after opening" and another brand didn't. For people interested in non-refrigerated acidic-pickled boiled eggs, it might be good to look at ingredients list of these types of commercially sold eggs.
 
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Update on the results of my 3rd experiment.  
No ill effects from eating the two eggs I scrambled.  As a reminder these were two of the oldest.  They looked, smelled, and tasted fine, and I didn't get sick or even feel "off" after eating them.
 
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Al Marlin wrote:For my lime whitewash, all I do is add (pickling/ non-iodized) salt to my lime mixture. The lime/salt combo seems to help keep the nasties down in the coop while not being toxic to the girls. And since summers are very humid here, I figure the coops walls actively cycle as the humidity raises and falls (& the walls lighten up and appear not whitewashed and then dry again and go a dark white).

I was reassured that my whitewashing is probably on the right track when I visited Upper Canada Village (a live museum running as if it were the 1860's) last summer. After each milking, the farmer shoveled any manure off the floor and then threw down a bucket of lime water whitewash. This was the only sanitizing they did of the milking stalls. Since they sell their dairy products, this procedure must meet with current standards as well.



Thanks for the reminder about the salt. I've used it on my porch swing, a long time ago. This spring, I'll scrub down my roosts, and do it to those, too, but my coop is primarily metal, other than the framework - but that would be a wise thing to whitewash, too.
 
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Kit Collins wrote:Amount of Lime +  Vinegar pickling without refrigeration

(1) I've done lime preservation once, following online suggestions for quantity of pickling lime and water. It seems that most of the lime I added to the water precipitated to the bottom, and simply stays there. I doubt that the lime on the bottom is really doing anything other than perhaps providing a "soft bed" for the eggs on the bottom. Might it be possible to use, say, half the lime and get the same preservation effect?

(2) In some restaurant supply groceries in my area, they sell hard-boiled eggs in big gallon jars. I believe these are in an acidic liquid (like vinegar or citric acid). They are not refrigerated. If I remember right, one brand said "refrigerate after opening" and another brand didn't. For people interested in non-refrigerated acidic-pickled boiled eggs, it might be good to look at ingredients list of these types of commercially sold eggs.



I believe the recommended measurements are not something I personally would mess with. The chemical reaction in the water is what matters, not merely the amount of solids that sink to the bottom.
 
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