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pH testing: Why, when and how

pH testing: Why, when and how  

Acidified products like salsa, pickles and fermented products control the acidity
level to prevent microbial growth. If you make these products, you must verify that that each batch--even if you used a research tested recipe-has a pH reading of ≤4.6. The lower the better. 

Use a pH meter and test 1 jar per batch 24 hours after canning or processing the product. Test the pH of fermented products when fermentation is completed. Document results using this form or another method.  

A batch is each mixture. For pickles, as an example, each pot of brine is considered a batch. Let's say, you make a brine and add the brine to 9 pints of cucumbers. You seal the jar and process them in a boiling water canner for 15 minutes. This is one batch. Of the 9 pints, you would test the pH of 1 jar, 24 hours after canning it.

Learn more about pH testing:

  • Measuring pH of Salsa video. SDSU Extension. 

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