I usually add 1 cup of white vinegar to my brine which is 8 quarts water and 1/2 cup of kosher or canning salt.
Oh, Pete no!!!! I'm devastated.... oy, gevalt.
In my family, it was my grandfather who was in charge of putting up the pickles, according to my mom (who taught me the recipe). Pickling cukes whole or cut to fit the jar; kosher salt; pickling spice with the chilis fished out (no heat for my little Russian baubie!), several garlic cloves and plenty of stalks and tops of fresh dill, cold water, another hit of kosher salt and one pea-sized chunk of alum at the end. Top off with cold water to cover the contents and close the jar. We'd set them cap side down next to the basement drain, just in case they leaked or burst, but I don't ever recall that happening. Every couple of days one of us would go down and gently swish the jars back and forth a few times to mix the brine. After a couple of weeks we'd put them in the fridge. The brine would get cloudy. We liked them fully sour, no half-dills for our family. We also used green tomatoes, being sure there was not a hint of blush on them.
I made pickles several times myself but not for a long time. You're all making me hungry! Really, though, the middle eastern style pickles I get at the grocery store are really, really good too, and I love the pickled turnips a lot as well.