Adding on to Maarten's and Geir's comments, a plate with something heavy on
it (like a brick in a bag) will work, too, to keep the ingredients below the
brine (or whatever your solution is). Make sure your plate is slightly
smaller than your crock (container) beforehand.
Also, I said this once earlier in the thread, but grape (or oak) leaves are
used in some recipes to keep pickles crisp. This may also have some effect
on the properties of the ingredients.
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