The two things that are critical to crisp dill pickles are soaking the cukes in ice water for at least 2 hours and ensuring the brine is at a full boil when poured over the dills.
8 pounds 3-4" long pickling cucumbers
4 cups white vinegar
12 cups water
2/3 cup pickling salt
16 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
8 sprigs fresh dill weed
8 heads fresh dill weed
1. Wash cucumbers and place in the sink with cold water and lots of ice cubes. Soak in ice water for at least 2 hours but no more than 8 hours. Refresh ice as required. Sterilize 8 -1 quart canning jars and lids in boiling water for at least 10 minutes.
2. In a large pot over medium-high heat, combine the vinegar, water and pickling salt. Bring the brine to a rapid boil.
3. In each jar, place 2 half-cloves of garlic, one head of dill, then enough cucumbers to fill the jar (about 1 pound). Then add 2 more garlic halves, and 1 sprig of dill. Fill jars with hot brine. Seal jars, making sure you have cleaned the jars rims of any residue.
4. Process sealed jars in a boiling water bath. Process quart jars for 15 minutes.