I found this recipe on allrecipes.com about 15 years ago, and I use it all the time. It works great! Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to be there anymore, but like the original author says- it has never let me down.
Prep Time: 2 Hours Cook Time: 15 Minutes Ready In: 2 Hours 15 Minutes Yields: 64 servings
"This recipe for Kosher style dills was given to me 25 years ago by a farmer's wife who grew cucumbers and it has never let me down. The two things I have found 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 to 4 inch 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 ( I use the bathtub!) 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 jar's rims of any residue.
4. Process sealed jars in a boiling water bath. Process quart jars for 15 minutes.
5. Store pickles for a minimum of 8 weeks before eating. Refrigerate after opening. Pickles will keep for up to 2 years if stored in a cool dry place.
*NOTE*: When I only have enough cucumbers for a few jars, I can the leftover brine separately, then reheat for the next batch.