I found Balls Pickle crisp at Walmart. Is this the same thing as Pickling lime? It says the only ingredient is Calcium Chloride. is this the Balls Pickling lime that I have heard others use?
Good question, I'm researching that now. One thing I found interesting is that according to some things I've seeing, the Ca(OH)2 reacts with the vegetables in pickling, whereas the CaCl reacts with the brine. There is apparently a fairly noticable reaction upon adding CaCl to a briney solution.
Calcium Hydroxide is a "balanced" additive. So it'll increase Calcium level and Alk.
Calcium Chloride is the calcium component of most of the unbalanced additives. You could achieve the same net effect by adding Calcium Chloride and Sodium Bicarbonate, but you'll have to monitor things and adjust the levels of the two independently.