I've made pickles one time before but I put them in a water bath, so leaving them in a cool shelf area for weeks was not a problem. However I am wanting to do this again and I've seen a lot of people that are making pickles and not going through the trouble of the water bath. Instead they boil the lids, and pour a boiling hot brine into the jars. I was wondering, with the acidity and salt content of the brine - is the water bath even necessary? I'd prefer not to have to refrigerate them, how long should I expect the shelf life to be? Thanks for any info.