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Improvise Adapt Overcome!
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Ok, so I had made a huge pot of turkey bean soup about a week and half ago. I decided to try using a spaghetti jar and re can with it as an experiment.

I put the jar in boiling water, with the soup in it and heated it up to 190 degrees. The lid was included in the heating process. I used a poultry thermometer to measure the temp.

I then capped it and let it cool.

After it cooled, the pop top was down showing a sealed vacuum. This was still showing a seal yesterday afternoon. The food still looked good untill this morning.

This morning, I got up and checked on it as part of my daily routine and noticed the button had popped up. I was disappointed, but it was not unexpected since everyone here had already told me this would not work.

When i opened it, it sprayed soup all over everything (Yuck, eeewwwee!!) showing that it was under great pressure, and that the seal was infact still good (which means I could probably have used this method for tomatoes). What has happened, is something inside (probably the barley) began to ferment last night.

The contents still look, smell and taste fine though. I didn't eat any of it, but I took out a bit of the turkey, smelled it, and chewed it to see if I can detect and difference in flavor, then I spit it out. It still tastes good. In fact, it still tastes just as good as it did when I canned it.

The odor is only slightly different, and has a *VERY* faint, but distinct scent of fermentation similar to when I make my wines.

I have it on the counter, it's bubbling fairly good right now, and is obviously in full fermentation (I wish I had a still).

Now, I know you guys all told me this would not work without a pressure canner, and my experiment confirms that is the case. What I want to know is this:

What is the difference in conditions between normal canning, and pressure canning? Does the pressure build significantly more heat, and thus kills off the yeast and other bad things? Is it the pressure that does it?

What caused the food to go bad. If it is bacteria, what type/s is it, and what temps does it die at? Clearly yeast does not die at 190 degrees, or it would not have been able to ferment at all.

If I understand the pressure canning process, you place the lid on prior to the pressure canning. This means it has to be sealed, so it can't be the pressure that makes it work. The lid would prevent that pressure from reaching the food. It must be the extra heat?
 

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I drink your milkshake!
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I have never done any canning, but I understand the process. It sounds like by simply heating the jars of soup in boiling water to 190, you missed the critical step of pressure-boiling the soup, which would pasteurize it.

That allowed latent bacteria to ferment the barley and spoil it.

Get a pressure cooker!! And definitely don't try the boiling method with tomatoes or you will risk dying of botulism!
 

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wide awake
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Get a pressure canner - the soup spoiled because it wasn't heated at high enough temperature/pressure to kill off bacteria. You can water bath jelllies, preserves, and tomatoes (including spaghetti sauce as long as there's no meat in it), but just about everything else needs pressure canning.

Be aware there is a huge difference in a pressure canner and a pressure cooker. You can pressure cook in a canner, but not the other way around. Also, the Ball Blue Book of Canning is an invaluable resource when you're starting out.
 

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Improvise Adapt Overcome!
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I was looking at pressure canners form the last thread about this. I am thinking with modifications to the lid, I can use one to make a stovetop still as well.

As soon as I have some extra money, I am going to buy the biggest one I can find, and order a second lid for it to make the still conversion. That way I can, can, cook or distill my fermentations with one unit.

[EDIT]
One thing is for sure, there was no problem reusing the lid. The pressure it was holding back was almost enough to burst the glass.
 

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Most of the glass jars are thinner and less quality than mason jars, more lilely to crack. Also, you need to reseal the gasket. Best bet, get some mason jars with the disposable lids. Foods that don't have much acidity (ph's of 5+) need to be canned at 10psi. The can needs to be completely immersed in water typically. Boiling time in a pressure cooker for most canned meats and meat soups are in the order of 45 min to an hour and twenty minutes. Mainly depending on size.

2nd on Getting the mason jar Blue Book. Very insightful and good reciepes too. On soups, I make them as stuffed with meat and veggies as possible. When ready to serve, boil up some extra water and make the broth for the typical volume. This way you can store more soups.

You might be able to reuse the tomato sauce jars. I never done it. Likely you need to apply parafin wax to the gasketing curface and apply a little from the outside. Mason jars can be fustrating to find in suburban and city areas. Supermarkets only have them in the late summer. Try places like agway and major chain hardware stores like ace or true value hardware. Home depots and lowes in NY don't carry them. Pints and quart sized jars sell for about a dollar each. Canning from the supermarket may be slightly pricier than purchasing canned foods, but you have that can for life. Also, mason jars are a little squarish for better storage. Going with turkey is a good way to stretch the budget.

Get a pressure cooker. you can make some awesome roasts and stews with those too.

I can alot of chillis, soups particularly fish soups. Going to give a shot on squirrel stew this weekend, If me and my marlin get lucky.
 

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The Hammer & Anvil
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Here is a question for those with the certifications and understand about the process. I really do not want to buy a $100 pressure canner with the gauge on it. I am roughly 1000ft above sea level so I can look at the chart based on what Im cooking and see x amounts of lbs @ x temp for x time.

Can I just get a pressure canner with the 15lb weight or something of the like for $30 from wal mart and can anything?
 

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wide awake
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Here is a question for those with the certifications and understand about the process. I really do not want to buy a $100 pressure canner with the gauge on it. I am roughly 1000ft above sea level so I can look at the chart based on what Im cooking and see x amounts of lbs @ x temp for x time.

Can I just get a pressure canner with the 15lb weight or something of the like for $30 from wal mart and can anything?
I'm by no means an expert, but the weighted gauge pressure canner should work with no trouble. We are about 500 feet above sea level here. Do you normally have to adjust recipes for altitude? If not, I wouldn't think it matters. I prefer the weighted gauge myself - they come with 5, 10, and 15 pound weights.

If you buy one with the rubber gasket, be sure to buy extra and put back for future years.
 

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Improvise Adapt Overcome!
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Can you get one with a temperature gauge? All I have seen are the ones with Pressure Gauges.

If i convert one to be used as a stove top still, I will need the temp gauge for the second lid.
 

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cute is not always enough
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...when it comes to turkey liquor I will stick to the 'Wild Turkey" brand, TYVM...

I am not caning expert but I know this. Boiling is the conversion of water from a liquid to a gas. At lower pressure this happens at a lower temperature and at higher pressure it happens at a higher temperature. If you put liquid water in a vacuum it will immediately boil.

If you boil a jar of liquid in a pressure caner it is actually heated up much more. However, gaseous water (steam) is much larger than liquid steam and will burst your container. The point of pressure cooking is to be able to increase the heat without converting the liquid to gas.

Fermenting relies on yeast. Yeast is always present in our air; you can make sour dough starter by leaving a water and flour mix out in open air until something starts growing in it. If you want to make a big batch and can some do not leave it around for a week and a half; can it right away.

Around here a lot of the spaghetti jars are mason jars with a crap lid. They even have the measure lines and the labels easily soak off.
 

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Temperature of the water vapor or water inside correlates to the temperature. One with a temp gauge will suit you ok. Have to check my charts, but I think 1psi is about 3 degrees higher boiling temp. 1000 ft above sea level isn't significantly high as far as canning is concerned. High pressure canning is considered above 240 deg F.

Those Presto pressure cookers do the job. Before you buy it, bring some 1 quart and 1 pint cans and see if they're tall enough. I have a monster canner like 30 quart. I also have a small presto canner/cooker for roasts and small jam batches. I have seen 21 quart presto canners go for about $100. Think they can do (7) 1 quart mason jars.
 

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If I understand the pressure canning process said:
you put the lid on but don't seal it. after its done, you quickly seal the lid. this allows the air to expand as it heats, and then you seal it, creating a vacuum as the air cools and contracts. the lid must be TIGHT. and the entire body of contents must reach a high enough temperature to kill everything. there are charts for justabout every food you can can. to be safe, treat your "stews" as solid meat in the carts, if stew isn't listed. to ensure a safe level of cook.
 

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I drink your milkshake!
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What temp kills everything?

I was sure 190 degrees would. Apparently I was wrong though.
generally 160 degrees is the magic number, but its not just temperature, its also ensuring that the whole mixture/liquid/product is consistently above 160 for a sustained period of time.
 
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