Questions with canning green beans

tkeophetAugust 15, 2013

i just pressure canned for the first time today. i did greenbeans. i read the book that came with the canner cover to cover to make sure i understood how it worked. i was confident in using it. it got up to ll lbs of pressure(although it did go above that for a little while when i was trying to figure how low i had to turn the burner to keep ll lbs) and cooked for 25 mins. moved it to another burner for about 30 mins to let cool down. when i opened it the water in the bottom had a tint to it and smelled kind of like rotten eggs (I added 1 T of vinegar, as recommended to stop the jars from turning color). as i removed the jars from the canner (only 5 quarts)i notice the liquid level in the jars was down about a third. so the tops of the greenbeans are not in liquid anymore and the water and beans have a slightly brownish tint to them. is this a normal occurrnace or is this batch a bust? i cant find any information about how the stuff is supposed to look once you take it out!!! thanks for any input!

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You'll get a lot of elaboration on it, but the aroma and the loss of liquid implies that the contents of the jars have siphoned and it has to do about keeping inconsistent heat levels. It's happened to most all of us when we first started using canners.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 9:17AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Is the batch a bust? Well, partly. Based on the info you supplied they are a little underprocessed (the proper cool down procedure is part of the processing time and you skipped part of that). And they are discolored and lots of liquid was lost from the jar so their shelf life will be very limited - both of those problems caused by improper processing.

Personally, if it has been less than 24 hours I would open them, dump them into freezer containers and freeze them. If more than 24 hours then I would toss them out.

Then before you try to do any more you need to learn how to properly use a pressure canner. And unfortunately the canner manual is a poor place to learn that. Fine for pressure cooking but not for canning. Far too outdated and incomplete.

Pressure canning has a pretty high learning curve. It isn't something you can just jump into. It takes practice runs using only water so you aren't wasting food to learn all the proper steps to using the canner and your stove together, how to prevent siphoning and discoloration, and how to properly cool down. And in part it all depends on the brand, size, and type of canner (gauge or weight) you have so please tell us that info.

The step-by-step guide linked below is a good place to start.

Some mistakes you already mentioned:

no pre-venting
far too much adjusting of the heat levels
moved it
only 30 mins. cool down (called forced cool-down)
no 10 min wait between full cool down, weight removal, and lid removal

Did you use fresh boiling water or the cooking water? Did you over-pack the jars? Did you remove all the air from the jars before capping? Did you leave the proper headspace? Did you use hot pack or raw pack?

Properly processed green beans when done will be bright green in color and fully suspended in a full jar of basically clear water (some very mild color change may happen depending on the variety).


Here is a link that might be useful: NCHFP - How to use a pressure canner

    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 1:07PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)


    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 1:10PM
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Linda_Lou(SW Wa.)

The additional 10 min. wait after the pressure is at zero before opening the canner can really help with siphoning issues.
Is this a new dial gauge canner ? Did you get the gauge tested before use ? If not, the food may be underprocessed and botulism is possible. Even a new gauge must be tested before you use it.
Also, siphoning can be caused by not enough headspace. Use the proper headspace for your foods.
Then, as said, fluctuation in pressure can also cause siphoning.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 7:52PM
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