Jelly/boilover/dirty water question
I have a smooth-top range and have always noticed my headspace seems a bit big, even when I *swear* I have paid close attention to filling. I have had 1 instance when the water stopped boiling, and another when the breaker actually popped. I guess electric ranges (or at least glass-topped ones) cycle instead of maintaining a steady heat. I've never noticed sticky jars though, and didn't notice any stuff floating in the canner.
Until this AM - I had sterilized some jars to rack off some cider into, and while I had the water hot decided to make a jar of jelly with the little bit of leftover grape and apple juice I had in the fridge. I guess I filled that jar kind of full (also put a 4 oz jar in fridge) just to use it up, but I swear it had close to 1/4" headspace (I usually tend to leave more like 3/18" for jelly, 1/2" - 3/4" for salsa if I just "eyeball" it, just to prevent boilover). Didn't notice sticky jar, but I've got all sorts of nasty stuff floating around in the canner this AM (left it on the stove b/c we were in a hurry to go to my parents' house for dinner). And the juice was clear, the jars I had sterilized were clean, I don't know why it looked like I had little bits of grape skin and seeds in the canner b/c the juice had been filtered! Some of it may be rust - the rack looks like it's rusty now (though it was clean and not scaly when I put it in yesterday. The jelly looks clear too.