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Canning question

Posted by scott123456 5 (My Page) on
Sun, Jul 13, 14 at 17:25

I pickled some peppers and after processing in the water bath it seems as if I lost some pickling liquid somewhere. I'm not sure if it leaked out while processing or if it was absorbed by the peppers, but now about 1/2 - 1 inch of the peppers are sticking out of the fluid. Are the peppers safe to eat? How do I stop this from happening?

Thank you,
Scott


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Canning question

Did you process the peppers whole? Usually this happens when the empty peppers don't have a slit or hole put in them and it absorbs the brine through diffusion or osmosis as noted in post # 4 in the below thread.

Hope this helps

NECM

Here is a link that might be useful: For those that pickle peppers


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RE: Canning question

Assuming you followed a tested recipe, then they should be safe to eat. Did you cut slits or poke holes in the (assume whole) peppers?

The parts that are above the liquid may discolor, so you might want to cut those off or throw those peppers out when you open the jars. This still happens to me sometimes when I use whole peppers.


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RE: Canning question

No I didn't use whole peppers. I cut them into rings.


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RE: Canning question

Are you sure their just not floating?

Turn the jar upside down.

Kevin


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RE: Canning question

When I turn the jar upside down they appear to be worst lol. Maybe I put too many peppers in the jar and they sucked up the fluid?

If the peppers aren’t submerged in the fluid, then doesn’t that mean the pH we worked so hard to get doesn’t matter? Or does it kind of wick up into the peppers?

This post was edited by scott123456 on Sun, Jul 13, 14 at 23:13


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RE: Canning question

Like Kevin mentioned, just flip the jar upside down, so that the "uppermost" peppers that you will first encounter upon opening the jar will have plenty of flavor. That's what we do when certain pickled vegetables absorb a lot of the brine and leave space in the jar. It's a non-issue.

Josh


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RE: Canning question

ok, thanks for the help everyone!


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RE: Canning question

Can you post a picture? If you cut into rings there should be plenty of fluid, no air bubbles to speak of. Peppers really are too dense to absorb that much liquid, esp. if you just made them. It is possible you over-packed the jars, so yes, there's the possibility that there isn't enough vinegar just b/c there isn't enough liquid for all the solids. What recipe did you use, and did you measure the peppers carefully?


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RE: Canning question

Too late to post a picture I opened all the jars, dumped them in a glass bowl, put them in the fridge, and proceeded to chow lol. Canning is just to learn and possibly give away. I used 6 cups of vinegar to one cup of water ( I know it's overkill). Measure peppers? Didn't know you had too. Thought you just filled the jars and left a 1/4 inch head space. Speaking of measuring peppers, I noticed a lot of recipes call for pepper quantities in cups. Pardon my ignorance but what does that mean? For example, I could make 2 jalapeños fill a cup or I could dice them until 8 fill a cup.

This post was edited by scott123456 on Mon, Jul 14, 14 at 8:52


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RE: Canning question

Recipe should say sliced, 1/4" dice, whatever if measured after slicing. Some approved recipes just say number of jalapenos, or habaneros, or bell peppers which isn't ideal. So don't sub a bell pepper for a jal, though habs and jals are about the same size. Best recipes will give a weight.

So if you followed a tested recipe for jalapeno rings, it would have given a number of peppers, total weight, or cups after slicing into rings. Jars should not be packed full (peppers mashed in as tight as possible), they should allow for free movement of the contents. Recipe should say how many cups of vinegar (and water if used) and how many pints it should make. If you got a lot fewer jars, and/or had a lot of liquid left over, then you packed the jars too tightly. If you got a lot more jars (not just 1) than recipe said it made, then again you may have used too many peppers for that amount of solution.


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RE: Canning question

Use care with your cup sizes too. The first time I made Habanero Gold I used a big glass Pyrex measuring cup for all the sugar, and smaller individual cups, 1/4 cups, ect for the peppers, onions, and apricots.

The next time I made it I used the big Pyrex for measuring both the sugar and the lesser ingredients, and ended up with quite a bit more heat and spiciness. Turns out the small cups are often inaccurate. Not sure about the big Pyrex. Will use one or other in the future to maintain proportions (though most folks liked the less spicy version).


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RE: Canning question

You need to use liquid measuring (e.g., Pyrex) cups for liquids and dry measuring cups (no spouts, straight handle, straight sides, usually metal or plastic not glass) for solids, esp. things like sugar (and flour) which pack more tightly into wider containers like those Pyrex cups, so you end up with more (try it! Weigh the cups empty and filled, the liquid measure will hold more sugar, not sure about peppers unless you've minced them really fine, but that may be why mecdave's 2nd batch came out spicier).

When a recipe says 1C of peppers or onions it means 1 dry cup. Tomatoes, well, those are acidic and pretty liquid so I use the 8C Pyrex to measure tomatoes when I make salsa or sauce. But vinegar or juice should always go in the liquid measure.


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RE: Canning question

Ah, I didn't realize the 8 cup was just for liquids. That explains it.

Put a guy with hot peppers in a kitchen and you'll never imagine what can happen. You should have seen the fireworks when my pressure canner shorted out the electric burner on my stove-top. Some serious arc welding going on!


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RE: Canning question

Yow! How did that happen? Coil or glass-top stove?

I have a glass top and have a hard time maintaining pressure with my small (12-qt) Mirro, and the 23qt Presto is a little tall for the range hood (always afraid the seal is goig to fail b/c I have to tilt quarts to get them out) so I'm thinking of buying a $30 propane burner (kind with legs) - we've got plenty of tanks around.


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RE: Canning question

Coil. Not sure what caused it. Either the weight of the 16 qt Presto, old age, or just too much heat too fast.

The replacement coil is heavier duty, stands higher away from the tray, and is dual coil instead of one continuous coil. Heats up slower than the old one, but is holding up fine.

Believe me, it's a sound and sight you never want to see.

I was considering using my turkey frier propane burner too but the folks in the harvest forum said they don't distribute the heat correctly for canning, iirc. It's been a few years ago.


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RE: Canning question

I have to check what the sale is on, it looked sturdy unlike some small camp stoves. AFAIK, it just has to be under 12,000 BTU - or you have to be very careful to regulate the flame so you don't melt the aluminum canner. I'll have to check the old discussions on Harvest, but I think some people use the turkey fryer propane burners.


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RE: Canning question

Ok it happened to me again. This time I let the boiling liquid sit in the peppers for a while to cook and I smashed them down made sure they were covered with brine.


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RE: Canning question

Are the jars on a rack instead of directly on the bottom of the pot?

Is there still water above the tops of the jars after the boil?

How long are you boiling?

Is there vinegar in your bath water now?

Are you getting the lids tight enough? (don't need to be real tight, but certainly not loose)


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RE: Canning question

Scott wrote, "Canning is just to learn and possibly give away.". I would recommend you follow proven recipes and not experiment as botulism is a real issue. Click on this link, Pepper Fool, and click on CANNING in the left hand column, there is a lot of great info there.

As already noted, there is a difference in liquid and dry measuring, click on this link for further info Dry Measuring Cups vs Liquid Measuring Cups.

As far as your "loss" of liquid the above questions by MecDave need answering especially not resting the jars on the pan bottom & length of time boiling. A pic of wire canning rack to prevent jars touching pan:

But you can use any method to get the space:

Hope this helps!
NECM


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RE: Canning question

Are the jars on a rack instead of directly on the bottom of the pot?- Yes

Is there still water above the tops of the jars after the boil? -yes

How long are you boiling?-11 minutes

Is there vinegar in your bath water now? Yep

Are you getting the lids tight enough? (don't need to be real tight, but certainly not loose)- firmly tight

Should I just open these ?


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RE: Canning question

Are you using new lids each time?

Are you leaving 1/4" head space in the jars?

How vigorous is your boiling? Are you using a propane/turkey fryer for heat?

"Should I just open these ?"
I would probably pour enough boiling vinegar brine to cover the peppers, then refrigerate. Use up sooner than later.

This post was edited by mecdave on Sun, Aug 10, 14 at 11:24


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RE: Canning question

The boiling process, 11 minutes about right, forces the air in the jars out forming a vacuum as the lids "pop" in, this is your indicator you've done everything correctly. I wouldn't open all of them and if it's a small number I would just keep flipping them every few days for a couple of weeks, this will prevent discoloration of contents above brine, then taste test.

I don't have an answer to help with the liquid loss but the link below may answer your question about contents. Another link I found reports not getting all air bubbles out after filling jars (Lightly tamp jars on counter top before installing lids to release these.) and over packing jars but your pic above doesn't indicate over packing an issue.

Sorry I can't be more help.
NECM

Here is a link that might be useful: Liquid Loss while home canning food


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RE: Canning question

"Are you using new lids each time?"- Yep, I reused the rings but always mark the lids and toss them after.

"Are you leaving 1/4" head space in the jars?"-yes, I fill them to the first ring from the bottom with brine and the peppers are below that.

"How vigorous is your boiling?" Rolling boil, the gas burner is on max and the pot is covered.

"Are you using a propane/turkey fryer for heat?" -No, gas stove

"Sooner than later"- do you think they will last a couple weeks? I opened a jar the the peppers outside of the liquid are still full of brine.

Thanks for the help,
Scott


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RE: Canning question

Thank you too chileman! sorry didn't see your posts.


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RE: Canning question

"Rolling boil, the gas burner is on max and the pot is covered. "

This may be the problem. Once it starts boiling back off the heat just enough to maintain a boil, but not let it get vigorous and beyond. That was why I was asking if you were using a turkey frier... too easy to get carried away.


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RE: Canning question

Interesting, I didn't know the temp variance from simmer to rolling boil, "Water passes through several stages of near-boiling as its temperature rises. At temperatures of 140 to 190 F, the surface of the water appears to move gently on its own, stirred by the natural rise of heated water from the bottom of the pot. This is called simmering. Beginning around 190 F and continuing up to the boiling point of 212 F, bubbles begin to appear. When there a steady stream of bubbles disturbs the surface of the water, this is referred to as a gentle boil. When the surface consists entirely of jostling, rolling bubbles, that is a rolling boil.", Difference Between Rolling Boil & Gentle Boil.

NECM


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