Fowlers preserving experts advice required
I also need advice from an experienced Fowlers preserver. I have done 2 batches of apples and both have leaked water out of the jars, leaving them have full of liquid and with air bubbles. I filled them carefully and tightly, with water level up to the neck of the bottle. They were packed carefully and the rubbers new and lids good. I used 2 clips the first time and only one in the second batch. I watched the temperature and had them at a simmer for one hour. I have an old stove top model. Appreciate any thoughts.
Were the jars over full or over boiled?
Yes now that I have got over the disappointment of it all and looking back I think I did let them get too hot. I think the thermometer (which is in F) was sitting above 200 so that is too high. Thank you I will try again and keep temp more even. They were not over full I don t think. About 1 cm from the top.
Thanks for replying
not sure what method you are using: i assume a stove top preserving unit? there are so many different ideas on water bathing: the latest one ultra safe one is to immerse the bottles with at least 2cm over the top of the bottles and process at a gentle boil. for apples, they recommend 30 mins from reaching the boil.. of course, if you choose to process at a lower temp (some say 90-95 deg) then the same applies with the processing time applying from when the water hits the processing temp. it is not clear from your post if you have a) removed bubbles using a packing stick prior to sealing or b)if you have left head room in the bottle.
If you have done both then it would sound like a problem with the seal. Out of curiosity what size jar / seal are you using as i have heard recently of quite a few people (myself included) having preserving failures with the size 4 FV ring. i now use Ball Mason bottles for apples and pears and have not had any issues with seal failures with them, to date. I did try doing some apples in my pressure canner and they turned to sauce so water bathing is the way to go if you want chunks and p.c. if you want sauce or puree!!
I have an old stove-top model, too. It works best if you bring everything up to temperature slowly (I learned this from my mum). If you bring the water up to temp quickly, its very easy to over-heat and you will lose some of the liquid in the jars. Make sure the water only goes up to the shoulders of the jars, too (ie the place where the no.27 jars taper in). The fancy electric models take over an hour to get up to temp and won't overheat the contents, even when you toddle off to the garden....... They don't look as nice when you've finished with them as my lovely old yellow and orange stove-top model, though. My mum also swears by the old temp and time charts, which had different times for different contents. She thinks the new method is too hot, too fast. She had bottles that didn't seal and had problems with the contents leaking out during cooking. She's gone back to the old method.
You should only need one clip. I think you risk moving the lid off the seal using two.
Hope this helps
Very helpful thanks a lot. Are you anywhere near West Gippsland? I could do with a bottling mentor.