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Preserving the Harvest canning, drying, smoking, etc.

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Old 09/26/10, 05:27 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Ohio
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Canning and well water

I'm a little concerned with doing any canning using my well water. Between the iron and sulphur, PLUS the water softener treatment, it seems to me there's gotta be a lot of "gunk" that can end up in the clean jars. Should I be using distilled water, or am I worrying too much?

Anybody have experience using their own water softened well water for canning?
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Old 09/26/10, 05:41 PM
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: SE Oklahoma
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I use chlorination to remove the bulk of the clear water iron and sulphur from my well water. An activated charcoal filter is used to remove the last bit of iron and the chlorine from water used for drinking and cooking. Have not noticed any problems in home canned food.
Hope this helps.
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Old 09/26/10, 06:00 PM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 10,537
We get 'drinking' water from those dispensing machines.....not distilled, not spring, but 'drinking' water. It takes municipal water and puts it through osmosis and several other processes. To me, it has the most pure taste and makes all my foods taste best.

My well water is so loaded w/ minerals, etc. it has a 'heavy' taste to me. I've never liked the taste.

Last edited by Txsteader; 09/27/10 at 01:21 PM.
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Old 09/26/10, 06:37 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Arkansas
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ganesa - Yes, I can with softened well water and have for many years with no problems. Do you drink your well water and use it for cooking? If so then you need have no concerns about canning with it. If you use another source of drinking/cooking water because your well water isn't considered potable, then you wouldn't want to use it for canning either.

If it is safe to drink then it is safe to can with it. And having it softened eliminates any other concerns with mineral problems. But if you choose to not use it then you don't want distilled water, just any purified bottled water is fine for canning.

Last edited by judylou; 09/26/10 at 06:40 PM.
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Old 09/26/10, 07:14 PM
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Location: SW Michigan
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I can with softened well water. I have seen no differences in product.
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Old 09/26/10, 08:28 PM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Western WI
Posts: 226
Distilled Water

I use only distilled water in canning (from my home distiller).....and also for drinking water, making soups, etc.

Last edited by Sparkey; 09/26/10 at 08:30 PM. Reason: Add comment
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Old 09/26/10, 08:53 PM
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Join Date: May 2009
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my well water works just fine. no filter straight from the well to the jar
100 miles south of Atlanta

If there are no dogs Heaven, then when I die, I want to go where they went.
-Will Rogers
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Old 09/26/10, 09:37 PM
Join Date: Sep 2010
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Cool I totally grok your gunk!

Our 150 year old water system (various springs and wells all hooked together) gets pretty thick about this time of year and always has lots of precipitates. They do make your canned goods cloudy and a bit fusty.

We set an enamel canner on the stove, just bring it to the boil and then let it sit undisturbed overnight. Then siphon off from the top leaving the minerals behind on the bottom. A little vinegar in the water when you sterilize jars helps too; sometimes we have to wipe the finished jars with straight vinegar to get the deposits off.
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Old 09/27/10, 10:54 AM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Michigan's Thumb
Posts: 6,614
The only thing I have ever seen regarding well water is when making pickles. It said when making pickles, if you have hard water, to use distilled or soft water. As RedDirt Cowgirl said, you can make your own soft water from well water by boiling it and letting it sit overnight to cool. The hard water stuff will settle to the bottom and you then ladle or gently pour off the water without disturbing the sediment. I've done this and it works well.
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Old 09/27/10, 08:20 PM
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 31
I use well water through a general filter, no softening, no charcoal.
Even use it to make pickles with no problems. I give a lot of pickles to the people at Church and supply pickles for Church meals, because everyone wants them.
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Old 09/27/10, 10:32 PM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: SW Louisiana
Posts: 678
Originally Posted by mullberry View Post
my well water works just fine. no filter straight from the well to the jar
I do the same here and have had absolutely no problems. Our chemically treated city water filled with chlorine and flouride certainly isn't what I want my canned vegetables soaking in.
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Old 09/28/10, 09:32 AM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Northern Ontario, Canada
Posts: 522
I have some iron, faint smell of sulphur and the odd dump of manganese in our water. It does go through a not-very-fancy/expensive filtering system and that's what I use for canning. have never had a problem.

I also make home-made wine using that water and my friend who came over the 1st time to show me was worried about the sulphur ..... it was the best tasting wine I've had!! On the other hand, this latest batch is cloudy and I hadn't thought about the well, and the fact that I would think the level is low.... I guess I'll make another batch and see what happens!
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Old 09/28/10, 09:36 AM
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 136
I've been canning with spring and well water for 40 years with no filters and no problems. It might depend on where you live and what minerals, etc are in your local water table.

Granny Sue
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Old 10/12/10, 11:17 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Ohio
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Thanks for all the suggestions. Supposedly our well water is potable... but I wouldn't drink it. I have a feeling we'll be using store bought water for canning purposes.
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