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Discussion Starter #1
I had my first canning adventure yesterday with some apple butter we made this weekend. We followed a recommended water bath canning recipe and I meticulously completed every step of the water bath canning process.

I sterilized, used my Norpro canning kit to handle my tools, measured headspace, wiped rims and tried my best to be as safe and sanitary as possible.

When we were supposedly done, I only heard one "ping!" sound indicating a jar had sealed. I let the jars sit for a few hours to cool and came back. I checkedthe seals and discovered that all but two pints (out of 8) didn't seal at all. I was devastated!

I checked my Ball book and resources online and decided to reprocess with new lids. We reprocessed and got a few more "pings" but not every jar. This morning (we finished late), I checked and the jars are all indented. I did a spoon test and they all sound "tinny".

I'm going to take the rings off when I'm off work today since that will be the full 24 hours but I'm going to be so heartbroken if they still didn't seal. I don't know what I could have done wrong. :(
 

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In my experience you don't always hear the ping of a seal. Just check the jars after you remove the rings. If they sound ok, then they are. Wipe them down and put them on the shelf. I check my jars every month. And yes, sometimes they lose a seal. Throw those out.
Make sure you rotate and use what you have.
Don't give up. It's a learning process and you will find success. Just keep doing it. :)
 

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I know they say you don't have to simmer the lids anymore but I still do. I've never had one to not seal.
I wash my jars in the dishwasher and when I am making my jam or whatever I leave the dishwasher on the plate warmer setting. I only take the jars out when the jam is boiling hot and ready to go in. The jars are so hot when I get them out of the dishwasher I have to remove them with a potholder.
 

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It sounds like you did fine. Not sure why they wouldn't have all sealed the first time but you did what you were supposed to do. Don't give up. I have been canning for years and I can count on one hand the number of jars that didn't seal the first time (actually can only remember 1 that didn't so we ate that). I also always simmer my lids beforehand.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I don't have a dishwasher so we made a water bath with a large shallow baking dish and I set the oven to 170 to keep them very warm. The apple butter was warm but not boiling hot, as I have read that it didn't need to be boiling hot (it was about the same temp as the jars, per my food thermometer)
 

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I sterilize my jars right in the canner, in the rack, and turn the temperature down so its hot but not simmering. I take one out, fill it, and put it back in the canner. I add additional hot water if I need to. Have a nice big tea kettle I keep hot water ready in when I'm canning. When all the jars are full I bring it to a boil and proceed as usual.

Using a separate pot for the jars works too.
 
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When you take the rings off your jars hold them by them lid, if they are sealed well you will be able to pick up like that. If they don't seal well the jar will come apart from the lid so only hold them an inch or so from counter.
Good luck, you are doing fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I am so happy! Most folks spend their Monday at the office stressing job related woes, I spent mine fretting about my eight little jars at home.

As soon as we got in the door, I ran to the little guys and tapped them again with the spoon. I then slowly unscrewed their rings, fully expecting the lids to pop off. When they didn't, I asked DF to do the lift test for me while I peeked between my fingers (yes, I covered my face!): THEY PASSED! They all passed!

He even walked one around the kitchen. I don't recommend that. :)

I looked at the bad lids again. I just bought them from Rural King but they appeared to have little holes in the seal. I'm taking them back..and may call Ball. That's a lot of wasted materials.
 
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