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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I tried canning turnips and it blew almost all the water out. The same thing happens with beets and apples. What am I doing wrong? I wait about 10 minutes before putting the weight over the hole. The green beans do fine but I can them in quarts instead of the pints I have been doing everything else in.

Any advice?
 

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Hmm, I am not an expert canner, but I do have a guess.....chances are that you are not making sure that the bubbles (air) inside the jars has been stirred out. I use a thin spatula type tool, looks rather like a plastic cake knife. Spend a few extra seconds after you have filled your jars and before you put your hot lids on, stirring/jiggling the air out.

Also, I don't "wait ten minutes" before putting on the weight. I start timing my ten minutes after I see a steady, very STRONG stream of steam venting. When that ten minutes is over, I put on the weights and watch until the ga. reads at least 12 pounds, then dial back the heat so it will stay just above ten pounds. I don't start my canning time until the needle goes over ten pounds.

Of course, I am pretty anal about home canning and I absolutely will not take any short cuts. Seldom have a failed seal and never had anyone sick from anything I canned.

Interesting factoid for my location-both canner gauges will "rest" at just about 11 pounds here. Less heat and they will plummet below what's safe. I asked a gal at the Co-op Ext. Service about that, apparantly that's the norm for my area. Weird, hunh?
 

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HI MWG
Did you lift the weight off the canner at the end of the cycle? That problem sounds like quick depressurization. You should allow the pressure to gradually come down at the end of a run rather than trying to cool the canner down quickly. When you say you left the weight off for 10 minutes, was that before or after steam started coming out? The purpose of leaving the weight off is so that all the air can be flushed out of the canner so the internal atmosphere is pure steam. You do that by letting the steam flow out for the first 10 minutes.
 

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HI MWG
Did you lift the weight off the canner at the end of the cycle? That problem sounds like quick depressurization. You should allow the pressure to gradually come down at the end of a run rather than trying to cool the canner down quickly. When you say you left the weight off for 10 minutes, was that before or after steam started coming out? The purpose of leaving the weight off is so that all the air can be flushed out of the canner so the internal atmosphere is pure steam. You do that by letting the steam flow out for the first 10 minutes.
I second this. Your problem is at the end, when pressure is released too quickly.
 

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What Pouncer said. When the steam is coming out in a steady stream so you can "cut" it with your hand, that's when you start the timer for 10 minutes. Then let the pressure build up kind of slow & keep it steady. Once you get up to the correct pressure, don't let it fluctuate. It's better to can your food a little over the correct pressure rather than go back & forth trying to get it right. Then when it's done, let the pressure go down naturally - don't hurry it up in any way. When the pressure is down to zero, then take off your weight or open the petcock.

Fluctuating pressure & speeding up the depressurizing are the 2 main reasons for liquid escaping from the jars. Although some will go out anyway.

Good luck on the next batch!
 

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Have you had your pressure regulator checked. Usually your local extension agency can check it for you. How about your seals and gaskets? Are they still supple and in good shape?
 

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when you are finished canning, do you just slide the canner to the back of the stove to cool off without opening it? Let the pressure go down on its own.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for all the replies!

Yes, I don't start the timer on the ten minutes until the... well not sure what you call it but a little metal thing pops up and lets you know there is some pressure. After that thingy pops up then steam starts really blowing out of the pipe you set the weight on.

I let it cool down on it own. After the pressure canning cycle I just turn the stove off. After the pressure goes to zero and that little metal thingy falls down on it own then I take off the lid. The seals are good because it is a new canner.

One thing that might be causing it is fluctuation of the pressure. I try to keep it +/- 2 lbs of the target. Maybe that is too much of a tolerance?
 

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Hmm, from your description of what you do.....I think you need to make a change or two.

First, steam *must* escape for ten minutes before you put the weight on. It needs to be a good solid stream, no "puffs", easily as strong as you would have with a teakettle whistling nonstop.

My All American pressure canners do not have pop ups of any kind, I use the gauges on the lids....yes, there may be a couple pounds pressure before I can start timing the steam venting. I make sure I have at least two inches of water in the canner before I load jars in them-and that the water is simmering on the gas range.

If you are having so much fluctuation on your gauge, are you using an electric stove for pressure canning? It is not recommended just because it does not generate steady heat, but cycles up and down. If your pressure falls below the recommended pounds, you must bring the canner back up to correct pressure (or slightly above) and start timing all over again....it is not safe to can at lower pressures-the heat does not fully penetrate the foods in the jars and cook off the harmful bacteria.

Don't play with fire (or your family's lives) and make sure you vent for the proper length of time, never ever cut canning times by even two minutes, and always always can at the recommended pressure for the entire time.

If you are letting the canner drop that two pounds below ten pounds, you are playing Russian roulette with those jars. JMO. I don't mean to scare you, but you cannot tell if you have deadly botulism inside those jars-its tasteless and odorless. The jar content must reach (from memory here) 240 degrees for a specific amount of time to be safe.
 

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I did not read all the post but I did not read where you lower your heat so My Guess would be that after you put the weight on your pot, you do no lower the heat till you hear your weight "jiggle" ONLY 2 or 3 times a minute-----more times than that or a steady jiggle means your pressure is to high which would cause most of your water to be forced out the jars.
 

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So I tried canning turnips and it blew almost all the water out. The same thing happens with beets and apples.
These veggies and fruits contain a good portion of air in their cells and as the canning process goes along the air is pulled out of the veggies and is replaced with the water from the jars. Is the water actually spewing out (red colored water, in the case of beets) or is there just less water in the jars after canning?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I use the guage. For instance, if it is suposed to be at 12 lbs then I don't let it fall below 10 lbs. And... if it does go below 12 lbs I add a little more time. Say if it was supposed to be 25 minutes then I add about 1.5 minutes per minute it is below 12. For beans I always go 5 minutes over the reccomended time cause it makes then a little softer.

I also make sure there is a steady stream of steam coming outbefore starting the 10 minute countdown to the addition of the weight.

Yes, it is an electric range. It is tough keeping it on the recommended pressure so I can't leave it alone. I am constantly altering the dial.

I have probably canned over a thousand jars with only 2 not sealing. I wipe the rims and follow the directions to the tee (or is that tea?) Everything but the turnips, beets, corn and apples have done fine. I think Pouncer may be on to something with the air bubbles but would that make the fluid in the jars come out? What ever it is that I am canning (of the above list) has fluid in the pressure canner that smells like what ever it is I am canning. I even have some particles of whatever it is, say beets and there is little pieces of beet in the pressure canner. Everything I have done in the quart jars is fine, just not the pints... I dunno.

When and if I build a new house I am going to install two ranges, one electric and one gas just for canning! :)
 

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If you are having so much fluctuation on your gauge, are you using an electric stove for pressure canning? It is not recommended just because it does not generate steady heat, but cycles up and down. .
This is not true with the regular coil-type electric stoves. The switch that sets the heat setting (HI, MED-HI,ect.) is nothing but a rheostat. It works just like a dimmer switch in that it limits the amount of current passing through. The newer electric stoves are the ones that cylcle on and off and are hard to regulate the temperatures with.
 

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MWG, if you are fiddling with the temp controls up and down, that is probably your problem. When lowering the heat setting, do it in small stages and you will most likely be able to maintain the correct pressure. Electric stoves do not respond instantly like gas does. Give the stove time to react to your lowering the setting before lowering it again.
 

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No water left in the jars has nothing to do with a few degrees temperature variances. Nor does whether the stove keeps coming off and on; nor how long you vent your canner.

It has to do with either that your overfilling your jars; not removing the air bubbles; your rings are either too tight or not tight enough; or your gauge is off and you're actually processing at a much higher pressure. Also, be sure you're adding no more than 2" of water in your canner before you begin.

Take a stop by the canning forum (Preserving the Harvest); I'm sure you'll get lots of suggestions and information there too. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Over filling the jars will do it? I started adding more water in the headspace because the water was blowing out...

I have one of the newer stoves that turns on and off. It is a pain.

I always followed the directions and added 3 quarts of water to the canner. I have a Presto... actually I have two of them and they both act the same way so I am not sure if the pressure gauge is the problem unless both are wrong.
 

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Yes, you need headspace to make room for expansion when the contents hit the boiling point. You want to leave 1" headspace for vegetables and meats.

Also, adding more than 3" of water will result in the tempurature not being high enough. You need the room in the canner for the steam to build up. It's the combination of the pressure and steam that creates the higher temperatures in pressure canning.
 

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I'm with suitcase sally on this one. I have noticed that when I adjust my electric (new) stove to much at one time I always get a blowout, even if it is just to take it down 1 notch(from 8 to 7). If I take it down 1/4 notch at a time , say every 5 minutes ,instead of jumping down a whole notch I do much better and have not had any blow outs.
 

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interesting about the 2" of water in the canner. My Presto book said to use 3 quarts, so that is what I have always done, with good results. 3 quarts is more than 2".
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I'm with suitcase sally on this one. I have noticed that when I adjust my electric (new) stove to much at one time I always get a blowout, even if it is just to take it down 1 notch(from 8 to 7). If I take it down 1/4 notch at a time , say every 5 minutes ,instead of jumping down a whole notch I do much better and have not had any blow outs.
Ah Ha! I have mine on high and when it reaches pressure minus one I turn it down from 10 to 2.

I will try the slower method and report back (it may be next spring, I have canned just about everything I can except for the kids... :) ).
 
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