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Darval
Nov 20, 2007

Shiny.



Spring cabbage and carrots, brine is rice wine vinegar, water, salt, sugar, ginger, chilli, and garlic.

This is the first time I've ever made anything like this. I have no idea how it's going to turn out, or if it'll go moldy in a week.

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Joe Friday
Oct 15, 2007

Just the facts, ma'am.

Darval posted:


This is the first time I've ever made anything like this. I have no idea how it's going to turn out, or if it'll go moldy in a week.

Looks good! You'll probably have at least 6 months before that thing starts being even a little off.

I decided to create a recipe based on an existing idea and use testing materials to show the process. Since I always stress the idea of following a recipe exactly and not making substitutions or on the fly revisions, I pH tested my recipe every step of the way, recorded the process and have the results. So, here we go.

This was the original draft recipe I created for testing:

Blood orange, pomegranate and champagne jelly

1.5 cups pomegranate juice (3 whole fruits)
1.5 cups blood orange juice (3-4 whole fruits)
3 cups champagne
4 cups sugar
Juice from 1 lemon
2 boxes regular pectin

Process
Clean 3 large pomegranates and juice, straining out seeds and getting at least 1.5 cups of liquid. Juice 3-4 blood oranges for 1.5 cups of liquid. Combine with 3 cups of champagne. Bring to a boil then turn down to medium high. Add sugar. Boil for 10 minutes. Add pectin and boil until mixture passes jelly test.

Quickly ladle into hot sterilized canning jars, leaving .25 inch headspace. Process in boiling water bath canner 5 minutes.

--------

I started with 3 poms and 4 blood oranges (one not pictured) and some o.k. champagne. Since this is going into a jelly there was no need to get the really good booze, but I didn't want to use really cheap nasty stuff either. This worked great and was the good combo of dry and champagne flavor the jelly needed.



Next I juiced the oranges and pomegranate into a jelly bag and let drain for 1 hour. I estimated that each pomegranate would yield about 1/2 cup of juice and that each blood orange would probably be around 1/3. I got more like 2 cups of juice total.



Next my scientist assistant and I did a pH test of what the juice mixture was and had a control test of lemon juice dyed blue to assure that the color of the substance wouldn't effect the pH results. The bright red strip that is solidly a 2 is the dyed lemon juice. The strip in the foreground is our juice mixture.



Our aim was to make sure that our mixture was safe for water bath canning with a pH of 4.6 or lower. We also tested the champagne on it's own which was a fairly solid pH of 4.



So far we had 2 fairly high acid ingredients so our recipe was probably going to be ok. I wanted a 1 to 1 ratio of champagne to juice so that all the flavors could really shine and complement each other. 2 cups of champagne was added to the juice and pH tested again.



We're between 2 and 3 at this point, so still good. I decided to try 3 cups of sugar with the recipe. I wanted the result to be sweet, but not overpoweringly so and give the recipe enough sugar to react to. We tested pH after each cup of sugar was introduced to show the progression with left being the least sugar at one cup, the middle strip being 2 cups of sugar and right being the full 3 cup amount:



I think this image is really the most important for a beginning canner to see. Often times we'll read a recipe and have the urge to greatly reduce or eliminate the sugar in it. The pH difference here is really noticeable and if you were working with something that wasn't as high acid, such as a hot pepper jelly or a lower acid fruit, even small reductions in sugar content could throw the pH off into unsafe territory.

Next was process. My theory was that the initial boiling would reduce the water content so that the jellying process would be more quick. That actually wasn't the case. We ended up boiling the jelly sugar/juice/wine combo for 10 minutes, adding 2 boxes of regular pectin, then boiling it again for an additional 15 minutes before the jelly test was passed. I'll need to further experiment with cooking time to make sure they jellying process happens with less cooking time after the pectin is added. Here is the resulting product:



5 minutes is the recommended minimum processing time for jellies and I went with that time based on me being about 200 feet above sea level and this being a high acid product. Just to make sure, we tested the final jelly as well. The picture isn't good but the final product solidly between the 2 and 3 range.

The resulting product was a bit darker than I wanted it to be, but had a fantastic flavor. I really love the balance of tart and sweet this resulted in. The recipe yielded 2 8oz jars and 3 4 oz jars.



My observations in general:

- I need to work on the processing methods and times. I was wrong in my estimations.
- This is a really low yield recipe and I'd like to make more than 3.5 cups.
- Next time I'll double the amount of ingredients used and re-test to make sure everything maintains good pH level without compromising flavor or greatly increasing cooking time.

The final recipe as tested now is more like the following:

Blood orange, pomegranate and champagne jelly

1 cup pomegranate juice (3 whole fruits)
1 cup blood orange juice (4 whole fruits)
2 cups champagne
3 cups sugar
Juice from 1 lemon
2 boxes regular pectin

Process
Clean 3 large pomegranates and juice, straining out seeds and getting at least 1 cup of liquid. Juice 4 blood oranges for 1 cups of liquid. Combine with 2 cups of champagne. Add sugar and stir to combine. Bring to a boil then turn down to medium high. Boil for 10 minutes. Add pectin and lemon juice. Bring mixture a rolling boil and boil at least 15 minutes, until mixture passes jelly test.

Immediately ladle into hot sterilized canning jars, leaving .25 inch headspace. Process in boiling water bath canner 5 minutes.

Let stand 48 hours until completely set. Yields 3.5 cups jelly.

somnolence
Sep 29, 2011


My first foray in to the world of pickling is starting off with some red cabbage kimchi. I can't provide pictures at the moment but I will let you know how it turns out!

Joe Friday
Oct 15, 2007

Just the facts, ma'am.

somnolence posted:

My first foray in to the world of pickling is starting off with some red cabbage kimchi. I can't provide pictures at the moment but I will let you know how it turns out!

Can you post the recipe?

Aerofallosov
Oct 3, 2007

It was so peaceful beneath the glittering stars.


I'm going to try some rose petal jam with the dried culinary rose petals I have. I hope it goes well. Would it be alright to post the recipe and make sure it's safe?

Kilersquirrel
Oct 16, 2004
My little sister is awesome and bought me this account.

Joe Friday posted:

Well, making fermented items is a bit different then the "fresh pack" method of using fresh vegetables in brine and canning them up. I think your process for pickled limes should be fine, just change the long term storage method. If you want them to be shelf-stable, use canning jars and process them in a canner. If you have the space and don't plan on submitting them to the actual canning process, just use any clean, sterile jar and stash them in the fridge.

Covering with oil is not a good idea. Botulism loves an anaerobic situation, and unprocessed food (which has not been submitted to temperatures to kill most spores) under oil is a great example of that. Plus, fats go rancid.

Botulism cases in the US are very rare but my philosophy is always "why take the risk when 15 extra minutes will make this 1000X safer?"


Kimchee and sauerkraut are both fermented products, so you have to let them ferment somehow. I always make Maangchi's Easy Kimchi recipe, ferment it in my crock for a week then add it to clean jars and store it in my fridge. This is basically a lunar new year tradition here.

http://www.maangchi.com/recipe/easy-kimchi

If you want it to be shelf stable, find a recipe that gives instructions for fermentation and processing. There are tons out there, but I prefer to let my kimchee continue to ferment and age in the fridge.


Yes, sauerkraut will mold and scum, bubble and be very active microbially. This action is caused by lactobacteria (and other wild yeasts) and give sauerkraut its trademark flavor.

Yes, molds and spores can make you sick, but like many cheeses and other cured products, the mold that sauerkraut produced and the active bacteria in the mix keep other, harmful bacteria from growing. This is not to say that sauerkraut wis immune to bad batches or never goes bad, but the lactobacteria do a great job of keeping salmonella and other evil beasties away. Additionally, the canning process heats everything up to the point where the bacteria is killed in the final product and makes the kraut shelf stable.

This is really late, but with regards to the pickled limes there's no way you're going to get botulism growing inside that environment. It's basically acid and salt, the pH is waaaaay too low for the spores to survive, and the salinity level takes care of almost anything else. Not to mention all fermentation-based pickling depends on an anaerobic environment for the bacteria to do their thing, they do not produce lactic acids in any meaningful amounts in an aerobic environment, period. The reason lactobacteria do a great job of keeping nasty bacteria out is because they produce a shitload of lactic acid to drop the pH of their environment down far enough to kill their competition as quick as they can. If all you needed for botulism was an anaerobic environment, every culture that depended on pickled foods would have disappeared long ago from mass botulism poisoning. Good-bye India, Germany(okay East Europe too), and Korea. For that matter, beer probably wouldn't exist either since yeast only produce alcohol in an anaerobic environment(yes wort is slightly acidic but I'm sure there is enough variation in acid tolerance for spores to conceivably survive and multiply if they were to make it in there).

C. botulinum basically depends on having an anaerobic environment, salinity that's not too too high, and a very close to neutral pH to survive. That's why making your own garlic-infused oil is a bad idea(as has been iterated in this and other threads before); garlic hosts a lot of C. botulinum, and when you infuse garlic into the oil you simultaneously remove an aerobic environment and remove any way for salinity or acidity to make it into the mix, while providing it with a wide variety of food sources and drastically reduce its competition by pasteurizing without pressure-canner levels of heat.

(god I hope PretentiousFood does a full-on sperg-level post about pH, salinity, and things like how they affect species-specific bacterial growth curves/etc. It would be glorious.)

Going back to the limes, even the fermentation bacteria that go to work on them take nearly a month to get going, there's barely anything that can withstand the level of salinity and acidity going on in that jar. It's definitely shelf-stable on its own, your colors will fade but the longer it sits the better it tastes; I'm still eating on a big jar I made roughly 2 years ago. I do recommend fitting the jar's lid on loosely after you cover everything with oil to keep any dust out. Those limes are amazing chopped up fine and tossed onto tacos and basically anything Mexican, or tossed into the blender when you're making smooth salsa. They amp up the bright lime flavor really well. Also fantastic for marinades, you get a big punch of lime flavor in small packages.

e: also sauerkraut is shelf-stable so long as you keep the kraut submersed. If you let the cabbage touch air then there will be spoilage, but otherwise it's got a shelf-life comparable to Twinkies.

Kilersquirrel fucked around with this message at Feb 1, 2012 around 17:26

somnolence
Sep 29, 2011


Joe Friday posted:

Can you post the recipe?

2 medium heads red cabbage

2 tsp coriander seeds

1/2 cup apple cider vineger

4-5 dried red thai chiles

1 Tsp fresh ginger

6-7 cups water

1 cup salt

Shred the cabbage, dilute the salt in enough water to cover the cabbage, soak the cabbage for about 2 hours, drain.

Boil the rest of the spices + vinegar, remove from heat and cool, when the spice mixture is around room temp pour over the drained cabbage and place in an air tight container to ferment for 2-3 days at room temp.

It's more of an experiment than anything, I loosely followed a recipe similar to this.

cocteau
Nov 28, 2005

The best Darcy.


I just assembled my first sauerkraut.

Given a long-standing traumatic childhood memory (I couldn't stand the stuff and my parents wouldn't let me leave the dinner table without finishing it, making for a very long evening), I haven't tried it since I was about 8. But I've been fascinated by the process for a while so I figured I'd give it a try.

I decided to keep this super simple, so it's just a head of cabbage, sea salt, garlic and a sprinkling of dried hot peppers shoved into a gallon jar with a plastic lid over the cabbage and a ziplock bag with water over that and filling the rest of the space in the jar.

Cabbage and garlic are both things I really like.... so how bad can it be?

Still, it feels like a bit of the dark side has invaded my kitchen.

Edit: used this as my "recipe"/inspiration: http://www.fermentersclub.com/sauerkraut/

cocteau fucked around with this message at Feb 2, 2012 around 05:41

Joe Friday
Oct 15, 2007

Just the facts, ma'am.

Aerofallosov posted:

I'm going to try some rose petal jam with the dried culinary rose petals I have. I hope it goes well. Would it be alright to post the recipe and make sure it's safe?

Please do. If you're getting it from a trusted source it should be fine, but we need more recipes!

Aerofallosov
Oct 3, 2007

It was so peaceful beneath the glittering stars.


Joe Friday posted:

Please do. If you're getting it from a trusted source it should be fine, but we need more recipes!

Well. I have two:

http://britishmum.hubpages.com/hub/...ose-Petal-Jelly

versus

http://www.anediblemosaic.com/?p=6173

There's a lot, so I can cut+paste them, but I didn't want to just paste in bad info.

Rule .303
Dec 9, 2011
(Instructions are just some other guy's opinion)

I'm canning beef stew meat today. I have a question.

The Ball book says to just cut it to small chunks and can it (10 lbs pressure for 1 hour for pints)browning it is optional, but I noticed that when I don't sear the meat I get a sort of chalky, bitterish overtaste that I have sort of determined was like calcium like eggshell flavor which I suspect is from the meat juices. When I sear it it is not there, and when I experimented in putting in a teaspoon of vinegar and pickling spices it is also gone.

Do you have any idea what I'm up against here, besides myself?

HUGE PUBES A PLUS
Apr 30, 2005

Nice choreography, babe. You haven't lost a step. Well then, let's dance.

College Slice

Rule .303 posted:

I'm canning beef stew meat today. I have a question.

The Ball book says to just cut it to small chunks and can it (10 lbs pressure for 1 hour for pints)browning it is optional, but I noticed that when I don't sear the meat I get a sort of chalky, bitterish overtaste that I have sort of determined was like calcium like eggshell flavor which I suspect is from the meat juices. When I sear it it is not there, and when I experimented in putting in a teaspoon of vinegar and pickling spices it is also gone.

Do you have any idea what I'm up against here, besides myself?

I can venison and have never had this happen. The meat is cut into chunks and packed in jars. I add nothing else to it and process. The meat should cook in its own juices as it processes. It always come out tender with no odd taste.

Rule .303
Dec 9, 2011
(Instructions are just some other guy's opinion)

Pork and chicken doesn't either, which makes me wonder if it is me or not.

Speaking of venison, have you ever made mincemeat? I have a recipe, but the GF saw that it calls for suet and said it wasn't going to happen if she had anything to say about it.

Joe Friday
Oct 15, 2007

Just the facts, ma'am.

Aerofallosov posted:

Well. I have two:

http://britishmum.hubpages.com/hub/...ose-Petal-Jelly

versus

http://www.anediblemosaic.com/?p=6173

There's a lot, so I can cut+paste them, but I didn't want to just paste in bad info.

Both of those look pretty good so I suppose it depends on how much you want to make. Personally I'd try the 2nd one because it is low yield and you can find out if you like the recipe enough to make a lot of it or make it again. Let me know what you decide and how it turns out as I'd love to make this for tea time.

As for the meat canning, I have little experience with it so unfortunately can't lend advice to why it might have a calcium taste to it. All the meat I've eaten that has been homed canned has tasted very "done" but other than that, normal.

Aerofallosov
Oct 3, 2007

It was so peaceful beneath the glittering stars.


Sounds good, I was definitely thinking the second too because I live alone and ... that's a lot of jelly.

I'll give it a go Tuesday or Wednesday (Probably Wednesday, I have more time before class and work).

Aerofallosov
Oct 3, 2007

It was so peaceful beneath the glittering stars.


Well. My water bather apparently shipped without a rack, so I combined TONGS, oven, boiled lids and formed... Rose jelly! It doesn't look too runny and I refrigerated it as soon as it was safe to (didn't want to shock the jar and blow it up...). I'm making some bread to go with it tomorrow.

I think though, one might like to do the boil bath thing after instead.

I hate to double post, but I promised I would post once I made it. It doesn't seem runny or foamy... so so far so good. Taste test incoming.

Rule .303
Dec 9, 2011
(Instructions are just some other guy's opinion)

Depening on your tolerance for jury rigging stuff you can:
make a lattice out of lathing and nails to fit the bottom,
use a circular wire rack
get a small, perforated pizza pan (use upside down)
make a small, perforated pizza pan (use a hammer and nail)
or go to the hardware store and buy a rack that will fit.

The canning supplies should be showing up in the stores any time now. Does anyone have a suggestion on pressure testing the pressure canners beyond calling the county extension office?

Aerofallosov
Oct 3, 2007

It was so peaceful beneath the glittering stars.


Thanks. I may take it back and get a refund for it or trade it in for one that has a rack like it says.

Taste test on the rose jelly- the test was rose jelly on scottish oat toasting bread.

And wow. I was pleasantly surprised. The closest thing I can think of is cranberry but it's not really that close. It's tart, but sweet at the same time. I definitely like it and am glad I made it. I think grape will always be my favorite though.

Joe Friday
Oct 15, 2007

Just the facts, ma'am.

Aerofallosov posted:

Rose Jelly Joy

Excellent. I'm going to make some of this later this spring. I'll post my results as well.

Rule .303 posted:

Does anyone have a suggestion on pressure testing the pressure canners beyond calling the county extension office?

I'm not familiar with a home testing method since testing usually requires calibration equipment. I'll be bringing mine to the University when they offer the service later this year.

Aerofallosov
Oct 3, 2007

It was so peaceful beneath the glittering stars.


Awesome! Although, I have to admit that being American my food is probably pretty sugary by comparison.

Still, it was definitely worth the effort and I'm digging the slightly tart sweetness (is there a word to describe that?).

Darval
Nov 20, 2007

Shiny.

Darval posted:



Spring cabbage and carrots, brine is rice wine vinegar, water, salt, sugar, ginger, chilli, and garlic.

This is the first time I've ever made anything like this. I have no idea how it's going to turn out, or if it'll go moldy in a week.

Trip report so far:
It's been about 3 weeks since I made this, and I've just started eating from it now. I've been keeping it in the fridge so far. I had some with some rice and steamed fish. It was really good, but I need to make the carrot pieces smaller I think, they're a bit too large, as they're still very crunchy. I like the cabbage the best, I think I'm going to try my hand at making a whole jar more just with cabbage before I'm finished with this one.

Bees on Wheat
Jul 18, 2007

I've never been happy


Buglord

Darval posted:

Trip report so far:
It's been about 3 weeks since I made this, and I've just started eating from it now. I've been keeping it in the fridge so far. I had some with some rice and steamed fish. It was really good, but I need to make the carrot pieces smaller I think, they're a bit too large, as they're still very crunchy. I like the cabbage the best, I think I'm going to try my hand at making a whole jar more just with cabbage before I'm finished with this one.

That looks really good, and just inspired me to buy carrots and cabbage. Then I realized I already had both, so I guess I really need to make something with them. The recipe I usually use for my carrots is this one from Closet Cooking.

Now I just need a couple of jars for all this stuff. Most of mine are dinky little half-pint size.

Bastard Tetris
Apr 27, 2005
L-Shaped

Pillbug

Has anyone here tried making a pepper mash? I just cut up 110 thai birdseye peppers from the garden, added 3.3% kosher salt by weight and mixed it in, then hit it with the food processor. Dropped it into sterilized jars and added some extra salt up top.

Hopefully in a week I'll get some crazy lactobacillus!

Darval
Nov 20, 2007

Shiny.

Mizufusion posted:

That looks really good, and just inspired me to buy carrots and cabbage. Then I realized I already had both, so I guess I really need to make something with them. The recipe I usually use for my carrots is this one from Closet Cooking.

Now I just need a couple of jars for all this stuff. Most of mine are dinky little half-pint size.

Ah cool recipe, thanks for linking it. Hadn't considered this would go well in a sandwich. But why does it say it only keeps for about a week?


Bastard Tetris posted:

Has anyone here tried making a pepper mash? I just cut up 110 thai birdseye peppers from the garden, added 3.3% kosher salt by weight and mixed it in, then hit it with the food processor. Dropped it into sterilized jars and added some extra salt up top.

Hopefully in a week I'll get some crazy lactobacillus!

I haven't personally, my dad has made pretty much what you just described, with a few added spices (can't remember which). It's insanely hot, but equally delicious. He made it last summer, and it still keeps just fine in the fridge.

Bees on Wheat
Jul 18, 2007

I've never been happy


Buglord

Darval posted:

Ah cool recipe, thanks for linking it. Hadn't considered this would go well in a sandwich. But why does it say it only keeps for about a week?

Not sure, probably just to be on the safe side. I've kept mine around a lot longer than that and it was fine, but the vegetables do lose a bit of their natural flavor after a while. They were still good, but they didn't really taste like carrots after a week. It's usually not a problem though, since I tend to eat them all long before that.

SchrodingersFish
Mar 9, 2012


I'm a long time SA lurker and I've finally decided to fork up the $10 and register because I'm worried about my first batch of fermented cucumber pickles!

I'm using the recipe from the Joy of Pickling for Full-Sour Dills. It calls for 1/2 cup of pickling salt for 4 (EDIT: actually 3 quarts not 4!) quarts of water and various spices. I let it sit on the counter for about two weeks (as the recipe instructed) and it didn't seem to have any problems, the fermentation worked great and I saw the little bubbles that you're supposed to see in the brine.

My pickles are kind of soft and mushy though, so I'm worried that they've gone bad. All of the advice I've read said that this can be a sign of spoilage, but they don't say HOW mushy or soft the pickle has to be to indicate it's spoiled. Any advice on what bad pickles look and feel like?

The skin of the pickles is actually really tough (like, hard to bite through tough) even though I used pickling cucumbers. They're not slimy at all and they don't smell bad. I ate one yesterday and didn't get sick, they tasted fine just had a bad texture. Another problem is that many of them are partially hollow inside, but this may be because I got the cucumbers at the store and waited a day or two before putting them in the brine.

SchrodingersFish fucked around with this message at Mar 9, 2012 around 22:11

Joe Friday
Oct 15, 2007

Just the facts, ma'am.

SchrodingersFish posted:

I'm a long time SA lurker and I've finally decided to fork up the $10 and register because I'm worried about my first batch of fermented cucumber pickles!

I'm using the recipe from the Joy of Pickling for Full-Sour Dills. It calls for 1/2 cup of pickling salt for 4 (EDIT: actually 3 quarts not 4!) quarts of water and various spices. I let it sit on the counter for about two weeks (as the recipe instructed) and it didn't seem to have any problems, the fermentation worked great and I saw the little bubbles that you're supposed to see in the brine.

My pickles are kind of soft and mushy though, so I'm worried that they've gone bad. All of the advice I've read said that this can be a sign of spoilage, but they don't say HOW mushy or soft the pickle has to be to indicate it's spoiled. Any advice on what bad pickles look and feel like?

The skin of the pickles is actually really tough (like, hard to bite through tough) even though I used pickling cucumbers. They're not slimy at all and they don't smell bad. I ate one yesterday and didn't get sick, they tasted fine just had a bad texture. Another problem is that many of them are partially hollow inside, but this may be because I got the cucumbers at the store and waited a day or two before putting them in the brine.

Welcome!

For more information about safe pickle handling and spoilage issues, here is a good resource:
http://www.clemson.edu/extension/hg...n/hgic3101.html

Pickles that have gone bad will very likely smell or taste off, be slimy or incredibly mushy (light pressure will crush them), they may darken, the brine will change color or be cloudy, it will mold and other signs.

I'm not sure what part of the world you live in, but in the U.S. pickling cucumbers are way out of season. Using out of season cuces could be the cause.

Like all canning issues, many factors from the kind of salt you used to the water could be a contributing factor, but this is likely either not enough fermentation or bad cucumbers. If your cuces were hollow they were probably too mature to use as pickles. Hollow cuces usually indicate that they were picked too late or picked a long while ago. If they came from far away, they were probably picked before full maturity and had thicker skins. If your cucumbers are hollow, they are also more likely to have lots of seeds that will result in a very soft interiors and the inside of the pickles being "done" before the outer parts as well.

It's hard to tell by looking, but pick smaller pickling cucumbers that are dense and heavy for their size. Don't be afraid to ask the produce person at the store to cut one open to check. When you do 10-20 lbs of this stuff at a time, it's worth the sacrifice.

How are you storing these? Also, is the two weeks just now over? The tough exterior and soft interior could also be a sign that the pickles need further fermentation. I'd probably give them another 1-2 weeks to brine minimum as colder ambient temperatures can slow down the fermentation process.

SchrodingersFish
Mar 9, 2012


Thanks for the advice Joe Friday! I live in California and the weather has been extremely nice, so I didn't even think about the fact that pickling cucumbers were out of season. Our natural food grocery store always has pickling cucumbers in stock, but I'm not sure where they come from and it's possible they were shipped from Mexico.

I bet the main problem is old cucumbers. My apartment gets really warm during the day because we have huge westward facing windows and it's been in the 70s. The two weeks just ended and I took all of the pickles out of my gallon jar and put them into smaller jars in the fridge because I was worried about the fermentation going on too long.

It's great to hear that spoiled pickles will be incredibly mushy- ie crushing under light pressure. Mine are kind of soft but don't smell bad and are firm under light pressure.

Well, I guess I'll chock this batch up to learning experience! I'm planning on doing my first sweet canned fruit pickles next, I'll document them here when I do!

EDIT: Oh wow! I just tried one of the pickles after they've chilled in the fridge and the texture has improved enormously. The insides have firmed up and the skin is a bit less tough. If you're making fermented pickles make sure to try them after chilling first!

SchrodingersFish fucked around with this message at Mar 11, 2012 around 01:11

TapTheForwardAssist
Apr 9, 2007

by R. Guyovich


Kilersquirrel posted:

[limes, limes, limes]

Thanks for the vote of confidence; I had hoped that the massive citric acid and salt slurry would keep things fine.

Speaking of which though, since you seem to be experienced in this field: do you leave yours just packed in plain salt, or do you eventually move them to some kind of brine? Whenever I've done them in the past, I just left them packed in salt and their own juice, so when pulled from the jar they'd be crusted in salt and need to be rinsed pretty well to not be overpoweringly salty. Though I did have a buddy's girlfriend who ate them straight from the jar, as in the equivalent of a teaspoon of rock salt clinging to each wedge.

I'd tried store-bought pickled lemons from an Arab grocery in Quebec, and they were just packed in some kind of brine, which seems a bit more convenient than having to adjust the salinity to edible levels via rinsing. Is some kind of brine workable, or does that change a lot of factors.

In a (probably misguided) attempt to make "brine" I dumped a bunch of 15% pickling vinegar into a jar with some slightly salt-crusted lemons that were already well-pickled. Now I have to rinse them not for the salt, but because they're so acidic they taste slightly burning if I eat them right out of the jar.

What should I have poured in to make the brine? Some weaker vinegar solution? Can I pour out some of the vinegar and pour in some filtered water to even out the pH? I'm just trying to make the dang things edible without having to prep them out of the jar.

ThreeFish
Nov 4, 2006

Founder and President of The E/N Log Cabin

Help!

I just started canning this week. No one in my family has ever canned, so I don't even have the knowledge that would come from watching grandma back in the day or anything.

Sunday I canned 4 pints of cowboy candy. Tuesday I canned 6 half-pints of pineapple jelly. And today I canned 6 half-pints of pineapple pancake syrup.

On the cowboy candy and jelly, during the 15 minute processing time, I went out on the porch to cool down and smoke a cigarette. This morning while I was doing the syrup, I stuck around for some reason and am now frightened and alarmed!

I have an electric cooktop with coils. I knew I had to be careful if I had a glass, flat top range. But I don't. I figured things would be fine! But while I watched the syrup today, it appears my coils turn themselves off when they get too hot and the water goes from a rolling boil to barely bubbling and then eventually back up to rolling boil.

When I saw that the first time, I just decided to restart the 15 minute timer when it came back to a boil. But at the 6 minute mark, it stopped boiling again. I just decided to remove the jars because apparently it isn't going to let me get a full 15 minutes.

I can just store the syrup in the fridge, right? Do I need to let it cool for 24 hours like normal and then put it in the fridge? Or straight to the fridge? And how long do I have to use up this syrup?

And what about the things I made on Sunday and Tuesday? They are just sitting on shelves in my pantry because I had no idea they weren't properly boiled (they both were boiling fine when I came back in from my smoke break, but I have to assume that if it stopped boiling with my syrup, it must have stopped boiling with the rest of my cans, too). I really don't want to throw all this stuff out, but I guess I don't want to die either! I want to cry.

Why is my stupid stove doing this? Is there anything I can do? Because I had no idea I would love canning so much. I don't want to stop, but it appears I have to if it's going to kill us with improperly processed items!

Psychobabble
Jan 17, 2006


TapTheForwardAssist posted:

Thanks for the vote of confidence; I had hoped that the massive citric acid and salt slurry would keep things fine.

Speaking of which though, since you seem to be experienced in this field: do you leave yours just packed in plain salt, or do you eventually move them to some kind of brine? Whenever I've done them in the past, I just left them packed in salt and their own juice, so when pulled from the jar they'd be crusted in salt and need to be rinsed pretty well to not be overpoweringly salty. Though I did have a buddy's girlfriend who ate them straight from the jar, as in the equivalent of a teaspoon of rock salt clinging to each wedge.

I'd tried store-bought pickled lemons from an Arab grocery in Quebec, and they were just packed in some kind of brine, which seems a bit more convenient than having to adjust the salinity to edible levels via rinsing. Is some kind of brine workable, or does that change a lot of factors.

In a (probably misguided) attempt to make "brine" I dumped a bunch of 15% pickling vinegar into a jar with some slightly salt-crusted lemons that were already well-pickled. Now I have to rinse them not for the salt, but because they're so acidic they taste slightly burning if I eat them right out of the jar.

What should I have poured in to make the brine? Some weaker vinegar solution? Can I pour out some of the vinegar and pour in some filtered water to even out the pH? I'm just trying to make the dang things edible without having to prep them out of the jar.

You are supposed to simply add enough extra juice so that everything is submerged.

Joe Friday
Oct 15, 2007

Just the facts, ma'am.

TapTheForwardAssist posted:

Lime Time

The Food in Jars blog recently did a post about pickled limes. You might find the info about her process useful for structuring your own recipe: http://www.foodinjars.com/2012/03/s...ved-key-limes/.

ThreeFish posted:

Help!

Sorry to hear about your canning woes! I have no idea what your stove might be doing and I'd suggest contacting the manufacturer to ask if it has safety mechanisms that disable the coil after a certain temperature. You can also ask them general questions about the way things function, etc. and make sure it's just not old or broken.

I would say that your products are probably just fine for shelf storage so don't worry. You have no idea if the burner shut itself off just this one time or if this affected other batches. Check all the seals to make sure they are good and check the products periodically for changes. The same goes with what you made today.

If you are extra super worried you can store all your products in the fridge after the 24 hour cooling and setting period is up, but I really don't think that is necessary.

In a related note, many countries' food and health departments consider the "open kettle" canning method a-o.k. for highly acidic foods (open kettle means putting your product into hot, sanitary jars and sealing them without further processing). All my advice here will follow strict USDA recommendations and always recommend processing for anything desired to be shelf stored, but it's something to keep in mind.

ThreeFish
Nov 4, 2006

Founder and President of The E/N Log Cabin

Ah. That's a relief! I will try to find the number and give them a call and see what's up. Stupid stove!

I actually put the syrups in the fridge because I wasn't sure what to do with them. Can I take them back out for pantry storage? Or is it once in fridge, always in fridge?

edit: All the seals are perfectly fine, by the way.
Edit2: I cracked open a jar of the cowboy candy really early because I just couldn't resist. Holy poo poo is this the best stuff ever to grace my taste buds. Seriously addictive. I can't stop! Make some! Now!

ThreeFish fucked around with this message at Mar 16, 2012 around 16:12

CrackyMcZap
Oct 17, 2004

Do you guys have any idea how much kinetic energy a pound of tannerite has?

My chickens have been pumping out eggs like crazy. I just made a double recipe of these spicy pickled eggs but I'm always looking for more ideas. Anybody have a favorite recipe floating around? I'm already saving brine from other pickles (hot banana pepper pickled eggs!) but I don't go through them very quickly.

Joe Friday
Oct 15, 2007

Just the facts, ma'am.

CrackyMcZap posted:

My chickens have been pumping out eggs like crazy. I just made a double recipe of these spicy pickled eggs but I'm always looking for more ideas. Anybody have a favorite recipe floating around? I'm already saving brine from other pickles (hot banana pepper pickled eggs!) but I don't go through them very quickly.

Those spicy ones look great. I'm about to make some mustard pickled eggs and beet pickled eggs for myself which are my absolute favorite. Here are some recipes that are very good (warning, website that looks like 2000 exploded on it): http://pickyourown.org/pickledeggs.htm. Tea eggs are also great too, although I live in a neighborhood where I can get 1 for a quarter with my dumplings for lunch. http://steamykitchen.com/2147-chine...ggs-recipe.html

CrackyMcZap
Oct 17, 2004

Do you guys have any idea how much kinetic energy a pound of tannerite has?

Joe Friday posted:

Those spicy ones look great. I'm about to make some mustard pickled eggs and beet pickled eggs for myself which are my absolute favorite. Here are some recipes that are very good (warning, website that looks like 2000 exploded on it): http://pickyourown.org/pickledeggs.htm. Tea eggs are also great too, although I live in a neighborhood where I can get 1 for a quarter with my dumplings for lunch. http://steamykitchen.com/2147-chine...ggs-recipe.html

Awesome, thanks. By the way, if you have a pressure cooker you can get flawless peels with even the freshest backyard eggs. 5 minutes at 15 PSI in a steamer basket, quick release pressure, and ice bath. I will never boil an egg again.

axolotl farmer
May 17, 2007

I had me a vision
there wasn't any television



Nap Ghost

I have been making sauerkraut a couple of times, but the last batch turned out on the mushy side. It had some scum and a tiny bit of mold growing on the surface, but I scooped that out and threw away the first inch or so of kraut.

Is the mushy consistency from using too little or too much salt (I eyeballed it, that worked before) or was there something nasty growing in it. Doesn't taste bad, just a little to soft.

e: fermented at room temperature for two weeks. Only saw scum at the end of the fermentation. Then put it into glass jars in the fridge.

axolotl farmer fucked around with this message at Apr 24, 2012 around 15:36

Joe Friday
Oct 15, 2007

Just the facts, ma'am.

axolotl farmer posted:

I have been making sauerkraut a couple of times, but the last batch turned out on the mushy side. It had some scum and a tiny bit of mold growing on the surface, but I scooped that out and threw away the first inch or so of kraut.

Is the mushy consistency from using too little or too much salt (I eyeballed it, that worked before) or was there something nasty growing in it. Doesn't taste bad, just a little to soft.

e: fermented at room temperature for two weeks. Only saw scum at the end of the fermentation. Then put it into glass jars in the fridge.

It's normal for sauerkraut to scum and mold. You just skim that liquid off the top and keep checking it every few days, rinse, repeat.

Soft kraut is usually caused by too little salt or high fermentation temperatures. It was probably either too little salt (this is what I think since you didn't officially measure) or your house was too warm. I try to ferment my batches as 65 degrees F below for 4-6 weeks and always make sure I add 3 generous Tablespoons of salt per 5 lbs of cabbage. Since it didn't change colors or smell off, it should be fine. When sauerkraut has a contamination issue, it's usually VERY apparent. Like brown with flies apparent.

Spook
Feb 25, 2002

Silence of the MOTHERFUCKING LAMBS!!

I just ordered a Harsch fermentation crock and a mashing stick. Super excited to make even more pickled / fermented things.

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HUGE PUBES A PLUS
Apr 30, 2005

Nice choreography, babe. You haven't lost a step. Well then, let's dance.

College Slice

The sauerkraut I started in Mid-March is finished now. I had some this week with a kielbasa. I love it when it's still "fresh" and crunchy. Canning it is fine, but the cabbage loses it's crunch. I'm thinking I want to store this batch in the fridge instead of canning it this time. I'm not much in the mood for canning right now anyway, I'm too busy morel hunting these days.

A decent haul:



The large reddish brain looking thing off in the corner is a "beefsteak" or false Morel. Everyone around here eats them, but they are listed as extremely poisonous. My family has always eaten them, and we've never had problems. With that said, 53 people in this area went to the emergency room with mushroom poisoning symptoms after eating beefsteaks last year.


Drying mushrooms:



This is my preferred method for preserving Morels. Other people like to freeze them. Once these are nice and dry they go into a jar and stored in the pantry.

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