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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > 1 Gal. of Wort using 36 qt. Pressure Cooker
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Old 03-14-2011, 02:29 AM   #1
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Default 1 Gal. of Wort using 36 qt. Pressure Cooker

Ordered this 22 qt Mirro pressure cooker to do wort starters and used it for the first time today. Started with 1 1/2 lbs pilsner malt and did a 60 min mash in a 1 gal. cooler with a 1 gal. paint strainer bag. After separating the grains from the wort, i filled 8 pint sized mason jars and screwed on the lids finger tight. They went into the cooker and went for 20 min. @ 15 psi or about 250*F.

Lots of hot break and other sediment. Question for those of you who have done this in the past: 1. Did the some of wort inside the jars boil out? 2. After cooling, did you pour the clear wort off the break material into the starter?

Here are some pics:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/gallery/...set-up&cat=500

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/gallery/...031311&cat=500

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/gallery/...031311&cat=500

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Old 03-14-2011, 03:01 AM   #2
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That's a hefty pressure cooker. Where did you get it from and for how much?

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Old 03-14-2011, 03:06 AM   #3
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When if first started canning wort, I did the cold water over the outside of the pressure cooker thing to cool it down like I'd seen my mom do a thousand times growing up. Found out that quick of a drop in temp and pressure was what was leading to my boilovers. Since then I just let it cool on it's own and haven't had any problems.

Yes I decant off the break when I make a starter.

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Old 03-14-2011, 03:11 AM   #4
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http://www.amazon.com/Mirro-22-Quart...0068311&sr=8-1

My bad! Its a 22 qt, not a 36 qt. Either way, its huge! I should have bought a smaller one, maybe 16 qt or something like that, but I was able to but a two liter erlenmyer flask inside.
It was $85.22 w/ free shipping.
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Old 03-14-2011, 03:11 AM   #5
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I"ve pressure cooked countless gallons of starter wort. I mash up 5 gallons of 1.040 wort at a time and then can it up. I usually don't lose any noticeable ammount of volume from the jars when canning. Maybe just a hair.....but insignificant. I run mine @ 15psi for 15 minutes. I don't think the extra 5 minutes will hurt anything though.....might account for some extra volume loss..........maybe.

As far as the break material goes.......yup yup.....lots of that stuff in the jars afterwards. If you are not using a stir plate, I wouldn't worry too much about it. The break material provides some nutrition to the yeast anyway. However, I use stir plates and I try to pour off the clear wort and leave the big chunks of break material behind. This is because I've found that these large pieces floating around in my starter tend to get wedged under the stir bar and cause it to get thrown more easily.

A couple solutions for the break material if it's bothering you:

I shake my jars after they cool and seal. This gets the break material unstuck from the sides of the jars and allows it to settle to the bottom. This makes it easier to pour off the good stuff and leave the break behind. You'll still get some smaller pieces in the starter this way though.

The only other alternative (which I've never bothered with) would be to pre-boil and cool the wort prior to pressure cooking. This way you get the hot and cold break out of the way before pressure cooking which can then be filtered out . I think that this would be a total waste of time and energy though if you ask me. I've made A LOT of starter wort this way and A LOT of yeast starters with absolutely no problems (other than the stir bar getting thrown if big chunks find their way into the starter).

Hope this helps

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Old 03-14-2011, 03:23 AM   #6
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BBL, thanks for the details about your experience. I also use a stir plate and agree that a preboil would be a waste of time. It was actually alot of work for this 1 gallon of wort. Next time I think I will do a 5 gallon batch as if i were brewing and recirculate the wort before canning. I need a few more cases of jars!

If you look at the close up photo of the jars, the two in the front were filled to the rim beneath the lid. These two jars appear to have lost a few tbls. of liquid. Also, the jars were a bit sticky around the lids.

These can now be stored at room temp. for how long?

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Old 03-14-2011, 03:47 AM   #7
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Ok.....don't fill the jars all the way to the top. This will cause boil over for sure.....which will not only result in wort loss......but the problem you've already discovered....sticky jar syndrome. This causes a problem down the road when trying to get the rings off your jars (becasue you just glued em to the jar). I've had this happen to me. Plus it's not very sanitary if you ask me. Provides something for bacteria and wild yeast to adhere to which makes it more likely that these things can find their way into your starter.

I fill my jars to right at or just below the threaded part of the jar. This seems to work out pretty good. Even doing this though, sometimes the jars get a bit sticky. I like to take my rings off after cooling and sealing of course and wipe down the jars with a wet rag. I just leave the rings off after this most of the time becasue thier only purpose is the hold the lid down until it seals anyway....although they do protect the lid I guess from getting bumped around and losing seal. Shouldn't be a problem though.

Also, FYI, I like to wipe down my jar lids/rims everything near the top of the jar with a papertowel saturated with alcohol before popping the top and pouring into the starter. Just a good sanitation practice if you ask me.

As for shelf life.......pressure canned, sterile media should be good for many years to come (although mine always gets used within a year). I store mine in the basement and try and keep them protected from light to try and avoid staling reactions like would happen in the beer itself. That said, the starter wort should not go bad for quite some time.

Another pointer though....since we're on the topic of canning. I like to pressure up jars of sterile water as well. This way you can pour off/siphon all of the nasty tasting starter beer and use sterile water to make your yeast slurry before pitching

Let me know if you have anymore questions.

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Old 03-14-2011, 04:10 AM   #8
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BBL,
Thanks for the tips. I did fill the jars to the base of the threads, just where the 16 oz mark would be. There was still an inch of head space. I assume that on those particular jars the lid was not tightened enough. I too removed the rings and rinsed off the jars. I dried them and replaced the rings for security, like you said.

I think i will go with the quart jars for future batches. I already calculated a 5 gal batch with Beersmith. It calculated the SG as approx. 1.044 and will probably make enough for about a years worth of starters! Thanks for your help.

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Old 03-14-2011, 08:44 PM   #9
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I guess I've been doing extra work, but I've always boiled the wort for about 30 min, the cooled and let most of the break material settle. Then I can the clearer wort on the top. Some boil-over is common, but (as stated above) don't overfill and let the cooker temp drop gradually.
Another thing you can do is to can some water in pinto or half-pint jars (ie sterilize them). Then make an extra large starter and before pitching the starter (or cold crashing it) put some of the finished starter in an empty sterilized jar. This will keep refrigerated for 3-4 months easily and you can re-use the yeast on your next beer.

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Old 03-14-2011, 11:37 PM   #10
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I don't mean to threadjack, but are you canning this just so you can pitch yeast into it for a yeast starter?

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