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Old 01-29-2012, 02:26 PM   #41
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Not being an expert, it was also my impression that wort needed to be pressure canned prior to long term storage. Freezing would probably work for a few months, and refrigeration for a week or two.

I routinely can wort for starters. I try to make it pretty concentrated (1.070 or so) so I can use smaller mason jars/more per batch.

When I make the starter I put a pint of water in my starter flask, boil to sterilize, cool and add the canned wort. Pitch and go.

I don't particularly do it to save money. I do it because I want to keep complete control of my beer. Well, and because if I wanted to do it the easy way, I'd just go buy some beer.

L
That's a great idea to save space. So a pint of water and a pint of 1.070 wort gets you to what, 1.035?
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Old 01-29-2012, 04:31 PM   #42
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Pressure cooking is analogous to autoclaving and when performed correctly renders food sterile. However, some foods are notoriously difficult to sterilize with home canning equipment, so expert recommendations should be followed for home processing to avoid food poisoning.
Correct. However, at some point, you get into diminishing returns.

In my day job, I'm a manufacturing engineer for a big food company. On one project I worked on, I was dealing with the processes for retort sterilization of low-acid products (in this case, the milk discs that are part of the Tassimo coffee/tea system). A retort is basically a pressure cooker.

Knowing that you've rendered something sterile requires a couple of things - knowing how effectively heat penetrates your product (ie, know where the cold spot in your container is and measure it), and how much thermal treatment a product sees (we use a quantity called F0, which is based on the fact that the sterilization effect is exponential with respect to temperature.

Even then, we only consider products "commercially sterile" - that just means that there's been a certain order of magnitude reduction in the population of pathogenic organisms/spores. Typically, we're talking about a 5-9 log reduction of pathogens. So, if you had a flask full of C. botulinum with a population of 1 billion cells and commercially sterilized it, there could still be viable spores.

Sterilization relies on a sanitary process before-hand to reduce the risk of growth in a medium before it's sterilized.
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Old 01-29-2012, 04:48 PM   #43
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Nope, no DME on hand. I used some old LME on the last starter I made and dumped the whole 2000 ml starter into a 10 gallon batch, should have decanted. The final product had a twang to it, like burnt LME.

This time just want to make a starter out of fresh grain.
Hard to get an answer when people insist you use an alternative method. Boiling for one hour is used to drive off compounds we don't want in our beer. DMS? Don't remember but if you are going to pitch the starter, I'd say boil it for the one hour. If you boil too much off just add some water back for at least the last 10 minutes.
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Old 01-29-2012, 04:55 PM   #44
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Foods that are highly acidic or that have large amounts of added sugar are included in this group.
Adam
Wort would be somewhat acidic and high sugar, but I wouldn't recommend water bath unless I KNEW that testing had been done on the medium. A later post points to proper sanitation prior to sterilization so using these techniques might help here. At minimum if I were going to do this I'd take the precaution of doing a healthy boil of the starter prior to using it.
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Old 01-29-2012, 06:18 PM   #45
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Wort would be somewhat acidic and high sugar, but I wouldn't recommend water bath unless I KNEW that testing had been done on the medium. A later post points to proper sanitation prior to sterilization so using these techniques might help here. At minimum if I were going to do this I'd take the precaution of doing a healthy boil of the starter prior to using it.
Not enough acidity or sugar to get into the high-acid or low water activity categories in wort. pH generally needs to be <4. Don't remember the water-activity requirements off the top of my head, but I imagine you'd have to get up into the >1.1 SG range to even think about enough sugars.
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Old 01-29-2012, 06:49 PM   #46
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Wow, this thread blew up over night. Dan, I looked up your cooker. I couldn't find "vagor" but I found "Fagor". Typo perharps? Anyway, if it is a Fagor it looks like your model is not meant to can with, just cook. Here is a link to the product manual page for Fagor.

http://www.fagoramerica.com/my_fagor/technical_information

Find your model and download the insturctions and read them. If you can't use it to can, just do as recommended previously and freeze the wort. Boil it before you make a starter with it. Just make sure to leave some headspace in your freezer jars to allow for expansion. If you do end up canning, please pressure can at 15 psi for 15 minutes. Water bathing is not a good idea for wort. This comes up once in a while and I don't know why people even debate it. Might you get away with a water batch, perhaps, but why take that chance. If you do it right the first time, when you pop the top a couple years later you are guranteed to have fresh, sterile wort as long the seal is still good.

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Old 01-29-2012, 07:52 PM   #47
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That's a great idea to save space. So a pint of water and a pint of 1.070 wort gets you to what, 1.035?
Pretty much. Distilled water is 1.000. Drinking/tap water may be slightly higer but you're about right.

L
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Old 01-29-2012, 08:10 PM   #48
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How did this work? I would be shocked if it didn't blow right by mash temp (even on low) too fast to get effective conversion.

Adam
Did I mention my thermometer was also broke? ha ha. So not sure what temp it mashed at but did leave it on the warm setting overnight. This morning I turned off the crockpot let it cool a bit sampled a taste, sweet and tastes like wort. The gravity reading was taken with a refractometer and it came out to be 1.045. I want it lower than that so am boiling some water and will add that to the wort. I think I might boil the wort again anyway because as somebody mentioned earlier no boil will render more trub.

This is kind of a fun experiment for me, I have maybe a dollar worth of grain invested and really nothing to lose.
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Old 01-29-2012, 08:23 PM   #49
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Wow, this thread blew up over night. Dan, I looked up your cooker. I couldn't find "vagor" but I found "Fagor". Typo perharps? Anyway, if it is a Fagor it looks like your model is not meant to can with, just cook. Here is a link to the product manual page for Fagor.

http://www.fagoramerica.com/my_fagor/technical_information

Find your model and download the insturctions and read them. If you can't use it to can, just do as recommended previously and freeze the wort. Boil it before you make a starter with it. Just make sure to leave some headspace in your freezer jars to allow for expansion. If you do end up canning, please pressure can at 15 psi for 15 minutes. Water bathing is not a good idea for wort. This comes up once in a while and I don't know why people even debate it. Might you get away with a water batch, perhaps, but why take that chance. If you do it right the first time, when you pop the top a couple years later you are guranteed to have fresh, sterile wort as long the seal is still good.

Haha, yes it did BBL. And yes your assumption was correct I made a typo it is Fagor. Thanks for the link. I'll check it out in a minute. I think I'm just going to freeze it. There have been some great posts on this thread.!
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Old 01-29-2012, 10:03 PM   #50
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My process is pretty simple and doesn't really take extra time because I do most of it while brewing. On brewdays, I add a gallon or two to the grains after they are sparged. Three of us usually all brew together, so I do the same with their grains as well. I run off all the wort into a wide canning pot, which has a higher boil off rate because of the surface area.

I measure the starting gravity, and calculate how much I need to boil off to get to 1.020 and then further to 1.040. Once its at 1.020, I fill seven pint jars and continue boiling the rest. Once that gets to 1.040, I fill quart jars until it's gone. I can stack 7 quarts and 7 pints in my pressure canner, and I process for 45 minutes at 15psi and let it cool over night on the stove.

I store the jars on a shelf in the basement and use the 1.020 wort for starters from yeast bank or bottle harvesting, then step up to 1.040 as needed to get the yeast volumes required. No boiling or cooling before pitching, just open a jar, pour it into the flask and pitch.... And they are essentially free, except for the propane.

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