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Old 05-31-2012, 04:24 AM   #1
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Default Pressure Canner for Starters - 16 vs 23 qt Presto

OK so I am just about ready to plunk down the money for a pressure canner, I'm sick of doing starters as a one-off.

I'm wondering if folks who have the Presto 16 Qt and/or the 23 Qt models could offer your impressions on the size (or comparable size products by other manufacturers).

The 16 qt has a capacity of 7 Quart jars or 10 Pint jars
The 23 qt has a capacity of 7 Quart jars or 19 Pint jars

I gather that they're about the same size around and the big canner is taller. There's only about 6 bucks price difference so the price isn't an issue.

I'm torn on which would be the better purchase for me.

Possible negative scenario w/the 16 qt: Man, I really wish I didn't have to do this again so soon. Would be so much nicer if I could have done 9 more pint jars at once!

Possible negative scenario w/the 23 qt: Man, it's a big pain in the ass to store and schlep this big thing. I wish my canner was smaller, the process is pretty straightforward and it isn't worth having this big hunk of aluminum just to can slightly less frequently!

So those of you who have canners of either size, what is your impression of the thing?
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Old 05-31-2012, 04:28 AM   #2
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I have wondered this for a long time. Big pressure canner has been on my wanted list for a long time.


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Old 05-31-2012, 04:33 AM   #3
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I'd like to know the above as well. Is aluminum common for pressure cookers? I wash yeast now, I'd like to can starters, and maybe peppers. I'd also not want to decide I need a better pot later.
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Old 05-31-2012, 04:44 AM   #4
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I have the 23 qt and my Dad has the 16. I've used both. Personally, I think the larger capacity is worth it for sure. If nothing else, I can pressure 1/2 gal jars in the 23 qt. Nice to have around from time to time. It is a bit taller, but certainly not enormous compared to the 16. Not going to make a big difference when in storage. And since it takes a little time to run a batch from heat up to cool down, the more jars you can cram in there the better. More than likely, you'll get the first one and wish you had two.
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Old 05-31-2012, 01:58 PM   #5
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Have you ever looked at your brew kettle and thought; "man I hate storing this thing. I wish I had a smaller one..."

Go with the bigger one
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Old 05-31-2012, 02:41 PM   #6
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I've got the 23-qt (from Walmart) and I can fit 4x 1/2-gallon jars + 1x 1-qt jar in there.

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Old 05-31-2012, 03:04 PM   #7
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Aluminum is very common for quality pressure canners (someone asked that).

I almost never use pint or 1/2 pint jars, so I'm still at 7 quart jars no matter what size canner I use. (I don't can starter wort, but I can food.)

To me, a good reason to go bigger is to use bigger jars! If you can fit 4 2- quart jars and 1 1-quart, that's an advantage. I can't imagine using a pint starter, ever. Even a quart is a bit small.
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Old 05-31-2012, 03:13 PM   #8
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Well I wouldn't make a starter that's 1 pint and toss it in my wort.

But I do sometimes want a starter that's more than a quart, and less than 2. Plus, starting off a starter from, say, a small quantity of washed yeast it would be nice to get it going with a pint, then step it up to 1-2 quart or more. Not to mention, 19 pints is more than 7 quarts, so it's more overall starter for a single batch.

That said, I also often do 2-quart/liter starters, and actually using half-gallon jars never really occurred to me.

So y'all have convinced me (as I kind of thought you would...). I'll get the big 'un. If nothing else the fact that they're practically the same price made it hard to justify the smaller one.

Thanks for all the input.
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Old 05-31-2012, 04:08 PM   #9
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I have the 23 quart model and its great. I have been able to stack a few pints on top of quarts to get the most out of a run. I don't know if that is suggested, but it seems to work. The trouble with pressure cookers is that it takes forever to cool them down. So a run cycle can be as much as 2 hours. To get around that, I will only do one run an evening and let the jars cool overnight in the pot. Therefore I appreciate the extra space.

Storing the pot is a pain with the accessories and other stuff. Its like adding yet another kettle to your pile of brewing junk.
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Old 05-31-2012, 07:40 PM   #10
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Just consider that if you get a pressure cooker you might also want to start pressure cooking food. For some foods like pickles you only need a hot water bath but you won't be able to use the 16 Qt because it isn't tall enough. I believe the 23qt is tall enough for that.
Just something to consider.
I have been making starters in my 16 qt pressure cooker for a while now and I have never considered making a pint starter.


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