Canning starter wort

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D-Ring

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There have been so many good posts with step by step instructions (yeast washing, IC build, etc) that I don't know what I would have done without them. Therefore, I ask for one more! How do you can starter wort? I know the basics of canning, but I am curious as how to doing it with starter wort. Do you need to preboil, etc?? Thanks in advance.
 

Got Trub?

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I would preboil for 10-15 minutes then can as usual. Alternatively you can home autoclave your starter wort using a pressure cooker for 20 minutes - that is what I do.

GT
 

lamarguy

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I recently canned a case of 1.040 wort and it came out quite dark and had a lot of hot break material in the jars after the canning process.

I'm planning to skip the boil next time and go straight from mash to canning. I'm hoping this will help avoid the overly dark wort. Probably not, but it's worth a shot. :eek:
 

Figbash

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Unless you plan on refrigerating the canned wort, it MUST be processed in a pressure cooker for at least 15 minutes (@15 psi.). Canned wort is very low acid and a perfect breeding ground for botulism spores. This is one area of homebrewing where a mistake can kill you.

Tom
 

WortMonger

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Canning is the only way you can store wort without filling a freezer, SAFELY! Freezing will work just fine like has been mentioned, but I like ice cream too much to not take the time to can my wort. ;)
 

Shay

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What I do is brew a four gallon batch of wort at 1.040. I boiled it for 45 minutes. Then filled up a mix of quart and pint mason jars. Next I put them in the pressure cooker and "cook" them for 20 minutes at 20 psi. The wort does darken, but I have a stir plate so I decant as much as can off before I pitch. I was lucky and got a huge (41 quart) all-american pressure cooker off of craigslist. The size allows me to put all four gallons in it in batch. When you the jars are in the pressure cooker, the wort smell is very strong. It takes a long time for the cooker to cool off enough to open the pressure cooker.
 

jchadscud

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Just to be clear, wort stored in a refrigerator for a short time (1-2 weeks) is ok right? I normally do this for bottle cultivating yeast and feed them measured amounts at a time.

I've put way too much time and money into brewing to die this soon in the process!
 
OP
D-Ring

D-Ring

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I would preboil for 10-15 minutes then can as usual. Alternatively you can home autoclave your starter wort using a pressure cooker for 20 minutes - that is what I do.

GT
So, to make sure I understand, you just mix your starter (DME and water) together ( no boiling), put it in your jars, put your jars in your pressure cooker (on the shelf with some water), and cook for 20 min? I hate to be so basic, but MONGO need basic directions.

1. Mongo see beer.
2. Mongo open beer.
3. Mongo drink beer.
4. Mongo like.
 

flyangler18

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So, to make sure I understand, you just mix your starter wort together ( no boiling), put it in your jars, put your jars in your pressure cooker (on the shelf with some water), and cook for 20 min?
Yep, that's exactly what I do. There's no need to boil twice, ya know?

I'd at least get the water hot enough so the DME mixes in well, probably around 150-160°. Portion this into your canning jars, put on the lid (without the ring band) and into the pressure cooker it goes. The wort will boil inside the jars. There will be lots of break material, so just decant slowly when you're ready to pop the top on that jar and use the wort.

The wort will not only be sanitized, it will be sterile.
 

WortMonger

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Sterile is mandatory for non-frozen wort IMHO. I have wort over a year old and it looks great. Opened a jar 2 months ago and it was perfect.
 

Got Trub?

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Yep, that's exactly what I do. There's no need to boil twice, ya know?

I'd at least get the water hot enough so the DME mixes in well, probably around 150-160°. Portion this into your canning jars, put on the lid (without the ring band) and into the pressure cooker it goes. The wort will boil inside the jars. There will be lots of break material, so just decant slowly when you're ready to pop the top on that jar and use the wort.

The wort will not only be sanitized, it will be sterile.
I just use cold tap water. I don't even mix the DME in. It all goes into solution during the pressure cooking.

GT
 

notwoohoo

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Yep, I make dedicated batches and pressure can as well. The break material in the cans doesn't bother me, I simply decant off when pouring into my flask for starters or making agar media for plates and slants.
 

Joe Camel

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You can buy packages of agar at chinese food stores, or you can use gelatin in a pinch.

Put 2 or 3 grams of agar in a pint mason jar with 100 ml of your made up starter wort, microwave gently to dissolve the agar. (you'll see little beads of agar in the wort if it hasn't completely dissolved) Let the agar solution cool a bit, then pour it into your slant tubes, about a 1/4 full. loosely cap the tubes and put in autoclave at 15psi for 15 minutes. Take them out and let cool while leaning against something so that the agar solidifies on a slant. Tighten caps and done.

Cheers
 

Spine

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Unless you plan on refrigerating the canned wort, it MUST be processed in a pressure cooker for at least 15 minutes (@15 psi.). Canned wort is very low acid and a perfect breeding ground for botulism spores. This is one area of homebrewing where a mistake can kill you.

Tom
But of course this is not a problem if you plan to boil you wort again before you make a starter. You only need to worry about botulism if you are planning to can wort and then use it directly from the jar/can to make a starter. I always freeze my wort and then boil a little bit/cool every time I make a starter.
 

rico567

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Although it's been alluded to earlier in this thread, anyone not familiar with pressure canning (and who maybe has a garage sale canner / pressure cooker) should get the manufacturer's or other MANUAL and READ IT before attempting pressure canning. This is akin to using a propane burner in that there are specific things you need to know, and safety precautions you need to follow.

Here is a link to many free publications, also to purchasing the Ball Blue Book of Canning, my personal favorite: Free Publications to Download Here about Home Canning, Freezing, Preserving and Makign Jams and Jellies!
 

flyangler18

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But of course this is not a problem if you plan to boil you wort again before you make a starter. You only need to worry about botulism if you are planning to can wort and then use it directly from the jar/can to make a starter. I always freeze my wort and then boil a little bit/cool every time I make a starter.
That's not true. The bacterium responsible for botulism produces spores that withstand boiling at atmospheric pressure.
 

Shay

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Although it's been alluded to earlier in this thread, anyone not familiar with pressure canning (and who maybe has a garage sale canner / pressure cooker) should get the manufacturer's or other MANUAL and READ IT before attempting pressure canning. This is akin to using a propane burner in that there are specific things you need to know, and safety precautions you need to follow.

Here is a link to many free publications, also to purchasing the Ball Blue Book of Canning, my personal favorite: Free Publications to Download Here about Home Canning, Freezing, Preserving and Makign Jams and Jellies!
+1. Pressure cookers can be dangerous.
 

conpewter

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Unless you plan on refrigerating the canned wort, it MUST be processed in a pressure cooker for at least 15 minutes (@15 psi.). Canned wort is very low acid and a perfect breeding ground for botulism spores. This is one area of homebrewing where a mistake can kill you.

Tom
From what I've read you don't need to pressure can the wort if you plan to boil it again before using it in a starter. Boiling destroys the botulism toxin.

I just freeze my extra wort and then boil it when I'm ready to make a starter.

Edit:
That's not true. The bacterium responsible for botulism produces spores that withstand boiling at atmospheric pressure.
True, but botulism bacteria and spores are harmless to adults. Plus they don't grow/produce toxin in the presence of oxygen (and I sure hope you have oxygen in your starter when you pitch the yeast). Oh and alcohol kills the bacteria so once the yeast have started doing their thing the bacteria will be dead. (Also PH is low enough in beer to kill botulism spores)

Edit Edit: a thread with more details.
 

flyangler18

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True, but botulism bacteria and spores are harmless to adults. Plus they don't grow/produce toxin in the presence of oxygen (and I sure hope you have oxygen in your starter when you pitch the yeast).
Since I am also using that wort to make slants and plates, the media has to be sterile given the small amount of yeast cells on a slant or plate.

It's also a lot easier for me to line pressure-canned jars of wort on the shelves in my basement than find room for frozen wort.
 

goatchze

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I used canned wort for all my starters. I don't keep DME on hand, so I make a small batch of wort for canning every so often (usually 3 gallons). I can in quart jars.

My wife and I have a lot of experience canning, have done jelly, juice, fruits, vegetables, meats...you name it.

The general rule of thumb is that if something contains sugar and is low acid it requires higher temperatures, and thus the pressure cooker. If something is high sugar and high acid (low pH), such as a juice, then boiling is typically fine.

THAT being said, I use the pressure cooker at 10 psi for 15 minutes. Overkill? Probably, but why not be safe? I've already got the equipment and, if you're intelligent enough to brew beer, you're intelligent enough to safely operate a pressure cooker.

I do see some break material in the bottoms of the jars, but it's of no concern to me. The day before brewing I will open a jar and decant it into a larger vessel (1/2 gal pitcher). I'll then pull a vial of yeast from my yeast bank and voila! I'm ready to go.

I do recommend using canned wort; it works great and is super easy to get that starter going! Just pop open a jar and you're ready to go!
 

conpewter

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Since I am also using that wort to make slants and plates, the media has to be sterile given the small amount of yeast cells on a slant or plate.

It's also a lot easier for me to line pressure-canned jars of wort on the shelves in my basement than find room for frozen wort.
Great point, you do need sterile wort for that. I imagine if I did more batches I'd want to can wort, for now though as long as I have a gallon in the freezer it works for me. I think everyone has different needs on it.
 

flyangler18

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Great point, you do need sterile wort for that. I imagine if I did more batches I'd want to can wort, for now though as long as I have a gallon in the freezer it works for me. I think everyone has different needs on it.
I've brewed two batches this week, with a third on Friday. I go through my starter wort. :D

And truth be told, freezing wort is perfectly acceptable for slants and plates provided you are pressure-cooking the vials after mixing up the media (as you should be!).
 

Figbash

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From what I've read you don't need to pressure can the wort if you plan to boil it again before using it in a starter. Boiling destroys the botulism toxin.

I just freeze my extra wort and then boil it when I'm ready to make a starter.

Edit:


True, but botulism bacteria and spores are harmless to adults. Plus they don't grow/produce toxin in the presence of oxygen (and I sure hope you have oxygen in your starter when you pitch the yeast). Oh and alcohol kills the bacteria so once the yeast have started doing their thing the bacteria will be dead. (Also PH is low enough in beer to kill botulism spores)

Edit Edit: a thread with more details.
Botulism spores can survive at temperatures up to 240 degrees fahrenheit. That requires a pressure cooker. There has been a ton of research done on canning, but little if any on canning wort. To assume that the oxygenation of the wort or the small amount of alcohol produced by the yeast will kill any spores that may be present is a stretch.

This is a good time to remember that an internet forum is not always the best place to get valid information. In this case, the wrong information can kill you or others. I'll continue to follow proven canning procedures that are known to be safe.

Tom
 

conpewter

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Botulism spores can survive at temperatures up to 240 degrees fahrenheit. That requires a pressure cooker. There has been a ton of research done on canning, but little if any on canning wort. To assume that the oxygenation of the wort or the small amount of alcohol produced by the yeast will kill any spores that may be present is a stretch.

This is a good time to remember that an internet forum is not always the best place to get valid information. In this case, the wrong information can kill you or others. I'll continue to follow proven canning procedures that are known to be safe.

Tom

Ok so we've determined that all spores will not be killed during a 60 minute boil. That means that every batch you have made has probably had botulism spores in it (they are pretty common actually, a lot in soil, plenty on barley). Does this mean you shouldn't drink beer? No it means that the conditions are not right for them to survive and produce toxins in beer.

As for wort? I would not can it and sit it on a shelf for a month without using a pressure cooker. I will continue to freeze it as botulism can't reproduce or create toxin at fridge or below temps.

Also there are around 100 cases of botulism in the US every year... that's pretty rare. 85% of those are cases with babies since their digestive tract is not acidic enough to kill the botulism spores, adults are just fine with ingesting the spores (and it happens all the time).
 

HarvInSTL

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Unless you plan on refrigerating the canned wort, it MUST be processed in a pressure cooker for at least 15 minutes (@15 psi.). Canned wort is very low acid and a perfect breeding ground for botulism spores. This is one area of homebrewing where a mistake can kill you.

Tom
I have been doing mine for 30-40 minutes @ 10psi. Am I doing it wrong?
 

flyangler18

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Canning is a proven method for long-term storage with proven techniques - and that's the reason that I employ a pressure cooker when canning wort. While I recognize that botulism is a minimal risk, to say that there isn't one is disingenuous.

That being said, I primarily employ my pressure cooker to make sterile media for slants and plates. If I'm investing time and energy to build a yeast bank, I want to be insured of the purity of my strains. On a related note, lightly hopping the media will make it more conducive to growing yeast and not bacteria.
 

Figbash

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Also there are around 100 cases of botulism in the US every year... that's pretty rare. 85% of those are cases with babies since their digestive tract is not acidic enough to kill the botulism spores, adults are just fine with ingesting the spores (and it happens all the time).
Statistics mean nothing if you are the one that makes the list.

Whatever the risk, I'm just making sure that everyone who reads this post knows that a risk exists and can then make an informed decision about how to proceed.

Tom
 

iamjonsharp

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I have been doing mine for 30-40 minutes @ 10psi. Am I doing it wrong?
Not sure if there is an approved National Center for Home Food Preservation method for canning wort, but I can mine at the same time/pressure as canning beef or chicken stock:
20 min @ 11 psi for pint jars, 25 min @ 11 psi for quart jars

The psi required is dependent on your altitude, and the gauge-type of your pressure canner (dial-gauge or weighted-gauge):

Altitude (feet) Weighted Gauge(psi) Dial Gauge(psi)
0-1,000....................10..........................11
1,001-2,000..............15..........................11
2,001-4,000..............15...........................12
4,001-6,000..............15...........................13
6,001-8,000..............15...........................14
8,001-10,000.............15..........................15

:mug:
 

conpewter

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Statistics mean nothing if you are the one that makes the list.

Whatever the risk, I'm just making sure that everyone who reads this post knows that a risk exists and can then make an informed decision about how to proceed.

Tom
I have stated over and over that there is a risk, but only if you are canning it by boiling (only) and storing at room temp. If you put it in the fridge/freezer then there is no risk.

the type of toxin involved cannot be formed at temperatures less than 50°F (10°C).

The point of the statistics is that unless you are an idiot or a baby you are not going to get botulism. Most people know that if a can (or jar) is damaged or bloated that they shouldn't eat/drink it. Apparently there are about 15 people each year that don't think like that.

Also most people that do canning know that a low acid food needs to be either pressure canned, or stored in the fridge/freezer or there is a possibility of botulism.

I freeze the wort immediately after a 60 minute boil and it has hops in it as well. I then re-boil the wort in the flask before using it for a starter. This procedure has no risk of botulism toxicity.
 

Spine

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I have stated over and over that there is a risk, but only if you are canning it by boiling (only) and storing at room temp. If you put it in the fridge/freezer then there is no risk.

the type of toxin involved cannot be formed at temperatures less than 50°F (10°C).

The point of the statistics is that unless you are an idiot or a baby you are not going to get botulism. Most people know that if a can (or jar) is damaged or bloated that they shouldn't eat/drink it. Apparently there are about 15 people each year that don't think like that.

Also most people that do canning know that a low acid food needs to be either pressure canned, or stored in the fridge/freezer or there is a possibility of botulism.

I freeze the wort immediately after a 60 minute boil and it has hops in it as well. I then re-boil the wort in the flask before using it for a starter. This procedure has no risk of botulism toxicity.
+1 I do the same!

I think most people here are missing the point that it is the botulism toxin that will make you sick, not the spores. We ingest the spores all the time but they cannot reproduce inside the body. The problem is when there are spores present in food for a long time they will develop the toxin (for example, in the can of food/wort) and when you pop the can and eat the food directly, you are at risk of getting sick. if you were to always boil the food after opening the can the temperature will destroy the poison that will make you sick but NOT the spore, but killing the spore doesn't matter as long as you are sure there will be no toxin present.

So.

1. If you won't be heating to kill any toxin, make sure there are no spores (i.e. heat the food to 245dF or whatever it takes to kill the spores)

2. if you are heating the food to a temp that will destroy the toxin, then it doesn't matter if the spores are killed or not.

I freeze my wort, and always boil before I make a starter. I do this because I can boil in my flask (on my gas stove) and it is a 1-step way of sanitizing everything that the yeast will touch at the same time. If i was to can my wort in a pressure cooker, i would still need to then sanitize and clean the flask and the tinfoil before adding the wort and yeast.
 

Plan9

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I freeze my wort, and always boil before I make a starter. I do this because I can boil in my flask (on my gas stove) and it is a 1-step way of sanitizing everything that the yeast will touch at the same time. If i was to can my wort in a pressure cooker, i would still need to then sanitize and clean the flask and the tinfoil before adding the wort and yeast.
To me that defeats the purpose of premaking starter wort. If your going to thaw, and boil, then you might as well just boil some extract.

If you pressure can then you're only doing the work once.
My jars are in the pantry at room temperature waiting to be dumped directly into a sanitized flask.

Just my 2 cents.
 

conpewter

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To me that defeats the purpose of premaking starter wort. If your going to thaw, and boil, then you might as well just boil some extract.

If you pressure can then you're only doing the work once.
My jars are in the pantry at room temperature waiting to be dumped directly into a sanitized flask.

Just my 2 cents.
If you are making it from extract I agree. I collect the wort left in my tubing and in the hops (squeeze out the bag etc.) and freeze that. I don't have to worry about being sanitary with it since it will be re-boiled later.

I like to heat sanitize everything anyway so I'd probably be boiling something in that flask before putting wort and yeast in it.
 

Spine

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To me that defeats the purpose of premaking starter wort. If your going to thaw, and boil, then you might as well just boil some extract.

If you pressure can then you're only doing the work once.
My jars are in the pantry at room temperature waiting to be dumped directly into a sanitized flask.

Just my 2 cents.

Well for me DME or LME is much more expensive compared to grain (I buy it by the 50lb sack) so when I make a batch, after whirlpooling I siphon off the good wort for my batch and then the remainder I siphon to a separate container where i strain out all of the trub. This remainder wort is what I freeze and then use for future starters. Basically nothing goes to waste in my operation and it's been working well for me so far.

When I make the starter, I just thaw out some wort, put it in my erlenmeyer flask and then boil it for 15m to sterilize the flask, wort and tinfoil for the top. I put the whole thing in the sink with some cold water and then put the yeast in. Super simple and there is no measuring or pressure cooking.

Mike
 

smellysell

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When I pressure can my wort, sometimes as much as 1/2 of it boils over into the pan and out of the jar. What am I doing wrong?
 

jds

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To me that defeats the purpose of premaking starter wort. If your going to thaw, and boil, then you might as well just boil some extract.

If you pressure can then you're only doing the work once.
My jars are in the pantry at room temperature waiting to be dumped directly into a sanitized flask.

Just my 2 cents.
I don't know about you, but I was never able to handle extract (dry or liquid) without making a sticky mess. By freezing quart-sized blocks of starter wort, all I have to do is chuck it in the 'wave or on the stovetop to thaw and boil, then chill and onto the stirplate. Yes, it's more work when preparing the starter, but much less equipment is required. I like not having too much stuff, and a pressure cooker, while a useful tool in a lot of ways, isn't something I'd consider essential in my kitchen.

I don't bother making starter-specific wort. I just make an extra gallon of beer from a batch in the 1.035 to 1.050 range, and freeze it in quart tupperwares after the boil. No extract required, no extra work, and it doesn't take up THAT much space in the beer freezer.
 
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